What we're reading in November 2008
Ever wonder what the folks who work at a mystery bookstore like to read? Well, here's your answer. Each month we ask everyone here to pick a book, current or older, that they truly enjoyed and are enthusiastic about. Of course, if you visited the store, we'd tell you directly what we like but for those of you who can't come see us, this is the next best thing. Our special thanks to Judi for pulling this feature together and to all the staff who contributed their picks.
Presented here are the picks for this month, an archive of earlier months is available from the menu at the left.
What Kathy is reading
The 4th Josie Marcus Book has a Christmas setting. This would be great, if Josie liked Christmas. She doesn't. She's got to grit her teeth, though, because her current mystery shopper assignments are at the "Christmas All Year Long" stores. At least there are 'pornaments' to distract her, because, guess what ghost of Christmas past shows up, drunk with a bag of drug money?
It's the Baby Daddy! Oops. Y'know, Josie always meant to explain things to her daughter, Amelia, but somehow never got around to it. Now he's back, spoiling Amelia and generally charming everyone around him. Even Josie's Mom chimes in - she wants Josie to marry good ol' Dad and "give Amelia a name". Needless to say, Mike the Plumber (not to be confused with the now famous Joe the Plumber) has an opinion, since he wants to marry Josie.
Elaine Viets is one of my absolutely favorite authors - if you haven't read the Josie the 'Mystery Shopper' series, or the Helen Hawthorne 'Dead End Job' mysteries, treat yourself - you'll love them!
What Mary Kathryn is reading
Readers lost a wonderful author this week when Tony Hillerman died. Most people acknowledge that he is the godfather of the southwest mystery. Now is a good time to re-visit his magnificent series featuring Jim Chee & Joe Leaphorn. Set in New Mexico in Navajo country, the books provide not only a great mystery, but a look into a culture that is different from most of ours. Hillerman had virtually unlimited access to the Navajo community over his years of writing, and it shows. Start any where in the series, or simply try his last book- the 18th! Many of Hillerman's books are also available in audio, and he also has a memoir entitled: Seldom Disappointed.
What Richard is reading
I was totally knocked out by this brilliant pop-up that combines the art and storytelling talent of Tomie de Paola with the paper engineering genius of Robert Sabuda. Each spread is more thrilling than the next with houses, trees, waves and Strega Nona herself coming to life and jumping off the page. One of Sabuda’s best.
What Judi is reading
Absolutely the most intriguing and refreshing thing I’ve read this year! One of the few books that deserves the New York times Best Seller list. An insightful thriller with two intertwining stories, one as cold as a case can get, the thirty-year old disappearance of a Swedish heiress and the other a reporter’s business expose gone array. Best part is Lisbeth, the female character, as quirky as OCarroll’s Mallory if not more.
What Mary Alice is reading
Once housemaid to the wealthy Studebaker family in South Bend, Indiana, Hilda Johansson is now married and living a well-to-do life with her new husband. But her Swedish family doesnt get along with his Irish relations. Shes having trouble finding friends, since she no longer fits into her old world and isnt accepted in the new one. Just before Christmas, when the husband of her sole remaining friend is accused of theft, arson, and murder, Hilda has to find new ways of investigating a crime that seems to make no sense. In the hard economic times of 1904, with bank failures weekly, Hilda tries to aid the unemployed youth of South Bend by helping to form a Boys Club modeled after Hull House in Chicago. She even enlists some of them as Baker Street Irregulars in her mystery investigation, giving the reader a vivid sense of the city and street life of the times.