What we're reading in January 2009
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 Mary Alice is reading
A Test of Wills is the first in the Ian Rutledge series and is one of the finest books in the traditional British mystery category. Set in 1919, the protagonist is Ian Rutledge, a Scotland Yard detective recently returned from the Great War and still suffering from shell shock when he rejoins the Yard and takes on his first case. Todd does a brilliant job of re-creating the setting and feel of a Golden Age mystery overlaid with a more modern insight into the psychological realities confronting Rutledge. Turning the screws further is a key witness to the murder who is himself a victim of shell shock confronting Rutledge with a vision of his own future. An outstanding debut, I urge you to get the series and to join us on Saturday January 17, 2009 to meet one half of the writing team of this terrific series. I say, if traditional British mystery books are your cup of tea, you do not want to miss this one.
What Judi is reading
Looking for a new author, try Kitty Sewell’s first novel, Ice Trap. It won’t keep you warm as it is set partially in northern Canada. It will however keep you reading. Dafydd Woodruff receives a letter that blows his comfortable life apart. While living and working in the wilds of the Canadian North as a young surgeon, Woodruff supposedly fathered twins. Not only didn’t he have sex with the woman, he couldn’t stand her. Now she wants money, of course. After the results of DNA tests, which are positive, Woodruff heads to Canada to sort things out. What he finds makes for a chilling and gripping tale.
What Richard is reading
The first in a unique series set in Istanbul. The nameless narrator is a computer consultant by day but drag queen by night and it is in this latter role that she turns sleuth when one of the girls in her club is murdered. A manic pursuit for clues ensues aided by a hapless taxi driver with a crush on our protagonist’s girlish half. An entertaining and colorful debut with plenty of Istanbul atmosphere.
What Kathy is reading
This first novel by Mehran (who was born in Iran but now lives in Ireland) centers on the inhabitants of a small Irish town. When three Iranian sisters move into the former bakeshop and open a Middle Eastern cafe, turmoil erupts. The quirky and wonderfully fleshed-out characters that make up the populace of Ballinacroagh align with either the sisters and their exotic delicacies or the town bully, Thomas McGuire, who attempts to put them out of business.
What Margo is reading
When her husband dies under suspicious circumstances, Lady Julia Grey investigates and discovers disturbing truths about a husband she never truly knew and a world of deception, disease, and sexual obsession she could never have imagined.