What we're reading in June 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 Margo is reading
The summer is a wonderful time to reread an old favorite – why not pick up P.D. James’ Black Tower and renew your acquaintance with police commander and published poet Adam Dalgliesh, who at the start of the book, is contemplating giving up the police force after a life threatening illness. But called to the bedside of a priest in a convalescent home on the coast, Dalgliesh arrives too late to help his friend, and when a slew of ostensibly natural but “convenient” deaths follow, Dalgliesh finds himself in the midst of a macabre mystery. There is plenty of atmosphere in this one – a mysterious tower and misty seaside cliffs.
What Richard is reading
The Legal Limit is a novel that deftly combines strong writing, legal lore and profound character conflict into a read that is memorable, suspenseful and thought provoking. Law student Mason Hunt returns home for a visit where his ne’er-do-well brother Gates drags him into a series of events that culminate in murder. Mason covers it up and lies for his brother and then goes on to establish a respectable career as a DA in his hometown. Years later, with Gates imprisoned on another charge, Mason’s life comes apart as his brother seeks revenge. Clark is a gifted storyteller with a knack for creating forceful characters and although this has the form of a legal-thriller, which it is, it is much more, too.
What Lynne is reading
S.J. Bolton lives in Oxford, England, but her atmospheric mysteries are far removed from that sedate university city. Following her promising novel Sacrifice, Bolton one-ups herself in Awakening concocting a brilliant plot involving a murderer who uses snake venom to kill victims. Clara Benning, a veterinarian, is pressed into service as a detective because she’s the only one with the requisite expertise in her petology. Even Clara is shocked, though, when she unearths a deadly religious cult and its nefarious doings. Fantastic!
What Mary Alice is reading
Summer is the time for reading travel and a good place to start is “Down Under” with the lady detective with the lively libido! Cocaine Blues is where it all started! The first classic Phryne Fisher mystery, features our delectable heroine, cocaine, communism and adventure. Phryne leaves the tedium of English high society for Melbourne, Australia, and never looks back. The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honorable Phryne Fisher--she of the green-grey eyes, diamante garters and outfits that should not be sprung suddenly on those of nervous dispositions--is rapidly tiring of the tedium of arranging flowers, making polite conversations with retired colonels, and dancing with weak-chinned men. Instead, Phryne decides it might be rather amusing to try her hand at being a lady detective in Melbourne, Australia. Almost immediately from the time she books into the Windsor Hotel, Phryne is embroiled in mystery: poisoned wives, cocaine smuggling rings, corrupt cops and communism--not to mention erotic encounters with the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse--until her adventure reaches its steamy end in the Turkish baths of Little Lonsdale Street.
What Judi is reading
British author Tarquin Hall’s fiction debut introduces us to the venerable Vish Puri, India’s most private investigator. The Case of the Missing Servant (Simon & Shuster, $24.00) takes us from exclusive clubs to the slums of modern India and revels it’s complex nature. An honest public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant and Puri must use all his investigative skills to find the girl, even resorting to principles of detection established in India more than two thousand years ago. His crack team of operatives-Tubelight, Flush, and Facecream, go undercover to discover the girl’s fate. Puri will remind readers of that lovely lady in Botswanna and maybe even a well-known Belgian detective. Fun and fascinating.