What we're reading in July 2011
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
After barely escaping Germany with her life, part-time spy for the British, Hannah Vogel, is back covering the 1936 Berlin Olympics, posing as Swiss reporter Adelheid Zinsli and lover of SS officer Lars Lang. When an old friend and contact dies in her arms, she suspects he was poisoned. Hannah must work quickly to find out what was behind the death, before her identity is revealed, all the time not fully trusting Lars. A fascinating glimpse of that period of history!
What Lynne is reading
Stevens created a sensation last year with her wildly popular novel, Still Missing. Her sophomore effort is certain to follow that trajectory, as Stevens treats another familiar theme—an adoptee searching for her birth mother—and turns it on its head. While, undoubtedly, many unfortunate results stem from search scenarios both real and fictitious, Stevens injects her trademark—perverse twists of fate-- in this story of a legitimate quest gone awry. Horrific truths and consequences follow as this genuine nail-biter unfolds. You’ll never know the half of it, though, if you don’t snap up this summer sensation, preferably in its first printing.
What else Lynne is reading
Another clever mystery in the crafting sub-genre. Series protagonist soap-maker Sophie Mae Reynolds encounters more trouble in Cadyville, Washington, and it’s not trouble that can easily be erased with a touch of soap and water. Even dandelion wine, product of Sophie Mae’s latest passion, can’t erase the horror of a therapist’s death, especially one that was seemingly predicted by cassette tapes incriminating the murderer. Don’t hesitate to immerse yourself in Sophie Mae’s world of detection. Hangover not included.
What Richard is reading
Medieval fantasy is not my usual beat but this first in a trilogy grabbed my attention and kept me entertained for all if its nearly 400 pages. Cale, the protagonist, is an acolyte in a vast fortress/monastery--The Sanctuary--run by a fanatical and violent religious sect: The Redeemers. Conditions in The Sanctuary are brutal as a seemingly endless series of young orphan boys is inducted and trained in the most brutal techniques of warfare. Through a series of events Cale and two of his friends make their escape from The Sanctuary and find refuge, of a sort, in the wealthy city/state of Memphis. By the end of the first book it is evident that Cale has a special role to play in the fate of these two forces--religious and secular--a role that he himself does not yet understand.
What Judi is reading
New York Times bestselling author, Tana French is back with a standalone novel, set in 1985. Frank Mackey was 19, growing up poor in Dublin's inner city, and he and Rosie Daly were ready to run away to London together. But on the night they were supposed to leave, Rosie vanished. Twenty-two years later, Rosie's suitcase shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place, and Frank is going home whether he likes it or not. Interesting insights into a city that is far more than Guinness and castles.
What Mary Alice is reading
This is where it all started! The first classic Phryne Fisher mystery, featuring our delectable heroine, cocaine, communism and adventure. Phryne leaves the tedium of English high society for Melbourne, Australia, and never looks back. 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, she 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 Kathy is reading
I will read anything written by Sarah Strohmeyer, and this book is one reason why. The older I get, the more I appreciate my true friends. "Kindred Spirits" celebrates friendship, joy, sorrow and women. The woman who was Sarah's muse for this book died of cancer last year, and you can feel her courage and hope shining through the entire novel. This one is a keeper.