Buff's Effing Five Favorites
from Buff R., Oakmont PA
Mysteries that share a theme in the letter F
Army chaplain Clare Ferguson becomes the first female priest in a small upstate New York town in this winner of the SMP/Malice Domestic award and an Agatha nominee. An abandoned child, and the murder of a young mother, force Claire into understanding some of the secrets in her new-found parish.
A raging forest fire in California's Lassen Volcanic National Park traps exhausted firefighters, including Ranger Anna Pigeon, in its midst. Afterward, Anna finds two from her group have been killed. One a victim of the flames. The other, stabbed through the heart. Now, as a rampaging winter storm descends, cutting the survivors off from civilization, Anna must uncover the murderer in their midst. One of the best in this fine series.
Set in medieval England, this chilling, mesmerizing novel combines the best of modern forensic thrillers with the detail and drama of historical fiction, as Adelia Aguilar, a "mistress of the art of death"--an early version of a medical examiner--arrives in Cambridge from Italy to investigate the suspicious deaths of four children. She's been summoned by Henry II--best remembered for his having ordered the killing of Becket--but Franklin does much to restore his proper place in English history.
Eliot Pattison’s debut novel The Skull Mantra is an exciting and unique mystery set in Tibet and featuring, as its protagonist, Shan Tao Yun a former Beijing investigator now a prisoner in a labor camp after offending some powerful party leaders. The spiritual life of Tibet, its Buddhist priests, its political situation and China’s campaign to eradicate Tibetan life are all central of this story of a murder which Shan, despite his status, is pressed into investigating. A totally absorbing novel filled with insights both political and spiritual. A well-deserved Edgar went to this novel as a best first.
A sparkling and original debut in which a flock of sheep investigate the murder of their beloved shepherd George. Yep, you’re going to have to buy into talking sheep but after all, George did read to them every night. Unfortunately, he read them mostly romance novels so the sheep have a somewhat unbalanced view of human life in which women mostly named Pamela are constantly fighting off the advances of mustachioed men named Rodney. Once you make that leap you’re in for a treat as each, led by Miss Maple—the wisest of them—makes their own contribution to solving the puzzle. Swann’s cleverness in translating the nature of sheep into their behavior as sleuths is a marvel and I was truly sorry to come to the end of this totally captivating book.