What we're reading in April 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 Lynne is reading
I thoroughly enjoyed Death of a Cozy Writer, G.M. Malliet’s first St. Just mystery. Fortunately, my enjoyment was renewed when I read her second series mystery, cleverly entitled Death and the Lit Chick. As the titles suggest, these books penetrate the cutthroat world of writing—more specifically, the insular world of mystery writing. In Death and the Lit Chick, Kimberlee Kalder, a widely popular mystery writer, meets with an untimely demise, and British Detective Chief inspector St. Just, along with his assistant, Portia, investigate the congeries of mystery writers who had reason to permanently remove Kimberlee from the mystery scene. This book is particularly enjoyable because Malliet pokes fun at mystery writers—of which she is one, obviously—and their machinations in real life and in fiction. Malliet has selected a cogent niche for her books. I hope that this “lit chick” thrives for a very long time.
What Mary Alice is reading
What I love about the Diane Mott Davidson mystery books is the fact that you can really get your teeth into them. No kidding. I cannot read one without going back to a certain recipes that fit so perfectly into the plot and that I cannot stop craving. I guess Fatally Flaky Cookies is my new all time favorite. Oh, but wait, you have to come to our event celebrating Diane’s 15th Goldie Schultz mystery at 2PM May 17, 2009 to get the book---Fatally Flaky and the recipe. Until then, how about diving into the chilling Sweet Revenge, of which we said: “You know that Diane Mott Davidson turns out the best recipes folded in to crackerjack mystery books. Her latest Goldie Schultz catering mystery is one terrific story with colorful characters and some menacing Holiday delights. And, there’s lots of snow. Lots. Sweet Revenge has a body in the library, a missing antique map and a ghost of a murderer to keep you guessing as you burn the midnight oil.”
What Judi is reading
Set in rural Wisconsin in 1907, A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick starts with a frigid winter day at the train station as Ralph Truitt, a wealthy and reclusive businessman awaits the arrival of his mail order bride. Not an unusual event in that time and place. But when Catherine Land answers the ad for “a reliable wife “, she turns out to be anything but “a simple, honest woman”. Filled with dark gothic elements and suspense, and more swirling emotions than a Wisconsin winter snowstorm Goolrick’s first novel is well worth the read.
What Richard is reading
Thomas’s excellent debut promises good things in future books. Orange County is the setting as professional thief Robert Rivers carries out his quiet life of crime, carefully controlled and profitable until he runs across a young Vietnamese girl that he can’t get out of his mind. Compelling characters and setting provide a memorable read.
What Margo is reading
When the police fail to find his missing twin, thirteen year old Johnny starts a methodical search for her. With an addict mother and missing father, this tight-lipped, resilient kid uses all of his resources to unearth the town’s dark secrets – and in doing so, discovers more than any kid should ever have to know. Meanwhile, Detective Clyde Hunt can’t let the case of the missing girl drop and when another child goes missing he finds himself drawn back into Johnny’s life. John Hart’s characters and plot twists in The Last Child make for a whopping good read and a heartrending conclusion.
What Kathy is reading
Fans of Harley Jane Kozak will love Wollie's latest Dating Adventure - it's my favorite so far! If you're not yet a fan - what are you waiting for?! The books are fun reads with great characters and well-designed mysteries. If you haven't read any of the books in this series, start anywhere - and have your copy signed when Harley is here on April 7!
What Kathy is also reading
Memory and its meaning, as with beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Laura Lippman examines the concept of memories, and their impact on our lives, in her new novel, Life Sentences. A fascinating read, it tells the story of Cassandra Fallows, a memoirist looking for a new angle for her next nonfiction book. She has decided to research the events of an unsolved mystery, which centers on a former classmate who remained silent rather than answer any questions about her missing child. As Cassandra delves into the past, she finds that her own memories may have to be revised in the light of others' perceptions. Lippman's storytelling excels in this well-written and fast-paced story.