Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mysteries and thrillers…my pile runneth over!

The last couple of weeks of summer and the beginning of September are proving to be prime reading time for mystery and thriller lovers. Here’s a sample of what I’ve already read, am about to read, and can't wait to read!

This is the latest in a line of great thrillers written by Canadian author Linwood Barclay. A few years ago he quit his full-time day job with The Toronto Star to concentrate on his fiction writing. A great decision on his part! I read this latest in just a couple of days and I was hooked from the moment the teenage girl tapped on Cal Weaver’s car window.

A Tap on the Window (M)
by Linwood Barclay.

“It's been two months since private investigator Cal Weaver's teenage son, Scott, died in a tragic drug-related accident. Ever since, he and his wife have drifted apart, fracturing a once-normal life. Cal is mired in grief he can't move past. And maybe that has clouded his judgment. Because he made a grave mistake driving home on a very rainy night. A drenched young girl tapped on his window as he sat at a stoplight and asked for a ride. And even though he knew a forty-something man picking up a teenage hitchhiker is a fool, he let her in the car...” HPL catalogue

His previous thriller Trust Your Eyes was my favourite Canadian read of last year and the movie rights have been optioned for a reported 7 figure deal.

Speaking of Canadians, Louise Penny’s latest installment in the Inspector Gamache series just arrived for me. Her popular series is set in Quebec’s Eastern Townships in the fictional village of Three Pines. Here’s a sneak peak at the latest:

How the Light Gets In (M)
by Louise Penny.

“When we last saw Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec, he was solving the murder of a cloistered monk (The Beautiful Mystery, 2012). No problem there, but in the process, his relationship with his deputy, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, imploded, leaving Jean-Guy back on prescription drugs and in league with Gamache's enemies within the police force. That situation has only worsened, as Gamache's attempts to expose corruption and evil-doing at the highest levels of the force have prompted a vicious counterattack, leaving the chief inspector vulnerable professionally and personally. Into that cauldron comes a new murder case involving the death of the last surviving sister of quintuplets, whose birth and early life prompted a Canadian media frenzy in the mid-twentieth century.-- Booklist

If reading Penny’s wonderful mysteries leave you wanting more then watch for the movie adaptation of her first novel, Still Life, coming to CBC TV in September.

Although she was not born in Canada we seem to have adopted Kathy Reichs and her Dr. Temperance Brennan series as ours. Her latest installment was just recently released and will make for more great reading for fans of forensics. This time Dr. Brennan is back in a North Carolina setting and on her latest case.

Bones of the Lost (M)
by Kathy Reichs.

"The latest from Kathy Reichs finds Tempe Brennan investigating the connections between a long-dead business man, the smuggling of mummified dogs from Peru, and the death of a teenage girl killed in a hit and run. When she discovers a human trafficking enterprise at the center of it all, the scope of the case extends from South America to Afghanistan. And Tempe's soon-to-be ex might have connections that run to the very heart of the trafficking ring."--Publisher.

Many years ago a colleague mentioned a new mystery series to me that featured the letters of the alphabet. The book was “A is for Alibi” by a new writer named Sue Grafton. Fortunately for her many fans the series took off and here we are 23 books later. The only sad thing about reading her latest books is realizing that she is running out of letters in the alphabet. Her latest offering is just out and I’m looking forward to it as much as the others.

W is for Wasted (M)
by Sue Grafton.

Grafton's 23rd Kinsey Millhone mystery (after V Is for Vengeance) features a strange twist in the life of the popular private detective, as she's drawn into the investigations of two murders: the first, of a fellow PI with a shady reputation; the second, of a homeless man who has her name and phone number in his pocket. Her inquiries lead to a maze of troubles involving a bank, a will, a large amount of money, and a new connection with her long-lost relatives. Grafton has lost none of her ability to bring her character vividly to life: Kinsey is as witty and engaging as ever, although somewhat more subdued and thoughtful owing to the emotionally charged tasks she has to perform. -- Library Journal

Two of my favourite things are mysteries and baking and I think that no mystery writer combines the two better than Diane Mott Davidson. From the beginning her characters, stories and recipes have kept me reading and baking (after the book is done, of course) and she has yet to disappoint. If you haven’t already read one, save this for a special afternoon’s reading.

The Whole Enchilada (M)
by Diane Mott Davidson.

In bestseller Davidson's beguiling 17th mystery featuring Aspen Meadow, Colo., caterer Goldy Schulz (after 2011's Crunch Time), Goldy fears that the death of her friend Holly Ingleby immediately following a birthday party she catered was caused by something Holly ate. When Holly-who was part of the unofficial group of emotionally and often physically battered wives that Goldy and mutual friend Marla Korman belonged to-turns out to have died from a medication overdose, the caterer knows she owes it to Holly to investigate. Digging into her friend's past, particularly through the reams of notes Goldy took during long-ago sessions of the support group Amour Anonymous, she discovers unsettling secrets involving Holly and other prominent members of Aspen Meadow society. It becomes clear that whatever tidbits Holly took with her to the grave may have provided a motive for murder. -- Publisher Weekly


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