|Hmmm, I wonder what books are in these stacks|
I have books tucked into nooks and crannies throughout the house and cottage. Sometimes I just happen upon a book someone gave me, or that I acquired in a used book sale or bought off the remainder rack that I didn't know I had. It's always a pleasant surprise.
Sometimes years will go by when I don't read any books by a particular author but when I open up one of these books after my hiatus, it's like reuniting with an old friend. We pick right up where we left off. Here are some mysteries from favorite series that I've recently read.
The Singing of the Dead, by Dana Stabenow (St. Martin's Books, 2001)
Taking a vicarious trip to Alaska to see how Kate Shugak is doing after the death of her lover, Jack Morgan. Kate is now responsible for Jack's son, Johnny, and still dealing with Jack's difficult ex-wife, making for family drama in Kate' usually solitary life in the Park. This mystery combines a death from Alaska's Gold Rush Days with murders on a present day political campaign trail, and switches back and forth in time. It took me a couple of tries before I got into this book, which is why it's been languishing on my shelves for awhile. However, ultimately I was delighted to reconnect with Kate, trooper Jim Chopin, and Kate's friends, Bobby and Dinah.
Uneasy Relations, by Aaron Elkins (Berkley Prime Crime, 2008)It's been a long time since I encountered Physical Anthropology Professor Gideon Oliver, and we reconnected at the International Paleoanthropological Society in Gibraltar as Gideon and his associates gather at the ancient burial site of a mother and young child. But all is not as it seems in academia, and people associated with the dig are dying. Gideon himself is in peril, but manages to survive and uncover the culprit in a manner of old-style detectives, where every suspect is gathered in a room for the unmasking.
Sand Sharks, by Margaret Maron (Grand Central Publishing, 2009)
Judge Deborah Knott is heading to Wrightsville Beach for a well-deserved working vacation as she attends a summer conference for North Carolina district court judges. An unpopular judge is murdered and Deborah soon is knee deep in murder suspects before exposing the guilty party. I enjoy Maron's Deborah Knott series partially for the setting, close to my native Virginia, so I'm usually familiar with all the locales.
The Lottery Winner, by Mary Higgins Clark (Simon & Schuster, 1994)
Subtitled Alvirah and Willy Stories, this collection of short stories passed along to me by an older friend brought a smile to my face. Who wouldn't love the irrepressible former cleaning lady and now lottery winner Alvirah and her husband Willy. These light-hearted mystery stories are just what the doctor ordered.
Mourning Glories, by Susan Wittig Albert (Berkley Prime Crime, 2011)
It is always fun to reconnect with China Bayles, her friend and business partner Ruby, their families and all the folks in Pecan Springs. I wish I could browse in her fictional store, Thyme and Seasons, and I appreciate my few pots of herbs more after I read a China Bayles mystery. Drugs come to the local college campus in this mystery and murder follows, but China and the police track down the perpetrator before more young women die. I found another China Bayles' mystery on the shelf after I finished this one; Albert's books are making me want to hop in the car and head to the Texas Hill Country for spring.
I can't complete this post before I mention Sparkle Hayter and the Robin Hudson books again--you may recall I recently reviewed Chelsea Girl Murders on this blog. I have now ordered and completed The Last Manly Man (1998), the Robin Hudson book that I hadn't yet read. It is a strange and satirical mystery about aromatherapy and stolen primates and underground activists who save the day. Hayter and her character Robin Hudson are like those friends from your past who were always wilder and crazier than you but you love hanging out with them anyway.
|A bin of books tucked under a table in the small bedroom|
awaiting the right reading moment!