Tuesday, February 26, 2008

minette walters

I read the first 2 pages of The Ice House last night and am sure it's not for me. I have another Walters title in my stack which I might sample, but will be surprised if it's my cuppa tea. Two references, one merely vulgar and the other definitely over the line, lead me to believe I won't enjoy this author's perspective or warm up to her characters.

Monday, February 25, 2008

titles from felony & mayhem press

Unfortunately this site is under construction. But here's what's written in the front of The Accomplice:
The icon above says you're holding a copy of a book in the Felony & Mayhem "British" category. These books are set in and around the UK, and feature the highly literate, often witty prose that fans of British mystery demand. If you enjoy this book, you may well like other "British" titles from Felony & Mayhem Press, including:

The Killings at Badger's Drift
by Caroline Graham
Death of a Hollow Man by
Caroline Graham
Death on the High C's by Robert Barnard
Out of the Blackout by Robert Barnard
Death in the Garden by Elizabeth Ironside
Dupe by Liza Cody
King and Joker by Peter Dickinson
Death in the Morning by Sheila Radley
Among the other categories listed on the website is
"Vintage": Originally published prior to about 1965, these promise the kind of twisty, ingenious puzzles beloved by fans of Agatha Christie and the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. Example: The Case of the Gilded Fly, by Edmund Crispin
This sounds pretty juicy. But my library does not own a single title by this author. I've just asked them to purchase this one. We'll see what happens.

Customers on Amazon who bought this also bought books by Elizabeth Daly. This rings a bell.

the accomplice

by Elizabeth Ironside

Just finished this. It's as good as, maybe better?, than Death in the Garden. As in the first book, the characters and the mystery have roots in the distant past. This is a "Felony and Mayhem" book. Haven't yet visited felonyandmayhem.com but intend to soon.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

thrones, dominations

by Jill Paton Walsh and Dorothy Sayes

Guess I've outgrown Peter Wimsey. Though this is not an official book in the series, but rather an unfinished Sayers novel completed by another author (Walsh), the very mannered Wimsey and his now-wife Harriet, run true to form. Still agonizing over their relationship and spouting bits of English poetry and Latin at one another. I once loved this series. Time to move on. Sigh.

death in the garden by elizabeth ironside

This was the best mystery I've read in a year or so. Good writing, complicated plot, shuttling between the 1920's and the 1990's. Plenty of tea-drinking and even a mention of an herbaceous border. The characters were not the usual cliches one finds in contemporary mysteries, and though the requisite relationship-angst was present, it didn't overwhelm as it so often does. I would rate this as very good. If I could have felt more invested in the characters, even one, I would have liked the book more. But I'll look for more of this author's books.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

mystery recommendations

Mystery recommendations from the librarian:

Death in the Garden by Elizabeth Ironside
This was the most highly recommended title he gave me. I'm reading it now and it is very good. The bookcover tells me I might also enjoy
Minette Walters.

Death Comes as Epiphany by Sharan Newman
Patricia Highsmith (Strangers on a Train, etc. Have seen the HItchcock movie, probably too creepy for me.)
Thrones, Dominations, a finishing-up of Dorothy Sayers novel
Caroline Graham
Maisie Dodd books by Jacqueline Winspear

I recently read 3 pretty good books by Patricia Carlon: The Price of an Orphan, Crime of Silence, and Hush, It's a Game. She was Australian and wrote under many pseudonyms. The titles I read were written between 1965-1970. They were compelling and not offensive in the usual way many contemporary books are. But the 4th book, Death by Demonstration, was so dull I didn't finish it. It was concerned with student uprisings and filled with the students' political "thought." Blurbs on the back of the Carlon books indicate I might also enjoy Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell) and Patricia Highsmith, mentioned above.

Marty the librarian also recommended Josephine Tey, which I've read and liked very much. He based his other recommendations on this.

Monday, February 11, 2008

favorite authors, off the top of my head

Jane Austen
PG Wodehouse
Patrick O'Brian