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The Book Arsenal has been resupplied
I went to the library the other night and came home with 21 books, so I should be set for a few weeks, at least. Among these were some old favorites, some recent discoveries, and one author I have never heard of before, but decided to try. Here’s a sample, in case you want to try a few:
Ellis Peters (author of the Brother Cadfael series) – the two novels I picked up are not in that series, but will be fantastic, I’m sure.
Robert Crais – I’m rapidly becoming hooked on his Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series.
John Sandford – a friend turned me on to the two interwoven series’ featuring Minnesota DPS Investigator Lucas Davenport and field investigator Virgil Flowers. This time I picked one of Virgil’s stories. He’s a laid-back, surfer-dude type guy who is also an avid outdoorsman. Like Davenport, though, Virgil has hidden depths. I fell in love with both characters and have been working my way through both the Prey series (Davenport as the star) and the ones with Flowers.
P.D. James – an old favorite, I chose one of the mysteries featuring Commander Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard. A nobleman, a published poet and an crack investigator, Dalgliesh never disappoints.
Nancy Martin – if you haven’t read The Blackbird Sisters mysteries, you have missed out on a lot of fun! They center around three sisters who were raised in a life of wealth and privilege – until their parents decided to take the last of the family fortune and fly the country to avoid prosecution for tax evasion. Left to fend for themselves with few skills for employment, each woman finds a way to come to terms with her new lifestyle. Libby, the “earth-mother” (practitioner of erotic yoga) finds refuge in her children (wacky and somewhat scary) and her husbands (several, though not all at once!) Emma, the tough one, trains horses, goes through men as fast as she changes her undies, and occasionally works in some semi-shady businesses. The central character, Nora, lands a job as the assistant to the local newspaper gossip columnist/society editor. Her knowledge of high society, along with her inherited collection of vintage couture clothing, make her amply suited for the job. What she doesn’t bargain for are the numbers of dead bodies she will encounter along the way. Toss in the on-again-off-again relationship she has with the scion of a local crime family, and you’ve got a recipe for great reading. If you like society, fashion, sexy mobsters, and laugh-out-loud satire, you will love The Blackbird Sisters novels. (Personally I couldn’t care less about society or fashion, but I love these books anyhow.)
Nancy Atherton – I saw a section of this author’s works on the shelves and was intrigued, so I picked up her first, Aunt Dimity’s Death. I have already finished reading it – it was fairly short – and I enjoyed it very much. I can’t wait to read more of this series. The main character, Lori, is struggling to come to terms with her mother’s death while struggling through a downward cycle in her own life. Recently divorced and under-employed, she’s struggling to keep her lights on and her creditors at bay. When she receives a letter from a prestigious Boston law firm requesting that she visit, she is skeptical but decides there is nothing to lose. Upon arriving she discovers that the Aunt Dimity who inhabited all of the bedtime stories her mother told her throughout her childhood was a real person. Dimity was her mother’s bosom friend when they both served in WWII – Dimity in the VAD and Lori’s mother on General Eisenhower’s staff. Lori is given a task – she is to go and stay for a month in Dimity’s cottage in the Cotswolds and write an introduction for a published volume of the Dimity stories. She is to be assisted in this by the son and partner of the attorney. In many ways this is more of a sweet romance than a mystery, but there is plenty that is mysterious about it (a haunted cottage, a hidden secret from the past.) I zipped right through it and was very satisfied with how the story ended. I can’t wait to pick up the next book in the series.
Oh, and I picked up three cookbooks as well. I haven’t mentioned this before, but I love to cook, and I love reading cookbooks. I will try to write about a few of these as well. I’m nervous about cooking from a library book so I may have to make copies of whatever recipes I want to try. (I’m a little messy at times.) I was looking for Greek and Indian recipes. I ended up with one of Cat Cora’s cookbooks, one about Irish cooking, and one about Mediterranean Street food. I was surprised when I searched Indian Cooking in the catalog to get several pages of Native American books, but none about India. Maybe I need to check a different library.
That’s all for now, I guess. I have really appreciated all your comments and suggestions, so keep them coming. Happy reading!