Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Column No. 2 Sept 15, 2011

      Mystery is my genre of choice. If I ever need a pick-me-up read, I know I can always find a mystery to breeze through. For me, mysteries are like bags of peanut butter M&M’s. They rarely last more than one sitting. Because of this, I have an extensive list of favorite authors I can always count on for a quick read.
        Diane Mott Davidson is a great mystery writer. She writes the Goldy Bear mysteries about a caterer in Colorado who solves mysteries on the side. I am always surprised by how many murders there are in her tiny little town, but I am willing to overlook that because they are so much fun! Her books are serial, so you will want to start with the first, which is Catering to Nobody.
        If you like more historical writers, Charles Todd is a great author to take a look at. He has two series that are most popular. The first is about Inspector Ian Rutledge and the second is Bess Crawford. Bess is my preference because she is a nurse in World War I who is kind of a busybody. She is quite the investigator and is always in the right place at the right time to find clues. The first in her series is A Duty to the Dead.
        One of my current favorites is Terri Reid. She is a self-published author you can only find in e-books right now. If you have an e-reader such as a Nook or Kindle, you can download her books very inexpensively. The first book in Reid’s series is Loose Ends about an ex-cop named Mary Reilly who can see and talk to ghosts. She solves mysteries and helps ghosts to resolve any unfinished business. Love her! I was a big fan of Ghost Whisperer, and this has the same feel.
        Another great mystery is Alan Bradley’s The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, the first of three novels (and counting) about the charming 11-year-old Flavia de Luce, who has a penchant for chemistry and a habit of getting into trouble. The book is written in the voice of Flavia, which gives it such an endearing quality that, with or without the murder mystery, I would want to keep reading the book. My book club read this book several months ago and the consensus was that everyone loved it.
            The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie was also the topic for discussion at this week’s meeting of A Close Knit Community at the Madison Library. If you are wondering about A Close Knit Community, they are a group of mostly women who meet at the library Tuesday evenings at 6:00 to discuss knitting, books, and various other topics. They discuss specific books on the second Tuesday of each month. For October they will be reading Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book—appropriate for the month of Halloween. You need not be a knitter to participate.
        Another great event coming to the library this Friday night at 7:00 is Story Time for Grownups. For six weeks the library is reading and discussing the children’s books of Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are. The discussion will center on themes in the books that adult readers may not be aware of.
        Find a new mystery author today. If you have never read a mystery, now is the time to try it out. A good mystery is like a sorbet; it will cleanse your palate for another course of meatier literature later on.
            P.S. Don’t forget to invite me to your book club!

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