Smokin' Mysteries for Hot Summer Days
Some great books to help you beat the heat
Summer is finally here -- the bugs, the heat and humidity, and even the news, all call for mysteries where the problem at hand is successfully solved, leaving the reader with hopes for the next story of that detective's travails.
Norwegian by Night by Derek B. Miller (2013) - Every once in a while, an author tells a story in a way that makes the reader feel as if they have stumbled on something fresh and new. This is one such story. We quickly meet 82-year old Saul, a veteran of the Korean war, who has moved from a life in New York City to live out the rest of his years in Oslo with his granddaughter Rhea and her Norwegian husband. He very quickly witnesses a crime that leads him to go on the lam in order to shelter an eight year old boy who he names Paul. This book is about so much: identity, aging, Judaism, PTSD, American politics, Norwegian politics, organized crime in Europe. I fell quickly in love with the characters in this book - especially Saul, Paul, and Norwegian detective Sigrid Odegard - and missed them after turning the last page. I don't know how we missed this intelligent, poignant and funny mystery when it was first published in 2013 (luckily we learned about it by word of mouth), but we're on the case now and have already moved on to read Derek Miller's other excellent mysteries (see next review). Highly recommended. ~Lisa Cadow
American by Day by Derek B. Miller (2018) - See above for our rave review of the first book in this series, Norwegian by Night. Detective Sigrid Odegard is back in this literary mystery by Derek Miller, who this time is traveling the the United States to find her missing brother, Marcus, a suspect in the murder of his girlfriend. Though I haven't yet finished it, I can share that so far it is as entertaining and intelligent as Norwegian by Night. It offers a fascinating Norwegian perspective on "strange" America - our foods, our neighborhoods, our quirks and Sigrid's impression of life in upstate New York. We also meet another quirky character, Irv, the sheriff in the local town, who is also a graduate of divinity school. Miller's writing is refreshing and interesting and leaves the reader looking forward to his next book. American by Day is a Summer 2018 must-read for mystery lovers. ~Lisa Cadow
The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan (2018) - Besides introducing me to a new favorite name - Dervla, Ms. McTiernan's debut novel introduces a great new detective series. Her main detective, Cormac Reilly, possesses an unexplained complicated past, the requisite desire for justice, and great assistance from another well-wrought detective Carrie O'Halloran and a new newbie to the Garda - Peter Fisher. The setting in Galway is part of the action and allows you to vicariously travel to some very soggy time in the Irish countryside. I look forward to the next book in this series. ~ Lisa Christie
And finally, if you haven't yet tried them, now is the time to try the Robert Galbraith detective series as the miniseries they inspired on the BBC is coming Stateside. The series is set in the UK with an Iraq War vet - Coroman Strike - as the troubled, but inspired detective who tries his best to stay solvent and sane. ~ Lisa Christie
Enjoy, and welcome to the heat of summer!
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