NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments! and often have guest bloggers.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

CODES, CONSPIRACIES & SYMBOLS, OH MY!

Dan Brown’s latest Robert Langdon thriller, Inferno, was released last Tuesday. I had it pre-ordered on Audible a month ago. Yes, I freely admit I’m a big fan. Ever since I first read the Da Vinci Code I’ve put Dan Brown on my auto buy list and developed a passion for books featuring codes, symbols, conspiracies, and secret societies. The Da Vinci Code was also a big influence on my own novel, The Paris Secret. Over the years there have been many Da Vinci Code like books I’ve enjoyed. Here are some of my favorites:

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse- July 2005. In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig, stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery-two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth. Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade that will rip apart southern France, a young woman named Alais is given a ring and a mysterious book for safekeeping by her father. The book, he says, contains the secret of the true Grail, and the ring, inscribed with a labyrinth, will identify a guardian of the Grail. Now, as crusading armies gather outside the city walls of Carcassonne, it will take a tremendous sacrifice to keep the secret of the labyrinth safe.


The Givenchy Code By Julie Kenner- a mind-bending code spawned from the mind of a madman...or maybe just a jealous ex. A desperate race through the cathedrals and hotels of New York City...with a teeny bit of time for shopping, it's true. An astonishing truth concealed for years, unveiled at last...with more than a little help from a super cute new guy. As if a recent breakup, scrounging for rent money, and lusting after designer shoes weren't enough, Melanie Prescott starts receiving obscure codes and clues from a menacing stranger. She attempts to solve the mysteries -- enlisting the help of a tall, dark, and handsome new friend -- with high hopes for the multimillion-dollar reward guaranteed at the end (handbags, sunglasses, and shoes, oh my!). That is, if she can survive the deadly game.

Juliet by Anne Fortier- twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy. This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy. But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind.

Chasing Vermeer By Blue Balliet- When a book of unexplainable occurrences brings Petra and Calder together, strange things start to happen: Seemingly unrelated events connect; an eccentric old woman seeks their company; an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal, where no one is spared from suspicion. As Petra and Calder are drawn clue by clue into a mysterious labyrinth, they must draw on their powers of intuition, their problem solving skills, and their knowledge of Vermeer. Can they decipher a crime that has stumped even the FBI?

Enjoy!
Angela : )


7 comments:

Rita said...

Okay so spill-what did you think about Brown's new book? I've been split on his some are good others- meh.
I'll have to look in to a couple you mentioned. I too enjoy this kind of story. I am in awe of the writing ability.

Marcelle Dubé said...

I love the occasional foray into these types of thrillers. The first I ever read was The Eight, by Katherine Neville. As for Dan Brown, I don't think of him as a great writer, but he's a darned fine storyteller, which is much more important, as far as I'm concerned.

Angela said...

Rita-I'm really enjoying it so far! I was disappointed by The Lost Symbol so I was worried. But Inferno has really pulled me in and is holding my attention. But do check out the ones on my list. I think you might really enjoy Labyrinth.

Marcelle- I've had The Eight on my TBR pile forever! LOL. And I agree with you. I value great storytelling above great writing.

Anne Marie Becker said...

I'll have to check these out, Angela! I love fast-paced thrillers, especially if they involve cracking a code. ;)

Shirley Wells said...

I'm undecided on Dan Brown. I'll definitely try your other recommendations though. I do love stories based around cracking codes.

Jean Harrington said...

Just finished Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. One stunning revelation toward the end. Otherwise I agree, Angela. Haven't read Inferno. Have to wait for my eyes to uncross. Anyway, I do give Brown an A+ for complexity.

Mike Keyton said...

Heard Dan Brown on the radio plugging his latest. He talks well.

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