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. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

READ ANYTHING GOOD LATELY?

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately and I thought I’d share some of the gems I’ve come across:

Racing the Devil, an Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery by Charles Todd

No Shred of Evidence, an Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery by Charles Todd

An Unmarked Grave, a Bess Crawford Mystery by Charles Todd

Yes, I’m on a Charles Todd kick. Charles Todd is the nom de plume [well, sort of] of an American mother-and-son writing team, Caroline and Charles Todd. The two series are set during and just after World War One.

Bess Crawford is a nurse who works on the front lines in France during the war, and who stumbles across mysteries and murders. I love the layered background of her life, with a childhood in India, a mysterious father and his aide, and her willingness to get grubby to bring justice to bear. 

After the war, Inspector Ian Rutledge returned to Scotland Yard a changed man. Suffering from PTSD, he now lives with a voice in his head of a soldier he executed for refusing a direct order. This damaged man clings to his work as his only salvation.

I’ve also been reading some excellent science fiction and fantasy, all with a mystery bent:

Company Town, by Madeline Ashby, was shortlisted for the most recent Canada Reads contest, in which five famous Canadians champion a different Canadian book. This is how the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which organizes the contest every year, describes it:

Canada Reads is a "literary Survivor," with celebrities championing books. Books are voted "off the bookshelf," one each day, until one book is chosen as the title the whole country should read this year.

Set off the Canadian east coast, Company Town tells the story of the fearless Hwa, a young woman who works as a bodyguard on the city-sized oil rig they all call home. There are death threats, alternate timelines and a series of interconnected murders, and Hwa must choose between protecting herself and protecting those in her charge.

Loved, loved, loved the story. I gobbled it up.

And finally, I’ll finish off with a novella, Death by Effigy, by my friend, Karen L. Abrahamson.

I know I could be biased, but I’m not. This is a lovely, lovely story featuring a murder mystery set in exotic 19th century Burma. It features an old singer and a magical Burmese puppet, the impish, ancient Yamin, who so desperately wants to be taken seriously by the humans and the members of his puppet troupe. Fascinating culture and unusual, endearing characters.

The one thing all these books have in common are strong, engaging characters, characters that the reader wants to follow on their adventures. It’s something I strive to achieve in my own writing.

Okay, now it’s your turn. What stories have you read lately that you would recommend? Any non-fiction?



11 comments:

Anne Marie Becker said...

Marcelle, thank you for the suggestions! With summer break starting this week, my mind naturally turns to reading, and I remember all the lazy summers of my youth, when I could read so much more! ;)

I'm currently reading a recent Suzanne Brockmann book (can't remember the name at the moment) as well as a nonfiction book "Accounting for Non-Accountants" since lately I've been doing some bookkeeping and want to understand more. It's like learning another language!

jean harrington said...

I have to agree, Marcelle, that reading is one of life's greatest pleasures. Your post introduced me to some new authors' names--at least new to me. Thank you. As for what I've read recently, well, in fiction, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Loved it; elements of mystery, but not totally that genre. More of a Dickensian, sprawling story that spans a surprisingly well-lived fictional life.

As for nonfiction,just finished Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance. Loved that one, too. It explores growing up poor, but loved, in middle-America. Also dipping into Success as a Real Estate Agent--for Dummies. And for research for my current Honey Ingersoll Listed and Lethal Series. Now revisiting some Ian Fleming Bond books. And the list goes on . . .

Marcelle Dubé said...

Anne Marie, you are so much more dedicated than I am--I don't think anything could persuade me to pick up an accounting book! Thanks for Suzanne Brockmann's name. I'll look her up!

Marcelle Dubé said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Jean. Really, I don't think I'll live long enough to read all the good books out there!

Toni Anderson said...

They look wonderful! I am a big Suzanne Brockmann fan and have several of her books to catch up on. I've read two unusual and wonderful (to me) RS books recently. VINES by Brynne Asher, and SPARROW by LJ Shen (only $1 right now). Both are dark and gritty RS. Love them. Also loved Amanda Bouchet's Kingmaker Chronicles.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Thanks for the tips, Toni!

Elise Warner said...

Thanks for the tips, Marcelle. I just finished The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes about Australian war-brides being transported to England after World War II published in the UK in 2005, arrived in the USA in 2014. We have a small bookcase in the laundry room and I found it there. About to begin Alice Munro's Dear Life and non-fiction Razzle Dazzle by Michael Riedel about the Schubert Organization and the goings on when Broadway had the likes of R&H, Michael Bennett, Bob Fosse etc., etc., etc. couldn't put it down.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Thanks for the new titles, Elise. You won't go wrong with Alice Munro!

Cathy Perkins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cathy Perkins said...


I was sick over the holiday weekend and figured the one redeeming point was huddling under a blanket on the sofa reading.
I blew through a Sanford "prey" book and a generic RS, one of Julie Moffatt's Lexi books (love!), a Tess Gerritsen RS, and am half way through the first in the Linda Castillo series (I've read random ones in the series and decided to get 'organized'). The beginning of Sworn to Silence had me in tears. Now I'm wondering if I can sleep with the windows open for the rest of the book- terrifying killer!

Marcelle Dubé said...

Cathy, I'm a scaredy cat, so I *never* read anything that could possibly keep me awake at night!

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