Clara Maynard's blog

Lasso yourself a good read!

cowboy with lasso

The Texas Library Association has released its first Lariat List of recommended reading for adults. One might expect this to be a list of novels set in Texas, but that is not so. The group wanted to create a list of books that were "a pleasure to read.” The Lariat List is diverse in genres and appeal factors. I thought you might like to know about the mysteries on the list. Here they are:

Edgar Award Winners 2010

edgar award

The Edgar Awards were announced last night and here are the winners:
Novel        The Last Child by John Hart
First Novel          In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff
Best Paperback    Body Blows by Marc Strange
Young Adult        Reality Check by Peter Abrahams
Best Critical          The Lineup by Otto Penzler

Check one out for yourself and see what you think!

(photo of the Edgar award courtesy of Kevin Dooley via Flickr)

Women and Crime

lady detective

The Sisters in Crime organization seeks to promote the work of women crime writers.  It used to be that women authors were overlooked, but now they are a powerful group in the publishing industry. They’ve come a long way in the past twenty years! Along with their work as advocates, the group has published several anthologies. The latest is Sisters on the Case, edited by Sara Paretsky, and including stories by Barbara D’Amato, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Sue Henry, and other prominent mystery writers. Of course, Paretsky has a story also!

An oldie but goodie!

Rex Stout

Recently, I decided to enjoy a classic mystery author, Rex Stout. His most famous mysteries feature Nero Wolfe, an overweight, temperamental, genius private eye who solves most cases without ever leaving his New York brownstone. His assistant, Archie, functions as a bodyguard and secretary. . In After Midnight, an ad agency calls on Nero Wolfe when one of their executives is murdered. The victim was conducting the “largest prize contest in history” and is found dead after brandishing the answers and putting them in his wallet. Twelve hours later, he is dead and his wallet is gone. Where is the wallet? The witty dialogue makes this series one of my favorites. I listened to this on my iPod after downloading it and I really enjoyed Michael Prichard’s reading of the story.

The Top 10

mask and bottle

I was looking at The Crown Crime Companion: The Top 100 Mystery Novels of all Time, selected by the Mystery Writers of America, and I thought it would be fun to

Frozen Sun

alaska bear

Frozen sunI'm continuing on with the Nathan Active mystery series by Stan Jones. In Frozen Sun, Nathan in asked by the local high school principal to find Grace Palmer, his long lost, beauty queen daughter. She ran away years ago, but now the mother is dying and wishes to see the girl one last time. She was last seen on Four Street in Anchorage, sunk deep into street living and substance abuse. Nathan reluctantly agrees to do what he can. Meanwhile, he is getting somewhat serious with his girlfriend, Lucy Generous. Little does he know the trouble his search for Grace will bring him! I enjoyed the Alaskan setting as always, and the character of Nathan is becoming more developed. Looking forward to the next installment in this series

The Lineup

Otto Penzler and his wife

Editor and bookshop owner Otto Penzler asked some of mystery’s well-known authors

Hardly Knew Her

laura lippmanI love reading Laura Lippman's books. Her popular Tess Monaghan series is great and her stand alone novels are intriguing. This book, Hardly Knew Her, is a collection of new short stories.  I found her short stories to be just as well written as her novels. The stories are set not just in her home city of Baltimore but also New Orleans, Dublin, and Washington DC.

Frozen Mummies?

mooseAlaskaWith our cold weather, it was time to read another mystery set in Alaska! So I picked up Shaman Pass. In this novel, Nathan Active is called to investigate the murder of an Eskimo leader, stabbed to death with an ivory harpoon. Turns out the harpoon was stolen along with an Eskimo mummy nicknamed “Uncle Frosty.” Nathan explores his people’s past to find clues leading to the murderer. Again, I enjoyed the setting, learning more about modern Eskimo culture, and seeing the hero become more comfortable with his heritage.

More Edgar Nominees!

Last week we looked at the 2010 Edgar Allan Poe Award nominees for Best Novel. The category of Best First Novel looks interesting also. When you get a chance check out one of these titles to see which book you think will win!
The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano

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