Clara Maynard's blog

Miss de Luce

english manor house

 

Flavia de Luce is a brilliant chemist and detective, and she happens to be 11 years old.

Tortured by her evil big sisters, ignored by her loving but eccentric father, she is left to her own devices in their English manor house in the village of Bishop’s Lacey. When a local puppet show is ruined by the death of the puppeteer, she investigates. The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag may sound like a children’s book, but it is definitely an adult book, and well worth the read. The author received the Debut Dagger Award for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, the first Flavia de Luce mystery.

 

 

Playing with Fire!

city

 

If you haven’t read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo yet, you’ll have to wait for a copy as everyone wants to read it. However, there are not nearly as many requests for The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second book in the series. If you’ve been wondering if it’s as good as the first, reviews are mixed. However, I found it to be quite entertaining, and enjoyed the insight into the Lisbeth Salander character. My only regret is that the author has passed away and there will be no more books from him. In this one, a journalist is about to expose Sweden's sex trafficking business when he and his girlfriend are suddenly murdered. Due to circumstantial evidence, Lisbeth is a prime suspect and she goes into hiding. Her friend, Blomkvist,strives to clear her. The characters, as before, are quite interesting as is the look at Swedish society.

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
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