Clara Maynard's blog

Margin for Error

Edna Buchanan has won the Pulitzer Prize for her crime reporter, and she has a popular following for her Britt Montero mystery series. Britt is a Miami crime reporter and she is not pleased when Hollywood movie star Lance Westfell arrives to shadow her in preparation for his new movie. Britt doesn’t want to babysit a movie star, but her boss demands it. Lance is being stalked by an obsessed fan, and soon violent things start to happen. Also, Britt falls for Lance so a little romance sweetens the story. Margin For Error was not my usual cup of tea, but I might read some of the other Britt Montero mysteries as I did like the character. 

Edgar Awards 2013

cover of live by night

 

 

The Mystery Writers of America announced their Edgar Allan Poe Award winners recently. Here are the winners:


Best Novel    Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
Best 1st Novel  The Expats by Chris Pavone
Best Paperback  The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

 

The Dogs of Riga

I’ve been reading the Wallander series since PBS ran a series of TV adaptations based on this series. The Dogs of Riga is the second of the series, translated from the original Swedish. When the story starts out Wallander is mourning the death of his mentor, worried over his father and daughter, and upset over his wife leaving him. Sweden is changing, the crime rate is going up, and he’s not sure if his efforts to combat that are being effective. He is thinking about applying for a private security job. Then two male bodies are found in a life raft, tortured and executed. The case leads to the country of Latvia, and Wallander is asked to assist their police. His experiences there are life changing. I enjoy the look at a different country, in this case two different cases, and Wallander is a complex, flawed but enjoyable hero. 

dover of the dogs of riga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Devotion of Suspect X

 

cover of The Devotion of Suspect X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yasuko is being stalked by her ex-husband, who winds up in her apartment threatening her and her daughter. They wind up killing him in self-defense. Her next door neighbor Ishigami, a genius who teaches math at the local high school, volunteers to dispose of the body for her. She knows he has a crush on her but she doesn’t realize how devoted to her he is. Throughout the book, through all the twists and turns, the suspense lies in seeing if Yasuko and Ishigami will get away with their cover-up. The Devotion of Suspect X is written by Japan’s most popular author and I can really see why he is a bestselling author there.  This title definitely y kept my interest and I look forward to future translations of his work

Blue Shoes and Happiness

On a long trip recently, I brought a copy of Blue Shoes and Happiness. This is part of the popular Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.  The titles offer a view of everyday life in Botswana as the ladies seek to earn an honest living as detectives.  In this title, Mma Ramotswe is married now and Mma Makutsi is engaged. A customer named Poppy comes to them.

Line of Fire

I’ve read and enjoyed Stephen White’s series featuring Boulder psychologist Alan Gregory throughout the years. There are 18 previous novels and in Line of Fire, White starts to bring the series to a close. Alan and his friend Sam Purdy have a deep, dark secret and events have made it likely that their secret will be revealed. At the same time that they are dealing with this, Alan’s business partner, Diane, is coping with recent traumas and she is not doing well at all. The summer has been very dry and wildfires are blazing in the countryside around Boulder. The real mystery here is not who did it, but whether Alan and Sam can make it out of this.

cover of Line of Fire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hundred-Dollar Baby

I had a long trip to make so I checked out the audio book Hundred-Dollar Baby by Robert B. Parker. In this title, Spencer is reunited with April Kyle. April had been a teenage prostitute that Spencer had rescued in the past. Now she’s grown up and she says she needs his help. However, as he tries to help her, more and more lies pile up, and then Ollie, a minor gangster, is killed. Spencer, and his sidekick Hawk, go between New York and Boston, trying to uncover the truth in this case. Spencer begins to wonder if he really saved April, and can he save her again this time?

And When She Was Good

Lippman has won the Edgar award for her mystery, Charm City. She has received several other awards, and I think she is an excellent writer. I always look forward to her new books. Her latest is And When She Was Good.

Watch Me Die

I’ve seen Eric Spindler’s books on our shelves often, but hadn’t really investigated her until today. I had not realized that she lives in New Orleans. She’s received several awards, so I picked up Watch Me Die. This is a suspense novel with romance thrown in, if you like that kind of book. At the beginning of the book, someone has killed an elderly priest at a New Orleans Catholic church.  The murderer has also spray painted “He will come again to judge the living and the dead” upon the church’s stained glass windows.  There are numerous twists and turns and a surprising end. 

Cold Granite

I decided to catch up on my pile of books waiting to be read so  I pulled out Stuart MacBride's first novel, Cold Granite. As you might expect from his name, MacBride's book is set in Aberdeen, Scotland. Det. Sgt. Logan MacRae, back from a year’s sick leave, is called to investigate a series of murdered and missing children. The media is in full feeding frenzy and someone in the force is leaking info to them. McRae is a likable hero and the mystery keeps you interested. I'm enjoyng the book.  

Scottish bagpipe player

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