Clara Maynard's blog

Alice in Jeopardy

Ed McBain was well known for his 87th Precinct detective series and I was really sorry when he passed away. The 87th Precinct series was one of my favorites. Recently, I came across a standalone novel of his, Alice in Jeopardy cover of Alice in Jeopardy. In it, Alice Glendenning, a mourning widow, has even more to deal with when her children are kidnapped. The kidnappers are demanding the life insurance payment due from her husband’s drowning accident. However, that has not arrived. Unwelcome relatives and others descend upon her while the house is full of police detectives and Alice is desperate about her kids. A tough heroine, smart dialogue and a great plot make this a good read. 

Turn Coat

I’m still reading through the Dresden Files series. Although these are not traditional mysteries, they are a lot cover of bookof fun. I'm reading the 11th in the series, Turn Coat. In this one, Chicago wizard detective Harry Dresden finds Morgan, a fellow wizard, asking for his help. There has been a great deal of conflict between these two even after Harry was asked to join the magic-governing White Council.

One of the White Council leaders was murdered and Morgan has been framed for it. If Morgan didn’t do it, then another respected wizard is responsible and Harry has to search for the traitor. With the help of his vampire and werewolf allies and with his sarcastic wit, Harry is up for the job.

White House Chef mysteries

picture of white hosueI went in search of some new mysteries to tell you about. On the shelf I found, Hail to the Chef by Julie Hyzy. This looks like a fun cozy mystery featuring Ollie Paras, the chef at the White House. In this one, the second in the series, Ollie has to investigate two deaths in the White House, while planning a holiday meal.

Best of 2012

Every year, Library Journal magazine chooses the best genre fiction of the year. Here are their choices for Best Mystery of 2012.
Box, CJ   Force of Nature: A Joe Picket t Novel.  This series has been running for a long time, but LJ ccover of A Fatal Winteralled this a “stunningly fresh entry.”

In the Outback

outbackAustralian Emily Tempest is half white, half aborigine and she has grown up in both worlds. After traveling widely, she returns to her outback home, Moonlight Downs, and tries to fit in with her old friends. Right after she arrives, a dear friend is found strangled. A local eccentric is blamed and Emily tires to find him. This debut novel won the Ned Kelly award for best first Australian mystery.  Besides the mystery, I found this look into Australian culture very interesting.

Black Cherry Blues

I grew up in Louisiana and remember when James Lee Burke was just getting his start. For various reasons, I had not read any of the Dave Robicheaux novels. So recently I got around to reading picture of gray heron, Black Cherry Blues,  one of his early mysteries.  In this title, Robicheaux is dealing with his wife’s murder, while he runs his fishing business and cares for his adopted daughter. An old friend comes by and shares some troubling secrets with him. Dave winds up framed for murder and trying to solve the murder of Indian activists in Montana. Burke is an excellent writer. His descriptions of natural beauty in both Louisiana and Montana are wonderful. And his characters are engaging, realistic and interesting. I will be reading more of Mr. Burke’s work

More Dresden Files

cover of Blood RitesI’ve been continuing to read the Dresden Files series, featuring wisecracking Chicago wizard-detective Harry Dresden. In Death Masks, he’s challenged to a duel by a powerful vampire, while he also is hired to find the Shroud of Turin! Harry has to turn to all his friends to escape a terrifying group of demons.

The Dresden Files

I’ve been reading the Dresden Files series for a while, ever since the TV series based on the books got me interested. So far, I’ve only gotten to the first four books in the series, and last I heard there were 14 in the series. So I can look forward to enjoying these for a while. Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, the son of a magician,

The Truth of All Things

I ordered The Truth of All Things because a fellow mystery reader raved about it to me. I did find it interesting, although not as fantastic as she described. This is a first novel by Kieran Shields and it’s set in the author’s hometown of Portland, Maine. The time is 1892 and Decover of The Truth of All Thingsputy Marshal Archie Lean is faced with a case featuring ritually slaughtered victims.

Dare to Die

South Carolina harborCarolyn Hart has been called the American Agatha Christie, and she has won numerous awards for her mysteries, including the Agatha. One of her series is the Death on Demand series, set in Broward’s Rock, S.C. Annie Darling is married to private eye Max Darling, and she owns the Death on Demand mystery book store. In Dare to Die, a mysterious former resident, Iris Tilford, shows up in the small town.

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