Mysterious Book Report No. 60

Hey everyone, this is a continuation of last week’s column, MBR NO. 59, about summer reading suggestions.  Last week we had 1. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, 2. Amped, by Daniel Wilson, and 3. The Third Gate, by Lincoln Child.

Here’s seven more to fill out your summer reading list.

4.  Broken Harbor, (Viking, $27.95) by Tanya French, features detective Mick Kennedy and the Dublin Murder Squad trying to solve the murder of a family man and two of his children, an attack that left his wife in critical condition.  Mick soon discovers oddities in the case . . . elements that tie it to an event from his childhood; something he thought long forgotten.  An entertaining yarn from the Edgar-awarded author.

5.  Harbor Nocturne, (Mysterious Press, $27.00) by Joseph Wambaugh, another Edgar- winner and an Edgar-awarded Grandmaster, here brings us a page-turning yarn about a pair of young lovers caught up in a gang war.  This one features two of his best characters named Flotsam and Jetsam, as well as equally matched cops and criminals.  Great reading from a long time cop, who’s a master of the police procedural.

6.  The House of Velvet and Glass, (Voice, $25.99) by Katherine Howe, author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, brings us a new novel featuring a protagonist named Sibyl Allston who has withdrawn into mysticism and parlor tricks after her mother and sister were lost on the Titanic.  When her brother gets kicked out of Harvard under strange circumstances, she and professor Benton Derby team up to solve a terrible mystery.  “A journey into the realms of the supernatural . . . ” according to David Liss.  Excellent soft-boiled crime fiction and a ladies favorite.

7.  An Unmarked Grave, (Wm Morrow, $24.99) by Charles Todd.  World War I is grinding on and the Spanish flu is spreading in Europe.  Protagonist Bess Crawford has her hands full, trying to deal with all the sick and wounded.  When too many suspicious corpses begin piling up, she tries to stop a crafty killer before his next victim turns up.

8.  Poison Flower, (Mysterious Press, $24.00) by Thomas Perry.  Jane Whitefield helps break an innocent man out of prison, but then finds herself held captive by the real criminals.  “There are probably only half a dozen suspense writers alive who can be depended upon to deliver high-voltage shocks; vivid, sympathetic characters; and compelling narratives each time they publish.  Thomas Perry is one of them.”  –Stephen King.

9.  The Fallen Angel, (Harper, $27.99)  by Daniel Silva brings back his favorite Israeli world-class art restorer, spy and assassin, Gabriel Allon, to Rome to restore a priceless Caravaggio painting for the Roman Catholic Church.  His work stops when a young woman dies of an apparent suicide and Allon is called in to investigate.  When he learns that she has inside knowledge of the Vatican and the international art trade, he’s forced to enlist the aid of a master art thief and his old intelligence team in order to solve the case.  Another great summer read from the master of modern spy novels.

10.  The Empty Glass, (Blue Rider, $24.95) by J.I. Baker.  L.A. Deputy Coroner Ben Fitzgerald lands in hot water after he investigates the death of Marilyn Monroe and finds her Book of Secrets; becoming the center of a vast conspiracy . . . or so he thinks.  “The Empty Glass comes rampaging out of the gate and keeps on roaring and roistering until the sad, salutary shock of its final pages.” –Peter Straub

All of these summer reading suggestions are recently published and can be found at your local library; although you may have to request them and wait a bit .

There’s no waiting at my website:

johndwainemckenna.com

You’ll find all the MBR’s, book lists and gobs of reading suggestions, a free sample short story; you can read my new BS & Donkey Dust Blog and get all the latest news and information on Rhyolite Press’ soon-to-be published new mysteries: The Drift, an environmental thriller that takes place in Cripple Creek, Colorado, by Bert Entwistle, and The Whim-Wham Man, a coming-of-age and murder mystery by John Dwaine McKenna, that’s set in Colorado Springs as World War II is just getting started.  It’s where you can leave your message in cyberspace by clicking the CONTACT button, or, do it the traditional way at P.O. Box 2406, Colorado Springs, CO  80901.  However you decide to do it, we’d love to hear from you.  Signed copies of The Neversink Chronicles are available at Cannie D’s, the Time and the Valleys Museum, The Little Store in Roscoe and coming soon at . . . zz . . . dot, dot, dot.  I’m getting a secret message . . . have to decipher it with my Orphan Annie secret decoder . . . zzzt . . . It’s from Sally Lemmon, Chief Taskmaster and senior curmudgeon at Rhyolite Press: “Hey out there, would all the beer drinkers and literati up on Rocky Hill quit passing that one damn copy of The Neversink Chronicles around and buy another one?  Ain’t you wore it out yet?  I bet you’ve got it taped back together and left margin notes an . . . ”  I’ll have to finish decoding that next week.  We’re out of time and space here.

                                                                        –JDM

(Psst, didja catch that last bon mot Miles?)