Showing posts with label #MarchMysteryMadness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #MarchMysteryMadness. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Somebody said: “Birthday, Coupons, and Credit Card Reward Points.”

And I said: “Buy them STORES OUT!”

Recent acquisitions to slightly satiate my appreciation for reading (and buying books). I've been in a particular cozy kick lately. Or, in fact, desire to get back into reading cozies. It seems I haven't read a few in a hot minute. Heck, I didn't even pick up the Mrs. Jeffries series by Emily Brightwell last year. And, double heck, I didn't read cozies through December. I'm feeling those pangs. Additionally, having finished reading The Wheel of Time in November, I spent about a month and a half recovering from that experience. Now, I craze some more high fantasy goodness. Luckily, Tanya Huff and Mercedes Lackey have been somewhat handling that deal. Nonetheless, these are the books I spent the weekend doing what I love best (digging underneath stacks) acquiring…



1.  Black No More by George S. Schuyler

2. The Complete Smoke Trilogy by Tanya Huff

3. Pride, Prejudice, and Peril by Katie Oliver (kind of curious, but scared of this one)

4. Mrs. Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past by Traci Wilton (finally decided to give this series another try)

5.  Body and Soul Food by Abby Collette (this lady just KEEPS series going)

6.  The Chuckling Fingers by Mabel Seeley (the 1941 publication date and woman in a trench coat took command)



7. Dead in the Scrub by B.J. Oliphant (an elderly woman rancher solving mysteries sounds like my tea)

8. The Princeton Murders by Ann Waldron

9. He Died with His Eyes Open by Derek Raymond (the title alone provides the kick to this British 1980s PI adventure)


Now… the heavy part is finding time to read them. Oh, well!


Thursday, December 30, 2021

Linda Barnes, Stand Up Detective

Sue Grafton is not only one of my top three favorite authors, but she is my top favorite mystery author. The contemporary female private eye is my favorite sub-genre within the mystery field, and Grafton’s famous investigator, Kinsey Millhone, is easily my favorite mystery protagonist. I just simply identified with Millhone. Millhone was forward. She also had a loner-type personality, independence, and the matter-of-factness that I identified with from the first book, A is for Alibi. Nevertheless, as well all know, Grafton died four years ago as of my writing this. And with Grafton’s death went the last book in her Kinsey Millhone series, which would have been titled “Z is for…” presumably “Zero” (actually I think Grafton confirmed that “Zero” in an interview). Grafton’s death was a blow in all matters of mystery and literature in general. But, especially, to her fans.

But I am going to stop here, as after her death I decided to concentrate seriously on reading her peers. 2018 saw me smash through Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone series. 2019 saw me do the same with Sara Paretsky’s V. I. Warshawski series. Earlier this year I nailed Maxine O’Callaghan’s Deliah West series and finally finished P. D. James' second (and final) Cordelia Grey mystery. 2022 I have plans for reading another British author, Liza Cody. Cody's British private eye, Anna Lee, was making waves overseas during the beginning of Grafton, Warshawski, and O'Callaghan's stories. Nevertheless, there is one other Western author I had on my list to at least start in 2022. That is Linda Barnes and her Carlotta Carlyle female investigator (Barnes has an earlier series featuring a male investigator).

Honestly, it took me a while to find a quality copy of the first book, A Trouble of Fools. Finally, I did. Barnes' Carlotta Carlyle came out in 1987, five years after Grafton and Paretsky made waves. Therefore, Barnes/Carlotta definitely counts as a pioneer contemporary female investigator.

Thus, my journey to take on these ladies and their stories continue. Happily.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Last Few 2021 Black Mysteries I Desire to Read


*In-text links are Amazon affiliate

I pretty much had to play buying books by ear this year. With tuition payments blessedly covered, the majority of my book spending was on a desperately needed few new releases (ala J. D. Robb) while trying to read many of the unread titles already littering my bookshelves. So, naturally, as seen by my frequency here and in other places, black authors' mysteries are a consistent purchase. And though I can't catch them all, I usually grab a decent few. Alas, here are two that have been on my radar all year, but I only recently managed to snag in the hopes of devouring them soon (Holiday break hopeful). Nonetheless, they are…

All that is Secret (An Annalee Spain Mystery) by Patricia Raybon. First things first, if you are in the bookstore looking for this book (which I encourage you to do), note that it is primarily shelved in the Christian Fiction section instead mystery. Anyway, the story takes place in 1923 and follows Annalee Spain. She’s a theology professor at what is known as Chicago Bible college. Evidently, she gets a telegram asking her to return to her hometown in Denver, per the killing of her father. Thus, ensues a mystery. 

What captured my attention when I first came across the book was the infusion (per the synopsis) of what appears a woman taking on a sunset town, while driven by her love of Sherlock Holmes to keep her focused and steady as she solves her father's murder.


Though the book contains romance and is categorically Christian Fiction, I hope that the book does not shy too far away from speaking toward the racial commentary/exposition suggested in the synopsis. I hope the author will be honest and daring, instead being enraptured with sounding safe. And though I’m certain forgiveness is a theme, I want it to LAND. Basically, I am trying to emphasize that I want to be MOVED by every element suggested in this work. No, for real. I'm ready to be knocked out by the book. Regardless, much praise to Raybon’s cover artistic because the cover to All that is Secret is gorgeous! And I have a strong feeling my mamma might like this book, too. But, of course, I'll have to buy her her own copy should I love it for myself.

So I saw Shanora Williams’ book, The Perfect Ruin, back in the spring. I can’t remember where, but another author was promoting a live stream or something featuring Williams. Hell, I forget. Anyway, the point is that I saw Williams’ face on the announcement and raced to add her book to my wishlist. Nevertheless, according to Amazon, The Perfect Ruin seems relatively dark. Ivy Hill is traumatized and tormented by some tragedy in her childhood. Whatever the case, she is now so messed up that she doesn't see a reason to continue living. Until she finds out who was "responsible" for the tragedy that wrecked her life. This person is evidently a wealthy socialite.

Then Ivy infiltrates the socialite's circle and… well… let the PLOTTING AND SCHEMING BEGAN. This book puts three things in mind: the TV show Revenge, your usual 100+ episode Korean drama, and those recent thrillers like Gone Girl (or something, chile. I don’t know…). The book is labeled a psychological thriller, so we’ll see what happens. But the onlyyyyyy hesitation I have when it comes to psychological thrillers is that the stakes have to matter. Like, every deceptive chess move has to gag me with calculated twists and turns until that final confrontation. And the antagonist has to be just as crafty as the protagonis–that sort of thing. 

Chile, I tried to read a Jeffrey Deaver psychological thriller book earlier this year and couldn't get past fifty pages. To me, psychological thrillers aren't great when you can tell the author is playing in the reader's face. The reader has to connect with the protagonist. To care about their circumstances/motives to stick around for the payoff. That's all I'm gon’ say. But I look forward to finally reading ThePerfect Ruin.

Anyway, I’m done typing. I still have Dead Dead Girls by Nekesha Afia on my list.

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