Join us this summer for some reading! In June, we’ll read S.J. Bennett’s All the Queen’s Men, meeting in person on Sunday, June 25 at 2 p.m. and on zoom on Wednesday, June 28 at 7 p.m. In July, Allison Montclair will be joining us on zoom on Sunday, July 23 at 2 p.m. to discuss her new book, The Lady from Burma. While it’s not necessary to have read any of Ms. Montclair’s books before the discussion, I recommend them highly! It’s a wonderful series set in London just post WWII. And spoiler, Allison Montclair is a pen name – tune to discover her (?) true identity. In August, we’ll be reading the much award nominated Shutter by Ramona Emerson, meeting in person on Sunday, August 13 at 2 p.m. and on zoom on Wednesday, August 16 at 7 p.m. Anyone is welcome – please message us on facebook or twitter or email us at store (at) auntagathas.com for more info or for a zoom link.
Here are publisher’s descriptions of all these wonderful books. Bennett’s All the Queen’s Men was a top 10 read for me in 2022. In All the Queen’s Men amateur detective Queen Elizabeth II is back in this hugely entertaining follow-up to The Windsor Knot, in which Her Majesty must determine how a missing painting is connected to the shocking death of a staff member inside Buckingham Palace.
It’s the height of summer 2016, and the Queen has pressing duties to attend to, such as meeting with the new prime minister, keeping an eye on a tumultuous election in the States, and the smaller but perhaps more frustrating matter of recovering a beloved painting that has unexpectedly turned up in the wrong place. She relies on her Assistant Private Secretary, Rozie Oshodi, to make sure she’s fully apprised of the goings on in the palace and to help solve any issues that arise.
Rozie holds Her Majesty in the highest esteem and does everything in her power not to disappoint “the Boss.” But she has recently become aware of a spate of disturbing letters some staff have received, and though her first instinct is to inform the Queen, more senior members of the household assure her they have everything in hand. When one of the targets of the letters is found dead in the pool house at Buckingham Palace, however, Rozie decides it’s time to alert the Queen. After all, though the rest of the staff and public may not realize it, Elizabeth is the keenest sleuth among them. Sometimes, it takes a Queen’s eye to see connections where no one else can.
In Allison Montclair’s The Lady from Burma, murder once again stalks the proprietors of The Right Sort Marriage Bureau in the surprisingly dangerous landscape of post-World War II London…
In the immediate post-war days of London, two unlikely partners have undertaken an even more unlikely, if necessary, business venture – The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. The two partners are Miss Iris Sparks, a woman with a dangerous – and never discussed – past in British intelligence and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, a war widow with a young son entangled in a complicated aristocratic family. Mostly their clients are people trying to start (or restart) their lives in this much-changed world, but their new client is something different. A happily married woman has come to them to find a new wife for her husband. Dying of cancer, she wants the two to make sure her entomologist, academic husband finds someone new once she passes.
Shortly thereafter, she’s found dead in Epping Forest, in what appears to be a suicide. But that doesn’t make sense to either Sparks or Bainbridge. At the same time, Bainbridge is attempting to regain legal control of her life, opposed by the conservator who has been managing her assets – perhaps not always in her best interest. When that conservator is found dead, Bainbridge herself is one of the prime suspects. Attempting to make sense of two deaths at once, to protect themselves and their clients, the redoubtable owners of the Right Sort Marriage Bureau are once again on the case.
And finally…Ramona Emerson’s blood-chilling debut, Shutter, set in New Mexico’s Navajo Nation is equal parts gripping crime thriller, supernatural horror, and poignant portrayal of coming of age on the reservation.
Rita Todacheene is a forensic photographer working for the Albuquerque police force. Her excellent photography skills have cracked many cases—she is almost supernaturally good at capturing details. In fact, Rita has been hiding a secret: she sees the ghosts of crime victims who point her toward the clues that other investigators overlook.
As a lone portal back to the living for traumatized spirits, Rita is terrorized by nagging ghosts who won’t let her sleep and who sabotage her personal life. Her taboo and psychologically harrowing ability was what drove her away from the Navajo reservation, where she was raised by her grandmother. It has isolated her from friends and gotten her in trouble with the law.
And now it might be what gets her killed.
When Rita is sent to photograph the scene of a supposed suicide on a highway overpass, the furious, discombobulated ghost of the victim—who insists she was murdered—latches onto Rita, forcing her on a quest for revenge against her killers, and Rita finds herself in the crosshairs of one of Albuquerque’s most dangerous cartels. Written in sparkling, gruesome prose, Shutter is an explosive debut from one of crime fiction’s most powerful new voices.