Emily Littlejohn: Shatter the Night

I am smitten with this series, now four books in.  Slight spoiler:  Detective Gemma Monroe is planning her wedding to Brody, father of baby Grace.  This is more or less background, however, as Gemma deals with a car bombing that takes place in the first chapter.  Set during Halloween, this novel is atmospheric and embraces the fear inherent in Halloween, rather than the cute ghostie trick or treating aspect of this now huge holiday.  Littlejohn goes back to the root: scary things that go bump in the night.  In this case, literally, an explosion. read more

Snowy Mysteries: Enjoy the Season

A list of snowy mysteries to help you enjoy the winter….

The SnowmanFirst up, of course, Jo Nesbo’s creepy The Snowman (2010), finds Inspector Harry Hole chasing down someone who buries bodies inside snowmen.  You may never, ever look at a snowman the same way again.  Ignore the bad movie – pick up this great read and be completely immersed.

Camilla Lackburg’s The Ice Princess (2008) finds writer Erica returning to her tiny Swedish hometown when a friend is found dead and frozen in his bathtub, wrists slashed.  To process what has happened, she begins a memoir, and finds herself solving a crime.  Atmospheric, full of well drawn characters, and yes, creepy as all heck. read more

Emily Littlejohn: Lost Lake

Three books into her series about Detective Gemma Monroe, I am already so smitten that this series belongs alongside favorite series of mine by Sarah Stewart Taylor, Elly Griffiths, Ellen Hart and Julia Spencer-Fleming.  All of these writers – including Littlejohn – create a rich setting, and populate their unique settings or occupations with even richer characters and stories.  All of them feature extremely strong women as their core characters.

Gemma lives in a smallish Colorado Mountain town – but still big enough to have some skiing and some cultural life – and her life is complicated.  Like a real person’s life is complicated.  She has beloved grandparents who raised her, but her grandmother suffers from dementia; she has a baby she loves and is engaged to the baby’s father, but she’s conflicted about him because of a past affair; and her relationship with her partner, Finn, can be prickly. Oh, and the police department is dealing with a leaker. read more