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

Best of 2019

I couldn’t keep it to 10 this year – can I ever?  My taste does tend toward the traditional and historical fiction side of things, so that’s mostly reflected here.  And a note: Kent Krueger’s This Tender Land, while not strictly a mystery, can definitely be enjoyed by his mystery loving fans.  Quite simply, it’s the best book of 2019 of any variety, and I hope everyone reads it.  I am looking to read it again myself.

There was lots to love this year!  Some long-awaited returns (S.J. Rozan), some debuts (Melanie Golding, Allison Montclair, Jess Montgomery), some trying a different format or series (Ann Cleeves, Elly Griffiths), and of course some solid entries in already great series (Benn, Bowen, Jones, Massey, Shaber). Lots of great, passionate, spectacular writing.  I love being a mystery reader! read more

Best of the Last Decade

Reading all kinds of lists about the best crime novels of the past decade, I, of course, being incredibly opinionated, felt I needed to chime in.    Looking through this list one of the things that stick out, as far as my favorite reads are concerned, are a very specific sense of time and place.  Sometimes place is pre-eminent , sometimes time, sometimes both.  These books also contain some of the loveliest writing and most indelible scenes, things that remind me of why I love to read.  So in alphabetical order, my favorites of the last decade or so: read more

William Kent Krueger: This Tender Land

While this wonderful novel bears all the hallmarks of William Kent Krueger, it’s not exactly a mystery. There are some mysterious – or criminal – elements and the fact that it’s not a straight up mystery should keep no reader away. Written as a companion to Krueger’s classic, Ordinary Grace, it is a spiritual companion but it’s not a sequel or a prequel or anything like it. It’s very much its own country.

Set in 1930’s Minnesota, it’s the story of Odie, his brother Albert, and their friend Mose, who doesn’t speak. All of them are young and living in an “Indian” boarding school. At the time (and up through the early 70’s) native children were taken from their homes and put in these harsh schools where they were allowed little to no contact with their families and were forbidden – even punished – if they spoke their native language. They were given western style haircuts and forced to anglicize their names. read more