Thursday, September 4, 2014
Classic: "I have nothing against stage people. My great-aunt was the string of a cello."
And so it goes. Very funny.
That was just by-the-by, what I really wanted to write about was a couple of new mystery series I've come across recently. Since I've been having regular - and extended - play dates with my Kindle, I've been checking out the amazon offerings. One of the series I am busily reading my way through is John Lawton's 'Frederick Troy' detective series. I saw the author mentioned in a Sunday Australian newspaper, and thought I'd give him a go. Well, I was in for a treat! These are not your fluffy little detective novels, these juicy tomes pack in convoluted plots, an extensive, detailed knowledge of pre- and post-WW2 history, brilliant (and sometimes surgical) portrayals of the British, beautiful language, and a likable, multifaceted hero. Lawton's been criticised for 'too much history' in his novels, but it's what makes the era come alive. These are the sorts of books I never want to end. I do hope Lawton has a few more 'Troys' in store!
The other series I've started to read is the Inspector Gamache one. This amiable detective is a French Canadian who works at the Surete in Quebec. He finds himself drawn to a small village, Three Pines, by a series of murders. (A bit like Midsomer; soon there will be no villagers left to murder!). When I started reading Louise Penny's series, I wasn't so sure if I'd like her style, but now I'm hooked. The characters are interesting and I love reading about all the little Canadian things I encountered on my last trip to eastern Canada. Even Tim Horton's coffee and poutine get a mention! The books run to appx. 360 pages, so long enough to while away an afternoon.
Lastly, I just finished the latest Donna Leon 'Inspector Brunetti' novel. This is another series I can't get enough of. The inspector, a well-read (and well fed) family man, is a Commissario at the Venetian 'Questura', and solves murders with his sidekick Vianello and the mysterious - and slightly criminal - Elettra, always under the beady eye of their boss, Patta. I like how Leon brings Venice and its inhabitants to life, and the Brunetti characters are very believable. I just feel the inspector should have a cat.
If you haven't read these crime series, try them, you might just be entertained for a few hours.