CBC Radio's The Next Chapter - Peter Behrens aired on December 19, hosted by Shelagh Rogers.
The Mystery Book Panel segment of that episode recommended books that are sure to cut the holiday treacle.
Margaret Cannon's picks:
The Affair by Lee Child
Book # 16 with Jack Reacher, ex-military policeman in the USA
Summary: Child’s compelling 16th thriller featuring incorruptible vigilante Jack Reacher rewinds the clock to 1997 when Reacher was still a military cop and working on the case that led to his eventual break with the Army. Reacher must figure out whether the shocking murder of 27-year-old Janice May Chapman in Carter Crossing, Miss., has any connection with nearby Fort Kelham, where Army Rangers are trained. . . . Publisher's Weekly
If you haven't started this series yet, read The Affair as a prequel to the first book, Killing Floor
First book: Killing Floor
## Related posts:
MBTB review of Bad Luck and Trouble # 11
MBTB review of 61 Hours # 14
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Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke
Book # 3 with Hack Holland, a hard-drinking lawyer, Korean War POW, progressive Democrat, now a sheriff, in Texas
Summary: Interviewing an alcoholic Native American who witnessed a murder along the Texas-Mexico border, Sheriff Hack Holland and his deputy, Sam Tibbs, recognize the work of serial killer Preacher Jack Collins in an investigation that is assisted by the enigmatic Anton Ling.
First book: Lay Down My Sword and Shield
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A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
Book # 7 with Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector of the Sûreté du Québec, in the village of Three Pines, in southern Quebec
Summary: Artist Clara Morrow is about to have a prestigious show of her paintings when her childhood friend is found murdered, and Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, is called to investigate.
First book: Still Life
## Related post: MBTB review of Still Life # 1
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JD Singh's picks:
I'll See You in My Dreams by William Deverell
Book # 5 with Arthur Beauchamp, a scholarly, self-doubting lawyer retired as a hobbyist farmer on Garibaldi Island, off the coast of British Columbia
Publisher's Weekly /* Starred Review */ Deverell's excellent fifth novel featuring lawyer Arthur Beauchamp finds him retired on Garibaldi Island near Vancouver — and still haunted by his first murder trial. In 1962, he defended Gabriel Swift, a Cheakamus native charged with killing Dermot Mulligan, who ironically was Beauchamp's mentor and classics tutor at university. Excerpts from A Thirst for Justice, a biography of Beauchamp by one Wentworth Chance, counterpoint the vivid picture of the disastrous trial, in which the naïve young Beauchamp had to contend with corrupt policemen, a skilled special prosecutor, and a problematic defendant. Fifty years later, the same case may provide the capstone to his long career. . . .
First book: Trial of Passion
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Twelve Drummers Drumming by C.C. Benison
Book # 1 with Father Tom Christmas, a widower with a 9-year-old daughter, and the new vicar in Thornford Regis, a picturesque village in England
Summary: Father Tom Christmas--recent widower and now single father--is the new vicar of the English village of Thornford Regis. He soon realizes that the idyllic village is not the refuge he'd hoped for when the nineteen-year-old daughter of the choir director is murdered and one of his parishioners appears to be the killer.
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The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
Summary: With approval from the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a best-selling novelist and Sherlock Holmes expert brings the greatest detective in literary history back to life on Baker Street for the first time since 1930.
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The Bayou Trilogy: Under the bright lights, Muscle for the wing, and The ones you do by Daniel Woodrell
Publisher's Weekly: Collected in a single volume for the first time, Woodrell's three stellar novels featuring Detective Rene Shade, an ex-boxer turned cop, provide entree into the Louisiana swamp town of Saint Bruno, a place where "tempers went on the prowl and relief was driving a hard bargain." Woodrell injects Shade's life and various cases with both humor and brutal violence. . . . There's poetry in Woodrell's mayhem, each novel - and scene-full of gritty and memorable Cajun details.
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PK Rangachari's picks:
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
Book # 4 with Flavia de Luce, an 11-year old sleuth and aspiring chemist in 1950, in the small village of Bishop’s Lacey, England
Summary: Colonel de Luce rents his beloved estate of Buckshaw to a film company. They will be shooting a movie over the Christmas holidays with a reclusive star. She is widely despised, so it is to no one's surprise when she turns up murdered, strangled by a length of film from one of her own movies! With a blizzard raging outside and Buckshaw locked in, the house is full of suspects. But Flavia de Luce is more than ready to put aside her investigations into the existence of Father Christmas to solve this yuletide country-house murder. NoveList
## Related post: MBTB mini-review of I Am Half-Sick of Shadows
First book: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
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Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
Publisher's Weekly: Kelman's debut novel is a well-tuned if simplistic portrait of a kid's life in the housing projects of London. After 11-year-old Harri, whose family has immigrated from Ghana, sees a classmate lying dead on the sidewalk one night, Harri and his buddy, Dean Griffin, set out to solve the murder, looking for the murder weapon, interviewing suspects, and gathering evidence. But the strength of this novel is not its murder mystery; rather, it's in hearing all Harri's thoughts as he falls in love, talks to his baby sister, or expresses himself in his own idiosyncratic language. The street-talk slang that Harri uses-boring things take "donkey hours" and Nike Air trainers are "bo-styles"-is crisp and mirthful, the perfect match to his at once naive and revealing views on things like religion and race. The main flaw is also a feature: Harri's a very well-drawn 11-year-old, and no matter how cute he and his worldview are, it's sometimes tempting to want to pat him on the head and send him along his way.
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Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
Summary: A retired orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jennifer White is in the early stages of dementia when she is accused of murdering her neighbour and life-long friend Amanda. Jennifer is the prime suspect, but she doesn't know if she committed the crime.
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(check here for podcast information for The Next Chapter - Peter Behrens aired on December 19)
posted by Sharon
WHAT I'M READING NOW:
by Archer Mayor
American police procedural
Book # 22 with Joe Gunther, police detective in Brattleboro, Vermont
Booklist review says: At the close of Red Herring (2010), Joe Gunther walked away from his job as head of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation. He was bereft because his lover had been killed by an assassin, and he wasn’t sure he could return to work. At the same time, his driven, misanthropic subordinate, Willy Kunkle, learned that he would soon be a father. As Tag Man begins, Joe is still sidelined, and some of Willy’s rougher edges have been smoothed by his infant daughter. Then both Joe and Willy’s attention is caught by an unusual man who breaks into Brattleboro’s most opulent homes, stealing nothing but always leaving a post-it note that says simply, “Tag.” But the Tag Man’s break-ins—in addition to renewing Joe’s commitment to his work—trigger a circuitous series of crimes and events that make for great reading. Richly drawn characters and a delightful sense of place are hallmarks of Mayor’s superb procedurals, and they are both in evidence in this fine addition to the series.
First book: Open Season
## Related post: MBTB mini-review of The Price of Malice # 20