R.A. Clipping File — Mysteries

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

Several recent sources of mystery recommendations.

The top five “Killer Books” (as selected by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Assoc.) for the month of March are (full biblio. only for titles not widely owned by libraries):

Noble Lies, Charles Benoit (Poisoned Pen Press, $24.95)
“Part of the charm of the book is the Thai culture of the noble lie–better to tell a small lie and save face then to admit that one does not know the answer and lose face–which makes a P.I.’s job a tad difficult.”


Pushing Up Daisies, Rosemary Harris (St. Martin’s Minotaur, $23.95)

“Like gardening? This is the book for you. Rich with detail that never overwhelms the plot, this is the rare treat that gives the reader some useful information while still supplying an entertaining story to go with it”



Rogue Male, Geoffrey Household, ( New York Review of Books $14.00)

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: NYRB Classics; Reprint edition (November 6, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 1590172434
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590172438

“…first published in 1939 (filmed in 1941 as Man Hunt)…Rogue Male is timeless and appears on every ‘Best List’ as a peerless example of the escape and pursuit story.” Now available in a new edition.







Calumet City, Charlie Newton, (Touchstone, $14.00)



“A terrific debut, and, while it is early to make such a judgment, quite likely the debut of the year.”









Silent in the Sanctuary, Deanna Raybourn (Mira, Jan, $13.95)



“Fans of English historical suspense with a touch of romance couldn’t do better than this.”

And, Sarah Weinman features the following in her mystery column in the Baltimore Sun:


, Benjamin Black (Holt, March 08)

“Black, the pseudonym for Booker Prize winner John Banville, proved he could walk the crime fiction walk with the Edgar-nominated Christine Falls, and now his luminous prose gets an even better infrastructure with the sequel, a faster-paced, further melancholic slice of the noir life of Dublin pathologist Quirke.”


, Charlie Newton (Touchstone, Trade Paperback original, 3/08)

Also on the Independent Mystery Booksellers Assoc. list of the top five titles for March (above).

“At times Newton…overstuffs the narrative with too many events and shocks, but… [main character] Patti Black is a potent mix of pain and toughness, vulnerability and adrenalin that anchors the book any time it threatens to careen out of control.”


, Jacqueline Winspear (Holt, 2/08)

“Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs (Soho Press, 2003) was one of the most auspicious mystery series debuts of the last few years, and subsequent installments only confirmed this sentiment for her growing fan base.”


, C.J. Lyons

  • Original Paperback: $7.99
  • Publisher: Berkley (March 4, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0425220826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425220825

This is the only one not owned in most libraries (probably because it is a mass market original and wasn’t reviewed in the prepub sources). Weinman says, “Readers who prefer their medical thrillers to have characters with beating hearts and three dimensions are well advised to pick up this series debut.”

Last week, USA Today rounded up four current mysteries:

Anatomy of Deception, Lawrence Goldstone (Delacorte)

Recently picked by the as one of the top 5 mysteries for February by Independent Mystery Booksellers Association, USA Today echoes the enthusiasm, “Fans of historical fiction also will love this tale that evokes the evolving medical profession and the art world in late-19th-century America.”


Ice Trap, Kitty Sewell (Touchstone)

Ice Trap is packed with issues and revelations such as medical malpractice, drug addiction, greed and one man’s astonishing discovery that he may have fathered twins 12 years before.”


Go With Me, Castle Freeman Jr. (Steerforth)

“Castle Freeman Jr. packs more story into 160 pages than more famous authors could fit into twice as many. ”


The Accident Man, Tom Cain (Viking)

“Cain gets high marks for a creative yet easily believable story line that only adds fuel to the fire about what really happened to [Princess] Diana”