Sunday, January 23, 2011

This week has been all about mystery series

When I'm not listening to audiobooks, I'm listening to podcasts, several of which lead me to new books. It was through Audiopolis by AudioFile that I discovered Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series.

The Mapping of Love and Death (Maisie Dobbs, Book 7)Since my library doesn't yet have her latest, The Mapping of Love and Death, on audio, and I'm far too fond of Maisie to wait for it, I checked out the hardback and devoured it this weekend. Maisie Dobbs is a psychologist and investigator in London between the wars, and her insight and compassion, not to mention her ability to transcend her working-class origins and work with everyone while not excluding anyone, stand her in good stead in the cases she tackles. Complete with a begrudging relationship with Scotland Yard, a perceptiveness about others that she has trouble applying to herself, a challenging personal life, and friends who love and respect her more than she knows, Maisie is a classically excellent English sleuth, with just a touch of mysticism to keep her new and fresh. The cases she investigates with the help of able assistant Billy Beale are seeped in their time and place, and Winspear brings 1930s London to vivid life.

Nemesis (Miss Marple)I've also been on an Agatha Christie kick via audio lately, and just finished one of the last of the Miss Marple Mysteries, Nemesis. I love the many references to Miss Marple as a woolly or fluffy pink cloud! This is one of my favorites, but be sure to check out The Caribbean Mystery beforehand, just to fully appreciate it. And if you're going to do that, you may as well read At Bertram's Hotel, which comes between the two. Or really, what would be best would be to start at The Murder at the Vicarage and work your way through them all. They're all in all good stuff, and once Sleeping Murder is off the hold list for me to hear, I'm going to have a bittersweet moment knowing it's the last one. (Don't worry, I'll just reread them all in a few years, so I'll be okay.)

Bones to Ashes: A Novel (Temperance Brennan Novels)The other mystery series that's been occupying me this week - well, for a while now - is Kathy Reichs's Temperance Brennan books. These are the novels that the TV series Bones is based on, and my friend Sarah suggested I would like them. (She was right! Thanks, Sarah.) I've just finished Bones to Ashes, and though there were some disturbing angles to it (more disturbing than the usual collection of scientific information about murder and forensic anthropology that usually comes with these books), I very much enjoyed the opening up of Tempe's character and glimpses into her history.

So that's me and the mystery series this week. All good ones, worth checking out even if you're not normally a mystery person. (I never think I am. And yet I could add several others to this list with very little effort, so....)

1 comment:

  1. No problem. :-)

    I need to reread Christie sometime. I'm a huge fan. I even visited her grave near Oxford when I lived in London.