M Y S T E R Y P L A C E S . N E T
mystery novels with a sense of place

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This site now includes 345 authors, 64 countries and multi-country regions, 45 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

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Read and Recommended
For a few months, I had time to note specific books that I read and recommended. I had to stop for lack of time. If time is available, this section will resume.
2010: Jan|Feb|Mar
2009: Jan-Feb|March|Apr|May|Jun|Jul|Aug|Sep|Oct|Nov|Dec
2008: Jul-Dec

Read & Recommended 2010: Jan | Feb | Mar
2009: Jan-Feb | Mar|Apr | May|Jun | Jul | Aug|Sep|Oct|Nov | Dec
2008: Jul-Dec

May 15 - By far the best I have read so far this month is the latest by S. J. Rozan, The Shanghai Moon: A Lydia Chin/Bill Smith Novel. Setting her story alternately in contemporary Chinatown, New York and in Shanghai during World War II, Rozan weaves together threads from the history of Jewish refugees from Nazism in Shanghai and relations between different generations of Chinese immigrants in today's New York. Those who don't know this author have a treat in store - there are nine earlier novels in the Lydia Chin / Bill Smith series.

Also good recent novels by experienced writers are Borderline (Anna Pigeon) by Nevada Barr, set in Texas in Big Bend National Park on the Rio Grande, and Bone by Bone by Carol O'Connell, not a series book and set in California rather than New York. Two new authors with very promising starts are The Replacement Child by Christine Barber (Albuquerque, New Mexico), and Old Flame: A Jackson Steeg Novel by Ira Berkowitz (Manhattan, Hell's Kitchen). All four write well and do a good job of combining a sense of place with interesting characters and plots.

May 31 - I just finished reading the second volume in Stieg Larsson's Millennium series:Flickan Som Lekte Med Elden. It's available in English translation as The Girl Who Played with Fire, and in many other languages as well. It well disserves its high reputation, The English translation of the third in the series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, is due out this fall.

Also very good, even if not matching the Stieg Larsson series, are the two other Swedish mystery novels I read this month. Åke Edwardson's Himlen är en plats på jorden (literally Heaven is a Place on Earth, but in English translation as Frozen Tracks, is set in Gothenburg, and features Edwardson's Inspector Erik Winter. Åsa Larsson's novels featuring lawyer Rebecka Martinsson, are set in Sweden's far North, with its mixed Finnish, Sami, and Swedish population. The one I read was The Black Path, the latest translated into English, which turned up at my local library.

For those who enjoy Laurie King's Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series, the latest (The Language of Bees) is probably not the best, but like the others it is a reliably enjoyable read. The latest in John Lescoart's Dismas Hardy series (Betrayal) is definitely one of the best in the series, moving from corruption and killings in Iraq to their aftermath in northern California.

More about these Authors

Nevada Barr on Amazon UK | Bookmooch | Wikipedia
Ake Edwardson on Amazon UK | Bookmooch | Wikipedia
Laurie R. King on Amazon UK | Bookmooch | Wikipedia
Asa Larsson on Amazon UK | Bookmooch | Wikipedia
Stieg Larsson on Amazon UK | Bookmooch | Wikipedia
John Lescroart on Amazon UK | Bookmooch | Wikipedia
Carol O Connell on Amazon UK | Bookmooch | Wikipedia
S. J. Rozan on Amazon UK | Bookmooch | Wikipedia