Bumsted Books of the Year - Sian's Picks

Thursday Dec 01 2011
by Whodunit

After insisting to the family that they must write about mysteries and that they must write about books published in 2011, I’m going to cheat a little bit. You know what they say, she who writes the newsletter gets to write about whatever she wants to write about.

My first pick for 2011 is a series, not a book, but the latest book in the series did come out in 2011 (see, so only sort of cheating). I’ve mentioned this before, but I was stockpiling books in the ‘Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes’ series for many months before I actually read one. It was the hottest day in July, I was crabby, and I had just collapsed on the couch with a venti iced chai. The closest book to hand was The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King. Four months and ten books later, I’m already planning on going back to the first book once I finish 2011’s installment The Pirate King. I never used to like historical mysteries, but these books have changed my mind. Mary is so smart, tenacious, and plucky and her love for Sherlock (and his for her) is so wonderful and complete. Mary and I have nothing in common (I’m short, Anglican, and have no interest in religious matters, to name a few differences), but I would very much like to be her when I grow up. Now if only someone would write a proper romance for Mycroft and my life would be complete.

Lisa Lutz did not have a book in the ‘Spellman Files’ series published in 2011 (although she did publish the hilarious Heads You Lose, which I recommend). But because I have connections, I got to read the last and final book in the series, Trail of the Spellmans, in advance of its February 2012 release. And because I read it in 2011, it’s my top pick for the year. Now, before you complain, here’s the plan. I’m going to gush briefly about this book. You’re going to come to the store and buy The Spellman Files, Curse of the Spellmans, Revenge of the Spellmans, and The Spellmans Strike Again. Then depending on how fast you read, you’re either going to come to the store on February 28th and buy the book in hardcover or you’re going to wait six months to a year and buy it in trade. And then you’re going to thank me for introducing you to the Spellman family.

 Izzy Spellman has man issues, job issues, and most of all, family issues. They are all driving her crazy. Everybody’s got secrets and a hidden agenda. But if I had to trade my crazy and hilarious family for any other family (have you been in a room with all the Bumsteds?), I would choose the Spellmans. 



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