Monday Jun 03 2013
by Wendy

Choosing books for Whodunit? is not always a clear cut process. Of course, the latest Michael Connolly or Lee Child is going to be there, as are the newest cozies , Laura Childs and Rebecca Tope for example but there are books that are maybe less obvious choices and which we are sometimes on the fence about, particularly if this is a first time author. An example of this is Karin Tanabe’s, The List (trade paper, $17). This is a political thriller which revolves around a journalist, Adrienne Brown, who has moved from New York to work on the hottest news outlet in Washington D.C. called the Capitalist. This might sound like the premise of a David Baldacci novel, which might have made it an obvious choice. But written from the female perspective, with descriptions of clothes etc. it veers into what can be called, sometimes dismissively, “chick lit”. Still, we have it, I read it, and I really enjoyed it.

The Darlings by Cristina Alger, (trade paper, $17), another first time author, also falls into this in between category. As someone who was fascinated by the financial shenanigans of Bernie Madoff and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, this novel which starts with the apparent suicide of a high powered and very successful financial guru got my attention. This novel is written from the perspective of lawyer Paul Ross, who is married to the daughter of Carter Darling, legendary, billionaire financier. There are many twists and turns and betrayals in this novel which revolves around the unraveling of various financial institutions. Again, we have it in stock, I have read it, and I have enjoyed.

One of the strengths of both these novels is that they are written by people who know what they are talking about. Karin Tanabe is a former Politico reporter, who lives in Washington, D.C. and has contributed to many news outlets and appeared on CNN etc. Cristina Alger as well as being a lawyer worked at Goldman Sachs and has family connections to the higher levels of New York’s financial world. Both of these novels are well worth reading especially during what we hope will be the lazy, hazy days of summer.

We recently came across a new, to us, writer of historical mysteries, James Forrester. Sacred Treason (trade paper, $17.50) is the first in the Clarenceax Trilogy and was published in the UK in 2010. The second title The Roots of Betrayal, was released in trade paper April 2013 and the final book, The Final Sacrament, will be published in hardcover in October 2013. Set in England during the Reformation period, this series is written more from a Catholic perspective than C.J. Sansom’s Protestant one. It is also slightly later, as Matthew Shardlake is around for the start of the English Reformation but this series starts in 1563. The main character is William Harley, Clarenceaux King of Arms, a Catholic who is an official at the court of Elizabeth I.

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