Book Notes

Wednesday Oct 29 2008
by Sian

It's been a busy fall, but as soon as I realized that it took me several weeks to read one book, I knew that I needed to get my priorities straight. I needn’t have worried, because as soon as I picked up Susan Kandel’s I DREAMED I MARRIED PERRY MASON my normal reading pace was restored and I was plowing through the series. Cece Caruso is a biographer of mystery writers, and her first caper comes while she’s researching her book on Perry Mason’s creator Erle Stanley Gardner. The backdrop is Hollywood, but the focus is mystery writers and vintage clothes (a combination that shouldn’t work but does). Of course Cece also has her share of wacky friends, family members, and a detective beau to keep her busy when she’s not trying to solve a half century old murder. The same themes continue in NOT A GIRL DETECTIVE (Carolyn Keene), SHAMUS IN THE GREEN ROOM (Dashiell Hammett), and CHRISTIETOWN (Agatha Christie), all of which are available in store as well as books by the mystery writers in question.

The next series I’m looking forward to is Christopher Fowler’s ‘Bryant and May’ series, following the exploits of two detectives who started their careers in London’s Peculiar Crimes Unit (cases that were too important to ignore, yet disproportionately insignificant in the face of the hundreds of civilians killed each night during the Blitz). The seven books in series, starting with FULL DARK HOUSE, aren’t the chick-lit mysteries I usually pick up but they should keep me busy in November.

And in a similarly unusual choice for me, I also picked up a copy of Chelsea Cain’s HEARTSICK. It’s about the relationship between a detective and a female serial killer. The book is new in mass market, but the follow up SWEETHEART is already available in hardcover.

Have a suggestion of what I should read next? Send me an email at

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