IN THE SHADOW OF AGATHA CHRISTIE: Classic Crime Fiction by Forgotten Female Writers, 1850-1917 edited by Leslie S. Klinger
Without the writers profiled in this extensive anthology, we would not have the pleasure of reading Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Patricia Wentworth, and so many others who learned the art of writing mysteries through their example.
This anthology includes Pulitzer Prize winners, writers who were even more famous than Conan Doyle, and others whose stories made it to the silent screen as well as radio and television.
Each story is a clever mystery, peopled with colorful characters and ingenious plots. We’re even treated to a Sherlock Holmes’ story and it’s easily as satisfying as anything Conan Doyle himself ever wrote.
CRIME in a COLD CLIMATE: An Anthology of Classic Canadian Crime edited by David Skene-Melvin
David Skene-Melvin brings together fourteen stories and four poems in this collection by early Canadian mystery writers. Included are the first Sherlockian parody, railroad fiction set in the Rockies during the building of the CPR, and the earliest fictional appearance of a Mountie, to name just a few.
These stories are clever, colorful and provide a template for many of the mystery and crime stories that are published today. They show that Canadians have stories to tell and can do so just as well as any other nationality.
The residents of Three Pines have had their share of grief in the past and have recovered. But how will they ever recover after the events that take place in this novel?
It all starts with a mysterious figure, hooded and clothed in black, who takes up a position in the village center of Three Pines. The figure neither gestures nor moves yet conveys a sense of evil that is almost palpable.
Armand is asked to intervene, but what can he do when no crime is being committed? And then someone is murdered – and the flood-gates open!
The novel covers a six-month span between the events of the murder and the trial of the accused. During this time, Armand Gamache struggles with his conscience as he knows that he was the catalyst for many of the events that unfolded during this time.
Penny has woven an intricate plot that supersedes anything that she has written before. Her characters are as real to us as if they lived right next door and we readers are sitting next to them in that courtroom as the trial unfolds.
An amazing mystery from this incredible writer!
This atmospheric tale of loss, obsession and revenge takes us from the diamond mines of South Africa, to the crowded streets of Victorian London and the battlefields of the American Civil War. It is 1885 and William Pinkerton takes up the search for a man who eluded his famous late father for so many years – the infamous Edward Shade. But Shade proves to be as shadowy as his name suggests and there are those who maintain that he doesn’t even exist.
Adam Foole, a gentleman con-man and thief, returns to London in search of a lost love who he learns, has a tenuous connection to this same man, Shade. Slowly their stories begin to converge and both men are thrust together in an unlikely bond.
Price’s brilliant writing allows our senses to smell the decay and stench of the streets and sewers of London, to see and feel the grit under the fingernails of the poor and downtrodden, and to hear the incessant sounds of war on the battlefields of America. This is a novel of epic proportions and leaves the reader in awe of the ability of this writer to create such a stunning work of fiction.
Please join me on Saturday, October 14 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Albert Public Library as we welcome Steven Price to STARFest.
The law partners at Falconer Shreve Altieri Wainberg and Hynd along with their families knew how fortunate they were as they gathered together to celebrate Thanksgiving at Lawyers’ Bay. The lakeshore property where they each owned a cottage, provided them with a much-needed escape from the stress of their jobs. Little did they know as the gathered around the table for their Thanksgiving feast, that their lives would be torn apart by an unbelievable tragedy in just a few short weeks.
Bowen provides a comprehensive review of the years leading up to the events that take place in this, her seventeenth novel in the Joanne Kilbourn series. In doing so, she shows how the most innocuous of events can grow toxic over the years.
I welcomed this review as it refreshed my memory of the many challenges that each of the characters in this series had faced over the years. This background information gives us perspective into the motivations of the characters and acts as a driving force in the novel.
This was a very satisfying read and I think that Bowen has written one of her best with The Winner’s Circle. She’s certainly set the bar high for herself for the next book in the series.
THE DELICATE STORM by Giles Blunt
Blunt’s second novel in the John Cardinal and Lisa Delorme series, though gruesome in its description of the crimes, is not as soul-destroying as that of his first: Forty Words for Sorrow.
When an unidentified, dismembered body is found in the woods, it is evident that bears have been at work on it but not before someone made sure that this person would never again hear the wind whistling through the trees. Thus begins an investigation to find the identity of the victim and his murderer. Information surfaces concerning cases from the past and the two detectives soon find themselves enmeshed in a political quagmire.
Cardinal is able to focus on the case much more readily now that his homelife has settled down since Catherine’s bipolar disorder is under control. However, his Dad is having health issues and it’s a fight to get him to see a doctor.
With the introduction of WUDKY (the dumbest criminal in the world), we are given a moment or two of comic relief in this sometimes confusing story. The ending left me disappointed and questioning Blunt’s motivation in concluding the book in the way that he did.