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Down to the Bone

Watch out for the near future!  Not only do we have the Mayan prophecy in 2012, but the Quantum Bomb is coming in 2015.   In Down to the Bone (Gollancz, 2/2011), the  fifth novel in Justina Robson’s Quantum Gravity series, a bomb will tear a hole in reality and open doors to other dimensions, including Alfheim (a.k.a. Elfland).  The protagonist of this series is Otopia (Earth) undercover agent Lila Black who is part human and part combat machine.   Myth, legend and magic are all part of the mix in Robson’s fantasy/sci-fi epic, but Lila’s very human flaws make her an engaging hero.   Justina Robson is from Leeds, England.  Before starting the Quantum Gravity series, she wrote several well-received stand-alone science fiction novels, including Natural History (Bantam, 2005) and Next Door to the God of Love (Bantam, 2006).

–posted 3/28/2011

Posted March/28/2011

Hardcastle’s Obsession

Detective Inspector Ernest Hardcastle is the star of Graham Ison’s popular mystery series set in London during World War I.  Hardcastle and his Sergeant Charles Marriott solve crimes amid the confusion and carnage of war.  Hardcastle is the Chief Investigator of the Whitehall Police Division.   He is gruff and irascible and often runs afoul of his superiors, while his assistant is the typical long-suffering sidekick familiar to readers of the genre and the banter between them adds humor to the sad drudgery of police work.  The books in the series have been published somewhat serendipitously.  The newest release, Hardcastle’s Obsession (Servern, 5/1/2011),  seems to be the ninth to be released in the U.S.  It is actually the sixth book in the chronology of the series.

–posted 3/20/11

Posted March/20/2011

Body Line – Bill Slider

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles started writing her first mystery (Orchestrated Death, 1992) as a kind of relaxation between other books.  She had been writing historical fiction, the Morland Dynasty Series, which was very successful in England.   She started with a corpse–a totally naked corpse in a completely empty flat.  She says that Detective Bill Slider just  “walked into my head the first day, complete in every respect. Don’t ask me where he came from: he’s not like anyone I know, at least not consciously; but from the first moment I knew everything about him–how he looked, where he lived, what he liked and disliked”.  Now Bill and his colleagues from Shepherd’s Bush CID rank among the very best  British procedurals.  Body Line (Severn, 3/1/2011), is the 13th in the series.   Bill’s likable team includes fashionable young Sergeant Atherton, blustering Superintendent Porson and lovely DC Norma Swilley.   The case concerns the death of a mysterious doctor.

–posted 3/14/2011

Posted March/14/2011

Started Early – Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson is a well-known British author of short stories and literary novels. She won the Whitbread Award in 1995.  In 2004 she began writing mysteries set in Edinburgh featuring PI Jackson Brodie, a retired policeman.  Case Histories (Little, Brown, 2004) introduced Brodie as he looks into three “cold cases”   while he also deals with his painful divorce, serious dental problems, and precocious eight-year-old daughter.  Her second mystery, One Good Turn (Little, Brown, 2006), is set during the Edinburgh Festival.  The  newest book in the series, titled  Started Early, Took My Dog (Little, Brown, 3/21/2011),  has Brodie rescuing an abused dog.

–posted 3/3/2011

Posted March/3/2011

 
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