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Pugs, etc.

Well here is a series with a variety of handles.  Alison Pace’s two books about Hope McNeil will appeal to pug-lovers (and by extension all dog-lovers) and to art- and museum-lovers (Hope works in a museum), to young career women and to New Yorkers (where the series is set).   Hope works at the Metropolitan Museum as a paintings restorer.   She has a boring and thoughtless boyfriend, a ditsy Mother, a beautiful but crazy sister and two best friends who are not always supportive.  More than a little neurotic, but with a droll sense of humor, Hope relates the sad, but funny, perils and challenges of her daily life.  When the doldrums get her down, she goes to “Pug hill,” a section of Central Park where pug owners take their dogs.  Watching the antics of these silly but loveable creatures  never fails to restore her equilibrium.   In the first book Pug Hill (Berkley, 2006), Hope takes a public speaking class to prepare for speaking at her parent’s 40th wedding anniversary.  In the new book A Pug’s Tale (Berkley, 6/2011), her new boyfriend’s pug Max get her involved in a mystery.  Cute.


Posted June/27/2011

New Odelia Grey

Why do so many mystery authors live on the West Coast, particularly California? If you lived in Thousand Oaks, California, you could go to a luncheon next Saturday to celebrate the publication of Twice as Dead (Midnight Ink, 6/8/11) the new Odelia Grey mystery by Sue Ann Jaffarian. In addition to writing three successful mystery series, including the six that star proudly plus-sized Odelia Grey, Ms Jaffarian has performed professionally as a stand-up comic. Hearing her talk about Odelia’s latest case which starts with the discovery of a very dead wedding planner would be a treat. Baited Blood (coming from Midnight Ink in September 2011) is the second in Jaffarian’s new Madison Rose Vampire Mystery series.

–posted 6/20/11

Posted June/21/2011

Deadly antiques

The Josie Prescott Antiques series by Jane Cleland is a series of cozy mysteries that can also teach you a lot about antiques and life in a small New Hampshire town.  The series began in 2006 with Consigned to Death (St. Martin’s) and has increased by one book each year since.  The latest book, Deadly Threads (Minotaur, 4/2011), begins when Josie is preparing for a workshop on vintage clothes  and handbags.  As the program starts, Josie realizes that her speaker is not available–she is lying murdered under a display table.  Josie’s boyfriend Ty Alverez, a former police chief and current trainer for Homeland Security, is a considerable asset in her sleuthing.  Jane Cleland knows the antiques business from experience, having run an antiques/appraisal shop in New Hampshire.

–posted 6/5/11

Posted June/12/2011

New medical series

Robin Cook fans will enjoy these two medical mysteries starring Dr. Zol Szabo, a public health official in Hamilton, Ontario.  Zol and his quirky supporting cast must identify the cause of any mysterious death before it causes more deaths or develops into an epidemic.  Zol’s disabled son and a beautiful private eye occupy his private life.  Pennie is himself an infectious disease specialist, so he knows whereof he writes.  Dr. Zol’s first case, Tainted (ECW, 2009) was about a suspected mad cow disease death.   The new one, Tampered (ECW, May 2011) concerns suspected food poisoning at an upscale retirement home.

–posted 5/30/11

Posted June/11/2011

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