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Latest on Rizolli and Iles

I just caught the first episode of season two of TNT’s Rizzoli and Iles program.  I liked Angie Harmon as detective Jane Rizolli—her determination to be just as tough as the policemen she works with comes through without overkill.   Medical examiner Maura Isles seems to play a larger part in the TV shows than she does in the books.  And she’s blond!   In the books she has dark hair.  I guess TV has to simplify characterization to the lowest level:  if one is a brunette, the other one has to be a blonde.   I didn’t see too much authentic Boston scenery either.  And why doesn’t anybody have a Boston accent?  Oh well, these are quibbles.  Basically it is a good show.

The TV scripts are written by executive producer Janet Tamaro.   Gerriston was pleased when she viewed the series pilot which was based on the first two books in the series.   She said, “ In just 45 minutes, this episode captured the darkness of my stories.   It also managed to add humor and, weirdly enough, charm.   And just as in the books, it’s the women who manage to save themselves, the women who use their own wits and training to figure things out. “

The Silent Girl (Ballantine, 7/5/2011) is Gerritson’s newest book in the series (the ninth).  In it Rizzoli investigates a recent Chinatown murder which may linked to 19-year-old murder/suicide of an illegal immigrant cook.

–posted 7/25/11

Posted July/25/2011

Grippando’s next: Need You Now

James Grippando has written 13 suspenseful page-turners.  The first one, The Pardon (HarperCollins, 1994), introduced protagonist Jack Swyteck, a Miami  criminal defense lawyer.  Then, after writing five stand-alones, Grippando returned to Jack Swyteck in Beyond Suspicion (HarperCollins, 2002).  Since then he has written seven more novels starring Swyteck, each one winning him more fans.   The latest, Afraid of the Dark (Harper, March, 2011) is probably still on your holds list.  But the prolific Grippando has a new novel scheduled for release in March 2012.  It is titled Need You Now and Jack Swyteck is not in it, but Jack’s new girlfriend Andie Henning is!  You heard it here first!

–posted 7/17/2011

Posted July/17/2011

Non-series authors

While updating  eSequels’ list of Forthcoming Series Fiction, I started to enter the newest Dick Francis, written by Felix Frances, the deceased author’s son.  But then I remembered that, with a few exceptions, Francis did not write series fiction.  Sid Halley, his most famous character, appeared in only four of his forty novels.  Halley’s career as a world-famous steeplechase jockey was ended when an accident crippled one of his hands.  But his experience as a jockey (not to mention his devil-may-care attitude to danger) made him an ideal detective for the Radnor Agency as a specialist in their racing-investigation section.   His first case, Odds Against (Harper, 1965), offered  enough action to take Sid’s mind off his ruined career and failed marriage.  In the second book, Whip Hand (Harper, 1979), Halley is trying out his new mechanical hand.  Two further  books, Come to Grief (Putnam, 1995) and Under Orders (Putnam, 2006) feature Sid Halley, whom I always assumed was  a semi-autobiographical figure for Francis, himself a jockey whose  riding career was ended by a severe accident.

Margaret Truman is another author like Francis.  All her mysteries take place in Washington D.C., usually at a particular institution (The White House, the CIA, Watergate, etc.), but each has a different set of characters.  While her publishers have started labeling Truman’s mysteries the Capital Crimes series, they don’t really qualify for inclusion in eSequels.

–Janet Husband  7/17/2012

Posted July/17/2011

New British cozy series

I’ve just read and enjoyed the first of the three British cozies featuring Ethelred Tressider, an “obscure crime writer,” and his literary agent, Elsie Thirkettle.  The tall, eccentric Ethelred, and the short, plump Elsie, who claims to dislike writers and literature in general, make an odd couple who bumble their way to crime solutions in these humorous and slightly devious mysteries.  In the first volume The Herring Seller’s Apprentice (Felony and Mayhem, 2009) Ethelred is suffering from writer’s block—he can’t make his fictional detective, Sergeant Fairfax, settle down and start a new case.  But that is only the beginning of his troubles.  His ditsy ex-wife Geraldine disappears close to his Sussex home and the police suspect him of murder.  Naturally he and Elsie investigate.  The newest volume in the series by L. C. Tyler is The Herring in the Library (Felony and Mayhem, 2011) and a fourth title, The Herring on the Nile, has just been released in the U.K.

–posted 7/9/2011

Posted July/10/2011

New Van Veeteren mystery

When we first meet him in Mind’s Eye (Pantheon, 2008), Chief Inspector Van Veeteren has already served 30 years on the police force of a Scandinavian country (never named, but very much like Sweden.)  He is weary and melancholy after a lifetime dealing with criminals and violence.  In fact, at the end of the fifth book, he retires and enjoys running a used book store, but his friends and colleagues still need his expert help solving crimes, so he obliges.   Fans of Henning Mankell’s (q.v.) Kurt Wallander and Sjowall’s (q.v.) and Wahloo’s (q.v.) Martin Beck will find the Van Veeteren series to their liking: complicated mysteries pervaded by Scandinavian gloom.  Nesser has written ten Van Veeteren mysteries.  Only five have been translated into English.  In eSequels the books are listed in order of original publication date (preferred reading order) rather than by date of translation.  The fifth (and most recently released in the U.S.)  is The Inspector and Silence (Pantheon, 6/2011) and concerns a case of rape and murder at a girls camp run by a religious group, the Pure Life, a crime which may have been committed by the sinister cult leader, Oscar Yellinek.

–posted 7/9/2011

Posted July/10/2011

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