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Ann Purser, tales of an English village

Ann Purser is a prolific chronicler of English village life.  Her first series was a six-novel Jan Karon-like series about the residents of the quaint town of Round Ringford.   For her second series she created  Lois Meade,  a middle-aged housewife turned professional house cleaner and amateur sleuth.  So far there are eleven mysteries in this series of typical British cozies, which started with  Murder on Monday (Severn, 2002) and continued through the week and beyond.  Foul Play at Four (Berkley, 12/6/11) is the latest entry.

Now, Purser has resurrected a character from her first series and given her a starring role in a new set of mysteries.  Ivy Beasley, the ” lifelong scourge of the village of Round Ringford”, has moved into Springfields, a luxury retirement home in Barrington, Suffolk.  There she makes friends and starts a detective agency.  The Hangman’s Row Enquiry (Berkley, 2010) was her debut.  The Measby Murder Enquiry (Berkley, 2011) is the latest, with another volume forthcoming in May 2012.

–posted 11/27/2011

Posted November/28/2011

New humorous PI series

Swift Investigations is a detective agency in Colorado Springs run by Charlotte “Charlie” Swift, a former Air Force investigator turned PI.  But when her silent partner does a bunk, his half of the business falls to his socialite wife, Gigi, who is determined to play a larger role in the business in spite of her lack of experience and aptitude.  Charlie hopes to discourage her with crazy assignments, but Gigi hangs on, seeming to thrive in ridiculous situations.  Author Laura DiSilverio served twenty years as an Air Force investigator before retiring to write.  Her characters and humor will appeal to fans of Janet Evanovich.  Swift Edge (Minotaur, 2011) is only the second in the series so far.  It concerns a missing championship ice skater.

–posted  11/20/2011

Posted November/20/2011

Crime and passion in Pittsburgh

Here is a pair of sizzling action/thrillers featuring an unusual hero:   Dr. Daniel Rinaldi is a trained boxer and a psychologist working with the Pittsburgh Police.  His specialty is treating victims of violent crimes, but of course, he gets involved in police investigations, meets all sorts of villains and sees plenty of hair-raising action.  Beautiful Detective Eleanor Lowrey adds the love interest.  Fever Dreams (Poisoned Pen Press, 11/1/11) is the second in the series.  Author Dennis Palumbo, formerly a Hollywood screenwriter, is now a licensed psychotherapist in private practice.

–posted 11/14/11

Posted November/14/2011

Droll sendup of the book industry

At 5 ft. tall Guy Mallon may not be everyone’s image of a romantic hero, but when the beautiful and effervescent young Heidi Yamada walked into his Santa Barbara bookstore looking for a job, he rises to the occasion.  Heidi persuades Guy to publish her first book of poems, which becomes an overnight success.  Though their affair doesn’t last, Guy’s publishing business grows and becomes a mainstay of the contemporary poetry scene.  Years later, at an American Bookseller’s Association conference (ABA, now known at the BEA), Heidi is murdered and Guy investigates.   So starts the Guy Mallon trilogy by John M. Daniel, himself a writer, bookseller and publisher.  In the third volume Behind the Redwood Door (Oak Tree, 10/9/2011) Guy Mallon is married and living in northern California.  When he accepts the job as editor of the local liberal weekly newspaper he finds himself embroiled in a deadly feud with a conservative paper.

–posted 11/6/2011

Posted November/5/2011

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