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Sewing Circle mysteries

Elizabeth Lynn Casey, author of the Southern Sewing Circle mysteries, has a fourth volume coming out in November.  Series protagonist Victoria “Tori” Sinclair left  Chicago to become head librarian at the public library in tiny Sweet Briar, South Carolina.   At first she found the rural and polite South quite different from Chicago, but eventually she settles in, joins the local sewing circle, and makes friends.  As usual with cozies, Sweet Briar is hiding some dark secrets behind its harmonious exterior, and Tori finds herself drawn into murder mysteries.  The new book  Let it Sew (Berkley, 11/2012) takes place as Sweet Briar prepares for Christmas and Tori is helping the  holiday decorating committee.   The sewing circle gets sad news that one of their founding members,  Charlotte Devereaux,  has died.   Poor Charlotte has been broken-hearted since her loving husband left her, but after her death Tori finds evidence that suggests that Charlotte’s  husband was murdered.   This installment is sure to please readers of the fast growing sewing/knitting/quilting sub-genre.

–posted 10/28/2012

Posted October/28/2012

English racing mystery series

A number of race car series have been published recently:   “The Stock Car Racing Mysteries” by  Joyce and Jim Lavene, the Driver books by James  Sallis, and the  “Fast Track” romance series by Erin McCarthy.  Did Not Finish (Severn, 2011) and Hot Seat (Severn, 2012) by Simon Wood are the first two books in a new mystery series starring young  Aidy (short for Adrian?) Westlake, the third generation of English racing car drivers.  His father and mother died in an auto accident (not on-track) when Aidy was eight years old and he was raised by his grandfather Steve, who acts as Aidy’s pitman when he is not restoring cars. Aidy is still a novice in the highly competitive and dangerous racing world and he is shocked when he hears a rumor that a driver has threatened to kill Alex Fanning the favorite to win the Formula Ford Championship. When Alex dies after an accident on the racetrack, Aidy begins his career as an amateur sleuth.  Simon Wood, a Brit transplanted to California, writes fast and furious thrillers.  A new book, The One That Got Away is slated to be released in May, 2013.

–posted 10/22/2012

Posted October/22/2012

The remarkable Hazel Holt

The remarkable Hazel Holt is now 84, but she doesn’t seem to be slowing down. She graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge, married and raised a son (the author Tom Holt), while working as an editor at the International African Institute in London. After retiring at the age of 60, Mrs. Holt started to write the Mrs. Mallory mystery series, now up to 20 volumes. She has also written the biography of her friend Barbara Pym and produced a Regency thriller My Dear Charlotte (Coffeetown Press, 2009) in the form of Jane Austen’s letters to her sister. Her newest Mrs. Mallory is Mrs. Malory and a Necessary End (Poisoned Pen, 10/2012) which  begins when Sheila Mallory agrees to work temporarily at the village charity shop, supervised by the bossy Desmond Barlow. Holt’s cozy mysteries are as close as you can get to read-alikes for Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple books. Reading them is like eating candy, it’s hard to stop. So start at the beginning and enjoy.

–posted 10/7/2012

Posted October/7/2012

New Sherlock Holmes stories

Ah there’s nothing like sinking in to a new book of Sherlock Holmes stories.  Impossible, you say.  Not at all.  Loren Estleman’s Holmes stories read just like originals.  The Perils of Sherlock Holmes by Estleman will be published by Tyrus Books on October 18, 2012.   Previously published in various magazines, they have now been conveniently collected in one volume.  Describing a beggarly figure in a dark London street, Watson says “he was a particularly wicked-looking specimen . . he wore a coal-black beard, his startling eye-whites shown like scaled pearls.  As if to put a fine point on his devilish countenance, the brigand displayed a vicious scar on either cheek, sunken with age. . . ”  Estleman says in this book’s preface that it is now easy for him to “switch gears, from twenty-first century to nineteenth, and from America to England, and I’m off again into the yew hedges, cockney constables, hunting hounds and dinner at Simpsons.”  Modern Holmes adaptations, especially those recently shown on TV, lose so much without the dark brooding atmosphere of London that Estleman captures to a tee.

–posted 10/1/2012

Posted October/2/2012

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