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A violist sleuth

Joan Spencer, a fortyish widow with a teenage son and a grown daughter, moves to Oliver (a.k.a. Bloomington), Indiana where she renews some old friendships, joins the local symphony orchestra, finds a job and starts right in investigating murders.  Readers of cozy mysteries will immediately recognize Detective Fred Lundquist as a future love interest.  Author Sara Hoskinson Frommer has been an editor, an avid quilter, and a viola player for the Bloomington (IN) Symphony Orchestra.  Her knowledge of all these topics shows up in these pleasant light mysteries.  Her Brother’s Keeper (Perseverance, 2013) is the seventh book in the series.   Joan is busy preparing for her daughter’s wedding when her black sheep brother, Dave, arrives earlier than expected for the big event.   Fred’s mother is happily settled at a local B&B.  So how did she wind up with a bloody knife in her hand and a dead man at her feet?

–posted 4/28/2013

Posted April/28/2013

Stay at Home Dad series

The “Stay at Home Dad” series stars Eldrick “Deuce” Winters and his five year old daughter Carly of the little town of Rose Petal, Texas.  Deuce is a house-husband  because his wife Julianne is a high powered attorney.  But  Rose Petal  seems to have enough crime to give Deuce a second career as an amateur detective.  These funny cozy mysteries with interesting characters in a small town setting will have wide appeal. Women readers will enjoy seeing a man coping with the hectic life of a stay-at-home spouse.  Father Knows Death, the third book in the series, will be published in June 2013 by Kensington.

–posted 4/21/2013

Posted April/26/2013

New Donna Leon

The Golden Egg CoverPolice Commissario Guido Brunetti of Venice is a stalwart and worldly policeman who must deal with corrupt officials, codes of silence, and distrust of the police in a series of well-written, complex, humorous procedurals set in the seedy ambience of the city of canals and gondolas.  Venice itself is perhaps the leading character here, although the lives of Brunetti, his wife Paolo, his wealthy and somewhat sinister father-in-law, and his superior, the corrupt, sycophantic, and indolent Vice Questore Patta  are well-delineated.   Donna Leon, a native of New Jersey, has lived in Venice since 1981.  Her latest book, The Golden Egg, (Atlantic Monthly, 4/2013)  is the 22nd in the series.  It concerns the suspicious death of a mentally handicapped man, Davide Cavanelli, who worked in the local dry cleaners.

–posted 4/14/2013

Posted April/15/2013

A Turkish female sleuth

Turkish writer Esmahan Aykol provides a great deal of local color in her interesting cozy mysteries, which have been translated from the Turkish.  Her protagonist is Kati Hirschel, a German expatriate who operates the only mystery bookshop in Istanbul.  Katie spent her childhood with her parents living in Istanbul, so she speaks the language like a native and understands the city’s people and customs.  She is an anxious forty-something and too independent to settle down with her lawyer boyfriend Selim.   Baksheesh (Bitter Lemon, 3/2013) is her second novel.  In it Kati is frantically looking for a new apartment and at last her luck turns and she finds a beautiful affordable apartment with a view of the Bosphorus.  Unfortunately it comes with a dead body and Katie finds herself suspected of murder.

–posted  4/7/2013

Posted April/7/2013

 
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