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Commissario Alec Blume

Teenaged Alec Blume was living in Rome with his American parents when both of his parents were shot and killed in a bank robbery, leaving him stranded there. When we first meet him in Conor Fitzgerald’s mystery series, he has been living in Rome for 22 years and has established himself as a competent, but sometimes conflicted, commissario in the Italian state police. Though he has completely assimilated and speaks the language like a native, his odd background gives him a unique perspective. The Memory Key (Bloomsbury, 7/2013) is the fourth book in the witty and intelligent Commissario Alec Blume series. Alec’s old mentor, magistrate Filippo Principe, asks for his help with a politically sensitive case of murder and attempted assassination. In this volume Alec’s relationship with his lover, Chief Insp. Caterina Mattiola, grows increasingly strained. Conor Fitzgerald was born in England and now lives in Rome with his Italian wife and two children. Check out his blog for some droll insight into Italian ways.

–posted 8/25/2013

Posted August/25/2013

Canadian detective Molly Smith

Molly (originally Moonbeam) Smith, a young constable in Trafalgar, British Columbia, works hard to please her demanding but supportive boss Detective Sergeant John Winters.  Trafalgar is a small mountain with an aging population of hippies–Molly’s parents among them.   Women readers will empathize with Molly as she tries to fight gender stereotypes on the job.   All readers will enjoy Delany’s straightforward prose, interesting plots and colorful minor characters.  Occasional light moments and the natural beauty of the region further enhance the stories.  A Cold White Sun (Poisoned Pen, 8/2013) is the sixth book in the Molly Smith series.  Molly and Detective Winters struggle to discover why an unseen sniper shot high school teacher Cathy Lindsay while she was out skiing.  Was the sniper seeking revenge for a bad grade?  Or did it have something to do with Cathy’s love life.  Canadian author Vicki Delany began writing while raising three daughters and working as a systems analyst.  She now lives on Prince Edward Island and writes full-time.  She has written standalone mysteries as well at two series.

–posted 8/19/2013

Posted August/19/2013

Rural French policeman Bruno Courreges

Benoit Courreges, known as Bruno, is chief of police in Saint-Denis, a rural village in France’s Perigord region, which is famous for its black truffles. Bruno never carries the gun he owns, and rarely needs to arrest people. He is happiest when walking through the quiet town with his basset hound Gigi. But the world does intrude from time to time in the form of misguided do-gooders, anti-immigrant sentiment and even possible terrorism. Though Bruno admits that he is never as calm or as wise as he appears, he always solves the problem, gets the crook and restores peace to St. Denis. Bruno is not so successful with women, however. When on a case, he frequently forgets to turn up for a date and fails to call. British author Martin Walker displays a deep love of French rural life and a broad knowledge of France, past and present in these picturesque mysteries. The Devil’s Cave (Knopf, 7/2013) is the fifth novel in the series. Bruno must unravel the mystery of a dead woman found naked in a boat drifting down the river.

–posted 8/11/2013

Posted August/12/2013

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