Friday, March 28, 2008

The Librarian, The Reading Group, and The Bookstore

This is a catchy title – does it sound familiar? Kind of like The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Well.., it is not exactly the title of this book – it is just the title of this posting. I like the actual title of the book – Murder in Volume. This is the first book a new series (to me) by D.R. Meredith. It is new in the sense that I have not read it before. The books in this series are actually out of print and I have been lucky to come by four of the five books in this series. On to the book ….

The sleuth is Megan Clark who is a reference librarian in Amarillo. She actually has a Ph. D in Forensic Pathology. So far she has not been able to get a job where she can use her training.

Do you remember Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson? She is kind of the Sherlock Holmes of this book and is often referred to as this by her friend Ryan Stevens. He even identifies himself as being her Dr Watson. It seems to me that in most of the Sherlock Holmes books the story was told in the first person by Dr Watson. One of the things I like about this book is that it alternates between a third person account to a first person account by Ryan Stevens.

Another thing I like about this book are some priceless quotes made in the book. Here is one made by Agnes the bookstore owner. “Not that I have anything against romances – Lord knows I sell enough of them – but there are more ways to commit murder than there are to have sex, and that makes murder more interesting.” I think this may be one reason I like to read murder mysteries.

There is another interesting thing about how this book was written. At the beginning of each chapter there is a quote made by somebody. This quote relates to something about the chapter. You read the quote and then you read the chapter to see the connection.

I also like the way the characters in this book are described. You get to know a little about them – especially the main characters.

The book opens with a murder that is unexplained and you do not know the connection to the overall book – but there must be one. Megan brings Ryan into a mystery reading group at the bookstore. (Do you see the connection to my title?) After one of the mystery reading groups meetings, one of the members are murdered and Megan becomes one of the suspects. In spite of warnings from the police (and Ryan), she gets into the middle of the investigation. The bookstore owner is attacked for an unknown reason. And books bought by two of the older members of the discussion group end up missing. All of these wind up being related and the key to capturing the guilty person.

That is the gist of the story. I did not want to tell to much in case you get the opportunity to read this book. I know I enjoyed reading it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bones To Ashes

Bones To Ashes is written by Kathy Reichs. The sleuth in ths series (this is the tenth) is Temperance Brennan. She is a forensics person. I wonder - is she going to be like Dr Quincy? (Does this date me?) I was looking forward to reading this book for our Mystery Book Discussion Group. I heard from others about the series and had only heard good things.

Well..., it was hard to get into this book - for me. Maybe it was because I did not start from the first book in the series. There was not a lot of character development. The book started slow for me and the connection of the start of the book was not hard to connect with the rest of the book. Yes there was a connection - it was just hard for me to put it together.

A childhood memory, a lost childhood friend suspected of being murdered, possible connections in several murders. These were some of the elements in this mystery.

Do not let me influence whether or not you read this book. It may be somthing you enjoy.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Who Is Kinky?

Who is Kinky Friedman? He is the author of several books including one that I read - Road Kill. He is a singer, he writes songs, he has run for political office in Texas, and he is a writer. He is also a private eye - in his books.

Road Kill was an interesting book. And the "Kinkster" was an interesting character. Kinky's writing style was nothing like I can remember reading. I have heard a little about Kinky but not a lot. I wonder if the Kinky in this book is anything like the "real" Kinky.

The mysteries in this book involve another "real" person - Willie Nelson. At one point in the past his touring bus was involved in an accident. In this accident an Indian pedestrian was killed. Now it appears an Indian curse is following him.

While Willie is missing, one of his men get shot in his room - probably because he looks like Willie. So it becomes evident somebody is after Willie - but who? And who would know about the incident with the dead indian? This seems to be very important.

Well..., our detective figures it out. But guess what? Willie disappears again. And Kinky is challenged to find him. Following the clues left by Willie, he finds him in Hawaii.

Will I read more by Kinky? I might - his writing style is interesting.