Have you ever roamed a library, unable to find a book you wanted to read? Thousands of books and not one that appealed to you? It sounds odd, but that’s what happened to me Saturday morning when I visited my home library. So many books and I couldn’t pick one!
I didn’t go home empty-handed, however. I stepped into an aisle in the mystery section, closed my eyes, and pulled a book off the shelf. I read the description on the inside flap and … wasn’t inclined to check it out. I went around the corner, closed my eyes again, selected a paperback, and discovered Death Takes Priority (A Postmistress Mystery), by Jean Flowers. With such a beautiful first name (I know, it’s a pseudonym for author Camille Minichino), how can the book not be a winner? The cozy’s premise is intriguing: postmistress Cassie Miller returns home to the Berkshires, becomes the town’s postmaster, and soon has a murder and the mystery of a stolen stack of telephone books to solve. I’m eager to start this first book in the series.
I also went home with Anne Tyler’s latest, Clock Dance. I’ve mentioned before that Tyler is one of my favorite authors. She won me over with Saint Maybe and made me a loyal reader with beautiful work such as Breathing Lessons, Back When We Were Grownups, and Digging to America. I started reading the book Saturday night and was immediately drawn into main character Willa Drake’s world. The jacket promises the book is “an inspiring novel of one woman’s transformative journey.” I expect nothing less from the masterful Tyler.
I won’t have trouble finding reading material at the library in the coming autumn weeks. Ellen Byron’s fourth Cajun Country Mystery, Mardi Gras Murder, was released last week. I love this Louisiana-set series featuring Maggie Crozat and a delightful cast of characters. Byron weaves colorful local details and regional history into her stories, making Pelican a town I want to visit again and again.
In Want of a Knife by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli, is the third installment of her Little Library Mystery series. The tone of this series is more serious than typical cozies and the characters, led by main protagonist Jenny Weston, are more unique than quirky. They’re very well-drawn and have interesting depth, particularly Zoe Zola, Jenny’s neighbor and sleuthing partner. Buzzelli’s first two Little Library mysteries, A Most Curious Murder and She Stopped for Death, were inspired by Alice in Wonderland and Emily Dickinson, respectively. In her latest, she takes the lead from Jane Austen and writes about mothers, daughters, and rich husbands. This should be good!
I recently read this post on Margot Kinberg’s blog. I often think about how quickly Veronica Walsh should age in my series. It’s not a question of if Veronica grows older with each mystery she investigates. Veronica’s age (53) is an important element in the series’ debut (All Things Murder) and that she was middle-aged and not in her twenties or early thirties was appreciated by many readers. It would be a betrayal—of the character, my readers, and one of the inspirations for the series—if Veronica doesn’t age gracefully.
Leslie Meier’s characters also age with the passage of time in her wonderful Lucy Stone Mysteries. Through this long-running series, readers have watched Lucy progress from a young mother of four (her youngest arrives early in the series) to a grandmother. Though she gets older, Lucy’s character remains true and strong. This is the delight of reading a new offering from Meier: the family has grown (in age or size), but we always know Lucy will be the same “old” Lucy. This is a roundabout way of saying I’m looking forward to reading the twenty-fifth installment of Meier’s series in the aptly-titled Silver Anniversary Murder, which was released late last month.
What’s on your reading list this fall? What books are you looking forward to reading after you’ve raked the leaves, carved the Halloween pumpkin, and picked enough apples for your Thanksgiving pie?