Why do I keep reading Linda Fairstein? I say this every time, yet every time a new Alexander Cooper crime novel is released, I get sucked in. Maybe it is the history buff in me that appreciates the NYC landmarks and historical trivia that Fairstein peppers throughout her stories. But this time, despite the The Bronx Zoo setting, I couldn’t finish her latest, Deadfall.
Happily, I discovered two more promising novels. Murderous Mistral, A Provence Mystery is the first in new series by Cay Rademacher. If Peter Mayle wrote police procedurals, this would be it.
I am less enthusiastic about a new series by Plum Sykes, but ever hopeful! Sykes, the author of the best-selling novel Bergdorf Blondes has returned to her undergraduate days at Oxford for the setting of Party Girls Die in Pearls featuring student and aspiring journalist, Ursula Flowerbutton. A bit heavy handed, but Sykes nails the 80’s ghastly fashions and college ambiance.
The new Louise Penny, Glass Houses, is an unqualified thumbs up! Inspector Gamache, the Chief Superintendent of the Surete du Québec, is once again faced with a crime in Three Pines, the quaint, off-the-grid (only to law abiding citizens; criminals seem to have no trouble locating it!) village where he and his wife have recently settled. The narrative shuttles between a criminal trial and the events of the preceding winter that led to the accused’s indictment. Brilliant!