Thursday, July 12, 2012

People's Choice 2012: Mysteries

Since this year is the first in which we have had a summer reading club for grownups here at Burbank Public Library, we thought it would be fun to share some book reviews from the people participating in Burbank READS Into the Night (click the title to sign up). We will make this a regular feature here on the blog, so you can see what your contemporaries are reading during the rest of this summer.

Here is a variety of mysteries, all reported on by reader Dianne B.

Gladly the Cross-Eyed Bear, by Ed McBain
Lainie Commins has designed a cross-eyed, stuffed teddy bear with glasses that can correct the bear's vision--a sure seller in toy stores, if it ever gets there. A lawsuit she has filed against her former employer has tied everything up. Then things get more tangled when a murder muddies the legal matters and puts Lainie in danger of arrest. Things get more and more complicated, and the story gets more interesting.

Murder in the Rue de Paradis, by Cara Black
Aimee LeDuc is a private eye, but her specialty is computer security; she owns, but doesn't carry a gun. Suddenly, her lost love re-enters her life, and she becomes engaged to this man of mystery on the day of his return. Murder, jihad, & bombings also enter with him, and she is in for shocks and changes for which she is totally unprepared. A wild ride! (This is the eighth book in this series.)

The Mind Readers, by Margery Allingham
This is a late entry, from the 1960s, in the Albert Campion series. It's a nice little mystery and a great time capsule. It took me back to the Cold War, with the competing spies and fandango of the times. Children in an English boarding school may have stumbled upon the secret of ESP, and can enhance reception of ideas and emotions. A very nice walk into the recent past.

Caravan, by Dorothy Gilman
Dorothy Gilman is a good storyteller, and Caravan is a very good tale. Young Caressa was born in a circus and raised in the "carny" world. She becomes a magician and a pickpocket. Her mother wants her to be a lady, and packs her off to finishing school at the tender age of 14. By the time she is 16, she is in the desert in Africa under attack from a marauding band of Tuareg, on a physical and emotional journey of adventures undreamed of in her young life.

Note from the editor: If you are a mystery fan, also be sure to check out our own Aunt Agatha's blog, DEATH IN THE STACKS, for more great reading suggestions!

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