Thursday, May 19, 2016

What we're reading: Mystery Mavens, beware!

Every year about this time, a mad flurry of holds are placed on various and sundry mysteries at Burbank Public Library. It may have been a blip too small for you to notice, but it's there.

The reason is that three teen book clubs are on hiatus for the summer while we instead offer teen summer reading club. This means that instead of reading three teen novels per month as selected by the clubs--one for 6th and 7th graders, one for 8th and 9th graders, and one for high school--plus a variety of other teen books (so we have things to suggest as future book club choices), we teen librarians get to read exactly what we want. And after nine months of teen fiction, some of which I love and some of which, admittedly, I love less well, what I want to read first is mystery!

There are a few mystery authors whose series I follow religiously enough that I manage to fit their latest offering in amongst the teen fiction during the school year--Louise Penny, Tana French, Robert Galbraith come to mind--but there are others whose timing is not regular, or who have somehow managed to sink below my radar for a year or more, with whom I delight to catch up.

All I can say is, thank goodness for Goodreads. I started keeping track of my reading there in 2009, and when I remember a mystery series I was enjoying for a while, with a main character whose name I can't quite recall (although I can remember what he looks like and that he lives in some small town in England) and whose author I can't bring to mind either, I don't have to hope that it will magically come to me, or that someone will recognize and identify it from my description; I can go scroll through the list of "My Books" on Goodreads and eventually track him down: Simon Serailler, the enigmatic, charismatic creation of author Susan Hill! And yes, there's a new book in the series! Hold placed!

There are so many characters with whom I wish to reunite that the first couple of weeks of summer I am positively giddy with choices. Is there a new Scotland Yard book by Alex Grecian? Yes! But they're all checked out. Okay, on to the next...

Is there a new Bill Slider mystery by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles? Yes! Place a hold!

Is #17 in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma Jones series by Deborah Crombie published yet? Nope, Goodreads says February 2017. Moving on...

Okay, Woman in Blue, by Elly Griffiths, continues the Ruth Galloway saga. Hold placed!

Don't worry,  as greedy as this sounds, I do actually have a sense for how many books I can realistically read in a three-week period, and will eventually stop bogarting all the new mysteries. I will remember that it is more important for you, the patron, to get hold of it than it is for me to be first on the list. But give me my first flush of satisfaction at a list of mysteries well found!

Some other mystery authors with whom I intend to catch up:

Steve Hamilton: The Second Life of Nick Mason
Greg Iles: Natchez Burning, and The Bone Tree
Carol O'Connell: The Chalk Girl, and It Happens in the Dark (Mallory novels)
Sharon Bolton: Daisy in Chains (coming later this summer)
Michael Connelly: The Crossing (Harry Bosch #23--don't know how I missed this one!)

Please note that by identifying these authors and books, I am suggesting some authors and titles you may not have on your radar, and selflessly giving you a fighting chance to check them out before I do! May the fastest reader win! Enjoy some mysterious summer reading with me.

P.S. Teen fiction will resurface soon, since we do have four sessions of Book Café during the summer at which the latest YA novels must be discussed! If you have a teenager, be sure to sign them up for Teen Summer Reading starting June 1st. Go to our website,, and look for the sign-up button.

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