Next stop – Quebec, Canada and Sinful, Louisiana

Next stop around the world – USA and Canada. Let’s start with my recent favorite Canadian author, Louise Penny ( ). She has written 12 books by now about a Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of Surete in Quebec. The way she describes the village of Three Pines, where many of the books in the series take place, makes me (and a lot of other people) want to move there, although it must be the most lethal place in Canada! One of the books, takes place in Quebec City in the middle of a winter, and despite the fact that I’m not much fan of snow, her descriptions of the city makes me want to move there too. Her murders are rather convoluted and tricky to figure out. Her books are quite thick, 350+ pages, but once you start reading them you don’t want to stop.

For lighter fare, moving south of the border to the USA, way south, to Louisiana swamps. If you have not yet met Jana DeLeon ( ) you should. She writes about a CIA trained assassin who has to go undercover and lands in town called Sinful in Louisiana where murder and mayhem starts the minute she arrives. If you are in need of a good laugh, her books are just the ticket. It may sound odd to have a murder mystery which is laugh out loud funny, but her books are. Fortune, the CIA assassin, joins forces with two old biddies who were undercover agents in Vietnam (during the war), and they do a weekly run for the best banana pudding through town, combined with few alligators and sharpshooting. Mayhem ensues. The plots are very well concocted, and the pace is full speed ahead all the time, and did I mention – they are funny. So if you’re looking for a few hours of good time, try her Miss Fortune series, last of those was published only a month ago. And don’t forget to check out her Sinful Ladies Society!

In case you didn’t know, Jana DeLeon is one of the big names in self-publishing. If I hadn’t read her books I don’t think I would have ever gotten the idea to try it myself.

Trivia for you – did you know this? The difference between a murder mystery and a thriller is apparently that in a murder mystery, murder happens first and the rest of the book is about how it gets solved, while in a thriller, all the action is about stopping something bad from happening.

Happy reading!

Around the world in old and new books in 80 days

Faukon Abbey Chronicle – Summer reading

A trip like this has to start in Cornwall, UK and with the world’s most popular mystery author, Agatha Christie. If you haven’t seen the latest BBC version of her very chilling book, “And then there were none” try to catch the reruns, it’s brilliant (it was on Lifetime TV in the USA).  If not, grab the book from your nearest library or Amazon shelves.

While I’d like to have Hercule Poirot’s little grey cells, I think I’d have a better chance of becoming Miss Marple. I’ve always been fascinated by Agatha Christie due to her skill and talent of plotting. I don’t know about you, but I can read one of her books today, and when I re-read it a year later, I have no clue who did it. She throws so many red herrings on the way and redirects your focus, by the time you finish the book you end up having suspected just about everybody, except the one who actually did it.

Moving up north to Scotland, and Kate Atkinson. Her Jackson Brodie series is very good, and has also been televised with Jason Isaacs. Her book “Life after life” is first a bit frustrating, and it seems weird for lack of a better word, as it starts and restarts. Initially I thought the author was just trying different plot structures to figure out which would work best. But once you get hang of it, it’s very good, often a chilling description about one woman’s life during World War II.

If you’re looking for something a bit different, you may go for John Fowles, “The Magus”. You may remember him as the author of the “French Lieutenants Woman” which was filmed with Meryl Streep in the character role. “The Magus” is a story about a young man who ends up on a Greek island as a teacher. It’s partially a mystery, partially psychology, and a lot about power. I read this book years ago, and I keep re-reading it every now and then. While I do know the plot by now, this book still has a way to get into your mind, make you think. And that my friends, is my definition of a very good book.