Any books by these authors would make a great holiday gift for the mystery lover on your list. (Add a book to give to your local library when you make up your list, too!)
Frankie Y. Bailey – Ms Bailey, present President of Sisters in Crime, appeared at our library during September and gave us a tremendous overview of crime fiction. Her own mysteries are a delight; as any of us who have read them can testify. She has five “Lizzie Stuart” mysteries published and another on the way. The writing is very, very good. She pays great attention to making certain that all the details are covered. Read them, or give them, they’ll entertain you over the holidays. The five are: Death’s Favorite Child, A Dead Man’s Honor, Old Murders, You Should Have Died on Monday and Forty Acres and a Soggy Grave.
Lars Kepler – Lars Kepler is the pen-name of a Swedish couple whose books are number-one best sellers in over a dozen countries in Europe. Both The Hypnotist and The Nightmare are police procedurals featuring DI Joona Linna. They are good-sized reads that will have you turning the pages all night long.
Linwood Barclay – Barclay is a Canadian writer. His book is Trust Your Eyes. The idea reeled me in – a young man addicted to maps, his computer and the program Whirl360 (think GoogleEarth) who believes he sees a murder taking place when the photograph was taken. The story unfolds in an almost Hitchcock-ian way, slowly at first and becoming more and more suspenseful as it goes along.
Gerald Jay – Jay is a ‘nom de plume’ so we have no idea who this writer is! His book, The Paris Directive, is supposed to be his first, but the accomplished writing style leads you to suspect that he may be a recognized writer of other stories. This book introduces a Paris policeman that reminds me of Simenon’s Insp. Maigret. It’s an “inverted” mystery – one where you know the killer from the beginning – and an excellent police procedural.
Kirk Mitchell – Mitchell writes mysteries, alternative history, historical fiction, time-travel and adventure novels. (And perhaps other stuff, too). He was also a law enforcement officer. His mystery series featuring Emmett Parker and Anna Turnipseed (Cry Dance, Spirit Sickness, Ancient Ones, Sky Woman Falling and Dance of the Thunder Dogs) are great reads for people who enjoy Tony Hillerman’s novels. He has a SFPD officer in With Siberia Comes A Chill, and an MP officer in the historical mystery Black Dragon.
The last two I would like to mention give you a chance to begin a series at the beginning – or close to it.
J. J. Murphy – Murphy has just had the second book in the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries released. If you are a Dorothy Parker fan these (Murder Your Darlings and You Might As Well Die) are not to be missed.
Alex Grecian – Grecian has just had his first novel in The Murder Squad series published. The series begins with The Yard. All its readers are eagerly awaiting his second book.