Monday, August 20, 2012

My Summer Reads

Okay, you know I write mysteries. But what do mystery writers read? I’m an eclectic sort of reader and though mysteries are the first I seek out, I’m always looking for a good book no matter the genre. Here are a few I’ve read over the last several months. Maybe you’ve read them, too.

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin – This book was recommended to me by my writing bud, Christine. Delightful story and quite different from what I usually read. Agnes Sparrow weighs 700 pounds and is taken care of by her devoted sister, Griselda. The people in Bright’s Pond come to Agnes with their troubles and she helps them with her prayers. The relationship between the sisters is intriguing, the setting is quaint, and the series (there are more) reminds me somewhat of Jan Karon’s Mitford books. I’m with Christine on this one – recommended.

Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George – Inspector Thomas Lynley is alive, kicking and still out there trying to solve crimes even though devastaing personal tragedy still haunts, tapping him on the shoulder when he least expects it. But there’s been a death in the influential Fairclough family and the inspector, along with his friends Simon and Deborah St. James, are on it. Family secrets are exposed, lifestyles examined and good old DS Barbara Havers eventually shows up to help, too. I’ve been a great fan of Ms. George for years. I always tout her books when I can.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. Wow, what a brilliant eleven year old is Flavia de Luce! Not much can keep her from her intended goal of proving her father innocent of killing his old school mate. Mr. Bradley won the Debut Dagger Award for this one and should have. His tenacious protagonist, always looking for her father’s love, takes us over hill and down the lane from the decaying English mansion where she lives to uncover the real killer. Loved it. Want more.

Some others I enjoyed.

The Innocents by David Baldacci – I’m a big Baldacci fan. Always looking for his next one.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. I learned a lot about the now outlawed Chinese tradition of foot binding in this one. Went right to Google to find out more. Great read.

Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise by Joyce Magnin – Second in the Bright’s Pond series. Will follow this writer.

Low Country Bribe by C. Hope Clark - Carolina Slade is a bit hard to love, but story was good.

I’m currently reading Shroud for a Nightengale by P.D. James. Loving it so far. I mean, c'mon, P.D. James. What's not to love?

So – what are you reading as summer scampers into fall?

Image: Free Digital Photos


  1. I read all four books in the Bright Pond series and hoping there will be a fifth! You'll see why when you read the fourth one, "Blame it on the Mistletoe."
    I also read two of the Psalm 23rd Mysteries and just about to get the third one today. All of these books cost me nothing, free on my kindle!
    I'm on the third book in The Green Series, about a woman that is left a newspaper in Green, Louisiana and decides to move there and run the paper for one year. She doesn't leave! This is a five book series and I've heard there will be a sixth!
    Great summer reads.

    1. Hey, Girlfriend. Always love your recommendations! I'll check out The Green Series. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. Here are the last five books I've read: THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS by M.L. Stedman (Incredible!), GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn (Page turner!), THE SHOEMAKER'S WIFE by Adriana Trigiani (Being Italian, I love all her books!), SO FAR AWAY by Meg Mitcell Moore (I loved this!), TURN OF MIND by Alice LaPlante (Amazing!)

    Sue, I love reading everyone's suggestions. Thanks for yours!

    1. Oh, Cindy, wasn't The Shomaker's Wife good? Loved it. I'll check out your other recommendations, too. So glad you chimed it!

  3. Hi there Susan --

    This summer I've been reading books dealing with spirituality:

    One Minute Wisdom -- Anthony de Mello

    Power For Living

    Success, Motivation and the Scriptures -- William H. Cook


    1. Hi, Steve! That One Minute Wisdom sounds like something I could use. I'll check it out. Thanks so much for your recommendations.

  4. Oh, goodness. Mysteries are my favorite! Hands down. There are some nonfiction books I like, though; anything by John and Stasi Eldredge, a book on prayer by Andrew Murray, certain Beth Moore books, etc., etc. But nothing unplugs my brain and relaxes my gray matter like a mystery.

    Rhonda Schrock

    1. Rhonda - How nice to hear from you. Love your new site! I'll keep you posted on my mystery, coming out in November. Hope it helps relax your gray matter! Thank you so much for stopping by. God bless.

  5. I love a mystery. At the moment I am reading The Light Between Oceans (borrowed Cindy's book because the library had 30 holds). I grew up with Nancy Drew and later collected and read Phyllis A. Whitney's books. Hers were especially interesting because she travelled to places she wrote about. I subscribed to Annie's Attic because of the Maine setting, but not much description of Maine.

    Gary VanRiper and his son Justin write "The Adironack Kids" books. In each book they add a bit of history of the Old Forge/Fourth Lake area. OK, so I'm an Adirondack and Maine lover. Besides, my husband played for Gary's wedding.

    1. Marion, I'll have to remember The Light Between Oceans. If there's that much of a hold at the library, it must be darned good. I've heard of Gary Van Riper and his series. My grandson might enjoy those. Thanks for reminding me of their existence!