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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Great Mysteries, Great Characters

Posted by Judy T.

Still Life by Louise Penny
This is the first in a series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec, a man of great integrity, courage, and intelligence. All of the books in the series offer a great feel for the small Quebec town of Three Pines and a wonderful cast of secondary characters as well.

Beastly Things by Donna Leon
Experience Venice and the culture of Italy as you meet Guido Brunetti, Vice-Commissario of the Venice Police, along with his colleagues and his family. In this most recent book in Leon’s series, Brunetti investigates the death of an animal lover whose body is found in a canal.

A Test of Wills by Charles Todd
This is the first book of a series featuring Inspector Ian Rutledge, an upper class Scotland Yard detective who returns from World War I suffering from shell shock.  There’s a strong sense of life in post war Britain as Rutledge tackles investigations and works to exorcise his inner demons in this series.

The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill
Meet Simon Serrailler, Chief Superintendent in Lafferton, a small cathedral town, in this series opener.  These books are not just about crime; the author includes members of Simon’s family in each book, and the reader is invited into the complexities of their lives and relationships.

Cover Her Face by P.D. James
Adam Dalgliesh of the London Metropolitan Police Department is extremely intelligent, private, and very successful at solving crimes. This is the first in the series, and as the books progress, Dalgliesh takes center stage and readers learn much more about him as well as several recurring secondary characters.

In The Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming
Welcome to Millers Kill, a small town in upstate New York, where Episcopal priest Clare Ferguson and police chief Russ Van Alstyne  first pair up to solve the murder of a young mother.  The series’ strong characters, interpersonal relationships, and sense of place all work to create compelling mystery stories.

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