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Showing posts by: Laura Benedict click to see Laura Benedict's profile
Aug 20 2012 12:00pm

Fresh Meat: The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise PennyThe Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny is the eighth book in the Chief Inspector Gamache series (available August 28, 2012).

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I’m mad for Louise Penny’s novels. I haven’t been so excited for a writer’s new releases since the ’80s when a certain horror writer was putting out at least two books a year. Penny is less prolific, but that makes her novels all the sweeter to anticipate.

The true object of my obsession—I mean, my affection—is Penny’s creation, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec. Gamache is a fifty-something genius at solving murders with the help of his devoted partner, Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and the rest of his very loyal, if flawed, team. In addition to being wise, brave, and intelligent, Gamache is brilliant at picking out diamond-in-the-rough outcasts whom he then carefully teaches and trains. Penny’s talent for reaching deep into the psyche of even the least significant of her characters is what wins her so many literary awards, and keeps her at the top of her readers’ must-read lists.

[She’s on mine!]

Mar 29 2012 1:00pm

Fresh Meat: Three A.M. by Steven John

Three A.M. by Steven John, a dystopian thrillerThree A.M. by Steven John is a dystopian noir thriller (available March 27, 2012).

The troubled hero of Steven John’s new dystopian thriller, Three A.M., is starved for sunshine. Literally starved. Fifteen years earlier, the sunshine disappeared just as Tom Vale’s parents and thousands of others died, horrifically, from a mysterious virus. Replacing the sunshine is a thick, damp fog that suffuses the air, making even a stroll down the street a near impossibility. Tom Vale, his life, and city are like grey ghosts, trapped in time.

[Death in darkness]

Nov 18 2011 9:30am

Fresh Meat: Laura DiSilverio’s Swift Edge

Swift Edge, by Laura DiSiverioCan it possibly be polite to laugh out loud when there are brutal murders happening left and right? Laura DiSilverio puts politeness to the test with Swift Edge, the second mayhem-filled installment in her Swift Investigations series. Tough-as-nails Charlotte “Charlie” Swift of Swift Justice returns, this time with Gigi Goldman, the hapless ex-wife of Charlie’s deadbeat former partner, firmly ensconced in the agency bearing Charlie’s name. Now, Gigi’s spoiled daughter, Kendall, is helping out at the agency over Christmas break, burning up coffee pots, painting her nails, and generally making a nuisance of herself, as Charlie and Gigi take on not one, but two, missing persons cases. 

Dara Peterson, pair skater extraordinaire, glides into Charlie’s office wearing cozy Uggs and an I’m-a-big-deal attitude to hire Charlie to find her skating partner, Dmitri Fane. The police won’t help her because handsome, complicated Dmitri has pulled disappearing acts before, but Olympic-qualifying competitions are coming up, and he must be found. Missing person number two is a teenager named Kungfu. Charlie’s friend and neighbor, Dan Allgood, an Episcopal priest, had hired the at-risk runaway to work at the church, and is worried because Kungfu has vanished with out a word.

[Anything combining Kungfu and Dmitri is bound to be fun.]

Jul 15 2011 9:00am

10 Signs You’re a Crime Fan

10 Signs You’re a Crime Fiction Fanatic

Some people might call you paranoid.  But you know that the world—even your own kitchen—is full of potential dangers that might inspire someone to a grisly criminal act. Or maybe you just read a lot of crime fiction.

Here are ten signs that you might be a crime fanatic:

[You might be one if you’re too curious not to read more. . .]

Apr 29 2011 3:00pm

Beowulf: Thriller 101

Here is a photo of me as a fierce, honorable, and kinda-hot Viking Spear-Dane:

Viking Barbie

Okay. So it’s actually a photo of Viking Barbie from a website where they sell Barbies of the World. But on days when life gets tough, and the writing’s not going well, this is how I like to think of myself. And I blame Beowulf.

Have you read Beowulf, the early Anglo-Saxon epic poem? I disliked it the first time I read it, back in tenth grade. Who knows what terrible translation my English class was forced to read. My dislike probably also had much to do with the fact that we read it right after the French epic Song of Roland, which—at the time—I thought was a total snooze. (Can you tell I was all about Stephen King and Charlotte Bronte in tenth grade?) It wasn’t until I read Seamus Heaney's brilliant 1999 translation that I realized that Beowulf was actually one of the earliest and most exciting thrillers ever written.

[“So. The Spear-Danes in days gone by. . .”]