Mysteries rule for August’s Good Reads

Good ReadsBy John Hoover
©2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

During the life of the Good Reads column we’ve done a variety of themes but one that we’ve used with some frequency is mysteries (most likely because I dearly love a good mystery/thriller). Since I’ve read several good mysteries lately I decided it was time to revisit that theme and I made most of my colleagues pick a mystery for this month. And if you’re a fan like me, what better genre for easy late summer reading could there be?

six and a half deadly sinsAmanda readily got on board with the mystery theme: “When John selected August’s Good Reads theme, I realized how long it’s been since I’ve read a good mystery.  Years ago, I read Colin Cotterill’s The Coroner’s Lunch ($9.99) and loved it.  I’ve just begun his Six and a Half Deadly Sins ($15.95) and am again instantly drawn in by the main character (Dr. Siri Paiboun) and setting (Laos).  Since this book is the 10th in the Dr. Siri Praiboun mystery series, I know I’ll be kept happily busy reading for a while!  An excellent summer read.”

While not one of her favorite genres Lynne chose This is the Water ($14.99) by Yannick Murphy, “a seemingly benign story of a young Vermont mother this is the waterwhose daughter is on the regional swim team. Annie, the swim-mom, is in an unsatisfying marriage. While she is flirting furiously with Paul, a swim-dad, we, the readers, notice a strange dark haired man watching the girls. The murder of a swim team member at the rest stop close by plunges the swim world into fear and a feeling of dread about who will be next. Murphy captures the world of swim meets, down to the smell of the chlorinated water, the shampoo the girls use after swim practice, and the awful knowledge that one can’t protect one’s children from everything – including a serial killer.”

Bill revisits an author he last used in July’s column by recommending Tag tag manMan ($16.99) by Archer Mayor.  “All of Archer’s more than two dozen novels are engrossing mysteries, most set in Vermont, but my favorite is Tag Man.  Across Brattleboro, rich people, some with dark secrets, are waking up in their homes to find a note stuck to their bedside tables reading, ‘You’re it.’ There is little sign of disturbance, nothing stolen and only a bit of expensive food eaten as a signature. The press loves the story and dubs the burglar the Tag Man.”

Kim’s recommended mystery is Still Life ($15.99) by Louise Penny. “Several people have told me about this series, and I’m only just getting a chance to still liferead them. What a treat! A sweet, ‘cozy mystery’ series set in the fictional town of Three Pines, in the Eastern Townships of Quebec (just over the border from Vermont). Full of small town charm and quirky characters who, by turns, help and hinder Chief Inspector Gamache in his investigation of the murder of beloved former school teacher Jane Neal. I’m now well into the second book, and looking forward to reading the rest. A great summer read.”

Misty Valley’s newest bookseller, Sara, joins this column for the first time with The Mark of the Dragonfly ($7.99) by Jaleigh Johnson. “If you are looking for a teen fiction mystery read, this is your book. A girl named Piper finds a girl in the meteor fields with a dragonfly tattoo. Piper must figure out how to get the girl back to the dragonfly territory safely. Along the way she is faced withmark of the dragon fly danger, excitement, and a little magic … if they can all survive the journey.” (Since Sara teaches at Chester-Andover Elementary School, we can look forward to many more recommendations of children and young adult books in future columns.).

My pick for a good summer mystery read is Widowmaker ($25.99) by Paul Doiron. Doiron was a Misty Valley New Voice in 2011 with his first novel, The Poacher’s Son ($15.99), where we met Maine game warden Mike Bowditch for the first time. Headstrong, rash and willing to take extraordinary risks, Mike is also often in trouble with his superiors. Widowmaker, Doiron’s seventh widow makerMike Bowditch novel, involves Mike’s search for a young man who may be his half-brother, a logging camp for sex offenders on probation, a deranged killer and an animal that is 90 percent wolf.

Set in sparsely populated regions of our neighbor to the northeast, this is an excellent story with strong characters that will leave you wanting more. Since this novel is set during the winter ski season, it may just help to cool you off on one of these hot summer days.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeGood Reads

About the Author: After a 35-year career as a high school social studies teacher, John Hoover and his wife, Sally, retired to Vermont. He lives in Windham where he serves as a Justice of the Peace and Library Trustee. He works part time as a book-seller at Misty Valley Books, is active at St. Luke's Episcopal Church and sings in several choral groups.

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