It’s a good week when we get a guest podcaster, Kirt is nominated for his own award, AND we find out about his fantasies. Even more goodness is in our future as we await with baited breath your decision on our May Mystery read. We record our April pick, Frog Music, with Laura on Friday (release Monday, May 12th), so we need to get your votes on our mystery read by Friday afternoon.
I’ll put my picks on here and Kirtles can just come in and edit this post with his picks. As always, we would love it if you would vote on one of these or suggest another mystery book by a Canadian author you’d like to read.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
My dad got me this book ages ago, and I started it and really enjoyed it, but then got distracted (as is my way) and only got about 1/3 of the way through it. But I want the motivation to finish it as I really liked what I read.
From the book:
Flavia de Luce 11 is an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison. In the summer of 1950, inexplicable events strike Buckshaw, her decaying mansion home. A dead bird is on the doorstep, a postage stamp on its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man dying in the cucumber patch. His last words must save her father imprisoned for his murder.
A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
Really, you could insert any Louise Penny title here as she is the most popular and prolific Canadian mystery writer. I think it would be a good idea to read her work at some point and why couldn’t that point be now?
From the book:
“Hearts are broken,” Lillian Dyson carefully underlined in a book. “Sweet relationships are dead.”
But now Lillian herself is dead. Found among the bleeding hearts and lilacs of Clara Morrow’s garden in Three Pines, shattering the celebrations of Clara’s solo show at the famed Musée in Montreal. Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, is called to the tiny Quebec village and there he finds the art world gathered, and with it a world of shading and nuance, a world of shadow and light. Where nothing is as it seems. Behind every smile there lurks a sneer. Inside every sweet relationship there hides a broken heart. And even when facts are slowly exposed, it is no longer clear to Gamache and his team if what they’ve found is the truth, or simply a trick of the light.
I am strongly inclined to go with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (and it looks like it is winning by a very narrow margin at this point). A mutual friend of ours has been recommending the Bradley series since this book came out, and I trust her judgement. However, I will throw two more titles into the ring:
Another friend of ours has been recommending this guy for ages and I’ve always been a bit curious about his novels.
The discovery of the body of a supposed thirteen-year-old runaway and the disappearance of another youngster in the rural town of Algonquin Bay force local cops John Cardinal and his new partner, Lisa Delorme, into a desperate search for a possible serial killer.
Arthurson is an Edmonton writer, and both books in this series have received positive critical attention.
Marking the debut of Leo Desroches, one of the most unusual amateur detectives ever to appear in Canada or points south, this fast-paced, enthralling mystery is the story of a man who had everything, lost it all, and is trying to get it back. Leo Desroches doesn’t look like a native, but his mother was Cree, and he understands the problems of indigenous Canadians of the First Nations. Which is probably why the Edmonton newspaper he writes for decides he should be their Aboriginal Issues reporter.
He has his own issues to deal with: his compulsive gambling that he couldn’t stop even after it cost him his wife and children; his alcoholism; the risk-taking that threatens to derail him every time he starts to get his life back together.
When he’s assigned to cover the murder of a young native prostitute, it’s just one more story…until the cop in charge lets him view the corpse, something the Edmonton police never do. When Leo writes his article, it starts a chain of events that leads him to discover a much, much bigger story, one that could bring down the entire police department…if it doesn’t get him killed.