M Y S T E R Y P L A C E S . N E T
mystery novels with a sense of place
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This site now includes 315 authors, 62 countries and multi-country regions, 45 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

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Read and Recommended
For a few months, I had time to note specific books that I read and recommended. I had to stop for lack of time. If time is available, this section will resume.
2010: Jan|Feb|Mar
2009: Jan-Feb|March|Apr|May|Jun|Jul|Aug|Sep|Oct|Nov|Dec
2008: Jul-Dec

Read & Recommended 2010: Jan | Feb | Mar
2009: Jan-Feb | Mar|Apr | May|Jun | Jul | Aug|Sep|Oct|Nov | Dec
2008: Jul-Dec

January 2010

April 24, 2010 - Four out of the seven mystery novels I read back in January stick in the mind as very good reads, all by authors with a track record of excellence. Michael Stanley's The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu: A Detective Kubu Mystery is the two-person team's second set in Botswana. With more conventional police force characters, albeit with a Batswana particularity, this police procedural series probably won't rival the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series in popularity. But it does deserve wide readership.

Also reliable for good writing and local flavor are Sara Peretsky in Chicago (Hardball) and John Lescoart, in San Francisco (A Plague of Secrets). Joseph Kanon's Stardust recreates Hollywood of the McCarthy period, with side glances at World War II Europe.

Michael Gregorio takes us back to early 19th century Prussia under French occupation, in A Visible Darkness, while Brent Ghelfi features a contemporary (and hyper-violent) Russia and Chechnya in Volk's Shadow. Both are part of series that are well-written and create convincing fictional atmospheres, although I am not sure whether they would ring true to those more familiar with their milieu than I am.

Set in New York and Pittsburgh respectively, Peter De Jonge's Shadows Still Remain and Kathleen George's Afterimage are both well-written police procedurals, with plots rich in psychological twists. Although they each have a sense of place, in neither case does it seem to be integral to the plot, which might be replicated in most any U.S. city.

More about these Authors

Peter De Jonge on Amazon | Bookmooch | Wikipedia
Kathleen George on Amazon | Bookmooch | Wikipedia
Michael Gregorio on Amazon | Bookmooch | Wikipedia
Joseph Kanon on Amazon | Bookmooch | Wikipedia
John Lescroart on Amazon | Bookmooch | Wikipedia
Sara Paretsky on Amazon | Bookmooch | Wikipedia
Kelli Stanley on Amazon | Bookmooch | Wikipedia
Michael Stanley on Amazon | Bookmooch | Wikipedia