<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Picks 2/1/15


It’s a Mystery

Are you a fan of good mysteries and thrillers? Here are some authors in those genres I’ve recently started reading and found enjoyable.

• Ross Thomas: A master of international intrigue and spy thrillers plus detective books, Thomas, who died in 1995, didn’t start writing until he hit his 40s. Yet he scored an Edgar Award for Best First Novel with his first, Cold War Swap, and later won the Best Novel Edgar for Briarpatch. His clean and efficient prose and gift for snappy lines make his work a pleasure to read. If you lean towards thrillers, the former is a good place to start, while the latter shows his mystery side.

• Timothy Hallinan: There are three different series and heroes one can choose from in Hallinan’s oeuvre. I’ve only just discovered his Junior Bender mysteries, that feature a professional thief who also sidelines as a fixer in the Los Angeles entertainment world. He’s been typed as a cross between Raymond Chandler and Carl Hiaasen, and the two books I’ve read, Little Elvises and The Fame Thief, fit that description. He also has a straight ahead LA detective series featuring private eye Simeon Grist, and another set in Thailand (his Poke Rafferty books), where Hallina lives part of the year – both of which I look forward to sampling soon.

• Janet Evanovich: A regular on the bestseller lists, Evanovich started out as a romance writer (under the pen name Steffie Hall) and hit pay dirt with her series about Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter in Trenton, N.J. Those books recall Sue Grafton with their female heroine; where Grafton’s titles followed the alphabet, Evanovich’s are numbered from One for the Money upward. They’re light, breezy and fun – popular fiction that make for an enjoyable diversion.

From The Progressive Populist, February 1, 2015


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