The idea of this blog is to facilitate the love of reading by collecting news about new books, or sometimes good old books. It is also dedicated to stamping out the scourge of e-books, Kindles, Kobo's, i-Pads, and all other such abominations.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

MYSTERIES by Paul Adams, Kate Atkinson, Peter Robinson, Fred Vargas,

The long foggy, rainy, nights have given me a chance to discover two new (to me) mystery
writers and wallow in the works of two old favorites.

The Rainaldi Quartet by Paul Adams is set in Cremona, Italy. Gianni Castiglione, a violin maker, plays in a string quartet with fellow violin maker Rainaldi, the parish priest, Father Arrighi and police detective Gustafeste. Rainaldi, an authority on violins, is found murdered. Why anyone might want to murder this older unassuming fellow is a puzzlement.

Gustafeste is charged with solving the crime and he asks Castiglione to assist him when he interviews veteran Venetian violin collector, Dottor Foriani. The mystery deepens when Foriana is murdered. Because Castiglione is a walking encyclopedia on the violin, who understands not only the technical aspects of construction but the history of the instrument, both those that are legitimate and those that are forged, he continues to work with the police detective. Their journey to solve the mystery takes them across Italy and England, to auction houses, tombs and an estate in England.

This is a wonderful read, full of fascinating detail about an aspect of classical music that we don't often hear about in the mystery genre.

Fred Vargas, a historian and archaeologist by profession, has written The Three Evangelistas. Set in Paris, it tells the story of three poverty-stricken historians, Mathias (Matthew) Marc (Mark) and Lucien (Luke), the three evangelistas, who live next door to
Sophia Simeonidis, a Greek opera singer. When a tree suddenly appears in Sophia's yard, she asks her neighbours to dig around the tree to see if something has been buried. They find nothing, but when Sophia's body turns up weeks later burned beyond recognition, they along with Vandoosier, an excop who lives in the same house, decide to investigate. The reader is treated to a wonderful romp through Paris and into the countryside. Vargas who is well-known in Europe, has created several eccentrics characters and has brought Paris alive. I am looking forward to reading her police thrillers featuring Chief Inspector Adamsberg.
The best way to obtain this book is to order through your local library. It doesn't seem to be available in book stores.

One Good Turn, Kate Atkinson's new thriller, brings back Jackson Brodie, former detective and now millionaire. He has accompanied Julia, his girlfriend to Edinburgh where she is performing in the Edinburgh Festival. On his arrival, he observes an act of road-rage that has far-reaching effects. Paul Bradley, a mysterious thug, is knocked unconcious with a baseball bat. Dectective Brody is reluctant to become involved but he has no choice when he is hired as a bodyguard. Other bystanders to the accident include shy Martin Canning, writer of historical mysteries who saves Bradley's life and Gloria Hatter who is plotting to end her marriage. Stories of the tough detective, Louise Monroe and her teenaged son, Archie; a fraudulent real estate developer; an obnoxious stand-up comedian and Russian prostitues all share parts of the story. Atkinson develops the plot by shifting points of view, eventually linking the stories of all the characters. Along the way, she explores their lives and their relationships and has a great deal of fun skewering real estates developments and drama troupes.

Peter Robinson's, Pieces of my Heart, is the 14th novel to feature Yorkshire police detective
Alan Banks. In 1969, the body of a young women is found stabbed the night after an outdoor rock concert in Yorkshire. Stanley Chadwick, the detective assigned to the case, is a tough cop with little sympathy for the hippies he must interview. His life is complicated by the behavior of his daughter, who is spending a great deal of time with members of a rock band.
Thirty-five years later, Alan Banks and Annie Cabbot, are investigating the murder of a music journalist in the same community. Banks discovers that the journalist may have uncovered information that relates to the earlier murder. Robinson develops parallel plots, one set in
1969 and the other in the present day giving readers two exceptional thrillers. Robinson recreates the hippie culture-- music, sex, drugs and the strained parent-child relationships of the late sixties.


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