Summer reading list: 7 super mysteries and thrillers
"Killing Rocks," "The King's Mistress" and "Bodily Harm" are among the mysteries and thrillers recommended on this list of best summer reads by J.B. Dickey and the other local experts at Seattle Mystery Bookshop.
Seattle Times book editor
It's the question of the season: What are some good summer reads? Over the next weeks Lit Life will address the subject of "Summer Reads" by genre, and first up is the most popular — mysteries and thrillers.
Guest experts: the staff of Seattle Mystery Bookshop, an independent bookstore at 117 Cherry St. in Seattle's Pioneer Square (206-587-5737 or www.seattlemystery.com). Shop owner J.B. Dickey and his staff chose titles with a Northwest flavor, selecting "different types for different tastes," Dickey writes. The list ranges from legal thrillers to historical novels to the de rigueur vampire book.
Look for more posts in other genres in the coming weeks. These are listed alphabetically by author:
"Killing Rocks" by D.D. Barant (St. Martin's, $7.99) This novel by a British Columbia writer (D.D. Barant is a pseudonym) is his third featuring Seattle FBI profiler Jace Valchek, who has been yanked unwillingly into a parallel world "where 'non-sparkly' vampires and 'non-angst-y' werewolves are the dominant species," writes Dickey. These creatures "have little experience with investigating murders so they need (Jace's) help, as she will need theirs to get back to her own world."
"The King's Mistress" by Emma Campion (Broadway, $16) This pick "is a bit of a cheat for us" (there are deaths in the book, but it isn't a mystery). Campion is a pseudonym for Seattle medieval-mystery writer Candace Robb — her alter ego has penned a novel based on the true-life story of Alice Perres, the notorious mistress of King Edward III. The author "thinks Alice has gotten a raw deal from history, and so 'Emma' gives us this book to redress the balance," Dickey writes.
"Bodily Harm" by Robert Dugoni (Pocket, $7.99) The Seattle lawyer/author's latest finds his protagonist, Seattle defense attorney David Sloane, dealing with a confession that may reverse a case he's just won. "Twisty and tense top-notch thrills," writes Dickey.
"Sheer Folly" by Carola Dunn (Minotaur, $14.99). This book is Dunn's 18th featuring late-1920s Brit Daisy Dalrymple, an upper-crust free spirit with a nose for trouble. This case finds Daisy at a country home to research her book of architectural follies. And a weekend in the English countryside means murder — right? Dickey writes that Eugene, Ore., author Dunn "is a perfect pick for those who have burned through Maisie Dobbs and need a new fix."
"House Justice" by Mike Lawson (Atlantic, $7.99). This author's brand-new Joe DeMarco thriller "digs again into Ross Thomas territory — it's a cynical and amusing investigation into the way power is used and misused in D.C.," writes Dickey, adding that Lawson, a former nuclear engineer who worked for the Navy, is one of the smoothest writers around. DeMarco is a classic reluctant hero, troubleshooting for the Speaker of the House. In this book he looks into accusations of a journalist's treason. "The only problem with this Seattleite's novels is that there are not dozens of them to read!"
"Disturbed" by Kevin O'Brien (Pinnacle, $7.99) Seattle author O'Brien's latest is an authentically scary suburban tale of menace and mayhem: New wife Molly finds life on her new cul-de-sac to be anything but the peaceful place she'd expected.
"Still Missing" by Chevy Stevens (St. Martin's Griffin, $14.99). This is a dynamite debut by a young Vancouver Island writer. She tells the story of Realtor Annie O'Sullivan, who was attacked at work and held hostage for a year by a psychopath. "The narrative unfolds and you learn about her ordeal as she works with her therapist," Dickey writes, calling "Still Missing" "an assured and absorbing first book."
Make this list grow! Send me your own mystery suggestions at email@example.com, or, if you're reading online, log them in the comments section. Or both.
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