Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Perfect reading choices Cathy Ace

With Thanksgiving coming up in the USA – please take the chance to give us five titles or criminally good books you think would make great gifts…and tell us for whom they’d be suitable.

For lovers of cozy mysteries: THE MARSH MADNESS by Victoria Abbott. This book is the fourth in the book collector series by mother and daughter writing team Mary Jane Maffini and Victoria Maffini. The book won the 2017 Bony Blithe Award for best Canadian Light Mystery, and I’ve had it since then…but have only just got around to reading it. Light, bright and using the Ngaio Marsh canon as frequent reference points (I love Ngaio Marsh!) it’s a fast, fun read. 


For those who enjoy police procedurals: THE SEAGULL by Ann Cleeves. The not inconsiderable figure of DI Vera Stanhope has inhabited the world of crime fiction since Ann’s first book in this series (THE CROW TRAP, 1999) and she’s far from done (thank goodness). Ann’s writing style makes me a) want to try harder and b) give up writing altogether…pretty much in equal measure. A joy to read (you experience the book, rather than read it) and an excellent story, well told. I enjoy all the Stanhope books, this is the most recent…but you might want to treat yourself by starting with the first book and reading from there (this is the 8th in the series). 


For those who enjoy anthologies: MOTIVES FOR MURDER edited by Martin Edwards. This anthology was put together to celebrate the 80th birthday of one of my favourite authors, Peter Lovesey. From the blurb: Members of London's famed Detection Club have joined together to honor Peter Lovesey, winner multiple times of the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger and Silver Dagger, and Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement. He has also won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar for Best Novel, as well as Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He is the creator of Victorian sleuths Sergeant Cribb and Constable Thackeray, Inspector Peter Diamond, and the almost true-to-life Bertie Prince of Wales. Honestly, there isn’t a bad story in the entire collection, and that’s saying something!

For those who like a bit of international terrorism:
DEATH BY DESIGN by Barbara Nadel. This was published in 2010 and is the 12th in what is now a 19 book series featuring Çetin İkmen, a member of the Istanbul police force whose chain smoking and heavy drinking don’t seem to impact (usually!) his ability to grapple with complex cases. Always an interesting read, this particular title takes İkmen to London – a trip I probably enjoy more than he does. Excellent plots, well-drawn characters, and never a dull moment. 

For those who want a change from crime: MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING (2 volumes) by Julia Child. I love to eat, thus I love to cook. This boxed set was a Christmas present years ago, but it doesn’t matter how you get your hands on these two volumes, just get them, and read them. There’s so much inspiration, so many useful tips, and such wonderful recipes you and all those for whom you might ever cook will be grateful you did! 

Cathy Ace is the Bony Blithe Award-winning author of The Cait Morgan Mysteries and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries.  You can find out more about Cathy, her work and her characters at her website, where you can also sign up for her newsletter with news, updates and special offers:


Unknown said...

Good recommendations and a few nudges: ie still haven't read an Ann Cleeves. Maybe you're right, I'll start at Book 1. Also I've had a Nadel book on my shelf for years and haven't even opened it, so must do. Thanks Cathy!

Susan C Shea said...

Love that you included Julie Child - my copies of those companion books are stained and water-marked but I learned so much from them. Much more than recipe books, they are lessons on how to approach the entire process of cooking.

Cathy Ace said...

Rachel - I enjoy Barbara Nadel's work enormously...luckily there's a lot of it. And yes, read Ann's's excellent.

Cathy Ace said...

Hi Susan - my own copies of the Child books were totally unsuitable for photography...they are far from "gently used"!! I agree they are about much more than how to her approach to food, and life.