Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Happy Father's Day

Terry Shames here! Father’s Day is coming up and this week we are handing out our recommendations for different types of crime novels that might appeal to the fathers in your life.

I normally would recommend some books by both men and women, as I love reading crime fiction by both. But In honor of the man who yesterday told me he does not normally read mystery books written by women, I am going to recommend only books women. Sorry guys, next time.

Patricia Smiley has a wonderful traditional police procedural series out, starting with Pacific Homicide, featuring Los Angeles Homicide Detective Davie Richards.  

Smiley has done her homework, and the books have an authentic feel.

While we’re in LA, Rachel Howzell Hall has become one of my favorite authors.  I recommend that you start with the first in the series, Land Of Shadows. Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review, and said “Dead-on dialogue and atmospheric details help propel a tale full of tormenting moral issues.”

If humor is what your guy looks for, try the “Scot” series by Catriona McPherson. Beginning with Scot Free, and continuing with Scot and Soda,  McPherson introduces a cast of hapless characters and pokes fun at American foibles.

Author Cathy Ace hit it out of the park this year with publication of The Wrong Boy, a mesmerizing  story that one reviewer said was  “…almost mythical.” 

If the dude in your life likes social justice in his reading, you should definitely consider getting him acquainted with the books of Attica Locke. One of my favorite books, Black Water Rising, her debut crime novel, was just listed in the Sunday Times’ One Hundred Best Mystery Books since 1945. Her 2018 Bluebird, Bluebird won the Edgar for Best Novel.

If dark and brooding is what draws him in, give him Lori Rader-Day’s Under a Dark Sky. Nominated for numerous awards, including this year’s Anthony Award, I think this is her best book. A compulsive read.

Does he like those grim Scandinavian books? You can’t do any better than Camilla Lackberg. She is an international best seller, the latest of which is The Girl in the Woods. She writes a tight thriller, dark and bleak as so many Scandinavian authors tend to be. Try to get him to ignore the "girl" in the title.

Also in the foreign realm is Ann Cleves. Is there anyone writing better mysteries? There are two series to choose from, both equally wonderful. There’s the Shetland series, the latest of which is Wild Fire, and the Vera Stanhope series, the first of which is Silent Voices.

What is it with these writing Scots? Choose any Val McDermid book and your reader will be surely be enthralled. I especially loved Broken Ground. McDermid’s plots are some of the best I’ve read. I’d love to know how her mind works!

Author Stephanie Gayle gets better and better with her Thomas Lynch series, set in Idyll, Connecticut. You should probably get the first one, Idyll Threats, which introduces Lynch and his angst-ridden world as a closeted gay police officer.

If you want to put a little romance into his life, try What Doesn’t Kill You, by Aimee Hix. Nominated for an Agatha and a Lefty Award, the book is tightly written. Kirkus Reviews says: “…tough girl noir with the heart of a cozy.”

That’s a good start on a list.

The man I mentioned at the beginning? He said he doesn’t read books by women, but because the book club had read my first book, A Killing at Cotton Hill, he had read it and intended to read the whole series! I recommend the latest, A Risky Undertaking for Loretta Singletary, which the father in my household says is the best.

So get your men started on reading books by women, even if he thinks the doesn’t like them.


Kathy Reel said...

Great choices, Terry. I'm glad he's continuing your series because 1) it's an amazing series, and 2) it might just convince him to try more women authors.

Terry said...

So strange when someone declares they only read books by a particular gender. I once was a reading where a woman heard that I wrote from a man's point of view and she said, "I only read women protagonists. Period." Okey dokey.