Wednesday, July 29, 2009

In the Woods (copy)

Two different types of readers can tell librarians a thing-or-two about mystery and romance. These readers know their authors, titles, series, and the order in which the books are to be read. I never squabble with a mystery or romance reader. It equates to betting with my brother. He smiles; I lose.

As a librarian, it is hard to read mystery and romance without letting other genres suffer. Even within the two, one will need to choose sides. I am familiar with both but I prefer mysteries.

I began with romance, as so many young readers, in my tweens. My mother handed me Danielle Steel but after eight books I began to wonder, “Where’s the sex?” Next, the librarian suggested Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place and my romance reading languished.

To keep mystery readers happy, I like to keep a couple of Edgar winners in mind. The Edgar is a mystery award named after Edgar Allan Poe. It is decided by Mystery Writers of America and not the American Library Association. This year’s president is Lee Child.

Here’s a little trade secret for those looking for that next book. (Sorry, romancers, I got nothing for you.) Google Edgar winners or go to http://www.theedgars.com/ and find a wealth of titles from which to read. This is a proven method to keep 98% of mystery readers happy. I use it on my unsuspecting husband all the time. Through the website, I have introduced him to new authors and got him reading new series he would not have heard about otherwise.

This week’s book is one such winner in the Best First Novel by an American Author category for 2008. We travel to Ireland in Tana French’s In the Woods, which fits nicely in the subgenre of body-in-the-bog mystery.

All day the three children played in their Dublin estate neighborhood. They were seen by many neighbors traipsing over rocks, running around corners and hiding under bushes. It was after supper and none appeared to eat, that the parents began to worry. Their last known whereabouts were near the woods entry.

Later that night, one is found gripping a tree with his fingernails stuck in the bark and his shoes a flood with blood. Nancy Pearl says, “French’s plot twists and turns will bamboozle even the most astute reader.”

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