From Eileen Effrat
Author: Jean-Luc Bannalec
Title: Death in Brittany
This is the first in a planned series featuring Commissaire Dupin,a Parisian police officer now assigned to the picturesque sea-side resort of Port-Aven on the Brittany coast. This idyllic setting is soon shattered as the ninety-one year old legendary owner of the Central Hotel is found brutally murdered. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of suspects—family, friends and employees. Food, local history, geography, wine, and culture play an important role in the unfolding of the story. It is very evident that the author intimately knows and loves this region. This is not a straight forward whodunit. Instead there are several twists and red herrings to keep you guessing. As for me, I enjoyed the curmudgeon Commissaire Dupin as much as I enjoy Inspector Gamache from Louise Penny’s police procedural series.
From Eileen Effrat
Author: Arnaldur Indridason
Title: Reykjavik Nights
This is a prequel to Indridason’s Detective Erlendur mystery series, focusing on his early years as a rookie cop in Reykjavik. Always curious and determined to find answers, he spends his off hours digging into unsolved crimes. One of these involves the drowning of a homeless man he had befriended. As he digs deeper into the presumed drowning, he realizes it may be linked to the mysterious disappearance of a woman that very weekend. This is a police procedural evoking a 1970’s Iceland. If you like Nordic Noir and haven’t tried the Erlendur series, this is a good place to start.
From Margaret Mezzacapo
Author: Wednesday Martin, Ph.D.
Title: Primates of Park Avenue : a memoir
Would you be surprised to know that an anthropologist moved to a populated area, studied the natives, and found herself starting to blend in with them – and that this populated area is the Upper East Side of Manhattan? That’s exactly what happened to Wednesday Martin. She found herself in an area where you couldn’t swing a Birkin handbag without hitting a trophy wife – an unfriendly trophy wife, to boot. The “natives” were snooty, obsessed with their bodies and wardrobes and emotionally cruel to a newcomer. Author Martin unexpectedly finds her views becoming increasingly influenced by theirs, much to her astonishment. Yet, when Martin sustains a tragic loss, she finds the very same women rallying around her and providing a surprising – and welcome – amount of emotional support. Could it be that we are all really members of the same tribe – or will our social and financial differences always keep us apart? Decide for yourself when you read this interesting and often humorous true story.
From Eileen Effrat
Author: Karin Fossum
Title: Eva’s Eye
This is Norwegian Fossum’s first Inspector Konrad Sejer mystery published in 1995,but only now translated into English. When a dead man’s body is found floating in a river, Sejer is immediately drawn to an unsolved murder of a local prostitute at the same time the dead man went missing. Are the two cases related? Sejer does not believe in coincidences. As he begins to unravel the fragmented clues surrounding both murders, Eva Magnus,a struggling artist,soon becomes a person of special interest. This is Nordic noir at its best, a psychological study of how lies can quickly unravel.
From Andrea Kalinowski
Author: James Garbarino
Title: Listening to killers : lessons learned from my twenty years as a psychological expert witness in murder cases
Listening to killers: lessons learned from my 20 years as a psychological expert witness in murder cases by James Garbarino was vastly different from what I had anticipated when I placed the book on reserve. I was expecting a book with numerous case studies as well as a description of the author’s involvement as an expert witness. The book primarily focused on the trauma that the killers profiled suffered at the hands of their family and their community. James Garbarino examines the “war zone” mentality that some of the killers suffer under as a result of the community they live in, a community where violence and gang associations are generally a way of life. James Garbarino, in addition, discusses the fact that teenagers are quite often tried as adults and what disastrous results this decision has on the defendants. The author quite often succeeds in opening jurors’ eyes to what the defendant suffered as a young man, and I use young man because the majority of prison inmates are men. Through his advocacy, many defendants are given sentences of life instead of death. The author argues eloquently for a review of the sentencing procedures. He also urges prisons to offer counseling services and educational services so that young offenders might be successfully rehabilitated. This book was a little bit dry for the ordinary citizen but quite eye-opening for anyone interested in the Criminal Justice system.
Name: Eileen Effrat
Author: Martin Cruz Smith
Title: Tatiana : an Arkady Renko novel
What he/she said about the book: Arakady Renko, Senior Investigator for Very Important Cases in Moscow, is still on the job after 30 years. Politically and socially,things have not changed much. Putin’s “New Russia” is just as corrupt as Renko’s first police investigation at Gorky Park in 1981. This is the 8th novel in the series and Renko is just as cynical and persistent as always. A Russian investigative reporter reputedly jumps from a window,a crime boss is gunned down,and a Swiss translator on business in Kaliningrad is murdered; all three within days. The key to these seemingly unrelated events is a notebook left behind by the translator. As the action shifts between Moscow and Kaliningrad,Smith vividly portrays daily life in Russia. This latest book in the series does not disappoint.
From Nicole Simon
Title: Blue Screen
Author: Robert B Parker
Buddy Bollen is a C-list movie mogul. When Buddy hires Sunny Randall to protect his rising star and girlfriend, Erin Flint, Sunny knows her job won’t be easy, especially when the star’s sister is killed.