How do you learn about new releases in the mystery field? One of my resources is an online newsletter from CriminalElement.com. During the summer, it contained a summary about a new novel by Lee Robinson titled Lawyer for the Dog. I was so intrigued by the description that I bought the book, then, I couldn’t stop reading until I completed it. After learning that Ms. Robinson previously had been a prosecutor in Charleston, South Carolina, I contacted her and asked if she would do an interview, which became a blog post.
Last week, CriminalElement.com brought me another suggestion for a fascinating read. Most people are familiar with actor David McCallum, who became well-known for his portrayal of the Russian spy Illya Kuryakin in the 1960s series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Now, he can be seen each week on NCIS as medical examiner Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard. In addition, this month, at age 82, his first novel, Once a Crooked Man, is being released and excerpts of the initial chapters are in CriminalElement.com.
The story, told in a voice that sounds remarkably like McCallum personally telling the tale, is about a young actor who happens to overhear a group of mobsters planning to kill their financial associate so they can go out of business without leaving any witnesses. When the actor decides he has to intervene, the fun of this crime caper starts. I haven’t purchased the book yet, but I’m captivated by what I’ve read in the excerpts and intend to get it. Why don’t you check it out, too, at this link?
Another great read I discovered last year was Gigi Pandian’s The Accidental Alchemist, which takes place in Portland, Oregon, and features Dorian, a French gourmet gargoyle. Pandian originally wrote Dorian’s story the year she was diagnosed with cancer. The book reflects the dietary changes she made in her life and includes delicious sounding vegan recipes. Due to her fascination with gargoyles, Gigi created the Gargoyle Girl blog, with images and background information. Dorian certainly provides magical reading!
This week, The Accidental Alchemist was among the nominees for a Lefty, to be given at Left Coast Crime in Phoenix, Arizona, this year. In addition, the sequel, The Masquerading Magician has recently been released. Again, Pandian draws you into this strangely compelling world of alchemists, magicians, and gargoyles in a story that is very difficult to put down. I’m delighted to have received the new book for the holiday weekend.
What are you reading in this new year?