Fabulous Fiction Firsts #127

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo* is the hot Swedish thriller (with 5.5 million copies sold across Europe) that features "one of the most original heroines to come along in years" - a young, prickly tattooed computer hacker, who teams up with an embattled and discredited journalist facing a jail term, to investigate the disappearance of an heiress 40 years ago. Talk about a cold case!!!

Debut novelist Steig Larsson who died of a heart attack in 2004, was an investigative journalist. Girl, (originally published as Män som hatar kvinnor = Men Who Hate Women) is the first of a 3-part series. Highly recommended. Readers might also like to check out another FFF Nordic mystery Redbreast by Jo Nesbo.

* = Starred Reviews

Stalking Susan

Julie Kramer has written a debut novel that is filled with wit, suspense and well developed characters.

Stalking Susan is about a television reporter named Riley Spartz who is recovering from the death of her husband when a longtime friend (and former policeman) drops a file in her lap while at a movie theater. The file contains two cold cases involving women named Susan. These women are being murdered on the same day, one year apart.

While investigating the Susan murders, Riley discovers the killer has moved personal effects from one victim to the next victim. As part of her well-thought out plan to draw the murder out, she stages an on-air act that could threaten her life and career.

The killer’s motives will surprise you!

What are you reading?

Watcha reading: Robin Agnew discovers 'The crazy School,' by Cornelia Read: Robin Agnew, with "The Crazy School, by Cornelia Read.Watcha reading: Robin Agnew discovers 'The crazy School,' by Cornelia Read: Robin Agnew, with "The Crazy School, by Cornelia Read.

If you're searching for a good mystery, Robin Agnew would like to make a couple of suggestions.

Robin is the vice president of the Kerrytown BookFest (which takes place this Sunday, Sept. 7). What's more, she and her husband Jamie own Aunt Agatha's, the peculiar book shop at 213 South Fourth Ave. that specializes in mystery and detective books.

They founded the store in 1992, after Jamie, also a bookworm, spent some time working for Borders, another book store that originated in Ann Arbor. The choice to sell mystery and detective fiction was natural, Robin said. She worked her way through Nancy Drew in elementary school, and in middle school she read every one of Agatha Christie's mystery novels. She's remained a mystery reader ever since.

Robin is usually on the lookout for new authors to share with other book lovers, and this year she's telling people about Cornelia Read, after being impressed with her first novel, A Field of Darkness. She emailed us last week that the book was "terrific," and the writing "beautiful."

Now, here's what she has to say about Cornelia Read's latest novel, The Crazy School:

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #123

This chilling and mesmerizing procedural/cozy debut from the creator of the UK cult award-winning television mystery series Silent Witness introduces Deputy Chief Inspector Mark Lapslie, who suffers from a rare neurological condition.

In Still Waters*, it appears that a clever and ruthless serial killer with keen knowledge of garden plants is targeting little old ladies. Money does not seem to be the motive. They were all poisoned, and what about those missing fingers on their right hands?

Nigel McCrery worked as a police officer before attending Cambridge University. Still Waters is the first in a projected series.

For fans of psychological thrillers of Minette Walters and Val McDermid, and the Inspector Morse and Miss Marple television series. AND a great readalike for The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

* = Starred Review

The Little Friend

Donna Tartt's second novel is brimming with keen descriptions of human behavior, multiple struggles for revenge, and the ripple effect of addiction. The Little Friend is a study of how the past blends into the present, and how unresolved prior events echo into the future. Tartt pulled from her experience growing up in Mississippi to make the south come to life in this novel.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #122

Set in St. Louis, MO., Assistant District Attorney Jack Hilliard appears to have it all: intelligence, good looks, a great job, and a solid marriage with his wife, Claire. While he subscribes to the ideal of TELL NO LIES*, when he finds himself simultaneously seduced by a dream job and a sexy colleague, his moral compass starts to falter and he soon learns that bad decisions have even worse consequences. . .

"Compton's debut is a taut, tense cautionary tale complete with courtroom drama and a surprise ending" ~Kirkus Reviews. For fans of legal thrillers and the likes of the 2 Johns - ( Grisham and Hart ).

St. Louis native Julie Compton earned degrees in law and English literature. She worked as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice in Wilmington, Delaware. This is her first novel.

* = Starred Reviews.

Spoiler Alert!!! - If you don't like a cliffhanger of an ending - skip this one.

Hurry For Late Summer Mystery Reading Nirvana!

soviet flagsoviet flag

Want to fall in love with a character, stay up late reading his exploits, all the while knowing in the back of your mind that the AADL has several books in the series?

Then the one-legged Moscow cop Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov is the guy for you.

Stuart Kaminsky created this character who delights as he solves murders and other crimes all the while successfully mastering the post-Soviet politics of his department. He knows his office is bugged by his superior, and his superior knows he knows; this allows for a very interesting level of communication between the two.

Try Death of A Dissident, Death of a Russian Priest, Hard Currency and The Dog Who Bit a Policeman.

Then after some kvass, blini and caviar work your way through Fall of a Cosmonaut, Murder on the Transiberian Express and the newest: People Who Walk in Darkness.

Pust' sbudutsya vse tvoi/vashi mechty!

August 13th - Happy Birthday Alfred Hitchcock!

alfred hitchcockalfred hitchcock

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born on August 13, 1899, in Leytonstone, London, England. One of the best-known and most popular filmmakers of all time, he pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. Here at the AADL our DVD department is stocked with lots of classic Hitchcock films and television shows for your viewing pleasure. Watching Psycho, probably his best known film, will always make your next experience in the shower one to remember. My personal favorite has always been The Birds (love that schoolyard scene!), but we also have lots of other faves like Dial M for Murder, North by Northwest, Rear Window, Rebecca, which won an Oscar for Best Picture in 1940, Spellbound and Vertigo. Fans of Hitchcock's old television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents will find season one and two on our library shelves and, for anyone not familiar with Alfred Hitchcock, check out the Dick Cavett Show where he was featured as a guest way back in 1972. Hitchcock died from renal failure in April 1980, just four months after he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in the New Year's Honours.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #119

In Finding Nouf*, young, privileged Nouf disappears just before her wedding. Her wealthy Saudi family first hires desert tracker Nayir al-Sharqi to find her and then to investigate her death discreetly.

Nayir, a conservative Palestinian Muslim finds it difficult to traverse the world of women, especially with Katya Hijazi - an intelligent, insightful female medical examiner, and his unexpected ally in the investigations.

Debut novelist Zoë Ferraris, who has lived in Saudi Arabia, "gets deep inside Nadir’s and Katya’s very different perspectives, giving a fascinating glimpse into the workings and assumptions of Saudi society." As a mystery, it's fairly well-turned, "but it's the characters and setting that sparkle". An utterly gripping read.

* = Starred Reviews


In an effort to reunite her family after the death of her husband, Katherine Dunne plans an elaborate sailing vacation with her three children. No one is looking forward to the vacation, including Katherine. To make matters worse, her teenage daughter is depressed and suicidal, her middle son is a drug addict with unused potential, and the youngest son rarely talks. Unfortunately, as soon as the vacation begins, it turns into the family’s worst nightmare.

Meanwhile back in Manhattan, Katherine's second husband, Peter, a well-known, ruthless lawyer, stays behind to prepare for a case. Little does Katherine know, her loving husband is anything but loving…

Sail is true to James Pattersons's writing: short chapters; great plot twists; and plenty of supporting characters.

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