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Thursday, August 02, 2007

You've finished Harry Potter? Here's a few mysteries to read.

While most everyone I know is busy reading Harry Potter, I've been busy compiling a list of my favorite beach reads to share. The problem was- it was way too long! So I decided to go with a mystery theme, since my local library is doing a mystery-themed summer reading program this year, and I've been reading more mysteries than usual. Mysteries aren't always the best beach reads, since it's harder to pick them up and put them down, but I have to recommend something engrossing to read after you all finish Harry Potter, right?


An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, By P.D. James
Blame Jeanne for this one. Her copy has traveled quite aways with her, and while it never made it to a beach with either one of us, it is an excellent read. Despite being set in the 1970s, it's got a timeless old-world feel to it, and Cordelia Gray is a clever detective you want to see succeed.

The Thin Man, by Dashiell Hammet
This is a classic! It's lighter in tone than his other mysteries, and Nick and Nora have one of my favorite literary relationships to date (and I'm not the only one who loves them.)

Size Twelve is Not Fat, by Meg Cabot
Anyone who knows me knows I love Meg Cabot, so obviously this was bound to end up on here. Cabot is clever at including pop references, and she writes a great love story. While the underlying mystery isn't the most difficult to solve, it's a nice change of pace for me to be actually able to guess who the culprit is and have a good chance of being right.

Bad Kitty, by Michele Jaffe
Okay. So this is a Young Adult Book. Whatever. You're on vacation. Everyone knows that's the best time to be reading silly books. Bad Kitty is a delightful piece of fluff, with cute boys, excellent setting(Vegas! Who doesn't love Vegas!), and several mysteries in one (like why the cute boy does not make out with Jas sooner. COME ON.)

Sally Lockhart Mysteries by Phillip Pullman
Pullman's been getting a bit of a reassurance lately with the buzz behind the His Dark Materials trilogy and the movie getting made for that. Having read most of Pullman's books while I was actually in the Young Adult target range, I kind of find it hilarious that all these adults are reading his books now. But why not? They are quite good. The Lockhart series is quite obviously aimed at younger readers, but it also presents an engaging web to entice the readers in. Sally as a heroine is quite clever, and Pullman uses the Victorian setting to it's fullest advantage.

And the nice thing about mysteries is that they often have sequels. I'm working my way through the second Cordelia Gray mystery as I type, and am anxiously awaiting the conclusion to Meg Cabot's Heather Wells Mysteries, Big Boned, due out in November. More to read!

Images from powells.com.


Karen said...

Oh maaaan Ruby in the Smoke! Have you seen the BBC miniseries yet, with Billie Piper as Sally? It is totally cute, and as hard as it is for me to see Billie sans the Doctor, quite satisfying.

Kati said...

I have not, or else I would've mentioned it in the post. But I do have it sitting on my coffee table to watch!

(I can't quite bring myself to watch the third series yet. I am so SAD.)

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