I love to read. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! What I look to read more than anything are mysteries. It all started many (many) year ago when I discovered Agatha Christie. I read every one of her books. My favorite character was Miss Jane Marple, whom I pictured as being like my grandmother. The woman who played Jane in the PBS series (Joan somebody who has since died) was my perfect Miss Marple. I even had an Agatha Christie companion which outlined all her plots and had any information you would ever want about Dame Agatha.
In recent years, I discovered Tony Hillerman (R.I.P.) who entertained me with the mysteries solved by Joe Longhorn and Jim Chee. I have friends who live near the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico (they are Pueblo people and not all that fond of the Navajo) but I know the landscape and Hillerman could paint beautiful word pictures of the environment of the Southwest. I live in south central Texas on the edge of the Sothwest so I understand what he is talking about when he write about the sunsets, which are really difficult to adequately describe.
P.D. James has written wonderful mysteries, especially the one featuring Detective Adam Dalgeish. She has a number of books where he is the main character and her books are very sophisticated and difficult to figure out, which I like. She always surprises me in the end and I like that. There isn;t usually a lot of action but the endings are worth it.
I like the new series that has come out about a precocious 11 or 12-year old girl, Flavia de Luce, in post World War II Britain. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is the first book in the proposed series (there is a second book) and you ought to check it out if you like mysteries.
Another favorite (I tend to like series) are the Claire Ferguson series, about an Episcopalian priest in a little town in upstate New York State near to where I used to live, who gets involved in mysteries and with the sheriff of the small town who happens to be married. Julia Spencer-Fleming is the author and her latest book (which I have been waiting for FOREVER) is One Was a Soldier, so titled because in addition to being an Episcopalian priest, Claire Ferguson is also a helicopter pilot in the National Guard.
My other favorite series, after Ellis Peters died and Elizabeth Peters’s characters had grow older, is the Sister Fidelma mysteries by Peter Tremayne. Sister Fidelma is an Irish nun in the 7th century and with her companion Brother Eadulf, a Saxon monk, solve mysteries all over Ireland, England, and even Rome. They are always traveling somewhere. Oh, and did I mention that she is a princess, the sister of the king of Muman (Munster in modern Irish). Sister Fidelma is forever quoting her mentor (she is a high-ranking lawyer, too) and Latin and Greek poets. The books give you a pretty good idea of the conflict between the Irish Church and the Roman Church that nearly caused a schism and life in medieval Ireland.
There aren’t any mysteries in my own life and I’d be far to afraid to investigate them any, so I investigate mysteries vicariously through these authors and their wonderful stories.
This post is part of a month-long series, A-Z, that I am participating in for the month of April.