Another three months have past so it is time to participate in Kerrie’s (from Paradise Mysteries blog) New to Me Authors meme. In comparison to the last time I did this post I read fewer books from authors new to me, reading only 5.
The first was E. M. Channon’s The Chimney Murder (1929), which I loved for its unexpected humour, especially within gender roles and relationship dynamics. This is definitely a novel for readers who enjoy character driven stories, as Channon focuses a lot on how the suspects are coping with the unfolding investigation, once the dismembered body is discovered.
My next author new to me was Camilla Lackberg and I read her collective work: The Scent of Almonds and Other Stories (2015). Her variation on the And Then There None (1939) theme in the novella The Scent of Almonds was particularly intriguing. Lackberg is also adept at ending her other short stories with satisfying twists and it is interesting how she overturns reader assumptions. She is also good at infusing her tales with moral ambiguity, which makes them thought provoking reads as well. Although dark in theme at points, Lackberg’s work is not depressing or oppressively bleak, something which has turned me off some other Scandinavian crime stories. This collection also impressed me for the way they were not male dominated stories and naturally showed women in various careers, on both sides of the law.
The Mulgray Twins were my next new author to me. Writing duos always interest me, as did the premise for their book, No Suspicious Circumstances (2007), involving an undercover operative and her cat in a Scottish hotel, on the trail of a drug ring. I think my main issue with this book was pacing, as it felt quite slow due to too much unnecessary information at times and that the plot mostly focused on proving someone is guilty, as opposed to just finding out who is guilty. But it did have a number of good elements and the role of the cat is not overdone.
My next new author was Margaret Scherf, reading her book Glass on the Stairs (1954), which was a very interesting read for the comments it makes on female body image and how it depicts women. However, out of all my new authors to me this quarter, this was the most disappointing one, despite the initial crime being engaging. Unfortunately the central amateur sleuths, a married couple, let the book down and the choice of killer also was not a satisfying one. I wouldn’t say I have given up on this author, but I think it would take a lot of convincing for me to try another of their novels.
My final author new to me was Eilís Dillon, an Irish writer who wrote a trilogy of detective novels. In June I read Death in the Quadrangle (1956), an academic set mystery featuring Professor Daly, an entertaining and interesting amateur sleuth. She writes with gentle, yet effective humour and is good at recreating a closed social milieu well, so well in fact that her academic friends wondered if she was writing about them! Definitely an author worth giving a go.
Over To You
What has your favourite new author been these last three months?