Blog

Mary P.

Tattoo Girl by Brooke Stevens

Tattoo Girl by Brooke Stevens (2001)
A girl found alone in a mall, mute and covered with tattooed fish scales is adopted by Lucy, a former circus fat lady, who risks her life to protect the girl and tries to find out her real identity.
IPPL Staff

The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill

The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill (2004)
If you’re looking for something a little different in the mystery genre, try this! Interesting locale, great characters and an intriguing mystery make this a good book.

This novel takes place in 1976 in Laos. The royal family has been deposed, the professional classes have fled and the communists have taken over, and Dr. Siri Paiboun has just been appointed state coroner for the Laos People’s Democratic Republic. The 72-year-old Siri has got the coroner’s job because he’s the only doctor left in Laos. But when the wife of a Party leader is found dead and the bodies of tortured Vietnamese soldiers surface on a Laotian lake, all eyes turn to the new coroner and his small staff to figure things out. Siri looks to old friends, consults tribal shamans, and uses forensic deduction to figure out what’s going on.

Listen to an NPR interview with the author where he discusses the unique setting for the novel and how that affected his main character.
IPPL Staff

The Serpent’s Daughter by Suzanne Arruda

The Serpent’s Daughter: A Jade del Cameron Mystery by Suzanne Arruda (2008)
This is the third entry in the Jade del Cameron mysteries. Jade grew up on a ranch in New Mexico and served as an ambulance driver during WWI. Her abilities to survive in extreme circumstances serve her well as her adventures take her to Colonial East Africa. In The Mark of the Lion, she searches for the murderer of her dead fiancé’s father and in Stalking Ivory, she tracks down elephant poachers. Her latest adventure takes her to Morocco where she is to meet her mother before heading off to Spain to buy a stallion for the family ranch. When Jade’s mother is kidnapped, Jade chases after Tangier to Marrakesh. These charming books are part mystery, part Saturday afternoon matinee adventure.

Check out the author's blog for information on Jade and the time period in which she lives.
IPPL Staff

The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke

The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke (2007)
James Lee Burke writes with a gritty style, using characters, settings, and issues from the underbelly of southern Louisiana. In his latest book, Burke starts with the premise that Hurricane Katrina damaged New Orleans more than the bomb that struck Hiroshima. Burke manipulates the plot to include events before, during, and after Katrina. His words ring true.

Dave Robicheaux is a compassionate cop who is sucked into the vortex of a Katrina style “blowdown.” Murders, drugs, in your face evil, graphic language, and down home characters – good and bad – confront readers with the historical, world class disaster we call Katrina. In this novel, Burke does a world class job.
Mary

Jar City by Arnaldur Indriasson

Jar City: A Reykjavik Thrill by Arnaldur Indriasson (2005)
Violent crimes such as murder are unusual in the insular world of Iceland. Indriasson won the Nordic Crime Novel Award for Jar City in which Detective Erlendur, his partner Sigurdur, and female colleague Elinborg reopen a cold case. The locale and psychological drama create a powerful story.
Jennifer

Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot (2006)
In the first book of her new mystery series, Cabot introduces us to former pop star Heather Wells. Her mom ran off with her manager and her money, and her dad’s in jail. Heather finds a job as an assistant dorm director at a New York college. Everything seems to be going well…until someone finds a dead body. Heather doesn’t think it was an accident, despite what the police say. She starts investigating, ignoring the advice of her landlord and crush (and her ex-boyfriend’s brother), P.I. Cooper Cartwright. Laugh out loud at this chick lit mystery as you follow the adventures -- and misadventures -- of Heather Wells.

If you want to read more Heather Wells escapades, check out the next books in the series: Size 14 is Not Fat Either (2006) and Big Boned (2007).
Mary

The Cat Who Saw Red by Lillian Jackson Braun

The Cat Who Saw Red by Lillian Jackson Braun (1986)
In the third book of the ever popular Cat Who series, Jim Qwilleran and his Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum, rent a room at Maus House, a boarding house for gourmands. Qwilleran has been reassigned as food editor for The Daily Flexion—and he just started a new diet! To his delight, Qwilleran discovers that a former girlfriend is also staying at Maus House. His delight quickly turns into dismay when she disappears unexpectedly. When the house boy goes missing, Jim and his feline companions know something’s amiss.
Jennifer

The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander

The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander (2003)
A man leaves his granddaughter a taped account of his time serving the Russian royal family during their imprisonment. How much of his recollection is the truth? Did any of the Romanovs survive? Find out in this riveting fictionalized account of the months leading to the execution of the Romanov family.
Mary

Don’t Look Back by Karin Fossum

Don’t Look Back by Karin Fossum (2003)
Translated into sixteen languages, Norwegian author Fossum’s Inspector Konrad Sejer series have finally hit the U.S. The murdered body of a teenage girl found at a mountain top lake tears apart the façade of this tranquil Norwegian village. Other translated novels include: He Who Fears the Wolf (2005), When the Devil Holds the Candle (2006), and The Indian Bride (2007).
IPPL Staff

Limitations by Scott Turow

Limitations by Scott Turow (2006)
For the uninitiated, once again Turow delves into the mystery of how the law works. George Mason is judge of the Court of Appeals in Kindle County. He is faced with three problems: his wife has cancer, he receives threatening e-mails, and finally, he must decide the outcome of a horrific case of sexual assault. Turow ingeniously resolves these issues, especially the case of sexual assault. A fascinating book.

Check out the author's website for biographical information, a reading group guide (pdf), and the author's backlist.
IPPL Staff

Tug of War by Barbara Cleverly

Tug of War by Barbara Cleverly (2007)
Joe Sandilands, a WWI vet working for Scotland Yard, is sent to France to see if a mute former soldier suffering from amnesia might actually be English. The soldier is claimed by several different families as their long lost son or husband, and Joe must wade through each story, some motivated by despair, some by greed, to find the identity of the damaged soldier.
IPPL Staff

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn (2007)
In 1886, Lady Julia Grey sees her husband collapse and die in the middle of a party at their London townhouse. Julia believes her husband died of natural causes, but, “not so” says Nicholas Brisbane, the mysterious and attractive private detective Julia’s husband had hired because he feared for his life. A charming, romantic book of suspense.
Jennifer

Dark Assassin by Anne Perry

Dark Assassin by Anne Perry (2006)
In Anne Perry’s fifteenth book featuring William Monk, the detective witnesses a couple engaged in a heated debate before they fall in the River Thames to their death. Was it murder? Suicide? Monk, with help from his wife Hester, is determined to find out, which leads to the discovery of a larger issue that could destroy all of London.
IPPL Staff

A Fine Dark Line by Joe R. Lansdale

A Fine Dark LineA Fine Dark Line by Joe R. Lansdale (2003)
In East Texas in the late fifties, 13-year-old Stanley Mitchel’s father owns a drive-in at the edge of town. Stanley finds the remains of a burnt out mansion and a cache of hidden love letters in the wooded area behind the theater. When he also finds out that two young girls died mysteriously the night of the fire twenty years before, Stanley investigates.
IPPL Staff

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

Her Royal SpynessHer Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen (2007)
In 1930, Lady Georgine is 34th in line for the English throne. Even though she is penniless, royalty just do not get jobs. Georgine starts a specialized maid service, opening and dusting the London townhouses of the landed gentry before they come up to town. However, Georgine’s only employee is herself. As a maid, invisible to people of the upper classes, Georgine finds herself in awkward positions, overhearing conversations and actually stumbling onto a dead body in this fun mystery.