Monday, August 2, 2010

Mystery Series I’ve Discovered Recently Part One

I’ve been in a reading frenzy this year. I log everything I read on and so far this year, I’ve read more books than I did all of last year.

I’ve discovered a lot of new (to me, anyway) mystery series this year. The Yorba Linda Library, where I go at least once a week, has a carousel by the stairs to the children’s room (I go up there sometimes, too. You never know what great finds there are in the young adult section!) that features paperback mysteries. There are so many interesting series I like to call “American Cozies”, which feature amateur (mostly) female sleuths who stumble onto murders. Here are some of my recent finds in a nutshell (to be continued tomorrow):

The Double Feature Series~Jeffrey Cohen

Elliot Freed, after a short, unhappy career in Hollywood (his only novel was ruined by moviemakers), comes back to New Jersey and with several interesting windfalls, buys an ancient movie theatre that he names Comedy Tonight. Showing one vintage and one current comedy movie a night, Elliot is slowly building an audience. But maybe it should be a murder mystery house, instead, because Elliot keeps stumbling over dead bodies, as any competent amateur detective will. Naturally, these books are filled with a great supporting cast: Elliot’s mother and father, his ex-wife, Sharon, the doctor who left him for another doctor, Sophie and Anthony, his theatre employees, Chief Dutton, the local cop with the patience of a saint and Leo, his only “regular” at the theatre every night, among many others. If you love old comedies, you’ll love all the references to the Marx Brothers, Martin and Lewis, etc. etc. But you don’t have to be a comedy aficionado to appreciate the humor in these books as Elliot bumbles through his life and the mysteries he unravels.

Some Like It Hot Buttered

It Happened One Knife

A Night at the Operation

The Tattoo Shop Mysteries~Karen E. Olson

Brett Kavanaugh runs The Painted Lady, a fictional tattoo shop in the real Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. A New Jersey transplant, she shares a house with her brother, Tim, a police detective. She’s an artist who enjoys creating artwork for her clients~she never uses “flash” (ready made tattoo stencils). Since I’ve been to Vegas so many times, it was fun reading about a place I can see in my mind’s eye. Brett is a stand up girl, who wants to find the truth and help the good guys. Her staff: Bitsy, a little person, who keeps the shop running no matter how crazy things get, Joel, a Weight Watcher wannabe and Ace, an oxygen bar addict. Jeff Coleman is her nemesis (maybe), who, along with his tattoo’d mama, manages to help her our of jams. It’s a fun, non-stop series and I’m anxious for the third installment later this year.

The Missing Ink

Pretty in Ink

Driven to Ink (Sept ‘10)

Do What You Love!

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