Edmonds Book Talk: Mysteries for summer

By Elaine Mattson

I just stumbled on this fantastic TV show [sure, waiting for the Olympics, but still…] on PBS [of course!] called Well Read. I’m sure most of you readers already know all about it, but, I am new to the wonder and the beauty. The host interviews authors, and, somehow, convinced Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times Book Editor, to appear and give a list of great books to read…

This week, she had a list of mysteries that, as well as being really well-written, also have a great sense of place… which of course, gave me great ideas for my own [short] list:

Tana French and her books featuring the Dublin Murder Squad. Present day, small-town Ireland. The first was “In the Woods,” the newest, just out in July, is “Broken Harbor.”

J.A. Jance has a couple of series that fit in this list; her J. P. Beaumont series is set in Seattle, the back alleys and side streets that only a native would know! And her Joanna Brady series is set in small town Arizona. Book 14 in the Joanna Brady series, “Judgment Call” was just published July 24, 2012.

Dana Stabenow’s series, with our hero, Aleut investigator, Kate Shugak [and her part-wolf dog, Mutt!], set in contemporary Alaska, in a native preserve, “The Park,” has great characters and an amazing sense of being cut off by weather for 8 months of the year! Newest title is “Restless in the Grave.” Coming in paperback in September.

See here for more from Well Read [and links to Mary Ann Gwinn’s lists, and all kinds of author interviews.

August Events at the Edmonds Bookshop.
Our Book Club book for Aug. 2 and 15: “Nightwoods” by Charles Frazier

The acclaimed author of “Cold Mountain” returns with a dazzling novel set in small-town North Carolina in the early 1960s. With his brilliant portrait of Luce, a young woman who inherits her murdered sister’s troubled twins, Frazier has created his most memorable heroine. Before the children, Luce was content with the reimbursements of the rich Appalachian landscape, choosing to live apart from the small community around her. But the coming of the children changes everything, cracking open her solitary life in difficult, hopeful, dangerous ways. In a lean, tight narrative, “Nightwoods” resonates with the timelessness of a great work of art.

Third Thursday Art Walk. August 16, 2012. 5 – 8 pm. Join us for the last Art Walk of the summer! We are thrilled to welcome the amazing artists of Watermark Bindery, Diane Thierry and Viktor Grabner from Nordland, Marrowstone Island, near Port Townsend, Washington. You have seen the beautiful blank books, journals, and address books that we have featured just inside our front door. These artists will be demonstrating bookbinding techniques and materials.

Aug. 4. Saturday at noon. Bill Neville, a well-known local volleyball coach, and now, an author! Brings us his new action-adventure novel “The Vision.”

Aug. 25. Saturday. Ivan Doig will be here to visit and sign his brand new novel, “The Bartender’s Tale.”  Mr. Doig’s novel, available August 21, is the story of a father and son left on their own in a shifting world–a tale in itself as old as kinship, but ever new in the way “the bachelor saloonkeeper with a streak of frost in his black pompadour and the inquisitive 11 year-old boy who had been an accident between the sheets” go about life in the small Montana town of Gros Ventre in 1960.” See more about the new book, and about Ivan, at his website

Recent book releases of note:

“The Fallen Angel: A Gabriel Allon Novel” by Daniel Silva. Allon has returned to his beloved Rome to restore a Caravaggio masterpiece for the Vatican. And then a body turns up.

“Judgment Call: A Brady Novel of Suspense” by J. A. Jance. Joanna Brady tries to balance her roles as mother and sheriff after her teenage daughter discovers the body of the high-school principal, and gruesome images of the murder scene go viral.

“Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street” by Neil Barofsky. In 2008, during the height of the financial crisis, Barofsky gave up his job as a prosecutor for the position of special inspector general in charge of overseeing the spending of bailout money. From day one, his efforts to protect against fraud were met with hostility from Treasury officials. Here, he gives a detailed account of just how far-reaching, and how much, the corruption spread.

“The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code” by Sam Kean. From bestselling author of “The Disappearing Spoon.”

“Broken Harbor: A Novel” by Tana French. A new novel with her signature blend of police procedural and psychological thriller.

“The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce.

“Pyg: The Memoirs of Toby, the Learned Pig” by Russell Potter. In this charming debut novel, Potter imagines—fully and movingly—the story of the “learned pig,” based on an actual 18th-century novelty act that toured the U.K. This book purports to be his memoir…

“Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies” by Ben Macintyre. A new one from a staff favorite, author of “Agent Zigzag”.

“Odd Apocalypse: An Odd Thomas Novel” by Dean Koontz.

And coming later in August:

For teen readers. “Nevermore: The Final Maximum Ride Adventure” by James Patterson. Aug. 6

For young readers. “The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee: An Origami Yoda Book” by Tom Angleberger. Aug. 7

For teen readers.  “The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries” by Rick Riordan. With his trademark wit and creativity, Rick Riordan presents three never-before-seen short stories that provide vital back-story to the Heroes of Olympus and Percy Jackson books. Original art, enlightening character interviews and illustrated profiles, puzzles, and a quiz add to the fun in this action-packed collection that is sure to delight legions of loyal fans. Aug. 14

For teen readers.  “The Kill Order: Maze Runner #4” by James Dashner. Aug. 14

For teen readers. “Michael Vey 2: Rise of the Elgen” by Richard Paul Evans. Aug. 14

“The Bartender’s Tale” by Ivan Doig. AND! He will be at the Bookshop to sign this brand new novel Saturday, Aug. 25, see above, or visit our website. Aug. 21

Ages 14 and up. “The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies)” by Pittacus Lore. Aug. 21

For little kids. “Olivia and the Fairy Princesses” by Ian Falconer. Aug. 28

As always, check our website for all the latest in book news! [www.edmondsbookshop.com/booknews.htm]

Happy reading!

Edmonds native Elaine Mattson has worked at The Edmonds Bookshop off and on since she was 12 years old, and has also worked at a book wholesaler, a book publisher, and for the book publishing division of a large local software company (yes, that one). “I was raised a book lover [thanks, Mom!],” Mattson says. “We got book lights by our beds as soon as we were old enough to read. And then I probably got in trouble for reading too late the very next night. And I still read too late!”


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