From the Stacks
By Carol Ann Robb, PPL Reference Librarian 

I love a good mystery. It can be a nice little cozy or historical or thriller or legal or rather bloody in nature—if there’s a good plot and I can’t quite figure out whodunit, then I know it’s a good read.

It seems like there are many mystery series out there, which is just fine with me. If the author has delivered one good book, then I’m happy to follow them (although some—I’m not naming number titles here—grow quite tiresome if the writer doesn’t come up with a fresh angle). Give me a new Andy Carpenter title as often as possible and I’m a happy reader. As I’ve said earlier, I look forward to Books #2, #3, and #4 in Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series now that I’ve discovered it.

In the past week, I got caught up on two series that I always enjoy. Linda Castillo’s “Evil Heart” is the fifteenth book in her Kate Burkholder series. Burkholder is the first female police chief in her hometown of Painter Mills, Ohio, as well as a former member of the local Amish community. This is not a sweet, little Amish story—there are some grisly murders in that picturesque town, but that doesn’t put me off the books.

From there I jumped to the Sparks and Bainsbridge series by Allison Montclair, which features two women who open a marriage bureau in post WW II London. I enjoy the setting, both Iris and Gwendolyn are interesting characters, and the plots feel fresh. I’m currently in the middle of “Lady from Burma,” which is #5 in the series.

I suggest you start with the first books in each series, just so you’ll get the lay of the land. Relationships evolve as each series unfolds; if you pick up either of these books I’ve mentioned, I predict you’ll be somewhat confused. But think of it this way—you’ll have a slew of books to read in the upcoming weeks and not have to wait a year in between installments. I can think of worse predicaments.