Jun 30, 2010
Libraries vs. bookstores: which do you use when, and why? We explore several of the many mysteries set in libraries, bookstores and other outposts of the book world, and we end by recommending Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross and Kraken by China Mieville.
Jason, from western New York, emailed us asking about buying books from bookstores and taking books out of the library. Ann and I share our "methodology" for library use, including Ann's daughters trying out new series. We'd love to hear what all of you think!
Talking about libraries got us thinking about books set in libraries or other book-ish sites. Thankfully, the Manchester CT public library did most of the work for us when they created Death Among the Books, a very comprehensive list with a title that we shamelessly stole! From the list, we mention Miss Zukas Shelves the Evidence by Jo Dereske and The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie. Ann talks about Lawrence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr series, featuring a bookstore owner who is also a cat burglar. I also have fond memories of bookstore owner character: Cliff Janeway, the protagonist in John Dunning's Bookman series which began with Booked to Die. Moving out of libraries and bookstores, Blind Submission by Debra Ginsberg is a mystery set in the office of a literary agent and features an anonymous manuscript being sent in chapter by chapter. The problem is that the story seems to mirror the life of Angel, our main character, and the latest chapter ends in murder.
Ann recommends Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross. It's difficult to describe, but features a murder investigation and homages to Hitchcock, M.C. Escher and The Fugitive. There's a can of peanuts in there too and they just might be the murder weapon. Equally hard to describe is my book: Kraken by China Mieville. A giant squid has gone missing from London's Natural History Museum, tank and all. It has been taken a sect of squid worshipers who believe it has the power to bring about the end of the world. I've only read the first chapter, but it grabbed me right away!