What we've been reading lately

Welcome to the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association redesigned Killer Books page. Below, you will find selections from members' blogs and webpages that post mystery reviews. If you've read the book discussed, or would like to, we welcome your comments.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

reviews from Seattle Mystery Bookshop

The Ionia SanctionThe Ionia Sanction (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780312599010
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books, 11/2011

Nico's life has taken a decided downturn. Not only has his girlfriend, Diotima, left town, but Nico's sponsor, Pericles, is threatening to fire Nico.
In order to keep his job, Nico agrees to transport a beautiful slave girl to Persia while investigating the murder of an Athenian statesman. But outwitting the brigands sent to kill him and solving the mystery of the murder may very well pale when Nico runs into Diotima with his slave girl in tow!
Gary Corby's series has been likened to Lindsay Davis' "Marcus Didius Falco" series, but that comparison only goes so far, in my opinion. Corby's characters are just as compelling, his research into the time is excellent, and his storytelling is wonderful. But Gary Corby proves in this sequel to The Pericles Commission (Minotaur, $14.99, October) that he is his own author, and that he's not afraid to write about customs as they really were, without prettying things up. There are a few scenes that had me glancing away from the page, but I had to go immediately back because his writing is so absorbing, and I really do care about what happens to the folks who inhabit Corby's books.

ISBN-13: 9780385344012
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press, 11/2011
Christmas in the de Luce household has never been as action-packed as it is in the next Alan Bradley novel, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (November). Finances are tight at Buckshaw Manor, and Flavia's father reluctantly allows a cine' crew access to the stately old house for their filming. The whole village is excited by the idea that legendary film star, Phyllis Wyvern,will be in attendance, and Flavia's older sister, Ophelia, is hoping for a part.

Miss Wyvern, however, is not as nice as everyone believed, and when she's found dead with a length of her film wrapped around her throat, Flavia kicks into high gear. Add in a blizzard and Flavia's determination to capture Father Christmas (she has the perfect chemical paste!), and you know that, once again, the de Luce family will capture your heart. But will they capture the evil-doer?

You really can't go wrong with any of Flavia's adventures. Fast-paced, charming and frequently poignant, Alan Bradley has tapped into the heart and mind of a precocious 11 year old girl, and I Am Half-Sick of Shadows is absolutely no exception.

And, as an added bonus and if my Advance Reader Copy is to be believed, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows will make an excellent holiday present, with a special page presenting this book from Flavia and. . .perhaps you? to a soon-to-be-delighted recipient.

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