The Painter
Peter Heller
July 21, 2014

Credit Peter Heller for making this story about a painter struggling with anger, guilt and the law so beautiful and thrilling. The book is spare and introspective, and the author never makes a wrong turn, even when the characters do. 

File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents
Lemony Snicket
July 17, 2014

Readers are invited to help young Lemony Snicket, private investigator, solve 13 bite-size mysteries, the resolutions of which are in the back of the book. Think Encyclopedia Brown but quirkier and with a modern twist. 

Cop Town
Karin Slaughter
July 13, 2014

This is a stand alone for Slaughter so if you haven't read her before, a good one to start with. It's 1974 in Atlanta and there is a serial killer targeting cops.  Kate Murphy and Maggie Lawson have just joined the force and women cops are a rare breed.  So in addition to the pressure of finding the killer, these two women have to battle harassment in the macho world of the Atlanta PD.

Anna and the French Kiss
Stephanie Perkins
July 3, 2014

If you are looking for a fun summer read, try this book by Stephanie Perkins.  Set in Paris, we follow the life of Anna who has been sent to a boarding school for her senior year abroad. Who wouldn't love this? Not Anna, who has been looking forward to finishing school in Atlanta with all of her friends.  A nice coming of age tale filled with the sights and sounds of Paris.

The Chemistry of Death
Simon Beckett
June 24, 2014

As you may know from reading past blog posts, I am an avid mystery reader.  I am always thrilled when I find a new author to devour.  A colleague suggested Simon Beckett's books and I'm hooked.  Too bad there are only four in the series but I'm enjoying them nonetheless.  This is the first book in the series where we meet David Hunter who has escaped from London to rural Norfolk to get away from the tragedy that almost did him in.  When a corpse is found in the woods, he can no longer hide from his past and is dragged into solving a grisly crime spree.

Cheap Shot
Ace Atkins
June 17, 2014

I have been a fan of Robert Parker's Spenser novels for a long time.  Parker passed away a few years ago but Ace Atkins has taken up the helm and continues to write Spenser novels. Normally I shy away from novels written in the style of someone but these are pretty good.  If you haven't tried a Spenser novel, definitely start with the original Parker books. But if you are a Spenser fan and haven't yet read the ones written by Atkins, give them a try.