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Mysteries

Originally published in the Ketchikan Daily News, September 2010; written by Tammy Dinsmore


This summer I have been enjoying books by some of my favorite mystery authors, a couple being continuations of series that have been around for a while and a couple others that are new.


If you are a fan of the Steig Larsson books “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Girl Who Played with Fire” then you probably know all about the newest and final chapter in the trilogy “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”.


Lisbeth Salander, computer hacker extraordinaire, is in the hospital recovering from gunshot wounds. She is also facing criminal charges for 3 murders. Sweden’s Secret Police want to put her away and they’re not above breaking the law to do it. Lisbeth doesn’t like it, but she has to trust someone, and so she puts her life in the hands of the journalist Mikael Blomkvist of Millennium Magazine, whom she has had previous working and personal relationships with. It’s really hard to tell you about a mystery without giving away too much of the plot, but suffice it to say there are lots of plot twists and political intrigue along the way, and in my opinion, a satisfying end to the story. If you like books with tons of details, this one has it. Start with the first one in the set and read them in order.


A fun mystery read this summer is “Sizzling Sixteen” by Janet Evanovich. This is the latest in the Stephanie Plum series. Set in Trenton, New Jersey, Stephanie is a Bail Bonds Enforcement Agent (AKA bounty hunter). She works for her cousin Vinnie hunting down folks who have missed their court dates. She gets a 10 percent finders fee for bringing in the “skips”. This time it’s Vinnie who has gotten into some trouble. Someone has kidnapped him and is demanding money for his return. Stephanie goes in search of Vinnie, along with Lula, a former “ho”, who now does filing in the bonds office and sidelines as partner to Stephanie. Mayhem ensues, cars get wrecked, (which is always the case) and the whole cast of characters are there, gun-toting Grandma Mazur, the cop Joe Morelli, who Stephanie has an on again, off again relationship, and Ranger, well, what can I say about Ranger. I really like these books. They are laugh-out-loud fun reads. There is a continuing plot line that runs through them all, so it’s best if you read them in order. No harm done if you don’t though.


A new series to me is the Amish mysteries by Linda Castillo. Ms. Castillo is better known for her romance and romantic suspense novels so you may have read those. The newest in this series is “Pray for Silence”. The story starts out with the murder of the Amish Plank family, seven members in all, in Painters Mill, Ohio. Kate Burkholder is the Police Chief of Painters Mill, and several years earlier left the Amish community. Two of the female members of the family have been tortured and soon Kate has turned all of her attention to 15 year old Mary Plank. She discovers a diary in Mary’s room and reads that Mary has been seeing a man outside the Amish faith. She calls in the help of John Tomasetti, an agent from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Identification, who she met on a previous case and had a brief relationship with. They work together and with the aid of Chief Burkholder’s staff resolve the case. The crime scene depictions are pretty graphic, so be forewarned.


There are a lot of new mysteries here at the library. Come check them out!


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