Hi all, I’m an irregular blogger at best, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have several books to recommend! I like a healthy dose of paranormal in my fiction, but I’m not averse to mysteries, women’s fiction, thrillers and science fiction, with a little chick lit and historical fiction thrown in for good measure. These are the five best older books that I discovered in 2011:
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Jim Butcher has actually called his series “Dirty Harry Potter” – but I think “Gritty Magic” would be more accurate. Harry Dresden is a wizard, and he advertises in the phone book, which means he gets all sorts of interesting clientele. His Chicago is hard-boiled, filled with low-lifes, shadowy characters and mafiosos who may or may not also be werewolves or have demons at their beck and call. In this book, someone is using black magic to murder people, and Harry has to figure out how to stop the killing before he becomes the target. A fast pace and good dark humor make this one hard to put down. Read my colleague Dan B.’s full review.
Broken Window by Jeffery Deaver
Lincoln Rhyme is hard-pressed to show any interest when his cousin Arthur is arrested for murder. After all, all the evidence points to him, and Arthur is not Lincoln’s favorite cousin. Bowing to pressure when Arthur’s wife begs for help, he reluctantly agrees – until her realizes the evidence is a little too perfect. The killer uses data mining – gathering those little details out there about all of us – where we shop, what we buy, what magazines we read, websites we visit – to perfectly frame his victims. Seemingly innocuous information turns into life-altering evidence in his brilliant but twisted mind. This thriller keeps you guessing and turning the pages until the very end.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
You’ll understand why I procrastinated reading Outlander when you see its size – it’s a BIG book. Luckily, Outlander was totally worth the time I gave to it. This book has everything: adventure, magic, romance, mystery, history, and great writing to boot! On a second honeymoon in Scotland, Claire’s world is ripped out from under her when she wakes up two hundred years in the past. Not only does she have to figure out where – and when – she is, she has keep herself alive and unharmed long enough to figure out how to get back. The challenges she faces are fascinating, funny and scary – and will keep you turning the pages! Read my colleague Kathryn G.’s full review.
A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield
Ever since Stella Hardesty dispatched her abusive husband with a wrench, she’s found a new path in life. Sure, she keeps her sewing shop going, selling thread and needles to look “legitimate”. She can’t help it if women keep calling her to dish out her own special brand of justice to the many abusing and cheating husbands and boyfriends in town! She manages to stay under the radar most of the time, but she knows her warm feelings towards the town sheriff are not good. If only he didn’t look quite so good in those jeans….
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Every time a Kate Morton book is published there’s a collective sigh of happiness in library-land, so I decided to see what the fuss was about. In 1913, a little girl is found abandoned and alone, carrying a single suitcase, on the docks in Australia. In 2005, her granddaughter Cassandra discovers that suitcase and resolves to solve the mystery of her grandmother’s identity. Who was she? The answers lie in a garden across the world, in Cornwall. This is the kind of good book I was sorry to finish.
Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Please let us know in the comments!