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The Beltie Mystery Prize Finalist: S.J. Rozan

An excellent P.I. novel featuring Lydia Chin and her partner Bill Smith.   Usually this series takes place in NYC’s Chinatown but Lydia’s mother smothers Lydia with a familial guilt trip that takes her and Bill to Mississippi to help a relative in trouble, a relative from a side of the family she never knew...

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Patrick Radden Keefe's Say Nothing

Weekend Reads: Say Nothing

Bombings, prison escapes, hunger strikes, murder, politics - this spellbinding history of The Troubles has it all.   This is easily the best one-volume treatment of Northwen Ireland between 1968-1998 that I've ever read.   Keefe is a masterly writer who keeps you turning the pages. A brutal story that makes compulsive...

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The Beltie Mystery Prize Finalist: Tim Mason

For all you science phobic readers out there, don’t let the title deter you.   This is a Victorian era pot boiler par excellence that you can’t put done. Someone is killing off prominent supporters of Charles Darwin and his new theory of evolution to stop its malignant spread.   It’s up to Charles Field, a Shakespeare spouting police inspector, to...

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Leonard Pitts, Jr.'s The Last Thing You Surrender

Weekend Reads: The Last Thing You Surrender

What you have here is a historical novel that will challenge your perceptions and everyone who reads this will experience it in a different way,   The time span is short - WWII in Mobile, Alabama - but encompasses so much more. It touches on issues so tangential you might ask "why?" until you learn why.   Best of all, it's extremely readable. Don't let the heft...

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The Beltie Mystery Prize Finalist: Jamie Mason

A sneaky good look at the dirty underworld of art where money, and only money, talks and the consequences of that greed.   It starts with a video going viral of a teenager fighting off an assailant in the foyer of her house.   In the corner is a quick peek of a painting on the wall, a long-missing painting that only a few recognize… and it only gets...

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Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

Weekend Reads: Disappearing Earth

The disappearance of two young girls in a remote area of Russia sends reverberations throughout the relationships of different women in the region.   These linked stories expose the constraints on women living in this remote land.   You'll be rooting for each of them as the mystery of the girls' kidnapping slowly builds to a...

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The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

Weekend Reads: The Yellow House

Prepare yourself for some spectacular writing! The yellow house sat on a lot on a neighborhood outside of the sexy area of New Orleans. Broom examines how her family ended up there - their struggles and their dreams - until Hurricane Katrina changes all. Loved this read. Sarah McIntyre's Books

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The Beltie Mystery Prize Finalist: Ed Lin

Set in Taiwan and Taipai’s Shilin Night Market this is a gastronomic wet dream as well as an riveting, fun, mystery revolving around culinary experimentation and high-tech blackmail.   It’s an energetic quick read that was entertaining as all-get-out from beginning to end.   Get some take-out before you begin or you’ll be sorry....

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Sally Rooney's Normal People

Weekend Reads: Normal People

I skipped a class to finish this book - I know that's reckless but that's what this book does. It's that addicting.   This story is about two people over five years, colliding with elements of pain, sexual abuse, mental health, existentialism, etc. But ultimately, it's a glimmer of what it's like to find, and keep, love under modern-day capitalism.   I'm telling you -...

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Timothy Hallinan's Fields Where They Lay

Weekend Reads: Fields Where They Lay

Loved this well-written adventure about safe cracker Junior Bender.   Working retail, getting me to read anything about the holidays is a feat. This great story was a refreshing tonic on my last airplane ride.     Keebe McIntyre's Books   PS - Pete calls this the perfect Christmas story.

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