Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Firsts.

In the rush to compile "Best Mysteries of 2006" lists, the first mystery novel often is overlooked. Here are three that I enjoyed in 2006:
  • Murder 101, by Maggie Barbieri (St. Martin's). A lively academic mystery with a young professor and bon mots such as "Our school has a motto: Keep your alumni close and your rich alumni closer."
  • Billy Boyle, by James R. Benn (Soho). An interesting look at the Norwegian contribution to WWII with a Boston Irish cop-turned-soldier who is related to General Eisenhower.
  • Still Life, by Louise Penny (St. Martin's). A wise and often lyrical mystery set in Quebec that involves the murder of an artist and its effect on a small town.
And you can listen to interviews with these authors on my "It's a Mystery" Web page.

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