Friday, December 6, 2013

Three More Mysteries

The recent adventures in mystery have been a step up from the batch a month or so ago that caused me to despair of ever reading a decent mystery again. None of these three were great, but they were at least entertaining.

Anonymous Sources is written by journalist Mary Louise Kelly, who spent several years covering security and intelligence issues for NPR, CNN, and the BBC. That fact makes the book scary--it seems like a somewhat far-fetched plot about a reporter on the higher education beat at a Boston newspaper, a Harvard graduate who falls from a tower on campus the night after returning from a year abroad, an odd Pakistani nuclear scientist with a penchant for bananas, a sexy British lord who just happens to be working for MI6, and a plan to bomb Washington, DC. But this author knows something about the intelligence community--so it must be at least remotely feasible, right? Whether that is true or not, Anonymous Sources is fun, and I expect we'll hear more of reporter Alex James.

Second Watch is the latest title in J.A. Jance's J.P. Beaumont series. Beau is one of my favorite recurring characters and, although Jance has written a lot of books about him, she intersperses them with her other three (!!) series, which I think keeps the series a bit fresher than some others. Here Beau is recovering from knee surgery and, under the influence of painkillers, is having some bizarre dreams about his time in Vietnam and his first case as a detective, a case that was never solved. Beau decides to tug at some of the threads of the old case and (surprise, surprise) manages to unravel the mystery. The dream sequences seem kind of hokey, but the book still managed to hold my attention.

Silken Prey finds John Sandford's Lucas Davenport investigating another political scandal in Minnesota. Reading Silken Prey is a bit like watching the tv show Scandal--you realize (or at least profoundly hope) that the plot is ridiculous but you can't look away. The politicians depicted are generally so evil that it makes me feel a little less depressed about the real politicians driving me mad. Crazy mystery as therapy, perhaps?

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