Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, November 21, 2021

It's a THRILLING Sunday... or The Sunday Salon and Thrillers coming soon to a book store near you


Welcome to The Sunday Salon and a beautiful (but cold) day in South Carolina! Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of java and let's talk books...

The first books I remember reading as a young person were mysteries. I read a Nancy Drew mystery almost every Sunday afternoon. I couldn't get enough of them and I loved reading. And that's where my reading origins are from... mysteries. As an adult my reading took a little turn to some chic lit, with reading books like Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding and Jennifer Wiener's Good in Bed. And after I invited my reader friends to form a reading group, my choices became literary fiction, because that's what reading groups read. But I still occasionally read mysteries and thrillers, and with some new books coming out this November and a little later, I think it's time to get back to my roots...

One of the mystery/thrill writers I LOVED for so long was Patricia Cornwell. After discovering her first book Postmortem, I read her books voraciously, one after the other until I had to wait for new ones to be published. Then she started writing a different series of books with new characters along side her writing the Scarpetta stories and I thought she lost a bit of her shine. I wasn't thrilled with her stories like I once was and put her books down around book 11 of the Kay Scarpetta novels... but I missed her. And now after reading that she is going to be publishing a new Kay Scarpetta novel I am excited to visit my old friend. I think maybe I should catch up to where the story has been up until now, but can I really read thru 13 books until I get to book #25, Autopsy? I think not...

Autopsy by Patricia Cornwell... Forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta has come almost full circle, returning to Virginia as the chief medical examiner, the state where she launched her storied career. Finding herself the new girl in town once again after being away for many years, she’s inherited not only an overbearing secretary, but also a legacy of neglect and potential corruption.

She and her husband Benton Wesley, now a forensic psychologist with the U.S. Secret Service, have relocated to Old Town Alexandria where she’s headquartered five miles from the Pentagon in a post-pandemic world that’s been torn by civil and political unrest. Just weeks on the job, she’s called to a scene by railroad tracks where a woman’s body has been shockingly displayed, her throat cut down to the spine, and as Scarpetta begins to follow the trail, it leads unnervingly close to her own historic neighborhood.

At the same time, a catastrophe occurs in a top-secret laboratory in outer space, endangering at least two scientists aboard. Appointed to the highly classified Doomsday Commission that specializes in sensitive national security cases, Scarpetta is summoned to the White House and tasked with finding out exactly what happened. But even as she works the first potential crime scene in space remotely, an apparent serial killer strikes again very close to home. 

Will be published by William Morrow and on bookstore shelves November 30th! This is one I'm really looking forward to!


Every year my Mother comes for a visit to South Carolina from Connecticut. She's a reader too and usually she'll be tackling some reading while she is here. This year she decided not to bring anything or go out to the bookstore, but to pull something off my shelves. As you can imagine, I have a lot of books. I knew she liked mysteries and thrillers, so I pulled out The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. I actually had not read it yet. There was a signed first edition just sitting on the shelves... Mom enjoyed it and I had to not ask questions as she was enjoying the read so as not to ruin the fun for me because now I was putting it next on my reading list. What was perfect was I heard about Anthony Horowitz coming out with a followup to The Magpie Murders! Book 2 in the series...

The Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz... Ryeland is living the good life. She is running a small hotel on a Greek island with her long-term boyfriend Andreas. It should be everything she's always wanted. But is it? She's exhausted with the responsibilities of making everything work on an island where nothing ever does, and truth be told she's beginning to miss London.

And then the Trehearnes come to stay. The strange and mysterious story they tell, about an unfortunate murder that took place on the same day and in the same hotel in which their daughter was married—a picturesque inn on the Suffolk coast named Farlingaye Hall—fascinates Susan and piques her editor’s instincts. 

One of her former writers, the late Alan Conway, author of the fictional Magpie Murders, knew the murder victim—an advertising executive named Frank Parris—and once visited Farlingaye Hall. Conway based the third book in his detective series, Atticus Pund Takes the Cake, on that very crime. 

The Trehearne’s, daughter, Cecily, read Conway’s mystery and believed the book proves that the man convicted of Parris’s murder—a Romanian immigrant who was the hotel’s handyman—is innocent. When the Trehearnes reveal that Cecily is now missing, Susan knows that she must return to England and find out what really happened.

Brilliantly clever, relentlessly suspenseful, full of twists that will keep readers guessing with each revelation and clue, Moonflower Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction from one of its greatest masterminds, Anthony Horowitz. 

Published by Harper Publishing, this came out Nov. 10th!


And our last thriller is from an author I've never read, but has gotten a lot of buzz for the books that he's written. He's been up for numerous literary awards, been on the NY Times Bestseller list and has a band. His book that got my attention is not his soon to be published one, but one of his older books, Universal Harvester.                                         

Universal Harvester by John Darnielle... It’s the late ’90s, and you can find Jeremy Heldt at the Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa—a small town in the center of the state. The job is good enough for Jeremy, quiet and predictable, and it gets him out of the house, where he lives with his dad and where they both try to avoid missing Mom, who died six years ago in a carwreck. But when a local school teacher comes in to return her copy of Targets—an old movie, starring Boris Karloff—the transaction jolts Jeremy out of his routine. “There’s something on it,” she says as she leaves the store, though she doesn’t elaborate. Two days later, another customer returns another tape, and registers the same odd complaint: “There’s another movie on this tape.”

In Universal Harvester, the once-placid Iowa fields and farmhouses become sinister, imbued with loss and instability and foreboding. As Jeremy and those around him are absorbed into tapes, they become part of another story—one that unfolds years into the past and years into the future, part of an impossible search for something someone once lost that they would do anything to regain.

It's a slim book coming in at 224 pages, but it is sitting on my nightstand waiting for its' turn to be opened and read. I think the premise is interesting and I am looking forward to seeing if John Darnielle's writing lives up to all the hype. Universal Harverster was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2017.

He has a new book coming out January 2022 called The Devil House that also looks interesting.

Do you read mysteries and thrillers?

What books have you been reading lately? And have your reading tastes changed over the years? For now, I'm jumping back to my "roots" with mysteries and thrillers. Hope you found something interesting here today!

Happy reading... Suzanne

1 comment:

Harvee said...

I started Moonflower Murders and have to get back to it. I'm an avid reader of mysteries and thrillers, yes!

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