Die-hard mystery lovers can start the year off with a few real treats – there’s an excellent new novel out by Michael Connelly and a pair of books relating to Agatha Christie.
“The Drop” by award-winning, best-selling author Michael Connelly (Little, Brown, $27.99), is the seventeenth in his popular series starring Harry Bosch, a hard working Los Angeles police detective.
Bosch gets assigned a puzzling cold case where a predator’s DNA was recently matched up after the initial 1989 rape and murder investigation. The only problem is, the suspect was 8 years old at the time!
As if that’s not tough enough, he and his partner are called by the chief of police to investigate the suspicious death of George Irving, the son of Bosch’s old nemesis, influential City Councilman Irvin Irving.
Bosch faces many challenges, exploring a variety of false leads in both cases, trying to make sense of conflicting information. There’s even a touch of unexpected romance; Bosch gets emotionally involved with a woman who has a dark secret of her own.
Connelly is in fine form, offering a mesmerizing tale of death and deceit by one of America’s best crime fiction novelists.
“Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making” by John Curran (Harper, $25.99) is the sequel to his intriguing 2010 release, “The Secret Notebooks of Agatha Christie”, which won many of the genre’s top writing awards.
Subtitled “More Secrets and Stories from Her Notebooks”, Curran provides over 400 pages of highly- detailed, previously unpublished material, including a rare version of a Miss Marple short story.
He also showcases an essay by Christie regarding her fictional detective Hercule Poirot, which originally appeared in a British newspaper in the 1930’s.
Curran, who formerly edited the official Agatha Christie newsletter, has created an intriguing book that serious Christie fans should really appreciate.
“Agatha Christie - An Autobiography” (Harper, $29.99) is a handsome reprint of a title that was originally published in 1977.
Christie began writing this book in 1950 and continued for 15 years, until she was 75 and decided “it seems the right moment to stop.”
This new edition includes a cd of newly discovered recordings of Christie dictating parts of this book.
Agatha Christie, (1890-1976), remains one of the world’s most popular authors, selling over 2 billion copies of her books worldwide.
Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop,
has reviewed crime novels and noir thrillers regularly since 1987.
This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on January 1, 2012.