Are you looking for some great reading for the summer?
If so, you’re in the right place.
First and foremost, I love these books.
I am constantly asked by friends and family for author and book recommendations … something they can take on vacation, take to the beach or read on an airplane. They always want something where they can be immersed in a clever mystery, catch a wave of suspense and maybe a suspension of their reality.
They often want to see a few bad guys get their butt kicked, maybe the hero gets the guy or gal … usually something so they don’t have to think very hard.
It’s the perfect escape from the tasks and turmoil of our everyday lives and a chance to get away from it for a few hours.
You can also visit the Mystery Fanatics Facebook Page
For some time, I have been sharing a lot of this information on a special MysteryFanatics fan page on Facebook. You should head over there, too, as I’ll continue to post status updates there with short snippets of information I run across.
Particularly if they’re time sensitive, that’s where you’ll find them. Not all of these short snippets will be included in the blog posts, so you might want to Like our MysteryFanatics page as well as subscribe here so you don’t miss anything.
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump right to some great book suggestions.
There will be more Fiction Fridays
I love sharing what I’ve discovered, so instead of writing so many emails with this information, I decided I would only write it down once … and share it with you so it’s always available for your convenient reference.
You can ditch it if you’re not interested, but if you enjoy a good book that won’t tax your brain, you should stick around because there are a lot of great ones here.
Why the blog post format is really needed
There’s one very valuable feature that Facebook, Twitter and most other sharing sites don’t offer in their status updates, which is to include a lot of different links.
Blog posts offer infinite flexibility to cross-link so that you can more easily follow threads about your favorite authors, characters and books for a richer experience. And, for multiple books, I can also include multiple images, which also provides a more interesting and helpful post.
I’m also going use a color scheme in every post, shown below, to make it easier to identify authors, characters and book names. (No colors in Facebook status updates, either.) All of them will appear in Bold Italics except for URL references, which will always appear in red letters consistent with all of the links at Exkalibur.com]:
BLACK for authors,
GREEN for characters (only on first use)
ORANGE for book titles (unless they contain a link)
So, what am I reading … or savoring … now?
Live by Night, by Dennis Lehane, the 2013 Edgar Award winner.
The Doll, by Taylor Stevens, the 3rd novel in the Vanessa Michael Munroe series.
Silken Prey, by John Sandford, the 23rd novel in the great Lucas Davenport series.
Little Green, by Walter Mosley, the long awaited continuation of the Easy Rollins series.
The Inferno, by Dan Brown, the long awaited continuation of the Robert Langdon series.
I just finished Dennis Lehane’s, Live by Night, which won the 2013 Edgar Award for Best Novel.
He did a great job of recreating the Prohibition era, and just when you’ve figured out what’s coming next, an unexpected twist appears.
I really enjoyed this book, which is high praise from me … I’m lucky I even found it … as I am usually much more focused on series characters than stand-alone novels; I tend to ignore most of them.
But don’t ignore this one!
Do you remember our Facebook contest a while back? (See, I can’t provide the link because it was only a Facebook update.) You’ll remember that the most difficult piece of the puzzle was the initials “VMM”. Still haven’t figured it out?
Anyway, after finishing Live by Night, I began examining my Kindle for what to read next when … literally … Taylor Stevens’ The Doll, started downloading at the exact moment I was staring at the screen.
If you’re looking for a heroine who takes no prisoners and let’s no one push her around, you’ll love what mayhem Vanessa Michael Munroe is going to stir up. I’m savoring this one for a while, but it’s in good company, sitting on the virtual shelf alongside some other gems … like those coming up.)
But, if you’re not familiar with this terrific series, you can start with The Informationist, a great debut novel for a very unique character that none other than James Cameron, of Avatar, Titanic, Terminator, Rambo fame (to name just a handful), optioned for a feature film. You can also read the 2nd installment of the VMM series, The Innocent, before you get to The Doll.
As always, I recommend starting at the beginning of any series in this genre.
Why not subscribe via email to the Sword Tips blog? It includes everything I write or publish, including podcasts, videos and slide decks. It’s free … and you can unsubscribe at any time if we’re not keeping our promises to you.
John Sandford’s, Silken Prey, is also finally out. This is the 23rd Prey novel featuring our friend, Lucas Davenport the rich, Porsche-driving, former game-designer-by-night who currently serves as the Minnesota Governor’s, shall we say, special investigator?
I have been following Lucas since the very first novel, Rules of Prey came out in 1990. You might need to check your pulse if you haven’t discovered this series yet. If not, I always suggest starting at the beginning of a series so you can follow Lucas’s character development.
If you’re just starting with this series, you can look forward to many months of some great stuff.
[pullquote]If you love books in the Mystery-Thriller-Suspense genre, you’ll like the First Five of the Top Ten Characters in this genre, as well as the Second Five Favorites which rounds out the Top Ten. It’s a list of some great books, authors and characters that includes more than 160 books. That should contribute to a few sleepless nights![/pullquote]
Walter Mosley’s, Little Green.
I’m thrilled that Mosley finally returned to the Easy Rawlins series, since he publicly announced more than 6 years ago that he was done with the series altogether. You can read about my annoyance with his decision … and my love for the series … in an earlier post.
Easy Rawlins is a private detective with a checkered past. His best friend is the deadliest killer in L.A. There’s quite a cast of characters around him, seductresses, temptresses and socerers alike. But he’s an honorable man trying to do the right thing amidst a swirl of countless challenges and conflicts.
You’ll enjoy taking a few minutes to read a recent NY Times article about Walter Mosley and why he’s come back to Easy Rawlins after 6 years.
I’m glad he’s back.
Dan Brown’s, Inferno.
The hero of The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons and The Lost Symbol, the Harvard professor, Robert Langdon is back after a 4-year wait. I’m savoring the Inferno but it’s quickly climbing to the top of that list. Yeah, I know, so many books, so little time ….
The NY Times had a little fun with this book and to some, it may appear that our heroine, VMM, makes an appearance at the beginning of this book. It’s unlikely, but you never know where you might find the peripatetic Munroe ….
I want to be very up front with you about this. The Amazon affiliate program provides a way to earn modest commissions. I haven’t used it before, so please be aware that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link here, I receive a small percentage. I do mean small, but it helps to offset a fraction of what it takes to maintain the site and support our favorite authors, books and characters. Please note that the Amazon price remains unchanged so there is no cost to you. Thanks for your support.
So, stay tuned for periodic blog posts on Fiction Fridays with whatever is on my mind … whatever is on yours if you share it with me … what I’m reading and what others may be saying about what we’re reading.
See ya again on Fiction Friday!
Question: What are you reading right now? Are you familiar with any of these characters and authors? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section.