Saturday, March 17, 2007

Two quick, enjoyable mysteries

M.C. Beaton's Death of a Maid is a good one-night-read mystery. I found it at the library last week and read it while volunteering at the museum Thursday morning (we had no visitors).

If I'd never read a Hamish Macbeth mystery before, I think I'd still find this one enjoyable and easy to follow. Thankfully, the story really does center on solving the murder of an unlikeable cleaning woman - one who didn't clean very well, yet was still able to continue to work for her employers - and not much on Hamish's personal life. The identity of the killer surprised me, but perhaps I wasn't paying close attention to the clues. It was still a pleasant entertainment while knitting and waiting for museum patrons.

Last night I enjoyed another one-night-read, The Body in the Ivy by Katherine Hall Page. I love Page's mysteries. In the delectable, mouth-watering tradition of Virginia Rich and Diane Mott Davidson, Page has written a series of mysteries with caterer Faith Fairchild as sleuth. Faith's married to a minister, has two children, and she's a normal woman with a talent for cooking and baking. And for stumbling on bodies and solving mysteries.

This mystery deliberately echoes Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None , which made it even more delightful. Ten people come to Bishop's Island, also known as Indian Island, to spend a week together. There is one man: Brent Justice, handyman and caretaker; and nine women: Barbara Bailey Bishop, successful writer, owner of the island, and hostess for the gathering; Faith Fairchild, caterer; and seven of Barbara's former classmates at Pelham, a women's college. They are there to solve the murder of another classmate, Helene Prince.

Recipes for food served in the book are included. (I want to try "Asian Noodles with Crabmeat" and "Boeuf Bourguignon.")



Blogger Charity said...

Oh, I like MC Beaton, but I don't think I've read this one! I'll have to see if my library has it. :0) Thanks for the tip!

12:51 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're welcome, Charity! I'm going to check my library to see if there are any Agatha Raisin mysteries I haven't read yet... .

1:55 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I didn't know Death of a Maid was out already. Thanks for the heads-up. I will be all caught up on Hamish Macbeth.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

You read seriously fast! My friend gave me an Agatha Raisin book to read not too long ago. I really enjoyed it. I'll have to look for Death of a Maid (although at the rate I've been reading it'll take me more like a few months to get through - ugh - I need to work on that).

2:50 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Not such a fast reader - just not doing anything BUT read. (You'll notice I haven't posted any progress updates on Cabaret Raglan? There's a reason for that!)

4:42 PM  
Blogger I love a Good Yarn said...

You have stumbled upon one of my favorites, MC Beaton is such a fun read. Have you ever read her Agatha Raisin mysteries? Hysterical. Hamish is good, too...and they even did a tv series on Hamish. I heard the author rant and rail at the BBC for making the lead character so very different from her writing, but I liked it.
I am not sure if I've ever commented on your blog before, but I read it daily and feel akin to you in many things, even Hamish.

4:48 PM  
Blogger I love a Good Yarn said...

Oh, I just noticed. Tammy commented that a friend gave her an MC Beaton book to read...that was me. Small world!

4:54 PM  

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