Sunday, April 3, 2016

New (to me) Authors - 1st Quarter 2016

At the end of every quarter, Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise hosts a meme for the best new-to-me crime fiction authors. Check out other posts for this quarter.

This quarter I read only two new authors, and I was impressed with both of them.


I read two books by Anne Holt: What is Mine, the first book in the Vik and Stubo series, and Blind Goddess, the first book in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series. Anne Holt is Norwegian and both of her series are set in Oslo.

What is Mine, first published in 2001 in Norway, is a book about child abduction, a very unappealing subject. However, the book does not relentlessly focus on that subject, and I found the story to center more on Johanne Vik, a former FBI profiler, and Adam Stubo, a police detective, and how they approach working on this case together. I enjoyed the story a lot, so much that I decided to read another of her books.

Blind Goddess, published in 1993 in Norway, was Anne Holt's debut novel. The heroine of the series is Hanne Wilhelmsen, a lesbian police detective. The book also features two other major characters, Hakon Sand and Karen Borg, both lawyers. This book was not quite as compelling as What is Mine, although the fact that I was reading on an e-reader may have affected my enjoyment. The story was very complicated, but I did eventually get pulled into the plot and enjoyed the ending very much.


The second new to me author was Quentin Bates, author of the Officer Gunnhildur series. I read Frozen Assets (titled Frozen Out in the UK), the first book in the series . The strength of that book is Gunna, or Officer Gunnhildur. She is a middle aged policewoman and is portrayed in a very realistic way; she is not glamorous, she tries to do a good job, and being there for her teenage daughter is as important to her as her job. This was another very complex plot, covering conspiracies in government and the financial difficulties in Iceland, but without the engaging central character, it would have been just another story for me.

I will be continuing reading books by both of these authors. After not buying any books for three months, yesterday I purchased the next in the series for each.

12 comments:

  1. Tracy, I have a self-imposed embargo on buying paper books, old or new. I bought just two or three books during the past nine months and a couple of short stories online. I might pick up rare and vintage books, though I haven't been going out of the way looking for them.

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    1. Very good decision to stick with an embargo like that, Prashant. Vintage paperbacks are one of my downfalls, but it is the newer books that I feel guilty about. (Sort of.)

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  2. Children in jeopardy stories are very hard to read.

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    1. They are hard to read, Patti, and I probably would not have purchased it if I had known (but that was years ago so who knows). I was glad it turned out not to be too bad in that area... I hope the series does not continue in that vein, because I really like the characters.

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  3. Nice choices, Tracy. I'm especially glad that you highlighted Holt's work. She's very talented, I think. And I have to say I enjoy that series.

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    1. I am looking forward to reading more books by Anne Holt in both series, Margot.

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  4. I've read a couple of Anne Holt books, and liked them both, without feeling a need to get hold of every book in the series. Some day will read more.

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    1. I really, really liked the Vik and Stubo book, but the easiest books to get were from the Hanne Wilhelmsen series.

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  5. TracyK: I have a pair of Anne Holt mysteries and may try to get through them in the next month. I am glad you enjoyed the books.

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    1. I do hope you read them soon, Bill, I would like to hear your thoughts on them.

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  6. Anne Holt is on my list. I think. There are two authors with the name of Anne and I sometimes get them confused but I'm sure I have the one you reviewed. Just a matter of time and mood before I'm ready to pick it up. I think in one of her books, read the first couple of pages and saw nothing but a wall of text with no dialogue (usually can't stand that) and set it down. I can be fickle like that. Heh.

    No purchase for 3 months. Impressive and the purchase is justified since it's the next one in the series ;-)

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    1. That is funny, Keishon. I react poorly when I see pages of dialogue. Don't know why that is. I do hope to read more books by these authors this year. You know how that goes.

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