Saturday, October 28, 2017

Annual Book Sale Purchases, Part 1

This year was the 43rd Planned Parenthood Book Sale, which goes on for approximately 10 days. We attended the first Friday (I always take the day off from work and this year my husband did too), Saturday and then both Saturday and Sunday of the next weekend. Each year is a bit different, at least in the mystery section, but on the second Saturday several boxes of older vintage paperbacks appeared and I picked up quite a few of those.

However, this post is concentrating on a few of the more contemporary books I picked up.

The Torso (1999) by Helene Tursten

From the review at Publishers Weekly:
In Swedish author Tursten's outstanding second police procedural to feature Irene Huss of the Göteborg Violent Crimes Unit (after 2003's Detective Inspector Huss), the discovery of a dismembered corpse initiates a frustrating chase for a wily serial killer.
I don't like books about serial killers, but I want to read more of this series set in Sweden. This book was the 2nd published in English, but Night Rounds precedes it and I have a copy of that so I plan to read that one sometime soon.

Ah, the confusion of foreign language series being published out of order. Such fun.

A Beautiful Place to Die (2008) by Malla Nunn

Now we move to South Africa. From the publisher's site:
Award-winning screenwriter Malla Nunn delivers a stunning and darkly romantic crime novel set in 1950s apartheid South Africa, featuring Detective Emmanuel Cooper -- a man caught up in a time and place where racial tensions and the raw hunger for power make life very dangerous indeed. 
In a morally complex tale rich with authenticity, Nunn takes readers to Jacob's Rest, a tiny town on the border between South Africa and Mozambique. It is 1952, and new apartheid laws have recently gone into effect, dividing a nation into black and white while supposedly healing the political rifts between the Afrikaners and the English. Tensions simmer as the fault line between the oppressed and the oppressors cuts deeper, but it's not until an Afrikaner police officer is found dead that emotions more dangerous than anyone thought possible boil to the surface... 

Adios Muchachos (2001) by Daniel Chavarría

From the Akashic website
The first suspense novel in English-translation by internationally acclaimed Uruguayan mystery writer Daniel Chavarría, Adios Muchachos is a dark, erotic, brutally funny romp through the sexual underworld and black-market boardrooms of post-Cold War Cuba. Seen through Chavarría’s compassionate but uncompromising eyes, present-day Havana is a crossroads for petty hustlers looking for an easy mark, two-time losers looking for a fresh start, and high-rolling international speculators looking to take advantage of them all.
This may be outside of my comfort zone, but I will find out and let you know.


Stormy Weather (2001) 
by Paula L. Woods

From the AudioFile site:
Detective Charlotte Justice of the LAPD investigates the peculiar death of African-American film director Maynard Duncan against a backdrop of Hollywood glamour, greed, and lost opportunities.
I read Inner City Blues by Woods earlier this year and was glad to find two more books in the series at the book sale.

In this series, Charlotte Justice is a black female policewoman in Los Angeles in the 1990's. Themes of how women and especially black women are treated in the police force are explored in Inner City Blues. I look forward to finding out what the remaining books cover. 

The Sirens Sang of Murder (1989) 
by Sarah Caudwell

Description from Goodreads:
Young barrister Michael Cantrip has skipped off to the Channel Islands to take on a tax-law case that's worth a fortune–if Cantrip's tax-planning cronies can locate the missing heir. But Cantrip has waded in way over his head. Strange things are happening on these mysterious, isolated isles.
Third in Sarah Caudwell's series about Professor Hilary Tamar, who is friends with four young London barristers. I have read the first book and I have copies of all of the books, but this hardcover copy appealed to me.




The Mistletoe Murder and other stories (2016) by P. D. James

From the dust jacket of the book:
As the acknowledged queen of crime, P. D. James was frequently commissioned by newspapers and magazines to write a special short story for Christmas. Four of the best of these are collected here for the first time. Swift, cunning murder mysteries (two of which feature the young poet-detective Adam Dalgliesh) that together–to borrow the author's own description–add up to a delightful "entertainment."




21 comments:

  1. I love Malla Nunn's four-book series set in early 1950's South Africa under apartheid. I keep wishing she would continue writing more books with these characters.

    And Helene Tursten's Irene Huss series is very good, gets better. Just read the ninth book, "Who Watcheth," which was quite good. Read that her tenth and final book is coming in soon. I will not like seeing that series end.

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    1. Kathy, I have been wanting to read Malla Nunn's series for years, but I had the first book only on Kindle and just could not read a book that long in digital form. I was very happy to find this copy.

      As for Tursten, I do anticipate that I am going to like the whole series. I am glad to hear that you have enjoyed all of the series.

      As always, I have too many books to choose from.

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  2. We have such great book sales at my library,but I am always working at them so I miss out. The December one, all books are $.50. I must get to that one.

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    1. That is what I love about this sale, Patti, the books (at least the ones I buy) are mostly $1.00 and I cannot pass them up very easily at that price. And for a good cause. On the last day the books are all half price and I never fail to find ones on that day that I did not see before.

      A book sale in December would be wonderful.

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  3. I love Malla Nunn's South African series. Still have her last book to read. Not sure if the series is still ongoing as it's been a minute since she published anything recent.

    Looks like a good haul. Look forward to reading the reviews. -Keishon

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    1. I am glad to hear so many good things about Malla Nunn's books, Keishon. I have been putting off reading the series and wondered if it would live up to its reputation.

      I bought a lot of books, way too many, but I have yet to find any that I regret adding to my collection.

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  4. Oh, I think you're in for treats with these books, Tracy. The Nunn, the Caudwell, and the Tursten are well-written, I think. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on them.

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    1. I agree, Margot. I look forward to reading all of these, although I haven't read Chavarria before and Nunn is new to me too.

      When I read the first Caudwell book, I did not like it as well as most readers do, but my tastes have changed a good deal and I will definitely give this one a try. And the Caudwell books have great covers, some of them with Edward Gorey drawings.

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  5. I like the look of the Chavarria book. I've not read any of the authors you've covered, but I have some by Sarah Caudwell.

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    1. I bought the Chavarria book based on the cover (and the price) and hope that it is not outside of my comfort zone. Of the rest, the Paula L. Woods series would come the closest to something you might like, but still probably not something I would recommend for you. If / when you read Caudwell, I would be interested to hear about your reaction.

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  6. Just me seeing if I can comment or not, Tracy! Looking forward to your list of vintage mysteries!

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    1. Wonderful, I am glad commenting here worked this time. Yes, I will have to list all the vintage mysteries. I bought a lot of Agatha Christie mysteries, many of which I already had, just because of the covers. And some Patricia Wentworth and John Dickson Carr.

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  7. I've read the Caudwell and the James. the others sound intriguing, I'll look forward to hearing about them, they all look good.

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    1. I need to read more of the Caudwell novels, Moira, everyone is so fond of them. I am not sure if I will get to the James stories this year, altho I would like to. I hope I don't take too long to get around to the rest.

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  8. I bought the P. D. James new, and it has been sitting on the TBR shelf since. Perhaps I should call it the "when I get around to it" shelf. I'm hoping to read it this month. I'm unfamiliar with the other books / authors.

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    1. I was very happy to find an inexpensive copy of P. D. James Christmas short stories in very nice condition, Richard. I would like to read them this year, but we will see. I have a couple of other books of Christmas short stories.

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  9. I'm just reading P.D. James' new short story collection, Sleep No More. I like it so much that I ordered The Mistletoe Murder. Funny you should pick a copy up too.

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    1. I am glad to hear that you like the stories in Sleep No More, Cath. That bodes well for this volume too. It has such a lovely cover, too.

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  10. Oh I love a good book sale! These all look great--can't wait to see your vintage finds.

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    1. I look forward to this sale every year, RareBird, and always plan to buy less than I do buy. I have got to get to writing up a list of the vintage books.

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