Monday, February 5, 2018

Six Degrees of Separation - From Lincoln in the Bardo to 9Tail Fox

The Six Degrees of Separation meme is hosted by Kate at booksaremyfavoriteandbest. The idea behind the meme is to start with a book and use common points between two books to end up with links to six other books, forming a chain. Every month she provides the title of a book as the starting point.

This is my first month to join in. It is not a requirement that the books be ones I have read, but this month I have read all of the books in my chain, although I have not reviewed them all.

The starting point this month is Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. I have not read Lincoln in the Bardo but my understanding is that much of the novel takes place in the "bardo", a Tibetan term for the Buddhist "intermediate state" between death and reincarnation.



That leads me to my first book in the chain, The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier. That book shows another version of life after death, and is divided between two settings. One is the City,  a sort of afterlife where those who have died reside as long as they are remembered by one living person. The second is Antarctica, where a woman is trapped alone in a research station, running out of supplies.



My next book is also set in two locations, one of which is Antarctica. This is Christine Poulson's new book, Cold, Cold Heart, in which Katie Flanagan, a medical researcher and doctor, stationed at a remote research base in the Antarctic. The second story line is set in and around Ely in the UK, where a patents lawyer investigates another scientist's research into a cancer cure.

From Cold, Cold Heart, I move to Malicious Intent by Kathryn Fox, whose protagonist, Dr. Anya Crichton, is also a doctor, in this case a pathologist and forensic physician. This book is set in Sydney, Australia, which leads me to...



A book by Katherine Howell, The Darkest Hour, also set in Sydney. In the Ella Marconi series, Ella,  a police detective, is the main protagonist, but each book also features a different paramedic who becomes involved in a crime. The author worked as a paramedic for 15 years, so the scenes with the paramedics feel very authentic. This book is primarily a police procedural, which leads me to...

...the first book in an urban fantasy series, Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovich. This is a police procedural with a difference. The protagonist, Peter Grant is a constable in the Metropolitan Police Service in London. He ends up working with Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, in a specialist unit that deals with ghosts, spirits, vampires, you name it, when they are disrupting the peace in London. A wonderfully entertaining series.

And finally I link to another novel which is blend of fantasy and police procedural, 9Tail Fox by Jon Courtenay Grimwood.



Bobby Zha, a Sergeant in the San Francisco Police Department in Chinatown, is gunned down while investigating a crime. When he awakens in the body of an accident victim who has been comatose for the last twenty-odd years, in New York City. He returns to San Francisco in his new body to investigate his death, and along the way he discovers a lot about himself.

So, my chain has taken me from Lincoln in the Bardo to 9Tail Fox. It makes sense that the chain has as much fantasy as mystery novels in it, but not what I expected.

I do hope to read Lincoln in the Bardo someday, when I encounter a copy and the time is right.



20 comments:

  1. I like where your trail has taken you Tracy...especially the Australian stops :) But you've actually made me curious about the Ben Aaronovitch book...even though I'm not really into fantasy. I will see if my library has a copy

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    1. I liked that it took me the books by Australian authors too, Bernadette. I will be interested to see what you think of River of London, if you do find a copy.

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  2. Nice chain, Tracy! Like you I really love the Rivers of London series, must catch up as I'm a couple of books behind.

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    1. I have the fourth one in the Rivers of London series, Cath, and haven't read it yet. I will get to it soon, I hope.

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  3. Really nice chain! Of course, I love all the crime novels you listed and I haven't read a single one. More to add to my list! Love it! You did a great job, Tracy.

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    1. I thought it would be hard and time consuming, but it was lots of fun, Kay.

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  4. Great chain, and that's such an effective cover for The Brief History of the Dead. Very eye catching!

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    1. I do love the cover for Brief History, Susan. My son suggested I read it, and I really enjoyed it.

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  5. This is a terrific chain, Tracy. I like the different elements you've woven into it. And I appreciate the reminder that I want to read Rivers of London. Normally I don't go for the paranormal in my reading, but I've heard good things about this one.

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    1. Thanks, Margot. You should try Rivers of London. It is lots of fun.

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  6. I may have a couple of books in the tubs, but I'm not 100% certain. Pretty sure I have the Grimwood and maybe the Howard. Nice idea for a challenge, but I can't see myself joining in, old misery guts that I am!

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    1. Well, if you ever did one of these, Col, I think you would do it very well. I think you have a talent for that type of thing.

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  7. Clever chain Tracy! I loved Lincoln in the Bardo, one of the best books I read last year.

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    1. I was sure I remembered that you had enjoyed Lincoln in the Bardo, Moira. I think I will too. It has come out in trade paperback here which would be more affordable, but I still may wait a while to read it, since it is iffy (and I have so many other books).

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  8. How clever and cool. Looks like this was a lot of fun.

    I haven't read any of the authors on your list. --Keishon

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    1. It is a fun project, Keishon. It gets me thinking about books in different ways.

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  9. Oooh, I like this list and am going to check out "The Brief History of the Dead." It sounds intriguing and I love the cover! These choices seem rather diverse. Is there a particular genre of mystery that you lean toward most?

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    1. J.P. I definitely read mostly crime fiction, and also spy fiction. I was surprised to see so much science fiction and fantasy popping up in this list. But I do like a good cross of mystery with fantasy or science fiction. I liked The Brief History of the Dead a lot. My son loaned that and the last book in the chain to me.

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    2. I'm so glad you mentioned that one. I sometimes feel like the only reader out there that isn't really a big series fan...I tend to get bored. It seems like most of these are stand alones?

      I love suspense (psychological) and also noir and historical mystery. It's amazing how many genres and sub-genres and sub-sub-genres there are out there! Sometimes I feel dizzy when I start looking. :)

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    3. I like series, but they do present problems some times. Two many books in the series and I like to begin at the first book. Or they go downhill in quality.

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