I haven't posted about books in months. Today is the Day! I read mysteries and here are two very different debut novels.
Murder Is Binding: A Booktown Mystery by Lorna Barrett is the first book in a new cozy mystery series. After her divorce, Tricia Miles moves to Stoneham, New Hampshire to open a mystery bookstore Haven't Got a Clue complete with store cat, Miss Marple. Stoneham is a picturesque but dying town on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border until the President of the local Chamber of Commerce gets the idea to talk booksellers to relocate to the village. The downtown is revitalized with a whole street dedicated to books -- antiquarian and specialty booksellers -- a book lovers dream and quite popular with tourists. A murder takes place next door to Tricia at The Cookery. Tricia finds the body and the story is off and running. It is filled with quirky characters and, of course, recipes at the end. The new book Bookmarked For Death is out in February and I have pre-ordered a copy. I thought Murder Is Binding was excellent for a debut novel and how can a book lover not enjoy a book set in a small town on a street filled with bookstores!
Chinatown Beat: A Detective Jack Yu Investigation by Henry Chang is very different. It is a dark, noir novel set in New York City's Chinatown. Jack Yu is the only Chinese-American detective assigned to New York's Chinatown. He catches a serial rapist and solves a murder using modern technology and a local fortune tellers prediction. Another debut novel, Chang's chapters are short and tersely written. It is filled with benevolent societies, gambling, dance halls, brothels and secret societies. Year of the Dog is Chang's second Jack Yu novel that will give me another trip to what exists beneath the surface of the tourists' Chinatown.