Thursday, December 6, 2012

EVENT: 2012 Advent Tour

Welcome to An Adventure in Reading's part of the Virtual Advent Tour!
Be sure to visit the others posting today:

December 6
Teresa @ Teresa's Reading Corner
Lisa @ Books. Lists. Life

I'm going to highlight a few books that are set at Christmas time, but are part of some excellent on-going mystery series. The idea behind this post is my luck at landing at a book (I Am Half-Sick of Shadows)  in another series, (Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley), set at Christmas, that I am about to pick up at the library. Merry Christmas to me!

 Voices by Arnaldur Indridason, 344 pages (book 3 of 8)
translated from the Icelandic by Bernard Scudder
The series:  Set in Iceland, Detective Erlunder is a loner, with children that he left years ago trying to come back in his life. As a young boy, he and his brother got lost in a blizzard, and his brother was never found. He has a special interest in missing person cases.
Give a brief summary of the book:
Detective Erlunder is back investigating the death of a hotel doorman, killed in his Santa suit. Set the week before Christmas, Erlunder doesn't want to go home and all his detectives are worrying about getting home in time and getting everything done more than finishing the case.
As with all good mystery series, the detectives, including Erlunder, Elinborg, and Sigurdur Oli, are as interesting as the mystery itself. Erlunder is the classic cop - alone, miserable, and fighting crime to avoid fighting his own demons. This case brings up more from his past, and his daughter Eva Lind is back, pushing him, and in his face, trying to make him face the decisions he has made with his family. He seems to be on the verge of a break through.
Additional Thoughts on the Series:
The development of the main characters, plus the bleak Icelandic setting make this a great series to read.
 Shakespeare's Christmas by Charlaine Harris, 242 pages (book 3 of 5)
The series:
Lily Bard moves to Shakespeare, Arkansas to start her life over after she suffered a brutal attack. She works quietly as a cleaning woman, and tries not to make any connections to the people around her. The series chronicles her slow recovery. Although written by the author of Sookie Stackhouse, this series is not at all like the vampires.
Give a brief summary of the book:
The bad news about this book is that it really had nothing to do with Christmas; the good news is that it was an excellent little mystery. Lily has travelled to her hometown for the wedding of her sister just before Christmas. It's a big sacrifice, because she'll be back with her parents and all the people who knew her before and just after the brutal attack that changed her life. Plus, she's the maid of honor and there are showers and parties, and Lily will have to get dressed up, with makeup?
Soon after she arrives, the town doctor and nurse are bludgeoned to death, and then Lily's boyfriend, private investigator Jack shows up, investigating an eight year old kidnapping.
Additional Thoughts on the Series:
Another excellent edition of the Lily Bard mystery series. The mystery itself was tight, and interesting, and Lily's cleaning actually came in handy for her snooping. I like seeing Lily's evolution as she is beginning to come back to the land of the living and caring people. Her love interest and now her family, and showing a new side to her as she grows back into a person. 
 Dead Cold by Louise Penny,375 pages (also known as A Fatal Grace) (book 2 of 8)

The series:
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Quebec Surete gets called to the small village of Three Pines to solve crime. (think Cabot Cove!) The villagers are all connected, and Gamache and his team deal with on the job politics.
Give a brief summary of the book:
Gamache is called back to investigate another murder in Three Pines, a village in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, during another Christmas season. The self-styled new age guru who was electrocuted has accumulated many possible suspects with as many motives for murder.
Getting to know the recurring characters; the interaction between Gamache and his investigative team as he mentors and teaches; the Canadian setting, which included lots of snow and curling this time; the village of Three Pines

Any other favorite books set at Christmas that aren't really Christmas books? Leave a comment
Thanks for stopping by again this year. Having the Virtual Advent Tour is now a tradition at Christmas for me. Here's my past posts:
In 2011, I posted a 'recipe' for fruitcake that my grandmother had given me.
In 2010, I took a humorous look at some local events on Prince Edward Island.
In 2009, we played 'guess the carol'
In 2008, I played a game of 'guess the movie', and my favorite Christmas picture ever.
In 2007, it was the original 'guess the carol' game, with your vocabulary tested, and my whipped shortbread cookie recipe.