Sunday, December 16, 2007
Does the name Soho(New York) suggest arty, different, exotic? Yes ? Continue reading...Soho Press' mystery series will take you on journeys through countries and cultures you've never visited, especially in your mystery reading. Laos in the 1970's just after the Communists won the country has become a favorite destination for me. The hero is a 70 year old doctor who fought on the winning side. He is now the chief (and only) coroner in Laos. He also happens to be the host for a major dead shaman's spirit and thus a regular target for other spirits. Siri casts a rather jaded view over both his external and internal worlds while trying to solve murders he encounters while on the job.
Unlikely heroes? Soho has them by the bucket. Consider German occupied Paris with an unlikely Gestapo-French Surete team. There are a few conflicting loyalties to deal with plus the concept of trust. St-Cyr and Kohler 's relationship is so edgy I just had to keep reading.
How about a familiar place(New York) with an intimate portrayal of a community (Chinatown). This is hard edged stuff - the exploitation, the gangs, the prostitutes and mistresses and the money, always the money. Jack Yu is the only Chinese-American detective assigned to Chinatown. Is he loyal to his people or the law?Or caught in the middle? Read and find out.
For a trip to present day Holland and a very odd 'hero' and helper combination you can't go past Detective-Adjunct Grijpstra and Sergeant de Grier. Their conversations are cryptic. It feels like eavesdropping on a married couple. And does Grijpstra do any work? He does solve the crime.
One of the most intriguing series I have read is set in Madrid just after Franco's victory. Many elements swarm just below the surface. Brutal when they rear their ugly heads. Sergeant Carlos Tejada Alonso y Leon has to find the killer of an old friend and compatriot. Is the Communist/Republican suspect the logical choice or does bias cloud the reasoning?
Look for the Soho Book display and take a journey into the unknown.