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IF WE’RE GETTING APRIL PRE READS IT MUST BE AWARD TIME!

The final issue of CrimeSpree for 2005 is coming your way. On the final page is our annual shout out for your favs of the year. So as management I’ll ask you to consider this page carefully and respond

Can you narrow down your list of favorite reads to 5? That’s what we’re asking you to do.

Ongoing series, your top five again. Which series do you never miss that did something different, took the tone of the series in a new direction? or maybe had a fabulous character twist? Did an author you adore stretch to new lengths, or clean up loose ends from previous books? We’re asking for five, you can do five

For those of you at the Crimespree party at this years Bouchercon you know that we gave out thefirst “Jack Reacher” Award. With the permission of Lee Child we’ll be giving this award out every year. It is an editorial award but we’d like our readers input. Not only must this book be a fast and entertaining read that you’d recommend to anyone BUT you must also believe that the author, while highly successful continues to give back to the mystery community (readers, writers and organizations) in a selfless manner. It’s your chance to suggest someone who deserves an award for being a damn fine writer and being themselves!

Now I know it’s not even the end of October and many of you are still working on the pile but it’s never too early to start.

Would you like to hear what my picks are? To get everyone started I’ll give you a peek ?

Best continuing series….

John Connolly- BLACK ANGEL is the bomb. It’s a book written in a manner that is assuredly Charlie Parker butthe prose is poetic and the writer’s voice rings more truly than it has in the past. I was enveloped in this story as I read and had to blink before stepping back into reality. A step like this takes more than just confidence on the part of an author. It takes a gigantic leap of faith.

Elizabeth George- I still can’t believe what this best seller did to her series. Talk about changing character direction. WITH NO ONE AS WITNESS took a huge risk not only in character development but also is a rather cynical look at the serial killer novel, tongue in cheek if you read between the lines.

Val McDermid- Two fold really. While I mention enjoying George’s cynicism above there’s still nobody who does the serial killer novel better than Ms. McDermid. This year’s THE TORMENT OF OTHERS is so deeply layered with police procedural and the evolution of the characters of Tony Hill and Carol Jordan it’s hard to believe Ms. McDermid will ever come to an end of their story. Brain Tumor indeed! And there’s a place in my heart forthe trade paperback release of HOSTAGE TO MURDER. Lindsay Gordon has been away a long time but I slipped right back in with her during this fantastical caper with a strong foot in reality. I recommend this book highly.

Reed Farrel Coleman- THE JAMES DEANS is an extremely well written book.Both “Cold Case” and “Ripped from today’s headlines” in nature and with enough twists to keep every mystery reader entertained I cannot help but think that Mr. Coleman also establishes a rapport with a much wider audience in this book than in the previous Moe Pragers. The reason is the case. The simple fact that the “mystery” Prager is asked to solve in this one has little to do with his personal environment allows us a glimpse at what makes Moe tick in a way that may have been missed in his earlier and equally entertaining books. This one maintains one of the best evolving series in mystery while ascertaining that we’re only at the beginning of what this gifted writer has to say .

The last one is always the hardest isn’t it?

But because of British/American release dates and a number of other factors I’m going to stick with a lady I believe to be doing something entirely unique in mystery.

Rochelle Krich- NOW YOU SEE ME is the fourth Moll Blume book. True crime reporter, Orthodox Jew, amateur sleuth, newlywed Molly Blume is a fascinating character. This mystery is well crafted. It allows Krich to explore the horrific possibilities of the internet. Not content to rest there this talented author turns this into a tale of secret pasts and long ago wrongs. Krich reveals a glimpse into the life of the very contemporary Orthodox Jew anda look into the historic past of this religion. With alternating P.O.V.s she keeps the story well paced and it never feels scripted. Krich is everything I hoped Faye Kellerman would become. And she shows no signs of slowing down.

So there’s a glimpse into what Ruth is thinking. Both old a new favorites with enough talent amongst them to topple THE DIVINCI CODE. Well at least until the movie comes out….

You want fav five? I’m not ready to commit yet but there are two books that if you haven’t read them yet, I highly suggest you do before you make your picks- Laura Lippman’s THE POWER OF THE THREE and Walter Mosley’s CINAMMON KISS.

Take care and happy reading

Ruth