I have just finished reading, The Arc of the Swallow, the second title in S,J. Gazan’s Soren Marhauge series. Set in Copenhagen, this book as well as the first centres around the University of Copenhagen’s Science complex. The death of world famous biologist Kristian Storm, just when his findings that vaccination sometimes causes more problems than it solves in sub-saharan Africa are being discussed. The investigation into the death leads to conflict with the World Health Organization and Big Pharma. The death of Kristian Storm provokes dissension not only in academic circles but also within the Copenhagen Police Dept. Soren Marhauge is not enjoying his newly promoted position as Chief Superintendent as it involves too much paperwork and not enough detection. Professional disagreements with his deputy and personal disagreements with his partner Anna lead Soren to drastic action. I think this book will appeal to readers of Helene Tursten and Lisa Marklund as well as fans of mysteries set in the academy.
Susie Steiner, has worked for a number of British newspapers, most recently The Guardian. Missing, Presumed...is her first mystery novel. Edith Hind, a graduate student at Cambridge University is missing. Her disappearance, not discovered for almost 24 hours, is made even more complicated by two facts. Her father is a surgeon to the Royal Family and a close friend of the Home Secretary, who in the UK is in charge of policing. Also the Cambridgeshire Police Force is still smarting from criticism of an earlier missing person case which went disastrously wrong. I am generally ambivalent about novels which are divided into chapters which are headed by the names of the characters and present their perspective, as I sometimes find that this interrupts the flow of the story. However, in this case I did not find it a hindrance. I hope that we will continue to follow the career of the lead detective Manon Bradshaw.
Many of our customers know that it is my habit when heading off to an appointment, or sometimes home at the end of the day, to pick something off the used shelves to read. This past week it was a used copy of John Buchan’s Greenmantle that ended up in my bag. I first read John Buchan’s The Thirty-Nine Steps, the first in the Richard Hannay series, as a set book when I was in the UK equivalent of Middle School. I subsequently read the other titles but Greenmantle became and remains my favourite. Reading it this time for the first time in a number of years it dawned on me how much of a romantic Buchan was. He believed in goodness and honour. Of course having finished Greenmantle, I had to read the rest of the series, and yes I enjoyed all of them. These books are what used to be called a really good yarn. A few of the concepts might upset some modern day readers, but no more than Dorothy Sayers or Ngaio Marsh.