Linda’s Top 5 of 2013

Bury Your Dead
by Louise Penny
Once again, Louise Penny is at the top of my list. Each installation of her Inspector Gamache series is better than the last. In her sixth mystery, she actually weaves together two complete storylines, which could stand on their own, and for a coup de gras, adds a ribbon of plotline that wraps up  her last novel, The Brutal Telling, like a gift. All of this excellently and brilliantly carried out, holding the readers interest, right up to the last page. This one is not to be missed. This is definitely a series that must be read in order, though. So if you haven’t had the pleasure of getting lost in Three Pines with Inspector Gamache, start with the first one, Still Life.

Speaking From Among the Bones
by Alan Bradley
This 5th in the series is just as delightful as the other four. Flavia de Luce, precocious and daring 11 year old, lives in a small English village in the 1950’s. Her mother died in a plane crash when Flavia was very young and is greatly missed by all.  She has two sisters who are the bain of her existence and a father who cannot keep up with her.  Thus encouraged to find her own amusement, Flavia has a penchant for finding trouble, and dead bodies. Alan Bradley does an excellent job creating this small village and populating it with interesting, some might say, eccentric characters. Yet for all this the mysteries are engaging and challenging. If you haven’t read these I suggest you start with the first installment, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and watch the story unfold from the beginning.

Killing Floor
by Lee Child
After hearing so many complaints from Jack Reacher fans over the movie casting, I had to try this series. I was not disappointed. This thriller/mystery/action story was thoroughly enjoyable. It is the kind of book I just can’t put down. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time! Jack Reacher, retired military policeman, loner, and stranger in town was arrested for murder. Everyone wants him to be guilty. It’s up to Jack to get himself out of this nightmare. Jack Reacher is a man’s man, tough, strong, capable, and trained in hand to hand combat. He’s also a gentlemen and has a way with the ladies. Accompanying him on his journey is some ride!

Her Royal Spyness
By Rhys Bowen
Cute! Perky! Charming! are the words I would use to describe this mystery series by Rhys Bowen. Meet Lady Georgiana, 34th in line for the British throne. Georgie, as her friends call her, is not interested in an arranged marriage to a foreign prince so she leaves the family castle in Scotland to make her own way in the world. Alone in the family home in London it’s not too long before she finds trouble, in the form of a body in her bath.  Light and easy to read, these books are the perfect companion for a day at the beach or an evening on the couch.

Dead Level
by Sarah Graves
I enjoy this series that is set in Eastport, Maine.  Jacobia Tiptree, New York transplant to the island, has an uncanny knack for finding bodies and getting in the way of killers. In this episode, the killer gets up close and personal, making Jake his main target. After all, she did get him put away. There are plenty of thrills as Jake and her BFF Ellie do their best to outwit their stalker. There is plenty of action and excitement in this one. It’s a quick read.