I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg

I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg (2010)
A charming and heartwarming  book. I laughed and I cried.  It was well worth the wait.

Check out the author's website for more about the book.

If you like Fannie Flagg's books take a look at our list of  funny mysteries to discover your next favorite read.

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall-Smith

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall-Smith (2011)
Another fun, endearing book from McCall-Smith’s “No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” series. This one has less detective stories and is slower paced, though it picks up in the middle. It’s an enchanting read.

If you enjoy “No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” series you might like other books on our list Mysteries: Dateline Africa.

Here is the trailer for the television series based on the book.

The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg

The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg (2009)Another Swedish author (Steig Larrson was the first.) makes her mark in the murder industry. For once, I agree with the endorsements on the book jacket: "Chilly, deceptive and lucid, just like the icy environment it describes." --The Literary Review.

The plotting, the intertwine of characters, the environment and even the ending satisfy the reader. All things work together as the story gathers momentum. Lackberg develops her characters deftly, just enough to be realistically appealing or appalling as the case may be. This is my starred mystery for summer.

Keep up to date with the latest news about the author on her blog.

Blowback by Peter May

Blowback by Peter May (2011)
Blowback is the fifth book in the Enzo Files series. May continues Enzo’s quest to solve seven cold case murders. To really appreciate this book, you need to begin with Extraordinary People, the first book in the series. That being said, May produces another absorbing mystery.

This book takes us to the world of the three star Michelin restaurants in France where we begin to realize the dark side of the culinary arts. If you like food and France and an interesting older man with plenty of appeal, you will enjoy this book. Another point of interest is the ongoing story of Enzo's personal growth in his relations with family, friends and, being Enzo, his lovers.

Check out the authors favorite recipes.

Dead Man’s Chest by Kerry Greenwood

Dead Man’s Chest by Kerry Greenwood (2010)
Phryne Fisher is a Melbourne, Australia, jazz age flapper and private investigator. This time, though, she is on vacation. Packing up her two adopted daughters and practical companion Dot, Phryne heads for the seaside only to find a house full of Surrealists next door, a film crew making a movie on the beach, a whole town looking for hidden treasure, and, oh yes, smugglers and a missing cook and butler. In short order, between dips in the ocean and scrumptious meals, Phryne has it all sorted. Don’t read Phryne for the mystery but for the delightful collection of characters that make up her world.

Don't miss the delightful Phyrne Fisher website!

Echo Park by Michael Connelly

Echo Park by Michael Connelly (2006)
A good L.A. crime story featuring Harry Bosch. Harry has been trying to prove who murdered a young girl for several years. Now out of retirement and working in the Open-Unsolved Unit with his current partner Kiz Rider, Harry has a chance to prove who murdered Marie Gusto. This is a good story which reveals the behind the scenes information one never gets from a newspaper about murders. The author is excellent at describing details without boring the reader. An enjoyable read for mystery fans.

Watch a YouTube.com video depicting the opening chapter and read the New York Times review.

Rag and Bone by James R. Benn

Rag and Bone by James R. Benn (2010)
Billy Boyle, currently assigned to Eisenhower's staff, was formerly a cop in South Boston. When "incidents" (such as inconvenient dead bodies) occur that threaten the Allied alliances, Billy and his driver, a former Detroit cop, investigate. In this case, it is late 1943. Eisenhower is about to come to England to plan the D-Day invasion. It is very important that the Russian allies keep up their fight on Germany's eastern front while the US, Canada, and England plan invasion from the west. So, the dead body of a Soviet spy which might be linked to the recently discovered dead Polish officers in the Katyn Woods could cause big problems for the Allied cause. Part mystery, part spy thriller, the Billy Boyle series has a great feeling for wartime England.

Read a review and visit the author's website.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (1998)
This series is easy reading because Smith keeps you interested, guessing and solving the mystery without taxing your brain power! The author interweaves a view of African culture and geography amidst the detective agency's business of solving its clients' problems. Precious Ramotswe sets up her No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency after she grows up and survives a young marriage. This mystery series is not for the hard-core mystery reader. Most enjoyable is the African setting for a change of pace from other mystery stories.

Watch the TV series based on the book, visit the author's website and learn more about Botswana.

Box 21 by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom

Box 21 by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom (2009)
Swedish crime is intriguing. If you liked the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson, this book is for you. It is second in the Ewert Grens thrillers, a series with cutting edge crime and dark characters. I suggest reading the first book, The Beast, because two stories converge in Box 21 – an unfinished thread from the first book and a brand-spanking new blockbuster in the second. Although much of the plot circles around the sex slave trade, the authors show restraint in portraying this grueling subject.

Starred reviews indicate that this series could really fly. Time will tell.

For more on the authors, check out their website.

Devil’s Garden by Ace Atkins

Devil’s Garden by Ace Atkins (2009)
Fatty Arbunkle
was a silent movie comic at the top of the box office when he was accused of murdering a young starlet in a drunken debauch. Sam Hammett (later known as Dashiell) was a Pinkerton operative hired to work on the case. Those two sentences are true. What author Atkins does with them is to develop a marvelous feel for the time, early 1920s, the place, San Francisco, and the characters, real and imaginary.

Pick up a copy of the book at Indian Prairie or the Woodridge Public Library and join the Crime Readers Book Club discussion on December 16, 2010, 7 p.m. at the Downers Grove Wine Shop, 1240 75th Street.

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly (2008)
If you've read Michael Connelly's other mystery books, you'll understand the characters from previous novels. This is the first Michael Connelly book I've read and it didn't matter that I did not know the characters from his other books.

You'll immediately think of the O.J. trial in LA. The opening line on page 3 is the book's theme: "Everybody lies.  Cops lie. Lawyers lie. Witnesses lie. The victims lie. The trial is a contest of lies." The book offers  interesting insights into a lawyer's mind. The Brass Verdict has an easy writing style and is fun at the end when all the characters in the plot merge.

Check out the author's website and read the EW.com review.

L. A. Requiem by Robert Crais

L. A. Requiem by Robert Crais (1999)
If you like a book that has flashback info about things that happened before the time of this story, you'll like this book for that detail. If you do not like flashbacks interrupting the story you're reading, you won't like this book.

I enjoyed this book, which is the first by Robert Crais that I've read. Therefore, I wasn't familiar with Elvis Cole and I think Crais' readers of previous books will be happy to learn about Joe Pike through the flashbacks to know his history growing up and working at LAPD. I liked all the characters in this story regardless of their habits because the author has given each character a reason to like him/her. It was an enjoyable read and a page turner of suspense. If you've been to LA and Palm Springs area, you'll relate to the places where the action takes place.

Preview the book before you visit the library and visit the author's website.

Treasure Hunt by John Lescroart

Treasure Hunt by John Lescroart (2010)
Wyatt Hunt’s detective agency is in a slump. Just as he’s considering closing the doors, his only employee Mickey Dade stumbles across the body of Dominic Como, the head of a network of social service agencies with a $50 million budget.

Mickey envisions a scenario where Hunt’s agency would act as a clearinghouse for tips to be filtered to the police, partly to prove the innocence of Alicia Thorpe, the sister of his culinary school friend. As the investigation moves forward, the sinister side of philanthropy produces several motives and suspects, as does the romantic entanglements and resulting jealousies.

Mickey’s sister and grandfather join Dade and Hunt in their search for the killer and each struggles to figure out who they can believe. The police have one theory, Dade has another and Hunt wonders whether other recent events have skewed his ability to trust. The tension thickens as more killings occur and people close to the investigation disappear.

If you enjoy Treasure Hunt, try On this Rockne by Ralph M. McInerny.

Visit the author's website and read reviews at Amazon.com.

The Pig Did It by Joseph Caldwell

The Pig Did It by Joseph Caldwell (2008)
The pig did it and he REALLY did! The fat porker caused the characters to get into turmoil and...LOVE! Set in Ireland's West coast, this novel will bring a smile to your face.

Read reviews at Amazon.com and EW.com.

A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell

A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell (2009)
This first novel follows an undercover crime reporter in 1931 Berlin as she searches for her brother's killer, a trail that leads from the city's dark underbelly to the top ranks of the rising Nazi party. It is one of several suspense or mystery stories set in Germany or Austria between the two world wars that I have been reading lately, and what a perfect backdrop for suspense it is!

This one is a good read and is a good mystery with a little tragedy, a little romance and some interesting history in the mix. Learn more about the author, check out the reviews at Amazon.com and read an excerpt from the book.