Two brief reviews for you today:
I’ve been reading the work of Lisa Brackmann as part of the Soho Crimes 25th Anniversary Read Along, sponsored by Soho Crimes and NetGalley. There are three books in Brackmann’s Ellie McEnroe series; I reviewed Hour of the Rat here, and Rock, Paper, Tiger here.
I’m now officially a big fan. The most recent book in the series is Dragon Day. Just as in the first two mysteries, Ellie McEnroe, an injured Iraq War Vet living in Beijing, is, despite her best intentions, thrust into a situation that becomes perilous. She works in the art world, representing an artist who has had to disappear for his own safety. This representation has brought her into contact with Sydney Cao, a Chinese billionaire and art collector, who asks her to look into his son’s new business partner, an American who seems somewhat shady. The investigation brings her into the world of Cao’s three children, all of whom are troubled and complicated and maybe dangerous.
As always, Brackmann writes a tight plot with lots of twists and turns. Ellie’s point of view is refreshingly contemporary and a wee bit cynical and you will grow to love her. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series. Can’t wait for more!
I highly recommend this series.
And another in a series:
I reviewed The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband by E. J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen here. This delightful new series stars Samuel Hoenig, who runs a business named Questions Answered. Samuel has Asperger’s Syndrome and answering questions is one of his strengths. Sometimes the question asked leads him into investigating a murder.
In the newest book in the series, The Question of the Felonious Friend, which will be published on September 1st, we once more find Samuel in the midst of answering a question asked by a young man who also has Asperger’s Syndrome: Is Richard Handy my friend? It’s a simple question which quickly spirals into something more pressing when one of the characters is murdered. Samuel, along with his mother and associate Ms. Washburn, sets out to find out the truth.
I love this series for many reasons, not the least of which is the focus on someone with Asperger’s. The authors manage to write Samuel as a fully dimensional character who happens to have Asperger’s and must contend with his somewhat literal translation of idioms that are commonly used in conversation (his mother and Ms. Washburn help with that) as well as managing everyday social interactions. Seeing the world through Samuel’s eyes is both a gift and an education. These are charming mysteries, well-written and engrossing. I recommend them highly.
Thank you to NetGalley for eGalleys of these two novels.
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