Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Five novels that don't sacrifice the whodunit for the whydunit

Joy Jordan-Lake is the #1 Amazon bestselling author of the just-released historical mystery A Bend of Light, and ten other books, including Under A Gilded Moon; A Tangled Mercy, an Editors’ Choice recipient from the Historical Novel Society; Blue Hole Back Home, winner of the Christy Award for Best First Novel; and two children’s books. Raised in the foothills of the southern Appalachians, she lived nearly a decade of her young adult years in New England, which she still misses—and jumps at every chance to visit. She holds two master’s degrees and a PhD in English and has taught literature and writing at several universities.

At CrimeReads Jordan-Lake tagged "five mysteries that include all the twists we expect of a good whodunit, while also diving deep into what it means to be human, and the ways in which the inequities, privations and privileges of our own cultures can shape us." One title on the list:
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

I realize there are people in this world who like to read book series in order, and I can respect that. I’m just not one of them. I read my first Louise Penny book at the suggestion of a friend, and it was love at first page for Penny’s protagonist Armand Gamache and me—although the devotion is admittedly one-sided. I was late to the party with the Canadian author Penny, who was already widely acclaimed and on her twelfth novel A Great Reckoning. It was my first of hers, and I became obnoxious in my attempts to convert every literate person I knew into a fan. So much of what she does is brilliant, not least of which is her insight into what makes people tick…and suffer. And heal from unspeakable loss. Or not heal. And therefore plot to kill.

Start at the beginning of the series if you’re one of those organized, sane sorts of readers, but the truth is, starting anywhere in the Three Pines series is so very worth the journey.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue