Wednesday, May 30, 2012

And not a drop to drink...

I have hundreds of books in four bookshelves in my house. Maybe a dozen books on my nightstand. And probably close to 100 books on my Kobo.

And I can’t find a thing to read.

It’s clearly not the books’ fault. It’s because of the weird place in which I always find myself after finishing writing a novel. My mind is still swirling with the story and my hands still reach out to flick on the writing computer… only to fall short. I should be starting on my next project, but there are four clamoring for my attention and I’m experiencing a kind of mental restlessness. I need to immerse myself in other people’s stories. Rinse my palate, so to speak.

So I turn to my collection of books, but none of them fill my current need. I’m hankering for a mystery, but not a regular cozy, noir or even suspense. I want a mystery with a twist. A good, solid, mystery fantasy or mystery science fiction. Even a mystery featuring a ghost would tickle my fancy. And so, I’m reaching out. Any good books to recommend?

Just to start us off, here’s a short selection of books I’ve read and enjoyed. All descriptions are from Amazon.

Shadow of Ashland by Terence M. Green
Only weeks before she dies in March, 1984, Leo Nolan’s mother shows her son a rose she says was just given to her by her brother, Jack, who disappeared 50 years earlier. After her death, letters from Jack begin to arrive at the family home. They are postmarked 1934. The final one is from Ashland, Kentucky. Leo heads to Ashland, to track down the source of the letters…. And to find out why they are arriving now, after 50 years.

The Disappeared by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
In a universe where humans and aliens have formed a loose government called the Earth Alliance, treaties guarantee that humans are subject to alien laws when on alien soil. But alien laws often make no sense, and the punishments vary from loss of life to loss of a first-born child.

Now three cases have collided: a stolen spaceyacht filled with dead bodies, two kidnapped human children, and a human woman on the run, trying to Disappear to avoid alien prosecution. Flint must enforce the law—giving the children to aliens, solving the murders, and arresting the woman for trying to save her own life. But how is a man supposed to enforce laws that are unjust? How can he sacrifice innocents to a system he’s not sure he believes in? How can Miles Flint do the right thing in a universe where the right thing is very, very wrong?


Kiln People by David Brin
In a perilous future where disposable duplicate bodies fulfill every legal and illicit whim of their decadent masters, life is cheap. No one knows that better than Albert Morris, a brash investigator with a knack for trouble, who has sent his own duplicates into deadly peril more times than he cares to remember.

But when Morris takes on a ring of bootleggers making illegal copies of a famous actress, he stumbles upon a secret so explosive it has incited open warfare on the streets of Dittotown.


Threads of Malice by Tamara Siler Jones
One by one, young men in the kingdom’s outer reaches are vanishing into the dark. So far, two bodies have washed up on the local riverbank. But Dubric Byerly, head of security at Castle Faldorrah, soon realizes there are countless more victims…for it’s his curse to be forever haunted by the ghosts of those whose deaths demand justice.

Oh, and if you’re curious about the novel I just finished, I’m calling it Backli’s Ford—Book 1 of the A’lle Chronicles. For now, at least. It’s with beta readers right now, and I expect it will be available as an e-book by August. If you’re curious about it, you can check out the first chapter on my web site.

10 comments:

Elise Warner said...

Marcelle: Try a novel by Reginald Hill. Not fantasy or science fiction but far out.

Toni Anderson said...

What about Dean Koontz Odd series? I hate it when I can't settle into a story :) Maria Snyder's Poison Study is good Fantasy mystery too :)

Marcelle Dubé said...

Thanks, Elise. I don't think I've ever read anything by Reginald Hill. Good time to check him out.

Marcelle Dubé said...

That's a good suggestion, Toni -- thanks! I'd actually read the first Odd Thomas book and thoroughly enjoyed it. And thanks for the Maria Snyder suggestion. Another one I haven't read.

Kristine Rusch said...

Marcelle, thank you for the mention! Try The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville. Dark, ghosty, and great. (And folks, you should read Marcelle's work. She's a wonderful writer.)

Shelley Munro said...

I second the Maria Snyder suggestion. That's a very good book.

I know exactly what this mental restlessness is like. I tend to lose myself on the Internet and emerge later with no idea where the time has gone! It's a mental recharging thing, I think. We have to fill up the creative well.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Aw, thanks for the kind words, Kris. And I'll add Ghosts of Belfast to my growing list.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Shelley, yup. I need to recharge the batteries. Even the internet can't hold my attention these days. Maybe I'll go for a walk by the river...

J Wachowski said...

Love the suggestions! Couple of new-to-me authors on that list.

Have you read David Downing? Interesting series set in Berlin at the start of WWII. Give it a try--great scene setting....

Marcelle Dubé said...

Hey, J.! Thanks for the recommendation -- I've discovered a few new writers here, too. Always fun!