Mailbox Monday is my favorite weekly meme. It's hosted by Marcia on her blog, The Printed Page. Being an MM devotee can lead to multiple open browser windows, melted credit cards, towering stacks of books to be read, and a picket line of UPS, FedEx and USPS workers outside your door. If that sounds like your cup of tea, click on that redhead to the left. She'll take you right to the heart of the action!
This past week netted me the last of my Paperback Swap (PBS) bingeing, so things should slow down for a while. I'm running out of room on my designated TBR shelves, and I refuse to have stacks and piles. (My toes and I came to an understanding a few years ago.) I sent 3 books to new PBS foster homes and received 6. Here's the rundown:
- Slicky Boys by Martin Limón (PBS). "In Seoul, U.S. Army criminal investigation division agents George Sueño and Ernie Bascom work and carouse in the bar and brothel district called Itaewon. When a beautiful, mysterious Korean woman asks them to deliver a note to the British soldier who jilted her, they agree. Then the man is found murdered in an alley, and George and Ernie realize that they were used to lure the man to his death. Their investigation becomes a personal vendetta, and their own lives are imperiled as they are drawn into the world of the "slicky boys"-- a highly organized band of black marketeers operating (literally) underground in Seoul since the Korean War."
- Gallows Lane by Brian McGilloway (PBS). "Taking its title from the name of the road down which condemned Donegal criminals were once led, Gallows Lane follows Inspector Benedict Devlin as he investigates a series of gruesome murders in and around the Irish borderlands. When a young woman is found beaten to death on a building site, in what appears to be a sexually motivated killing, Devlin's enquiries soon point to a local body builder and steroid addict. But days later, born-again ex-con James Kerr is found nailed to a tree. Increasingly torn between his young family and his job, Devlin is determined to apprehend those responsible for the murders before they strike again, even as the carnage begins to jeopardise those he cares about most."
- Beat Not the Bones by Charlotte Jay (PBS). "In this novel, a naive young girl travels to Papua New Guinea from Australia, determined to discover the truth about her late husband's death: Was it suicide or murder? The story fleshes out its characters: a sheltered girl on the verge of womanhood, father figures with unfatherly intentions, and men and women on the brink of nervous breakdowns. Geraldine Halls, writing here as Jay, has fused these elements into a suspenseful tale of terror. A world-traveling native of Australia, she spent several years working in Papua New Guinea, an experience that enabled her to landscape her story with an authentic tropical background and to create convincing anti-colonial literature through her sensitive characterization of both the white administration and the native population. Originally published in 1952, this mystery won the very first Edgar Award."
- I, Coriander by Sally Gardner (PBS). "I, Coriander is Sally Gardner's first venture into YA fiction. Written in the first person, Coriander Hobie describes both the ordinary and extraordinary events that occur in her life in 17th-century London. The unexplained appearance of a beautiful pair of silver shoes that fit Coriander perfectly set into motion an inexorable chain of events. Traveling via her silver shoes between the puritanical time of Oliver Cromwell and her mother's mystical fairy kingdom, Coriander's voice is strong and true. The juxtaposition of Puritan and fairy, fear and fantasy, make this detailed tale come to life. A strong sense of setting pervades the novel; London Bridge and the Thames River are lovingly described, as is the Summer Palace of the fairy king."
- Roseanna by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö (PBS). "According to Per Wahlöö, the ten books he wrote with his wife, Maj Sjöwall, about Inspector Martin Beck were intended to be a left-wing assault on the sacred cows of Swedish society. They are also, however, entertaining tales of mystery that allow non-Swedes to slip under the skin of another culture while having a frighteningly good time. In this first book of the series, the body of a young woman is discovered as a dredger digs a canal. There seems to be little chance of Beck identifying the woman, let alone discovering who killed her. But by combining time-honored methods of police procedure with a few local twists, Beck manages to do just that."
- Dark Blood by Stuart MacBride (PBS). "Richard Knox has served his time, so why shouldn't he be allowed to live wherever he wants? Yes, in the past he was a violent rapist, but he's seen the error of his ways. Found God. Wants to leave his dark past in Newcastle behind him and make a new start. Or so he says. Detective Sergeant Logan McRae isn't exactly thrilled to be part of the team helping Knox settle into his new Aberdeen home. He's even less thrilled to be stuck with DSI Danby from Northumbria Police -- the man who put Knox behind bars for ten years -- supposedly here to 'keep an eye on things'. Only things are about to go very, very wrong."
Now... pardon me while I open a few browser windows and go see what everyone else found in their mailboxes!