Sunday, August 25, 2013

Great Summer Reads from Around the World: Guest Post by author Elizabeth Buhmann

Right now, where I am, summer could just be a dream in all the rain. But I do like the recommendations made in this post and can certainly vouch for one. Check out these books and of course, watch out for my review of Lay Death at Her Door by Elizabeth Buhmann! 

Guest Post by Elizabeth Buhmann, Author of Lay Death at Her Door (Red Adept Publishing, May 2013)

Thank you, Priya, for having me as a guest on Tabula Rasa! Since we’re heading into Dog Days, I’m thinking about great beach reads. I love books set in other countries, especially in the summer, when I am either traveling or wishing I could travel. I’m partial to mysteries (that’s what I write), so four of the five books on my list are detective stories.

1. Blessed are the Dead by Malla Nunn is set in South Africa in 1953, at the height of the Apartheid era. This is a dark, gritty and well plotted murder mystery in a fascinating geographic, social and political setting. It’s Malla Nunn’s third book in the Emmanuel Cooper detective series. I loved all three, and I’m just waiting to pounce on number four as soon as it comes out next year.

2. If you prefer light and delightful, the Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party is a wonderful read. It’s the twelfth book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith. The books are set in Gabarone, Botswana, and the main character is the wise and charming Precious Ramotswe. The BBC/HBO television series captures the books perfectly, by the way.

3. I just recently discovered Tana French when an Amazon reviewer compared her books to mine. In the Woods was great! Tana French is Irish and her mysteries are set in Dublin. Having been to Dublin, I enjoyed picturing the setting. The book is dark and psychologically brilliant.

4. I live in Texas, where August is a very hot month! So I often like to read books about cold places. What could sound colder than Iceland? I’ve enjoyed every one of Arnaldur Indridason’s Reykjavik detective stories. Voices was the first one I read, and it’s as good a place as any to start.

5. Last but not least, I’ll recommend a wonderful book that is NOT a murder mystery. It’s by one of Priya’s favorite Indian authors.The book is One Amazing Thing, by Chitra Divakaruni, and it is one amazing book. An earthquake traps a group of people in the basement of an airport, and to while away the hours waiting to be rescued, they tell stories from their lives. When the first character began her story, I literally got a chill down my spine.

A bonus great beach read? Try my book! Lay Death at Her Door (Red Adept Publishing, May 2013) is a stand-alone mystery/suspense novel about an old murder that comes unsolved when the man who was convicted of it is exonerated. The story is told from the point of view of the woman on whose eyewitness testimony the prosecution was based. At the time, she was lying to protect herself and knew who the real killer was. For twenty years, while an innocent man sat in prison, she lived with the knowledge that she committed perjury and was an accessory, however unwilling, to murder. When the book opens, her life is about to come apart at the seams.

Elizabeth Buhmann is originally from Virginia, where her first novel is set, and like her main character, she lived several years abroad while growing up. She graduated magna cum laude from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. For twenty years, she worked for the Texas Attorney General as a researcher and writer on criminal justice and crime victim issues. Elizabeth now lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, dog, and two chickens. She is an avid gardener, loves murder mysteries, and has a black sash in Tai Chi.                                                      Amazon; Goodreads; Website

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