Copyright © 2004 Henrietta W. Hay
May 7, 2004
Spring is almost here. Any day now we will have it and the next day it
will be summer and time to relax a little -- with mystery novels, of
One of my favorite authors, Sue Henry, has a new one, "Serpent's
Trail." If that title sounds familiar, it is because it is our own
Serpent's Trail and the story takes place in the Grand Junction area.
Sue's main character in earlier books was Jessie Arnold, who raises and
races sled dogs in Alaska. But this time she is starting a new
series, starring Maxie McNabb, the Winnebago-driving free-spirited 63
year old widow introduced in "Dead North." Maxie's pal is a
mini-dachshund named Stretch, who is almost as smart as Tank, Jessie's
lead dog. Maxie was planning on a leisurely drive down the Alaska
Highway, and a gypsy life in the lower 48, but heads straight for Grand
Junction when she hears that a close friend is seriously ill here. Most
of the story takes place right here in our back yard, with lots of local
detail. In fact, the scoundrel even tries to murder Maxie at the head
of the Serpents Trail . Maxie solves the mystery, of course. As
always, Henry's writing is tops and her characters are real. And for a
special treat you can meet Maxie's creator tomorrow. Sue Henry will be
here at Barnes and Noble Saturday.
I finally broke down and read "The DaVinci Code," by Don Brown, and I'm
glad I did. Ii is a fast read, full of fascinating information, blended
with an extremely complicated but interesting plot. The problem is to
decide what is fiction and what is truth. The victim is an agent of an
ancient religious society who is murdered in the Louvre. In the few
minutes before his death, he manages to leave some esoteric clues His
granddaughter and an American professor take off on a search for the
killer and end up researching some of the greatest mysteries of western
culture, going back to the beginnings of Christianity, and the 2000 year
search for the Holy Grail. He also tells some things about the Mona
Lisa and the Last Supper that I'll bet you didn't know. Hmmmm, could
they be true?
Unlike my friend the philosopher, I am not into English Regency novels.
And it was at least a century ago that I read Jane Austin. "Pride and
Prescience," by Carrie Bebris is a sort of sequel to "Pride and
Prejudice," written in Regency style. Hey, I didn't misspell the
title. This one starts right where Austin left off, with the wedding of
Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy. A murder soon follows and Mr.
and Mrs. Darcy take off like the Regency answer to Nick and Nora in "The
Thin Man." I really enjoyed this one. I must confess, though, one
review said that if you are a ten year old girl and like Nancy Drew,
this is the book for you, but the reviewer sounded like a bitter old
I found a paperback of short stories by Jan Burke, called "Eighteen."
She is a great story teller and the author of "Goodnight Irene," The
story I am reading at the moment is called, "A Fine Set of Teeth." With
that title the story has to be good, and it is. Her characters are real
and her plots are interesting.
April Henry's "Buried Diamonds," is a mystery not on my recommend list.
But everybody's taste is different, so you may want to try it. Its
heroine is Claire Montrose, but you find out very little about her.
Have at it.