James D. Doss, Three Sisters. In a departure from his usual style, Doss tucks his tongue very firmly in his cheek in this twelfth book about Charlie Moon, a Ute tribal investigator. Very wacky characters and author asides abound when Moon looks into the death of TV psychic Cassandra Spencer's eldest sister. Grandmother Spider, The Night Visitor, and The Witch's Tongue are some other entertaining books in this series, which combines a mystery with colorful characters, a Colorado setting, and Native American mythology.
Ismail Kadare, The Successor. A 2003 novel by the Booker Prize-winning Albanian writer. The designated Successor to the Guide (the "guide" being Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha) is found dead in bed on a night in December, 1981. The question of suicide or murder is explored with a wealth of suspense and surrealistic black comedy. Kadare is one of those not-to-be-missed authors.
Ngaio Marsh, Final Curtain. Artist Troy Alleyn has been commissioned to paint a portrait of a great English actor, Sir Henry Ancred. She is staying at his country estate, surrounded by his squabbling family members, who somewhat unite in their opposition to Sir Henry's plans to marry a chorus girl. A murder doesn't spoil Troy's reunion with her husband, Scotland Yard's Roderick Alleyn, who finally returns from the War in time to investigate. This 1947 book is one of my favorites in this traditional series.
Ali Smith, There But For The. Genevieve and Eric Lee have an annual “alternative” dinner party in Greenwich. After this year's party is over, they discover that one of the guests has locked himself in their upstairs guest bedroom. After weeks of reading the notes he slips under the door (requests for vegetarian meals), Genevieve begins an investigation into Miles Garth's identity by tracking down one of the names she finds in the address book he left on their living room sofa. This 2011 book is a witty postmodern fable; it contains wordplay and shifting points of view.
While these books are suggested for reading on a restless Sunday night, they're fine reading for other nights as well. Sleep tight. Maybe next Monday won't be so bad.