In her older brother's bedroom, where we very, very gingerly borrow some books:
For me, David Corbett's 2003 book, Done for a Dime. Like writer Richard Price, who examines Dempsy, New Jersey; Corbett surveys the fictional cheap-rent town of Rio Mirada, California. Raymond "Strong" Carlisle, a black jazz musician, is found shot dead in his front yard. A disparate trio of Rio Mirada cops—Murchison, Holmes, and Stluka—investigate. It's fun finding elements of classic hardboiled writers Hammett, Cain, and Macdonald in this riveting noir book.
Most recent book read in the car:
Mine? Robert Littell's head-spinning book of comic espionage, Legends. Brooklyn private-eye Martin Odum, a retired CIA spook, has assumed so many fake identities ("legends"), he no longer knows who he really is. In standard crime-fiction fashion, a beautiful dame—the Israeli daughter of an old Russian KGB agent—needs his help. Odum must find her missing huband so she can divorce him. The CIA warns Odum not to take the job, but does he listen? Are you kidding me?
Out on the deck, with a plate of cookies and a glass of iced tea:
Maurizio de Giovanni's I Will Have Vengeance, translated from the Italian by Anne Milano Appel, and set in Mussolini's Italy, was my accompaniment to a cookie and tea. Pensive Commissario Luigi Ricciardi has an unusual ability: he can "see" a homicide victim's final moments. He'll put this gift to good use investigating the death of famous tenor Arnaldo Vezzi, who is stabbed to death in his dressing room before a performance of Pagliacci. Vezzi was a narcissistic jerk, so there are plenty of happy suspects. For you murder-at-the-opera fans, another one to join such books as Donna Leon's Death at La Fenice and Robert Barnard's Death on the High C's.
I hope the rhythms of your summer find you relaxing with a good book.