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We're Ken Hebenstreit and Sharlan Douglas, blogging here about the books we love: Mysteries, suspense, crime fiction. If you want to comment on one of our postings, click on its headline.

Archive for May, 2010

Indigo fantasy series by Louise Cooper

By Clint Hebenstreit

I just finished reading the “Indigo” series by Louise Cooper, a series of eight books starting with Nemesis, published in ’88, and ending with Aisling, published in ’93.  They tell the story of Princess Anghara who, in violating a millennia old taboo, releases seven demons upon the world.  Her family slaughtered, her fiancé’ captured, she is tasked by the Earth Mother to seek the demons out and destroy them.  This series keeps you guessing from the beginning to the end.  I found it to be exciting, inventive, romantic, and heart-warming.  Each book was unique and didn’t subject the reader to formulaic high fantasy with cookie cutter plot lines. In fact my only true complaint about the series is the main character’s occasional bouts of self-loathing. As with Thomas Covenant, these times can seem to drag the story down a bit and make it difficult to get through. However the good far outweighs the bad and, though it has its flaws, I still highly recommend the series as a whole. I t varies from book to book but I rate the series a 4 out of 5.

2010 Edgar winners

The Mystery Writers of America gave their 2010 Edgar award for best novel to John Hart’s The Last Child, while Stefanie Pintoff’s In the Shadow of  Gotham was chosen as best first novel by an American author.

I read the Pintoff book on vacation and never got around to blogging about it, which is a shame, because I liked it a lot.  It’s a police procedural set in 1905.  The protagonist, Simon Ziele, is a former New York police officer who’s sought a less stressful post in a small town north of the city.  A brutal murder there sends him back to Gotham, where he partners with a university professor who studies the criminal mind.  Writing in the 21st century, Pintoff effectively captures the early flavor of what we now know as criminal profiling.

I’m delighted to see there’s a new sequel, A Curtain Falls.