A week ago was my library's quarterly library sale, though I'm only now getting around to sharing the books I found. I'm trying very hard to be particular over which books I choose as there are so many books it is easy to come home with books that would only be impulse choices and will end up never reading. Still, as you can see I bought more than enough to keep me busy for a very long time. From top to bottom:
The Corpse on the Dike by Janwillem van de Wetering - I've yet to read any of the Grijpstra and de Gier mysteries that are set in Amsterdam. The author began writing these in the 1970s, and this is an early novel.
The Cape Cod Mystery by Phoebe Atwood Taylor - It's always nice to find a first book in a mystery series (I found several this time around). I can't remember who told me about this author (Sherry maybe?), but it was written in 1931 and set in (no surprise) Cape Cod. I'm very much a reader who is drawn to setting as well as story, so I tend to very often choose based on geographical region even if I know nothing about an author.
Bad Debts by Peter Temple - I hadn't heard of Peter Temple until I read Maxine's review of a more recent novel, and then serendipitously came across his first book featuring Jack Irish. He's won all sorts of awards in his native Australia. Although this is a library discard it is in near perfect condition and it cost a mere quarter, which seems almost indecent to pay so little for a book.
Voices by Ardaldur Indridason - There is obviously some reader out there who loves mysteries and crime fiction and is very good at recycling their books as I seem to find an Indridason novel every other library sale I go to (and I always finds loads of other mysteries, too). I think it's time to finally pick up the first Inspector Erlendur novel and start reading since I am slowly acquiring his entire backlist on the cheap.
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee - Not too long ago a coworker raved about this book, which I duly checked out from the library, shared here and then decided that maybe it was too heavy duty to read at that particular moment, so I was happy to find a nice used copy to read at my leisure.
Twilight by Katherine Mosby - I read a novel by Katherine Mosby years ago and recall looking this one over when it first came out. This is set in the 1930s--in the run up to WWII in NYC and Paris.
Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America by Linda Lawrence Hunt - This book had my name written all over it since I am an inveterate walker. Apparently Estby was a Norwegian immigrant and mother of eight children who was behind on her taxes. A mysterious sponsor was willing to pay a woman $10,000 to a woman who would walk across America, so Helga set off. I think this sounds like a great read--I would have been tempted to do it myself if I were her!
The Aviary Gate by Katie Hickman - Another book I eyed when it first came out and probably checked out from the library but never got around to reading it. It is set in 16th century Constantinople--for when I'm in the mood for a little historical fiction (haven't read much of that this year).
Parrot & Olivier in America by Peter Carey - This was shortlisted for the Booker award last year and also a finalist for the National Book Award. I tried to listen to it on audio but didn't get on well with the reader, so maybe reading it will work better as the story appeals to me.
Mary Olivier: A Life by May Sinclair - This is my one Virago find. "This important, too-long neglected novel is about the plight of a young woman growing up in a Victorian household." It is a mother-daughter novel where the daughter sacrifices love to duty, though finds a certain intellectual freedom nonetheless. I have never read May Sinclair but I have this idea she is a formidable writer.
And for the short stack of mass markets--a few really old books with those great 1960s gothic suspense types covers:
The Marx Sisters by Barry Maitland - This is the first detective Kathy Kolla, chief inspector David Brock mystery that is set in London's Jerusalem Lane which is inhabited by Eastern European immigrants (according to the blurb).
Bootlegger's Daughter by Margaret Maron - This and the book above were both on my list of authors to look for so it felt quite a coup to actually find them--that rarely happens when I go to sales with a list. Maron is an Edgar winner. I can't remember now who recommended this book to me--it features attorney Deborah Knott who is trying for a district judge seat in North Carolina (the only woman) who gets caught up in an eighteen-year-old murder mystery.
Clutch of Phantoms by Clare Layton - This was an impulse choice as I had never heard of Clare Layton previously. The story is set in a remote English village and is about three women who seek "to escape the clutches of the past". It sounds sort of cozy-Miss Marple-ish, so I thought I'd give it a try.
Death at the President's Lodging by Michael Innes - I'm reading another mystery at the moment where a character refers to books in her parents bookcase--those old Penguin mysteries with the green covers--and here we have one. Yet another 1930s mystery--this one with a college setting.
Black Amber by Phyllis Whitney - I used to read Phyllis Whitney when I was a teenager. This is set in a crumbling, exotic villa on the Bosporus. "She was about to return to her warm bed when she heard a slight sound behind her, and whirled. The veranda lay still and empty and her bedroom was dark. Yet there had been a sound somewhere near." I'll be saving this for a moment when I need a little escapism from life.
Assignment in Brittany and Decision at Delphi by Helen MacInnes - I mentioned Helen MacInnes earlier when I was on my spy novel kick (which I have never really gotten over so will be returning to it...). She seems like perfect summer reading as well--exotic settings, average people getting caught up in frightening circumstances, a little cloak and dagger and a hint of romance.
I, of course, want to start reading one of these right now, but the question is--which will it be?