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Sharon Tucker

by Sharon Tucker


Medieval fantasy fiction is satisfying on so many levels. Informed readers already have a broad base to draw on picturing the world of these novels, and although historically speaking, cultures vary slightly according to national and historical dictate one finds a through line of what we like to imagine about the times: chivalric behavior and great potential for honorable behavior on every page.

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by Sharon Tucker


Our most food-oriented holiday season approaches, and I am not alone in wanting new twists on the traditional foods we serve at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Luckily, we can research some of the techniques that make French cuisine a sensuous delight just by reading the mysteries Alexander Campion has written that feature Capucine Le Tellier, a Police Judiciare officer in Paris as well as her husband Alexandre Huguelet, a major food critic for Le Monde.

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by Sharon Tucker


Don’t look for much grit in Laura Resnick’s Urban Fantasies despite the fact that they have New York City as the backdrop. Oh, it isn’t that the streets aren’t mean and that the characters lack the infamous New Yorker’s brusqueness, rather it’s the fact that the stories are told in first person by heroine/actress/waitress/elf Esther Diamond who is nothing if not upbeat to the point of Micawberism. Even when she’s strung out over her never-quite-boyfriend Detective Connor Lopez or freaked about being unemployed, there is a strong positive undercurrent that tells readers she will triumph. Of course alliance with a 350-year-old Mage, Dr. Maximillian Zadok makes getting out of the scrapes Esther gets into much easier.

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by Sharon Tucker


Employing a psychologist or a psychiatrist as a part of an investigative team makes perfect sense. It has worked well for Val McDermid and her Dr. Tony Hill. Even Thomas Harris’s Hannibal Lecter, though insane, had professional insights that helped Clarice Starling find “Buffalo Bill” after all. Enter Daniel Rinaldi, Dennis Palumbo’s clinical psychologist based in Pittsburgh.

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by Sharon Tucker


As we know, translation from the page to the stage is problematic. We readers are notorious for our loyalty to the ‘mise en scene’ in our heads, not to mention ideas about everything else from the characters’ appearances to following the books’ plots to the letter. Some novels are an easier go-to script because they are written with the object of production in mind and read almost like a screenplay already. However, this was not the case with the Shetland novels of Ann Cleeves.

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Three Clerical Mysteries

IN THE July 22 ISSUE

FROM THE 2017 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andSharon Tucker
SECTIONS

by Sharon Tucker


Police procedurals dazzle us on the page and screen with their systematic use of investigative and forensic tools while their detectives wrestle with case files and clearance rates. Private investigators struggle with their own set of similar issues but more often have the time to devote themselves exclusively to one case at a time without, however, the safety net of police authority and resources.

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by Sharon Tucker


Barry Lancet’s Japantown (2016) introduced readers to Asian art dealer/Japanese detective agency owner Jim Brodie and both his divergent firms—one in San Francisco, the other in Tokyo—readily making available a cornucopia of possible plots that could occur in the US or Japan, or both, and by no means restricted to either locale. Lancet followed this intriguing debut with Tokyo Kill (2015), in which a veteran Japanese soldier comes to Brodie in Tokyo, certain that his friends and former unit are systematically being murdered, putting a WWII twist to the plot and making readers wonder to what degree Japanese culture still labors under the weight of that particular history.

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by Sharon Tucker


Faye Kellerman has written twenty-four novels starring Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Decker as of this year, and I must insist that I am revealing no surprise elements of the plot by letting readers in on the fact that they marry each other early into the series. Please. From their first encounter in The Ritual Bath (1986), onward through the most recent novel, The Bone Box (2017), it is clear that they are bashert (soul mates) bringing out the best in each other to become who each was meant to be.

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by Sharon Tucker


It’s just after World War I (1914-1918) in Yorkshire, and former volunteer nurse Kate Shackleton has discovered that she has skills. Her husband has been missing in action since the last year of the war, 1918, and although her efforts to find him have been unsuccessful so far, she has helped other families locate missing husbands and fathers by having “a police officer father, a poke-your-beak-in persistence, and an eye for detail.”

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by Sharon Tucker


St. Patrick’s Day approaches on March 17 and those of us of Irish descent can justifiably dance a little, drink Guinness, Jameson, or Bushmills, and dance some more. Happily too, this year I discovered the Sister Fidelma novels of Peter Tremayne (a.k.a. Peter Bradford Ellis) so will enjoy reading all the series and probably Tremayne’s Irish history works as well.

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