Sharon Tucker

The Three Latest Spensers from Ace Atkins

by Sharon Tucker

Although I liked Robert Urich in Spenser for Hire, he never really seemed like the Spenser I read in Robert B. Parker’s Spenser novels. His touch was too light. And Lifetime TV’s attempt at Spenser movies still starring the likable Urich were bland palimpsests of the books. No. The real Spenser was in the pages Parker wrote, and I have my doubts anyone could embody him with justice. Spenser’s stream-of-consciousness, first-person narratives gave the reader inside information into what made an idealist like Spenser able to survive with his soul intact sorting out dark tangles beyond the rest of us.

Three First Novels by Anne Perry

by Sharon Tucker

Some years ago, I was in the mood to read a Victorian mystery and suddenly Anne Perry’s Charlotte and Thomas Pitt were in my life with The Cater Street Hangman (1979). I soon discovered she had another series set in roughly the same era, after the Crimean War, about an amnesiac police office, William Monk, relying on his detective skills under the radar to find out who he is in The Face of a Stranger (1990). Then among other series set during a variety of Christmases or in WWI, a new series started this past fall, Death in Focus (2019) involving a young photographer in the aftermath of WWI as Hitler rose to power.

Three Kindle County Novels By Scott Turow

by Sharon Tucker

In 1990, I remember sitting in a theater, stunned by the turn of events at the end of Presumed Innocent. Now that I have read three of Scott Turow’s Kindle County novels with the same characters, I see that his characters and plots are even better on the page. The internal monologues detail so much more than actors can ever vocalize. It is really a pleasure to go back and read what made the books best sellers and to discover more about these rich characters.

Three Romantic Mysteries: Because Why Not?

by Sharon Tucker

Comfort reads are always a necessity, and mine currently are romantic thrillers I read or meant to read some time ago (with the occasional sci-fi or fantasy novel thrown in for variety) and I do find them all most comforting. The world of the thrillers is something I recognize from my early years of getting lost in fiction and, as ever, with genre reading we recognize where we are and we like it or go home. Mary Stewart’s novels were my favorites, and I’ve read them all so I decided to explore others in the same vein.

Mary Higgins Clark: An Appreciation

by Sharon Tucker

I have only recently begun to read Mary Higgins Clark. Her style is rather more journalistic than I usually like, but I must say she tells a good, textured story. Having authored over fifty books, won numerous awards, and sold millions of titles, she passed away January 31, 2020, at the age of ninety-two. She was associated with Simon and Schuster publishing house, and the same editor for over forty-four years, a remarkable record in itself.

The Last of Hamish Macbeth (Almost) & A Fond Farewell to Marion Chesney Gibbon

by Sharon Tucker

I have been saddened at the passing of Marion Chesney Gibbon. I have only begun to process these feelings by actually writing an article about her and the last Hamish Macbeth books written as M.C. Beaton. Surely it is because Hamish is my favorite of her characters in her more than 160 books although there have been many characters and books from which to choose.

Steven F. Havill’s Posadas County Mysteries

by Sharon Tucker

There is a lot to be said for young, attractive, very bright police officers in fiction. They possess boundless energy, and can usually chase, then actually catch, malefactors. However, Bill Gastner, Undersheriff of Posadas County New Mexico, has already raised a family, been widowed, and has been on the job for more years that he cares to count with retirement on the horizon. He also knows that in Posadas County, the undersheriff does the job and the sheriff is an administrator.

Ruth Ware’s Art of Anxiety

by Sharon Tucker

The supernatural may not be a major component of Ruth Ware’s suspense novels (except for reading Tarot cards...), but her books are intense reads. The primary characters who people her novels are young professionals, successful on varying levels, who find themselves in the midst of circumstances beyond their control.

The Tradition of Nancy Drew

by Sharon Tucker

Nancy Drew adventures have been mainstream for over eighty years for good reason: she is our hero. It matters little that over the years these novels have had different authors writing under the pen name Carolyn Keene; what does matter is each author has carried on the original intent to give readers an intelligent, resourceful young woman who not only loves to unravel mysteries, but is very good at it, much in the tradition of the Hardy Boys, her contemporaries in stories of investigation.