For women going places

For the Road: Summer Reading Recommendations, Part 3


Happy Fourth of July weekend! If you're going to be relaxing by the pool or at the beach this holiday, here are a few more books we recommend reading. This time, we're talking mysteries ... and cookbooks!


One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming - The latest in a strong and satisfying series about a female Episcopalian priest and a police chief in a small town in upstate New York. The priest has just returned from serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan as helicopter pilot and is trying to deal with the nightmares of war when another veteran is murdered. Don't just stop with this one - the whole series is highly recommended!

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny - The darling of Canada has won just about every major mystery award for this brilliant tale of heartbreak and hope. Inspector Gamache is the man you want on your murder case - thoughtful, relentless and reassuring. Booklist's Bill Ott says "From the tangled history of Quebec to the crippling reality of grief to the nuances of friendship, Penny hits every note perfectly in what is one of the most elaborately constructed mysteries in years."

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz - If you're looking for a book that will keep you entertained from the first page - this is the one. Enter the world of the Spellmans - an incredibly nontraditional family of private detectives in San Francisco. The family spends more time investigating each other than real cases and their paranoia leads to lots of laughs!

The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton - A smart thriller that will keep you turning pages. Mike Smith is a "boxman." He can open any kind of lock without a combination or key. This talent of course lands him in some nefarious company. What makes this story stand-out is that Mike can't speak. He lost his voice after a tragic event that you will spend the whole novel wanting to find out why.

Junkyard Dogs by Craig Johnson - Set in rural Wyoming, Sheriff Walt Longmire takes on the case of a severed thumb that leads to murder. Johnson has a way with setting and character that draws you in and makes you feel like you're dealing with snowstorms and heart-pumping situations. Publishers Weekly says Walt "will remind readers that a big city isn't necessary for a compelling crime story and enduring hero."

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson - A stunning combination of literary novel and detective fiction. Private detective Jackson Brodie navigates several cases in London that you're sure will never intertwine but amazingly do. His character has the typical private dick qualities - down and out but street smart with a heart of gold. You will pull for him, yet laugh at his amazingly bad luck. This is the first in the series and they only get better. 

I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman - Edgar-winner Lippman delves into psychological suspense with this engrossing novel about a woman whose buried past comes back to haunt her when she receives a letter from death row. Lippman superbly masters bouncing between the present and a long ago summer to keep you riveted.

And if you're looking for something to cook up besides suspense this summer, here are some suggestions.


Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson - Independent, popular blogger Swanson gives easy, healthy recipes.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer - One of Publishers Weekly's most anticipated cookbooks of the year (but you might need an ice cream maker).

My Father's Daughter by Gwenyth Paltrow - This cookbook is chock-full of delicious, easy recipes if you're willing to look past (or perhaps laugh at) her often lofty prose.   

So enjoy your summer - hopefully with a good book!

See you on the road,

Road Reporters Vicki Zwart and Maia Gillet

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