Dear Great Book Guru, We had a great outdoor family party this weekend - weather was challenging but everyone had a fun time and, as always, when we gather together conversation turns to our latest book choices. One of the cousins talked about a mystery series by an Irish author and the rest of us were interested but now I’m not sure of the author. Thoughts? A Bookish Family
Dear Bookish Family, My guess is it’s John Banville’s Benjamin Black mysteries - the latest came out just last month: APRIL IN SPAIN. John Banville is a renowned prize-winning Irish author who writes a mystery series under the pseudonym Benjamin Black. His hero is Quirk, a 1950’s Dublin pathologist. His tortured past and present is the stuff of these literary mysteries. There are eight books in the series beginning with CHRISTINE FALLS. While each novel can stand alone, to see the complexity and evolution of Quirk, they should be read in order. The latest is set in Dublin and the Basque countryside with locations and characters exquisitely described. In the opening chapter we meet Terry Tice who liked “killing people.” In alternating chapters we are with the gloomy Quirk and his long suffering psychiatrist wife, Evelyn. While in some ways this is a simple mystery, Banville’s writing is so beautiful, it is hard not to reread many evocative passages even as we are eager to see how all the story lines come together. A wonderful read and highly recommended!