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Good Books When You’re Stuck In Bed: Adventure and Mystery

April 2, 2012

Two people very dear to me are stuck in their respective beds, recovering from surgery. I wish I had it in my power to make both of them heal faster. But, what I can do is make a list of good books to read while they’re recovering. Plenty of adventure and plot pelting along, without too many convolutions to keep track of.

Although one of the book-hungry patients is closer to becoming a cyborg, thanks to his successful knee replacement, he’s not a huge scifi fan, so this list is mostly adventure and mystery.

Scifi list still to come.

I’m reasonably sure these are all available as e-books, the better to download directly from one’s bed. Happy to make a book run for either of you! Apologies to the Cyborg: there are a few on this list you’ve already read… but I’m keeping an eye out for new goodies, never fear.

Any of the Flavia deLuce books by Alan Bradley. Mysteries set a few decades back, in the mouldering old deLuce mansion. Flavia loves to concoct things with her chemistry set, and keeps finding mysteries to solve. (So it’s a bit Harriet the Spy set circa Agatha Christie) The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is the first one. I Am Half Sick of Shadows is the most recent, a Christmas themed mystery with a flavor of retro cinema.

Brad Parks writes solid, smart mysteries with a distinct flavor of newsroom, set in Newark. (Any resemblance to a certain actual newspaper in Newark is purely incidental, we promise. Faces of the Gone is the first one. Plenty of newsroom, plenty of plot, bit of peril for Carter Ross, journalist looking for story, finding mystery.

The Sloth’s Eye– Linda Lombardi. A mystery set in a zoo. Zany and oddball, rather than suspenseful. Definitely a light, fun read. Protagonist is a young woman, klutzy and sarcastic and hapless in love, so a little whiff of Stephanie Plum in spots.

The Lineup– Edited by Otto Penzler. Pretty much every mystery writer you’ve ever heard of has a story in here, from Lee Child to Anne Perry to Ian Rankin. Short stories are good when you’re zonked. This is honestly a mixed bag, but it gets the job done.

The Illumination– Karen Tintori and Jill Gregory. Weird artifact, check. Grisly murder, check. Spy action, check. Religious mythology/overtones. Yep! Fast read? Absolutely.

The Crown– Nancy Bilyeau. While not a great read for when you’re well and truly foggy-headed, a really smart, interesting historical mystery with a good amount of action and puzzles. I couldn’t put it down.

Any other ideas, blogosphere?



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