The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
This book was the first Christie mystery I ever read and it hooked me good. I must have reread this one a thousand times and its always such a treat. One of the best things about Agatha Christie is that she wrote so many books, so once you’re a fan you have a huge library of great mysteries to choose from. This book really launched my love for mysteries and gave me a first glance and one of my favorite detectives of all time, the inimitable Hercule Poirot.
Fresh Wind Blowing by Grace Campbell
Gotta shout out for the family on this one. My great grandmother wrote a number of books that were popular back in the day, but this one has always been my favorite. Set in World War 2 and following the life of a young Canadian woman dealing with the loss of her twin brother and her continued acceptance of hope and life in the face of grief, this book was written after my great-grandmother suffered the loss of her twin sons both shot down over France within a month of each other. My great-grandmother died before I was born, but in this narrative and her other books as well, I hear her voice ringing through loud and clear. It sounds like mine!
The Chains That You Refuse by Elizabeth Bear
This is a relatively new collection of short stories. The book was a gift and I have read it again and again and I am always finding myself thinking about one or another of the strange and delightful and even horrifying stories in this collection. I loaned it to my mom for about 6 months and I’ll be damned if I didn’t regret it fairly regularly and then became ecstatically happy when she returned it. The Kit Marlowe story in particular I find captivating and have spent many hours thinking about. Its full of interesting ideas.
Whale Music by Paul Quarrington
Here’s another book that is on my short list simply because I cannot stop reading it. I stole my brother’s copy and read it and then refused to give it back. Eventually, I had to buy him a replacement. It sticks in my head and will not let go. Its the kind of book I like to read and reread, and then listen to the Beach Boys and read their biography, listen to copies of SMILE on youtube and then go back and read Whale Music again. Yes, I do that.