- Burn by Nevada Barr http://www.nevadabarr.com/index.htm
- Body Work by Sara Paretsky http://www.saraparetsky.com/
Two very good books in long time mystery series by two of my favorite authors. Both are within the hard-boiled female detective sub-genre -Heck, Sara is one of the creators of that sub-genre and a master of it. Both are masters of setting and atmosphere.
Sara makes Chicago (a place I've never been) so real to me that I think I could find my way around if I was suddenly (and mysteriously) dropped off there. Her relationship with little (6 foot tall) cousin Petra, who is almost as annoying as V.I. Warshawski herself- it must be genetic- continues to grow. V.I. is the world's worst girlfriend to her preoccupied new musician boyfriend. Frankly I always think she must be VERY good looking or people would run like the dickens to get away from her and most do. How does she make a living? Anyway, Body Work is a very contemporary story that includes an Iraqi soldier's PTSD, body image, violence against women, and performance art as part of the plot. You get to learn a lot more about her friend, bar owner Sal Barthele, and about Darraugh Graham, both pretty minor characters in most of the prior books. And all of the friends and family, like Lottie, Mr. Contreras, and Peppy, are along. A seriously good read.