Thursday, April 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Linda Barnes

In light of recent events I've been thinking about Boston in literature. There are, of course, the classics - Poe, Emerson, Alcott - but that is a Boston unfamiliar. Then, looking at my book shelf, I noticed Linda Barnes.

Barnes writes mysteries, most notably featuring the gutsy private investigator and sometime cabbie Carlotta Carlyle. All of them are set in Boston and make use of the uniqueness of Boston to enhance the basic mystery storyline.

Carlyle is a hard-boiled female protagonist in the tradition of Kinsey Milhone and Sharon McCone. She doesn't back down but she has flaws and self-doubts as she winds through her cases. I thoroughly enjoyed the first Carlyle mystery A Trouble of Fools which won multiple awards when it came out in 1987. I have since read several others and enjoyed them all.

Barnes has introduced a new protagonist with her most recent novel, The Perfect Ghost, who is quite different from Carlyle. The action takes place outside of Boston, on Cape Cod. It is definitely on my "To-Read" list.

So, if you are looking for a mystery with a Boston angle, enjoyable to read and catching a flavor of that marvelous city, I highly recommend Linda Barnes' Carlotta Carlyle series.

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