Elizabeth J. Duncan’s Nightstand
Elizabeth J. Duncan, author of Untimely Death (Crooked Lane Books; November 10, 2015), the first in her new Shakespeare in the Catskills series, and the well-established Penny Brannigan series set in North Wales, shares what’s on her nightstand.
I’m in Wales for the winter, so my reading is decidedly British. Three of these books are borrowed from my local library here in Llandudno and one is downloaded from the library in Toronto. I’m currently writing the second book in the Shakespeare in the Catskills series and unlike some mystery authors, I do read other mystery writers while I’m working on a book. Wonderful writers like these inspire me to try to do better.
Currently on my nightstand:
Want You Dead by Peter James. The 10th in the series featuring Brighton Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. Police procedurals at their best. James sets his books against a backdrop of serious crime; a previous novel examined the exceedingly dark world of organ trafficking. This one is based on a real-life stalking case. James’s books are impeccably researched, well-written, gripping and satisfying.
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. As part of my ongoing research for the Shakespeare in the Catskills series, I’m taking a 10-week course through futurelearn.com called Shakespeare and His World. We study the plays, yes, but just as importantly the Tudor and Jacobean times in which they were written. This week’s focus play is set against the background of commerce and trade and our lectures explore the concept of “the outsider” and with great sensitivity, whether the play is anti-Semitic.
Howard’s End is on the Landing by Susan Hill. I haven’t started reading this yet, but love the concept. The author was searching for a particular book on her shelves and while she was looking for it, came across dozens she’d been meaning to read but hadn’t got round to. (Sound familiar?) So she set aside one year to read from her own shelves, enjoying old favourites and discovering new ones.
A Siege of Bitterns by Steve Burrows. First in the birder murder series (I always like to start a series at the beginning.) Canadian Inspector Domenic Jejeune is making a name for himself in UK. police services but he’d rather be bird watching. Winner of the 2015 Arthur Ellis award for best first novel and I can see why. Written in a smooth, evocative style. I admit I’m rather partial to a Canadian working in the UK. as a protagonist.
Elizabeth J. Duncan is the author of the new Shakespeare in the Catskills series and the award-winning Penny Brannigan mystery series. A former editor and broadcaster in Ottawa, Canada and London, England, Elizabeth is currently a Toronto resident and an instructor at the Humber School for Writers in Ontario, Canada. Elizabeth’s first novel, The Cold Light of Mourning, won the William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic 2006 Grant for Unpublished Writers and the 2008 St. Martin’s/Malice Domestic Award for best first traditional mystery and was nominated for an Arthur Ellis award in Canada and an Agatha Award in the United States. She has also won the 2013 Bloody Words best light mystery award. Visit Elizabeth at elizabethjduncan.com.
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