Sandra Block’s Nightstand
Author Sandra Block is a practicing neurologist by day and a mystery writer by night. Little Black Lies, one of our favorite twisty novels of 2014, was her debut, and The Girl Without a Name is the latest novel in that series. In honor of its publication, Sandra shares the books waiting on her nightstand.
As a sleep physician, I have pristine sleep habits. And of course, my bedtime routine always includes a good book. After a few pages, the words start to blur, my eyes get heavy, and finally slumber comes a-calling.
At least, that’s what is supposed to happen.
What actually happens is that I stay up all night reading, completely negating my sleep habits. If it’s a thriller, I’m too terrified to sleep. If it’s a romance, I have to see if she gets her man. If it’s a_______ (fill in the blank), I just have to see how it ends…You get the picture. So, what’s on my nightstand right now, waiting to steal my ZZZs?
Here’s the top five on my stack:
- Thin Air by Ann Cleeves. Her Shetland series hits every checkmark for me. Atmospheric thriller? Moody, handsome main character? Original plot lines with surprise endings? Check, check, check. In fact, I’m so enamored with the series that sometimes I cross the border to Canada (a quick jaunt from Buffalo) to grab the next installment before it’s available in the States.
- Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline. You may be shocked that I haven’t read this one yet – I certainly am. When it comes to fast-paced suspense laced with witty dialogue and true-to-life characters, Scottoline is my go-to gal. And it’s about a doctor! So why haven’t I read the book yet? Funny story. I was in Florida on a mystery panel that Lisa headlined, and she signed my copy. Then my parents—even more rabid Scottoline fans—immediately absconded with it. (And since I was staying at their house for the event, I couldn’t exactly complain.) The likelihood of getting back my signed copy at this point appears close to nil. Sigh. Ebook, here I come.
- The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert. When I need a break from mind-bending crimes and grizzly death, a little romance is the perfect item on the menu. Set in charming Milwaukee, the novel is described as a foodie version of You’ve Got Mail with a chef and a restaurant critic. Kirkus says the book is, “clever, creative, and sweetly delicious.” (Clever, creative? Are all those C’s coincidental?) Let me tell you, the cover certainly looks good enough to eat.
- Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft. Before leaving the so-called “women’s fiction” genre (and no, I’m not delving into that minefield), I have one more on my night table. The novel is based on the author’s true account of her husband’s suicide standoff against the police. And I happen to know the author – Kathryn Craft – who waited 17 years to gain the perspective needed to tell this story. High tension, family secrets…sounds like a definite book club pick to me.
- Light of the World, James Lee Burke. This series is brand new for me, but it’s got all the makings of a favorite. A literary crime novel set in Louisiana, featuring a gritty and complex detective. You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard of James Lee Burke – but somehow I hadn’t. So how did I discover him? Word of mouth, of course. My 89-year-old patient (who happily also read my book) gave me the tip!
Learn more and order your copy of Sandra’s latest mystery, The Girl Without A Name, here. (Warning: you won’t find any sleep inside its pages!)
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