Detectives real and fictional
Among the protagonists featured in this week’s round up of books are medical masters, society sleuths and dour detectives.
The Other Side Of Impossible: Ordinary People Who Faced Daunting Medical Challenges And Refused To Give Up
Author: Susannah Meadows Publisher: Random House, nonfiction
AMERICAN journalist Susannah Meadows’ son was diagnosed at age three with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, a painful autoimmune disease affecting the joints.
Unhappy about the side effects of her son’s medications, Meadows looked for alternatives and discovered “the healthcare underground” of patients looking at complementary or alternative strategies for treating and defeating chronic and debilitating conditions.
Here Meadows offers the reallife stories of seven families who travelled to the outer frontiers of medical science and cutting-edge complementary therapies to deal with their illnesses. While she does not make scientific claims in her book, Meadows explores these families’ experiences with the intention of suggesting “potential targets for new research”.
Party Girls Die In Pearls (Oxford Girl Mystery #1)
Author: Plum Sykes Publisher: Harper, fiction
BRITISH fashion journalist for the American edition of Vogue magazine and socialite Plum Sykes made her fiction debut in 2004 with the bestselling Bergdorf Blondes set in a world she knew well: New York’s fashionable and rich jetsetters. In her third novel (the second is The Debutante Divorcee,
2005), Sykes mines her alma mater, Oxford, as the setting for a murder involving the posh set.
New (scholarship) student and unpolished country girl Ursula Flowerbutton discovers the body and is determined to conduct her own investigation. Luckily, she manages to elicit the – sometimes unwelcome – attention of trend-setting American exchange student Nancy Feingold, and the two embark, fashionably garbed at Nancy’s insistence, on a dangerous adventure that belies Oxford’s sleepy facade.
The Thirst (Harry Hole #11)
Author: Jo Nesbo Publisher: Harvill Secker, fiction
THE dour, troubled Harry Hole is actually ... happy. But that doesn’t last, of course, as his misery has been a defining characteristic in this Scandinoir (Scandinavian crime fiction) series known as much for its twists and turns as a particularly tortured protagonist.
In the latest book, Harry is blackmailed into returning to Oslo’s premiere police crime squad when a series of murders mimicking vampire attacks take place in the capital. Despite the pressure of the blackmail, our antihero is reluctant to give up his happy new life and return to bloody murder – until he realises there might be connection between these new killings and a case he failed to close when he was a detective.
Truth Or Fiction
Authors: Lakshmy A. Krishnan, Margaret Fletcher & Pushpa Menon
Publisher: Silverfish Books, short stories
LOCAL indie publisher Silverfish Books is known for its collections of short stories written by local authors. In this one, the publisher has gone regional, bringing together authors from Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.
Aussie Margaret Fletcher shares observations of Kuala Lumpur’s expatriate community; Malaysian Pushpa Menon, a retired lawyer, flexes her already seasoned storytelling muscles with new tales; and Singaporean Lakshmy A. Krishnan explores her roots with anecdotes from the past.
The Frangipani Tree Mystery
Author: Ovidia Yu
Publisher: Constable, fiction
PROLIFIC Singaporean author and playwright Ovidia Yu – best known for her Aunty Lee amateur sleuth series – has begun a new trilogy, this time set during colonial times on the island.
When the nanny to the Acting Governor’s daughter dies unexpectedly, Chief Inspector Thomas LeFroy arranges for local girl Su Lin to replace her.
The mission school-educated Su Lin is more than happy to take the job if only to avoid an arranged marriage.
But when more people die, all in mysterious circumstances, Su Lin the aspiring journalist decides to find out if there is a killer stalking the corridors of Government House.
The Chief Inspector is not amused. At first. Until Su Lin’s local know-how proves invaluable, even marking her as the next victim.