What I'm Reading Now: 11 August 15

Blood lure-- Nevada Barr
Suitable for framing-- Edna Buchanan
Breaking silence-- Linda Castillo
Don’t kill the birthday girl-- Sandra Beasley (memoir)

It was a busy weekend and a busy day, so I'm going to be somewhat brief.

I read Blood lure a while ago, but forgot to make a note of it. I've read several other books in Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon series, and I enjoy them. Anna is a Park Ranger in the US National Parks system, and she seems to run into mysteries no matter where she's stationed. (By now, seven or eight books in, she gets sent to other parks to do some undercover sleuthing now and again.) This time, she's helping out in a study collecting data on bears when a tourist disappears. This tourist happens to be the stepmother of a college student helping out with the bear survey, and the disappearance happens the same night that a bear attacks the survey team's campground. Anna is an interesting and none-too-perfect character-- a little annoying at times, but fun to read about. I don't go far out of my way to find Barr, but when I come across her, I read her with pleasure.

Suitable for framing is an older title by Edna Buchanan. Crime reporter Brit Montero takes a new reporter under her wing, and finds herself being outshined... or worse. Meantime, there's a carjacking ring of juveniles that appears to be getting away with murder. I found myself putting the book down a few times (although, in fairness, I always came back eventually). It was entertaining, but somewhat lacking in spots. I've read other books by Buchanan, and they've been better-- try Legally dead instead.

Breaking silence is Linda Castillo's third Kate Burkholder Amish mystery. There's a spate of hate crimes against the Amish, and the pace is escalating. When three Amish adults are found dead in their barn's manure pit, though, it appears to be a tragic accident-- at first. There are plenty of sudden reversals, and the ending is distinctly unexpected. Definitely a good read.

Don't kill the birthday girl is Sandra Beasley's memoir of growing up with multiple life-threatening food allergies (including, but not limited to, dairy, egg, soy, beef, shrimp, pine nuts, cucumbers, cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, macadamias, pistachios, and cashews). Beasley writes about what an allergy is, how allergies have infiltrated the culture (making allergic living simultaneously easier and more complex), how allergies complicate romance, why many people who are prescribed Epi-pens never use them, and how to advocate for yourself in a restaurant. She is funny and matter-of-fact, and makes us aware of how dangerous and worthwhile life can be.