Tag Archives: mysteries

What I’m Reading

girl-with-dragon-tattooMy current reading has taken me to Sweden. I’m devouring the international bestseller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s a mystery that takes place in Sweden featuring a financial journalist and a young female computer hacker. The journalist is hired to simultaneously write the history of a wealthy industrial family and solve a decades-old murder.

Here is the opening:

Prologue, A Friday in November
It happened every year, was almost a ritual. And this was his eighty-second birthday. When, as usual, the flower was delivered, he took off the wrapping paper and then picked up the telephone to call Detective Superintendent Morell who, when he retired, had moved to Lake Siljan in Dalarna. They were not only the same age, they had been born on the same day — which was something of an irony under the circumstances. The old policeman was sitting with his coffee, waiting, expecting the call.

“It arrived.”

“What is it this year?”

“I don’t know what kind it is. I’ll have to get someone to tell me what it is. It’s white.”

“No letter I suppose.”

“Just the flower. The frame is the same kind as last year. One of those do-it-yourself ones.”

“Postmark?”

“Stockholm.”

“Handwriting?”

“Same as always, all in capitals. Upright, neat lettering.”

With that, the subject was exhausted, and not another word was exchanged for almost a minute. The retired policeman leaned back in his kitchen chair and drew on his pipe. He knew he was no longer expected to come up with a pithy comment or any sharp question which would shed a new light on the case. Those days had long since passed, and the exchange between the two men seemed like a ritual attaching to a mystery which no-one else in the whole world had the least interest in unravelling.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is book 1 of “The Millenium Trilogy” by Stieg Larsson, who handed in all three manuscripts to his publisher, then died suddenly in 2004. The book features many characters and manages to handle gory crime content without being explicitly gross. I’ve lost many hours of sleep staying up late to read as much as I could.

The second book in the series will be released in July 2009.

Have you read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?

Words, Words, Words

Here is my current reading list:

The Knowledge of WaterThe Knowledge of Water
By Sarah Smith

A novel about murder, art forgery and love. It takes place during the Paris flood of 1910. Rich in characters and full of details of Parisian life at the beginning of the 20th century.

Opening lines: It takes a second to shoot a man. Thinking about it takes the rest of one’s life.

Free Gift with PurchaseFree Gift with Purchase:
My Improbable Career in Magazines and Makeup

By Jean Godfrey-June

A fun memoir by the beauty editor of Lucky Magazine. An insider’s look at the world of women’s glossies. I love reading memoirs and biographies of women.

Opening lines: You know all the studies, how beautiful people make more money, do better in school, etc., etc., than everyone else? I think when you look at a truly beautiful person, you think, We’re the same species, no?

The Complete Book of OzThe Complete Book of Oz
By L. Frank Baum

This has all of the Oz books in one big volume. I never read these as a kid. But The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies. I was surprised to learn that the Judy Garland version was the third or fourth time the story was made into a movie. There are several silent adaptations.

Opening lines: Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer’s wife. Their house was small, for the lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles.

What are you reading?