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Julie Hyzy

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Julie Hyzy is the New York Times bestselling author of the White House Chef Mysteries and the Manor House Mysteries. She's won the Anthony, Barry, Derringer, and Lovey Awards for her novels and short stories. Her fifth Manor House Mystery, Grace Against the Clock, has just been published by Berkely..

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Hyzy: I am a happy, lucky woman.

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Hyzy: Rolling Stones: Hot Rocks

RTE: What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Hyzy: I’ve always wanted to be a writer. There was a short time I considered acting, but my passion for writing eclipsed that.

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July 5, 2014

With both Canada Day and the Fourth of July behind us , summer is well and truly underway, and here's what you might want to read over the coming warm and lovely days.

Unreliable narrators are frequent lately in fiction of all sorts, genre or not. Elizabeth Healey's stunning debut, ELIZABETH IS MISSING, has a remarkable one in an old woman fast declining into dementia who is determined to discover what has happened recently to her best friend and to her elder sister who disappeared seventy years ago. It is the narratives that are unreliable in Tom Rob Smith's THE FARM in which the leading character must choose between the competing stories told by his father and his mother. Sharon Mensing couldn't put it down.

Barbara Fister reports that Jo Nesbø ia taking a break from Henry Hole in THE SON, a standalone with metaphysical overtones. It is, she reports, sheer entertainment all the way.

There's something about summer that just seems to cry out for a thriller and we have several to report on. Anne Corey calls I AM PILGRIM, by Terry Hayes, "the quintessential thriller," and suggests you not read it until you have time to finish it, since you won't want to put it down. Jim Napier is equally enthusiastic about Neely Tucker's debut THE WAYS OF THE DEAD, set in Washington DC, which he calls atmospheric and taut, but definitely not your average serial killer tale. It's the daughter of a Federal Court judge who's the victim here and in James W. Ziskin's latest Elly Stone, NO STONE UNTURNED, it's the daughter of a local judge. Ben Neal found it "smart, relevant, and compelling." Marc Guggenheim's OVERWATCH, with its CIA lawyer and dangerous international conspiracy has the elements dear to the heart of all thriller lovers and, says Christine Zibas, will make those readers happy right up, if not including, the ending.

Chevy Stevens enters the world of the angst-ridden teenager in THAT NIGHT, perhaps a little further than Sharon Mensing cared to go at the beginning, but she reports that in the end, she was glad she stayed.

Hawaii turns up as a crime venue more frequently on TV than in books, but Mark Troy's thriller THE SPLINTERED PADDLE is set in Waikiki and offers a look at the underside of that tropical paradise. Cathy Downs reports that it would have benefited from richer character development, though the Hawaiian culture content is interesting. South Africa is appearing with considerable regularity in print in North America, happily, and Andrew Brown's COLDSLEEP LULLABY extends beyond the major cities to Stellenbosch, the university town in the winery district of the Cape. Meredith Frazier reports that it offers richly drawn characters combined with a good story and thought-provoking subject matter.

COP TOWN is Karin Slaughter's first standalone and a semi-historical one at that, set as it is in Atlanta, Georgia in 1974. I enjoyed its strong female leads and evocation of the attitudes of the period, attitudes we hope are safely in the past, but should keep an eye out for nevertheless. There's a lot of explicit violence here, but nothing near as grim as what we find in Alex Grecian's view of Victorian London, THE DEVIL'S WORKSHOP, a post-modern take on Jack the Ripper. Donna Allard Halford persevered to the end and found quite a bit to think about.

Time for a little sweetness and light and the two cosies reviewed by PJ Coldren offer both. Laurie Cass's latest town librarian mystery, TAILING A TABBY is a traditional cosy and a very enjoyable one in fact, says PJ. AUNT DIMITY AND THE WISHING WELL, by Nancy Atherton, mixes the cosy mystery up with a strong dash of paranormal and a bit of romance to produce, in this, Aunt Dimity's 19th appearance, a book that is a pleasure to read.

Finally if you're travelling somewhere and would like an audio for company, Caryn St Clair can recommend THE LONG SHADOW by Liza Marklund as read by India Fisher. This one is set not in Sweden but in sunny Spain, where Annika Bengtzon is on assignment, covering the murder of an entire Swedish family.

And that is that for this July edition of RTE. Our interviewee this week is Julie Hyzy and you can read her answers to our questions in the box to your left.

For what's going on in crime fiction in the UK, the latest issue of CrimeReview may be found at CRIMEREVIEW, where our former colleagues will let you know what they think of what they've been reading.

We'll be back again at the beginning of August, so remember to come back for a visit.

Here's wishing everyone a lovely summer,


P.S. If you wish to submit a book for review, please check here before contacting us. Please note that we do not review self-published books.

Our mascot and masthead is Smokey the Cat. Smokey the cat went to the great playground in the sky on April 29, 2008, at 3:30 p.m. He was about 13 years old, had diabetes and only 11 teeth left. He is much happier now. He will remain as our masthead and mascot.

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