Happy 2008 to all, as I pass on my first book recommendation of the New Year.  For a different voice, filled with wry wit and cutting observations, try Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read.  Her debut novel was nominated for an Edgar, and although it must fall into the mystery-suspense category, it is filled with social commentary as she contrasts Long Island society with the upstate New York farming community.  “And never the twain shall meet” is something protagonist reporter Madeline Dare hardly seems fixed to dispel as her two worlds clash.  Maddie soon finds herself enmeshed in tracking down the twenty+ year old murder of two sisters whose rose-garlanded bodies were found in a farm field.   Watch out for the Reader’s note at the book’s end, where author Read describes the real-life events that inspired the novel, plus questions for book club discussions.  Her next, The Crazy School, follows Maddie’s next pursuit.

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