Mysteries solved

April 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Were you one of those kids who read under the covers with a flashlight after your parents told you to go to sleep? I would have been, but my bedroom closet had a light, so I read wrapped up in a quilt, sitting on my closet floor. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to read past my bedtime, and my favorite late-night reads have been mysteries. I started with the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books saved from my mother’s childhood, and was hooked. My taste in whodunits became darker and edgier as I got older (how could it not?), but recently I’ve shied away from graphic violence. Too much of that in the real world. Maybe I’ll become one of those gray-haired old ladies surrounded by cats reading cozy British mysteries. So be it.

When I was growing up, many of the books that I read came from either the school library or our neighborhood branch library. I’d check out as many books as they’d let me, devour them, and go back for more. But once I got out of college, I lost my library habit, becoming instead a devotee of the bookstore. I can spend hours in a bookstore, and until recently, found it difficult to walk away without a book – or several – in hand. Back in the day when I moved every couple of years, I shed some books each time I packed up my apartment. We’ve lived in this house for 13 years now, our many bookshelves are overstuffed, and the old tactic of getting rid of a few old books every couple of years to make room for the new isn’t working for me any more. I want to reduce the number of books in the house, not just maintain.

So, I’m getting rid of my paperback mysteries.

In the past few days, I’ve moved 200 paperbacks from our bookshelves into paper bags, and they will be leaving our house once I’ve decided whether to sell them, donate them to the library, or give them away like the World Book Night folks do. Most are mysteries, with a few fantasy books that are mine rather than Paul’s thrown in. I am keeping a few favorite mysteries, some that the Seattle Public Library doesn’t have, and others that visiting friends and family have enjoyed to lend again.

With 200 fewer books, our bookshelves are still full. Clearly, I’m not finished unstuffing the bookshelves yet.

I’m planning to develop a library habit again. As a taxpayer, I’ve already helped pay for those library books, so why not enjoy them? I’ve put holds on several books, and am looking forward to picking them up from my branch library.  I’ll just have to be sure to take them right back after I’ve read them, so that I don’t pay for them again in fines. (That’s easier with e-books, but most of what I currently want to read is available in hard copy only.) When I find a book that I adore, and want to reread and share with friends, it may become a part of our book collection, but not before. That’s my intention, anyway. Wish me luck.

In case you’re interested (and so I can keep track), the 200 books leaving are:

Jeff Abbott, A Kiss Gone Bad
Keith Ablow, Murder Suicide
Sherman Alexie, Indian Killer
Linda Barnes, Trouble of Fools
Linda Barnes, Coyote
Linda Barnes, Steel Guitar
Linda Barnes, Snapshot
Linda Barnes, Cold Case
Linda Barnes, The Big Dig
Linda Barnes, Deep Pockets
Ann Benson, The Plague Tales
Cara Black, Murder in the Sentier
Ken Bruen, The Guards: A Novel
Edna Buchanan, The Ice Maiden
Jan Burke, Bones
Jan Burke, Flight
Andrea Camilleri, The Shape of Water
Andrea Camilleri, Excursion to Tindari
Lowen Clausen, First Avenue
Harlan Coben, Tell No One
Patricia Cornwell, The Body Farm
Patricia Cornwell, From Potter’s Field
Patricia Cornwell, Unnatural Exposure
Patricia Cornwell, Black Notice
Patricia Cornwell, Book of the Dead
Patricia Cornwell, Scarpetta
Patricia D. Cornwell, Body of Evidence
Patricia D. Cornwell, All That Remains
Patricia D. Cornwell, Cruel & Unusual
Patricia Daniels Cornwell, Postmortem
Robert Crais, The Monkey’s Raincoat
Robert Crais, Stalking the Angel
Robert Crais, Lullaby Town
Robert Crais, Free Fall
Robert Crais, Voodoo River
Robert Crais, L.A. Requiem
Robert Crais, The Last Detective
Robert Crais, The Forgotten Man
Robert Crais, The Watchman
Deborah Crombie, Dreaming of the Bones
Deborah Crombie, A Finer End
Deborah Crombie, Now May You Weep
Deborah E. Crombie, Leave the Grave Green
Deborah E. Crombie, Mourn Not Your Dead
Susan Dunlap, No Immunity
John Dunning, The Bookman’s Wake
Barry Eisler, Rain Fall
Earl Emerson, Deviant Behavior
Earl Emerson, Yellow Dog Party
Earl Emerson, Portland Laugher
Earl Emerson, Vanishing Smile
Earl Emerson, The Rainy City
Earl Emerson, Poverty Bay
Earl Emerson, Nervous Laughter
Earl Emerson, Million-Dollar Tattoo
Earl Emerson, Deception Pass
Earl Emerson, Catfish Cafe
Earl Emerson, Cape Disappointment
Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair
Jasper Fforde, Lost in a Good Book
Jasper Fforde, The Well of Lost Plots
Ariana Franklin, Mistress of the Art of Death
Ariana Franklin, The Serpent’s Tale
Elizabeth George, A Great Deliverance
Elizabeth George, Payment in Blood
Elizabeth George, Well-Schooled in Murder
Elizabeth George, A Suitable Vengeance
Elizabeth George, For the Sake of Elena
Elizabeth George, Missing Joseph
Elizabeth George, Playing for the Ashes
Elizabeth George, A Traitor to Memory
Barbara Hambly, A Free Man of Color
Barbara Hambly, Fever Season
Barbara Hambly, Graveyard Dust
Barbara Hambly, Sold Down the River
Barbara Hambly, Die Upon a Kiss
Barbara Hambly, Days of the Dead
Laurell K. Hamilton, Guilty Pleasures
Laurell K. Hamilton, The Laughing Corpse
Laurell K. Hamilton, Circus of the Damned
Laurell K. Hamilton, The Lunatic Cafe
Laurell K. Hamilton, Bloody Bones
Laurell K. Hamilton, The Killing Dance
Laurell K. Hamilton, Burnt Offerings
Laurell K. Hamilton, Blue Moon
Laurell K. Hamilton, Obsidian Butterfly
Laurell K. Hamilton, A Kiss of Shadows
Steve Hamilton, A Cold Day in Paradise
Steve Hamilton, Winter of the Wolf Moon
Steve Hamilton, North of Nowhere
Michael A. Hawley, Double Bluff
Craig Holden, Four Corners of Night
David Hunt, The Magician’s Tale
David Hunt, Trick of Light
J.A. Jance, Until Proven Guilty
J.A. Jance, Injustice for All
J.A. Jance, Trial by Fury: A Mystery
J.A. Jance, Taking the Fifth
J.A. Jance, Improbable Cause
J.A. Jance, A More Perfect Union
J.A. Jance, Dismissed With Prejudice
J.A. Jance, Minor in Possession
J.A. Jance, Payment in Kind
J.A. Jance, Without Due Process
J.A. Jance, Failure to Appear
J.A. Jance, Lying in Wait
J.A. Jance, Name Withheld
J.A. Jance, Breach of Duty
J.A. Jance, Birds of Prey
J.A. Jance, Partner in Crime
Iris Johansen, The Face of Deception
Iris Johansen, The Killing Game
Laurie R. King, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
Laurie R. King, A Letter of Mary
Laurie R. King, The Moor
William Kent Krueger, Iron Lake
William Kent Krueger, Purgatory Ridge
Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Dennis Lehane, A Drink Before the War
Dennis Lehane, Darkness, Take My Hand
Dennis Lehane, Shutter Island
Donna Leon, A Noble Radiance
Donna Leon, Uniform Justice
Donna Leon, Death in a Strange Country
Henning Mankell, Faceless Killers
Henning Mankell, One Step Behind
Henning Mankell, The White Lioness
Henning Mankell, Firewall
Henning Mankell, Before the Frost
Val McDermid, The Mermaids Singing
Denise Mina, Garnethill
Denise Mina, Exile
Denise Mina, Resolution
Denise Mina, Field of Blood
Denise Mina, Slip of the Knife
Tiina Nunnally, Runemaker
Tiina Nunnally, Fate of Ravens
Carol O’Connell, Crime School
Robert B. Parker, Cold Service
Otto Penzler, Murder and Obsession: 15 New Original Stories
Anne Perry, The Face of a Stranger
Anne Perry, A Dangerous Mourning
Anne Perry, Defend and Betray
Anne Perry, Sudden, Fearful Death
Anne Perry, Sins of the Wolf
Anne Perry, Cain His Brother
Anne Perry, The Twisted Root
Anne Perry, Funeral in Blue
Anne Perry, Death of a Stranger
Thomas Perry, Sleeping Dogs
Thomas Perry, Dance for the Dead
Thomas Perry, Death Benefits
Thomas Perry, Pursuit
Thomas Perry, Nightlife: A Novel
Thomas Perry, Runner
Ian Rankin, Knots and Crosses
Ian Rankin, Tooth and Nail
Ian Rankin, Mortal Causes
Ian Rankin, Hide and Seek
Ian Rankin, Strip Jack
Ian Rankin, Let It Bleed
Ian Rankin, Black and Blue
Ian Rankin, The Hanging Garden
Ian Rankin, Set in Darkness
Ian Rankin, Dead Souls
Ian Rankin, Resurrection Men
Ian Rankin, A Question of Blood
Ian Rankin, Bleeding Hearts
Kathy Reichs, Deja Dead
Kathy Reichs, Death du Jour
Kathy Reichs, Bare Bones: A Novel
J.D. Robb, Naked in Death
Lora Roberts, Murder in a Nice Neighborhood
Lora Roberts, Murder in the Marketplace
Lora Roberts, Murder Bone by Bone
Lora Roberts, Murder Crops Up
S. J. Rozan, China Trade
S. J. Rozan, Concourse: A Bill Smith-Lydia Chin Mystery
S. J. Rozan, Mandarin Plaid
S. J. Rozan, No Colder Place
S. J. Rozan, Stone Quarry
S. J. Rozan, Reflecting the Sky
S. J. Rozan, The Shanghai Moon: A Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novel
S.J. Rozan, Absent Friends
Barbara Seranella, No Human Involved
Dan Simmons, Hard Freeze: A Joe Kurtz Novel
Sarah Smith, The Vanished Child
Sarah Smith, The Knowledge of Water
Julia Spencer-Fleming, In the Bleak Midwinter
Julia Spencer-Fleming, A Fountain Filled With Blood
Julia Spencer-Fleming, All Mortal Flesh
Julia Spencer-Fleming, I Shall Not Want
S. M. Stirling, Conquistador: A Novel of Alternate History
S. M. Stirling, Dies the Fire: A Novel of the Change
S. M. Stirling, The Protector’s War: A Novel of the Change
S. M. Stirling, A Meeting at Corvallis: A Novel of the Change
S. M. Stirling, The Sunrise Lands: A Novel of the Change
S. M. Stirling, The Scourge of God: A Novel of the Change
Charles Todd, Watchers of Time: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Novel
Stephen White, Privileged Information
Stephen White, Cold Case

UPDATE: I discovered a bag of books in the basement that included more paperback mysteries. These 25 books are on their way out as well:

Keith Ablow, Projection
Bruce Alexander, Blind Justice
Giles Blunt, The Delicate Storm
Stephen Booth, Dancing with the Virgins
C. J. Box, Open Season
Patricia Cornwell, Isle of Dogs
Patricia Cornwell, Blow Fly
Patricia Cornwell, Trace
Robert Crais, The Two Minute Rule
Jeffery Deaver, The Blue Nowhere
Earl Emerson, Into the Inferno
Christopher Fowler, The Water Room
Jane Haddam, Conspiracy Theory
Greg Iles, Dead Sleep
J. A. Jance, Edge of Evil
Jonathan Kellerman, The Conspiracy Club
Paul Levine, Solomon vs. Lord
Carol O’Connell, Shell Game
Carol O’Connell, Dead Famous
Carol O’Connell, Winter House
T. Jefferson Parker, Red Light
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Thunderhead
Kathy Reichs, Monday Mourning
Julia Spencer-Fleming, Out of the Deep I Cry
Julia Spencer-Fleming, To Darkness and to Death


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