Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Susan Oleksiw - Last Call for Justice is featured in the HBS Mystery Reader's Circle today.
Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Website: Susan Oleksiw
Author's Blog: Susan Oleksiw - One Writer's World
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Susan Oleksiw is the author of two mystery series. The first features Chief of Police Joe Silva in the Mellingham series, set in a coastal New England town. The second is the Anita Ray series, featuring Anita Ray solving crimes in South India. Anita Ray first appeared in a number of short stories published in national publications and anthologies. Oleksiw has lived and traveled extensively in India, and written other stories and articles about India before introducing Anita Ray in crime fiction. Oleksiw is also well known for her nonfiction work on crime and mystery fiction. She is the compiler of A Reader's Guide to the Classic British Mystery (1988) and co-editor of The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing (1999). Her essays and reviews have appeared in numerous anthologies and publications.
Last Call For Justice
A Mellingham Mystery
Author: Susan Oleksiw
Barnes and Noble
In the waning days of August, Joe Silva along with his partner, Gwen, and her daughter, Jennie, travel to Joe’s childhood home for a long-planned family reunion. For the first time in over thirty years all six living siblings will be together, arriving from Nevada, Washington State, and across the street. Those who left and those who stayed will finally get a look at each other across the chasm of decades.
Joe’s father, now in his nineties, has orchestrated a reunion to settle rumor and suspicion about one of his children once and for all before he dies. But he also wants this reunion to comfort Mrs. Perreira, whose daughter had an accident and fell into a coma barely days after she and Joe broke up. A bitter resident of the same nursing home is eager to pass on the rumors about Joe’s family to Gwen.
Sisters who haven’t seen each other in years are also ready to confront their past, to look at what might have been and face down the fears that drove them away. From the upright Zaira and the dutiful Lucia to the youngest, Deanie, whose choices in life have befuddled the others, Joe’s relatives delve into ancient pain and a modern murder.
Last Call for Justice turns the lens on Joe and his family, showing the reader why his relatives call him “the one who got away,” and why Joe is still devoted to them. Like a sunny summer day, the story heats up to a conclusion that catches everyone off guard.
"the plot is satisfyingly twisty . . ."
—Barbara Fisher, Mystery Scene Magazine, on A Murderous Innocence
"Readers will luxuriate in Oleksiw's lush, evocative prose. . . . This is a series that, once discovered, will become required reading for mystery fans who straddle the fence between cozy and hard-boiled."
—Jenny McLarin, Booklist, on A Murderous Innocence
". . . a red-herring heyday for whodunit fans."
—Kirkus Reviews on Friends and Enemies
"Oleksiw has written an excellent example of the classic mystery. . . . The puzzle is fascinating, and the solution intriguing."
—Deadly Pleasures on Friends and Enemies
"This intricately crafted plot fits together like a jigsaw puzzle, keeping the reader guessing until the very last page."
—DSB, Mostly Murder, on Family Album
"Readers will enjoy visiting Mellingham, where a lot goes on under its picture postcard image. Miss Marple would feel right at home here."
—Library Journal on Family Album
Susan Oleksiw's books kep getting better and better."
—Kate's Mystery Books Newsletter on Family Album
At the age of seventeen Joe Silva got into his first and only brawl. There were seven of them—Joe, his older brother Paulo, Eduardo, who later married Joe’s sister Rosalie, and four boys from another neighborhood. Joe couldn’t remember what it was about—and that bothered him more than anything else. In his twenties he’d been secretly proud of how he and his brother and Eduardo had bloodied and beaten the others, but in his thirties he looked back on that episode with disgust, and now, facing the age of retirement, he was stymied at not being able to remember what the fight had been about. Joe couldn’t remember Paulo ever getting into another fight after that, though he’d had his share of roughhousing, but Eduardo hadn’t changed for years—he seemed to go from brawl to brawl, as though that were the point of his life.
Joe was thinking about this because he always did when he visited his family. The way they had been, the brawl and other encounters equally memorable, came up more often now, as though his parents, actually, mostly his father, were trying to get the details straight after all these years. His father seemed to have a few moments from his earlier years highlighted in his mind, and they flashed brighter and brighter as Joe visited less and less frequently. The brawl was sure to be a topic of a long reminiscence on Friday, after he and his dad had settled down for a talk.
It would begin with his father standing by the bookshelf rearranging the family photographs, making sure Paulo’s picture in his uniform was not eclipsed by the rows of little grandchildren at their first communion, weddings, graduations, and little families of their own. Paulo, the man who never aged, never grew slope-shouldered or wrinkled, never disappointed. The dead cannot disappoint us, Joe knew, but they can hold us, haunt us, and sometimes loom over us just when they should be the farthest from our minds.
The Wrath of Shiva
An Anita Ray Mystery
Author: Susan Oleksiw
Barnes and Noble
On an old estate along a quiet river in South India a family waits for the arrival of a granddaughter they haven t seen in quite a while. When she fails to appear at the airport or at the estate and doesn t even call no one wants to believe she has once again changed her plans without consulting anyone. But when she fails to call and offer any explanation the family begins to worry.
Anita Ray accompanies her Auntie Meena to her grandmother s house to comfort her and try to figure out where her cousin has got to. While she is there a maidservant falls into a trance. The maidservant reports from her trances that Devi the Great Goddess is angry with the family very angry. Even worse the maidservant has predicted that Surya the granddaughter will never arrive.
The family astrologer advises an exorcism to cure the maidservant and with this begins Anita s unrelenting curiosity about the astrologer his associates and a number of family antiques that have gone missing.
The Wrath of Shiva is her second novel featuring Anita Ray, who solves mysteries in Kerala, South India. Anita has an American parent but is comfortable living in her Auntie Meena's hotel and doing photography. When a cousin fails to arrive on a plane and a servant starts to go into trances and then blames it on an angry goddess, Anita investigates and is drawn into more intrigues than she bargained for.
Susan does an amazing job of making you feel like you are there under the tropical trees near the sea. You feel the humidity, hear the night sounds of birds and animals, and become immersed in the local culture of tradition. She brings the local dialect into dialog in a natural way as we get to know her grandmother, her Muttachi. Anita also grows closer to her handsome friend, Anand, who plays a part in solving the mystery not only of her cousin's disappearance but also of valuable antiquities missing from the family.
The twists toward and at the end were superbly done. I can't wait to read the next Anita Ray!
Edith M. Maxwell
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Susan Oleksiw is in the HBS Mystery Book Reader's Circle.
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