by Julia Buckley
This was the first cold week in Chicago, and I couldn't be happier. I come alive in fall, and I feel as though I get twice as many things done (including more writing) when the air is brisk.
I also enjoy reading things that are set in fall and winter. The first Martha Grimes book that I ever read, THE OLD SILENT, was captivating to me, especially the way that Grimes wove in a particular Robert Frost poem which contained the line "Goodbye, and keep cold." The book prompted me to read everything in the Grimes collection, and several of her mysteries were set in a mysterious and poetic winter backdrop.
Some fictional detectives live in cold climates, and so their authors set all of their mysteries in the cold.
I found this list while searching for cold-weather mysteries, compiled by "Leah Smith, librarian and avid reader." It's a terrific list, and I've read at least half of the books that Smith recommends, and can therefore agree to them.
I've always wanted to read Smilla's Sense of Snow simply because of the wonderful title, but I have not yet done it. Like many other readers, I sometimes feel crushed by the weight of all the books I want to read versus the amount of time I find to read them in. Still, it is a luxury, the thought of all those books . . . .
And now I'll be looking for the ones set in the cold. Something about that frigid air, and the delicious warm food that seems so much more appealing now than it did in July, makes me ready to embrace the news season, in life and in fiction.
What's your favorite cold-weather mystery?
(Photo by Julia Buckley: a hill-top in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, 2006).