Recently, I thoroughly enjoyed reading a couple of offbeat detective stories, but that’s where the similarities end. This is my kind of novel-writing research!
Fiction: The Lost Apothecary, A Novel, penned by Sarah Penner, who was formerly employed in Finance like me. This mystery set in present-day London leads us back to the female owner of an apothecary (pharmacy) in the 1700s. An American woman, taking a break from her faithless husband, escapes to London and finds an old, marked bottle along the Thames. Her curiosity drives her to find its origin and the apothecary. You may find it farfetched that she happened upon this old relic from the past. But the Thames, London’s main riverway, hasn’t been altered much from the days of Jolly-Old-London, so bits of history still wash up. This searching process is called “mudlarking.” During my next visit to London, whenever that may be, I hope to find a fascinating fragment in the mud too. Other mysteries probably lie buried in the Thames riverbed. Perhaps Sarah will pen another!
Nonfiction: The Modern Detective – How Corporate Intelligence is Reshaping the World, reported by former journalist and now Corporate PI Tyler Maroney. A fascinating mix of chapters delves into what’s typically hidden territory. Corporate spying! Tyler’s journalism background gives this nonfiction book an added plus with easy readability and the facts. But you needn’t worry that you will learn something you shouldn’t – sensitive names and identities were changed. Tyler sprinkles his educational stories with fun diversionary tidbits. So much so that he reminds me of the well-known author Michael Lewis who also excels at turning dull topics into drama. I hope Tyler shares another journalistic report covering more unusual investigations soon.
What are you reading?
Karen Stensgaard’s most recent novel Project Onion, in the new Melville Consulting Series, is about an unconventional PI with some mysteries to unravel.