Friday, August 17, 2012

Spotlight: Political Mysteries

With the excitement of this week's visits to Iowa by Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, and current President Barack Obama, there's no denying that the election is in full swing. The national conventions are coming soon too. The Republicans will convene in Florida from August 27th through the 30th. The Democrats will gather in North Carolina from September 4th through the 6th.

Carnegie-Stout has books for anyone who wants to learn more about the candidates. You can browse those lists in our catalog by clicking the link of your choosing:
Governor Mitt Romney
President Barack Obama

In poking around Presidential trivia recently, I discovered an interesting fact, not one, but two children of former Presidents had successful careers as mystery novelists: Elliott Roosevelt, son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Margaret Truman, daughter of President Harry S. Truman.

Both authors make use of their special connection to Washington politics to craft their mysteries, using real political figures and recognizable landmarks. Nor are they the only authors to mix politics and murder to craft a suspenseful tale.

Murder and the First Lady by Elliott Roosevelt
Mr. Roosevelt's mother, Eleanor Roosevelt, acts as the sleuth in his historical mystery series. His writing isn't overly violent, and readers will enjoy the historical details. Despite being set during the Depression and WWII, there is an optimism to this series, which starts with Murder and the First Lady.

Margaret Truman
Ms. Truman used a more contemporary Washington D.C. as the setting for her suspenseful mystery novels. Although characters make reappearances, readers can explore her books in any order. She keeps much of the violence off of the page, and provides readers with a twisting plot that will keep you guessing.

State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy
Ms. Hyzy is the author of several cozy mystery series filled with colorful characters. Her amateur sleuths tend to have interesting day jobs, but none so interesting as Olivia Paras, White House chef. The series starts with State of the Onion, Olivia is under enough stress as she competes for a promotion to Executive Chef before she stumbles into a plot to kill the President.

The Alienist by Caleb Carr
Mr. Carr's historical mysteries are somewhat more violent than the other authors on today's list, but readers who enjoy a fast-paced plot and a literary flare should give him a try. The Alienist, his atmospheric third novel, is set in 1896 New York City, and Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt is working to catch a serial killer.

James Lehrer, journalist, anchor, and author of fiction and nonfiction alike, and subject of a few Staff Reviews, penned a series of novels with a political bent early in his career. These witty books follow "One-eyed Mack" from teenager through to life as Oklahoma's lieutenant governor.

Please stop by the Recommendations Desk on the first floor, check out NoveList Plus on the library's website, or visit W. 11th & Bluff next week for more reading suggestions. Or submit a Personal Recommendations request, and we'll create a reading list just for you!

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