I mentioned (does mentioned make sense in a blog? Maybe) that I'd read Life After Life, and found it lovely and moving and strange. But what I didn't mention was that the "about the author" section noted that Kate Atkinson also writes detective novels.
I love detective novels. Not all of them—I'm not the hugest fan of the gritty tough guy aspects of the genre, and for some reason the two Jack Reacher novels I've read I figured out the mystery halfway through, which is really not my way—but the form itself is appealing to me. I like puzzles, and what is a better puzzle than a novel puzzle? It's two delightful things in one.
As a special treat, I went to the bookstore and bought the first one, Case Histories.
It was fun. I mean, a lot of fun. And textured and rich and deep, and I really loved it. And then I bought the other two I could find, and I read them too. And then I thought to myself: why isn't everyone talking about these? These are some of the most unbelievably pleasurable books I've read in a dog's age. How is it that people went on at length about The Goldfinch, but I haven't stumbled across these sooner? Have I been hanging with the wrong crowd?
All of which is to say, dear reader, are you ready for some fun? For wanting to leave the dinner table so you can get back to your book? For looking forward to your subway commute? Here you go.