“One Book” Kind of Woman

jennifer lawrence readingI’m a “one book” kind of woman. I know that multi-tasking has received very good press over the last several decades, but it’s not my preferred way to approach life and I simply cannot do it when it comes to reading. Yes, yes, I know lots of readers who love the challenge of moving with ease from novel to treatise and from short stories to histories. But this reader will take complete absorption over impatience-driven diversity any day of the week.

martha grimes strathmore mansion 2012For example, the charming and very approachable mysteries written by Martha Grimes. I’ve just begun Vertigo 42 and I know with delicious certainty that Richard Jury will exhibit all the quirks that set him apart—and keep him apart—from most of London’s finest. What’s more, the favorite haunts of his crowd of human malapropisms will be their usual pubs of choice where they will order predictable cocktails, which I have noticed they imbibe earlier and earlier with each book.

The mysteries are, themselves, approachable. They are less complex than those I write, but the settings, characters and language used by Ms. Grimes more than compensate for the slower and less demanding unraveling of the story.

P D James meets her readersP. D. James is also a British novelist whose tastes run to mysteries and decidedly more sinister and complicated ones, at that. Her willingness to extend herself in order to portray characters as close to three dimensions as is possible on the printed page rewards her readers with such richness that I have to applaud her generosity. She is a role model for me. And, speaking of “roles,” a friend of mine wrote her doctoral dissertation on “The Role of the Reader.” It is so important to remember that, like a good marriage or friendship, a book is a partnership.

I’m flattered by the wonderful reviews my newest book, Blame, has received, but I’m also open to learning how I can improve on this partnership that you and I enjoy.

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