What do you see in the dark? Well, that partly depends on your perspective. In Munoz’s stylistic mise-en-scène novel, the second-person point of view frames the watchful eye and disguises the wary teller. Reading this story is like peering through Hitchcock’s lens—the camera as observer’s tool and observer as camera–with light and shadow and space concentrated and dispersed frame by frame, sentence by sentence.

March 28, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: California, Class - Race - Gender, Mystery/Suspense, Noir, Whiting, y Award Winning Author

FOREIGN BODIES by Cynthia Ozick

Cynthia Ozick, author of THE SHAWL and TRUST, two of my favorite books, has written a gem of a novel in FOREIGN BODIES. A slithering and taut comedy of errors, this book examines issues of betrayal and trust, literal and emotional exile, regret and rage, Judaism in post-World War II Europe and the meaning of art in one’s life. While based on themes similar to Henry James’ THE AMBASSADORS, this novel is distinctly and uniquely Ozick’s.

November 19, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, France, Humorous, Literary, y Award Winning Author

LET THE DEAD LIE by Malla Nunn

Swaziland-born Nunn’s second 1950s South Africa novel, LET THE DEAD LIE, opens with a prologue in 1945. Series protagonist Emmanuel Cooper, a major in the South African army at the time, comes across a murdered washerwoman in a Paris doorway and immediately abandons the night’s pleasures to stay with the body until the police arrive: “…it was an insult to abandon a body in a city where law and order had been restored.” The main narrative opens in May 1953 in Durban and while Cooper remains true to his convictions, his life has gotten more difficult.

September 11, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Noir, Reading Guide, Sleuths Series, South Africa, World Lit

ELEGY FOR APRIL by Benjamin Black

Benjamin Black’s third 1950s Dublin thriller featuring pathologist Garret Quirke (after CHRISTINE FALLS and THE SILVER SWAN) finds Quirke in a rehab hospital, from which he will shortly spring himself, for his daughter’s sake.

May 19, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Ireland, Noir, Sleuths Series

THE STORM by Margriet de Moor

It seemed such a harmless, even playful thing: in the Netherlands, two sisters, two years apart and nearly identical in appearance, would trade places one weekend. Armanda, would stay home. looking after a toddler niece and attending a party that evening with her brother-in-law. Lidy, would travel south by auto and ferry to Zierikzee to give a birthday gift to Armanda’s goddaughter. Perhaps no one would even notice the difference?

April 12, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Translated, World Lit, y Award Winning Author


Author Chang-Rae Lee had always heard that his father lost a sister on the eve of the Korean War. Then many years later, when Lee decided to interview his father about the war for a college project, he learned that a brother too had been lost then. The real-life horrific details for exactly how this brother was lost in a mass exodus of refugees from North Korea to the South form the backbone of the first chapter in Chang-Rae Lee’s haunting new novel, The Surrendered. It’s breathtakingly well-crafted and details the trek of 11-year-old orphaned June as she travels atop a boxcar full of refugees caring for two of her younger siblings.

March 9, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Korea, Reading Guide, World Lit, y Award Winning Author