The Door by Mary Roberts Rinehard
I read The Door as one of my Summer Mystery Challenge selections. In was published in the late forties, and the edition I read was an omnibus I bookmooched that includes two other novels. This was my first experience with Rinehard, and I'm not sure whether I like her or not. It's definitely a cozy mystery-the reader is presented with a close circle of people, and must try to figure out who did it. The narrator was quite fun-a single, older woman who enjoys her independence and wealth. :) However, the entire novel was written as the narrator remembering events. This would have been fine, except the woman kept foreshadowing, almost the level of spoilers, which drove me insane. This was my only complaint with the book, but it is a large one. I'm willing to give Rinehard another chance, because she's great at characterization, and the plot would have been very enjoyable without all of the foreshadowing. Hopefully her other books are written in a different style!
Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James
This was a book on CD, which I don't normally discuss. However, this one was exceptionally good, and it has made me want to being collecting more P.D. James. This was my first novel of hers. It's set in a seminary-college (I'm Catholic, so I don't really know what the Church of England calls it) perched on the edge of the bleak, stormy sea. It's also an Inspector Dalgleish (sp?) book; the Inspector enjoys writing poetry and is generally quite introspective. I'm worried about discussing the plot at all, because the book unfolds slowly, so much of the action doesn't begin until about half way through. Suffice it to say, there is a string of murders that must be solved. Don't expect any Agatha Christie plots here-the killer becomes pretty obvious at least 3 CDs before s/he is arrested. Nevertheless, James creates stunningly human characters, who all seem ready to step off the page. She also evokes scenery very well; I felt like I was on a rocky British beach sometimes. It was a pleasure to listen to this book, and I plan to hunt down some more James very soon. If you enjoy mysteries, but don't mind a slower-moving, character-centric book, this one will hit the spot!