The Lace Reader
by Brunonia Barry
Brunonia Barry’s hit mystery debut manages to be “blithe and creepy in equal measure,” said Janet Maslin in The New York Times. Set in Salem, Mass., it’s narrated by 32-year-old Towner Whitney, a native who confesses to being “a crazy woman” but who conveys wry appreciation for the eccentric tourist industry inspired by the town’s 17th-century witch burnings. Towner has returned to Salem after a long absence because her beloved great aunt has gone missing, and her story generates a “gentle spell” as she sorts clues, details her family’s eventful past, and attracts the interest of a charming local detective. Barry slows the book’s plot by withholding crucial information and stitching in “a compendium of women’s issues,” said Ron Charles in The Washington Post. But The Lace Reader makes a welcome plunge into dark melodrama, is populated by “a marvelously bizarre cast of characters,” and boasts a final twist that’s simply “a doozy.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 17 old proverbs we should use more often
- 8 tricks to surviving the holidays without gaining weight or being grouchy
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- Chuck Hagel wasn't the problem. It's America's addiction to endless war.
Subscribe to the Week