Bedtime Stories: Oct. 2018

  • October 10, 2018

What do book lovers have queued up on their nightstands and ready to read before lights-out? We asked two of them, and here’s what they said.

Bedtime Stories: Oct. 2018

Caroline Todd:

What’s on my nightstand? Does that count what’s fallen to the floor while I’m racing for deadlines?

Let’s see. Nelson DeMille’s The Cuban Affair, because I like his writing and I want to see what he has to say about Cuba. Lori Rader-Day’s Under a Dark Sky, because I enjoy her very different view of women having to fend for themselves. Lee Child’s anthology No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Short Stories. Jack Reacher is one of my favorite characters. And Lee’s a Brit writing about the States, and we’re Yanks writing about Britain, so there’s a fellow feeling.

Anne Cleeland writes a Scotland Yard series with a tongue-in-cheek flair that reminds me of Georgette Heyer. When I want to unwind, her books lighten my mood. She also does historicals that are so wonderfully absurd, you can’t resist them. The True Pretender is just such a one, terrific company with a cup of tea.

Ann Cleeves’ series, Vera Stanhope, is finally on our PBS station, and so I have the first Vera, The Crow Trap, because I want to compare that series with the real book.

I can’t quite see what’s under the nightstand. Next time…

Charles Todd:

Unlike Caroline, I don’t have a nightstand — I gave up long ago when the weight of the books brought down my last one. So there is a wobbly stack of books on my floor waiting for me to notice them. Lee Child’s anthology MatchUp (which includes many of our favorite authors) is there, along with Martin Edwards’ Blood on the Tracks: Railway Mysteries. We write short stories because it allows us to experiment with ideas and ways of expression in a challenging format.

This spring, I reread Winston Churchill’s The Gathering Storm (no small feat) because I am especially interested in the post-WWI and interwar period. I also am reading Hank Phillippi Ryan’s Trust Me. Her background in investigative journalism creates realism and urgency for her characters, and she always perfectly captures the mood of a story. Andrew Gross did an excellent job with The One Man and The Saboteur, so I’m really looking forward to Button Man.

Ellen Crosby’s The Vineyard Victims will be a sort of homecoming. I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, and spent much of my life in North Carolina, so I know the wine country Ellen captures so well. Last but not least: I have Heather Graham’s A Dangerous Game. I count on a ride on the edge of my seat and time spent reading when there are other things I should be doing.

Bestselling mother-and-son writing team Caroline and Charles Todd pen mysteries under the name Charles Todd. Their most recent novel is A Forgotten Place (William Morrow).

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