16. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P.D. James – I finally got around to reading this author I first heard about back in the day thanks to a “Murder, She Wrote” episode, nudged along by Amazon’s list of 100 mysteries/thrillers to read in a lifetime. This was originally published in 1972 and features Cordelia Gray, the young assistant of a London private investigator who inherits the business when her partner unexpectedly commits suicide. Her first solo case involves a rich entrepreneur who wants her to look into the presumed suicide of his college dropout son. Cordelia is young and inexperienced but has a good head on her shoulders, and she works persistently to unravel the case. I enjoyed this charming introduction to a new writer and character.
17. Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr – Ranger Anna Pigeon is back in “real time,” picking up a few months after the events of Burn. Anna is on a canoeing/camping vacation in Minnesota with two other women and their adolescent daughters when she goes off on a solo excursion after dinner. While she is gone from camp, the other members of her party are waylaid by a group of kidnappers. Anna stays hidden and attempts to thwart the thugs as they cajole their captives toward the rendezvous point with a pilot who’s going to take them out of the country. This book was just okay to me. The story is a little too similar to “The River Wild,” and Anna is a little too superhuman in some of her efforts to be believable. I also thought that she was in a very bad place both personally and professionally at the end of Burn, and the only apparent repercussion from that situation is that her husband sends her off on a vacation without him a few months later.