Authors from our own backyard | On the Bookshelf

Ohio writers weave tales of mystery, intrigue and humor

Ohio writers weave tales of mystery, intrigue and humor

“American Wife,” by Curtis Sittenfeld (hardcover, Random House, 2008, 558 pages, $26). When her husband is elected president of the United States, Alice Blackwell finds her new life as first lady increasingly tumultuous, reflecting on the privileges and difficulties of her position as her private beliefs conflict with her public responsibilities.

“Holidays in Heck:A Former War Correspondent Experiences Frightening Vacation Fun,” by P.J. O’Rourke (hardcover, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2011, 265 pages, $24). Retired war correspondent and now a political humorist, O’Rourke shares essays of his travels, some with his family — like a ski vacation to Ohio, the Aspen of the Midwest. He also shares hilarious adventures from the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, from China, Venice and beyond.

“V is for Vengeance,” by Sue Grafton (hardcover, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2011, 437 pages, $27.95). California PI Kinsey Millhone investigates the death of Audrey Vance, a woman she helped arrest for shoplifting, and antagonizes just about everyone, including Audrey’s fiancé, several loan sharks, a stone-cold killer and a hapless burglar who knows more than is healthy for him.

“Whiskey Island,” by Les Roberts (hardcover, Gray & Company, Publishers, 2012, 259 pages, $24.95). Hired by Cleveland councilman Bert Loftus, who is facing a potentially career-ending FBI investigation, private investigator Milan Jacovich attempts to uncover who is trying to kill Loftus and discovers a trail of bribes and debauchery much darker than the usual political corruption.

“Finding Mercy,” by Karen Harper (paperback, Harlequin, 2012, 329 pages, $14.95). Quiet, cautious Ella Lantz has spent her entire life in the close-knit Amish community of Home Valley. Tending her lavender fields, she finds calm and serenity in purple blooms, heavenly scents and a simple life. But the sudden arrival of a strange visitor to her parents’ home heralds a host of new complications.