Bring On The Murders

It is a season for mysteries. I am really, really enjoying two series right now (what good mystery isn't part of a series, is you think about it?).

The first series, of four books so far, is published by Saint James Music Press ("We're good, we're cheap, and we're snooty!") Mark Schweizer has written "liturgical mysteries" featuring a chief of police in small-town North Carolina, who also happens to be the organist at the Anglican church, and who is trying desperately to write a hard-boiled detective story. I've read two of the books so far, and they are hilarious! ("The funniest book since Leviticus") The funniest parts are the Robert Asprin-esque grotesque excerpts from the main character's attempts at novel writing.
"What'll it be, Mac?" he snarled in a low grunt, casually wiping down a glass.

"A shot of Four Roses and an answer," I said, laying a sawbuck on the bar. "I'm looking for a palooka that goes by Pedro LaFleur. Big guy, about two eighty. Cauliflower ear. Flat nose. Three-inch scar under his eye. Sings counter-tenor for the Presbyterians. Hard guy to miss."

"Sorry Mac, I ain't heard or seen nobody like that."

He reached for the sawbuck, but I covered it with my badge--the one I'd swiped from Detective Krupke. He gave a nod toward the back of the bar and slid the bill out from under by badge. I smiled and took my drink for a little walk.

Pedro LaFleur and I had been partners in a past life. We had been closer than two cousins in a Kentucky hayloft, but went our separate ways about ten years ago. There were ideological differences. He couldn't get past my understanding of the doctrine of Divine Simplicity as applied by St. Thomas Aquinas, and I didn't see his need for wrestling with the hermeneutic problems of tri-theism in reformed theology. Now I needed his help.
Fantastic, go buy 'em now! If you live in the upstate of South Carolina, there's a little book shop in Tryon, North Carolina where these are sold. Apparently the owner of the store roomed with the author in college.

The second series I've been enjoying has been the TV series Foyle's War (here's an excellent fansite). Charles, this one's for you. I won't say much about the series, except to lay out the setting: early days of World War 2, and a detective goes about his job in south England against the backdrop of the war. Michael Kitchen does a delightful ("delightful" being defined as "makes me grin often") job as Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle. The kicker is the beautiful actress who plays driver Samantha Stewart: her name is Honeysuckle Weeks. Honeysuckle Weeks. I guess her parents wanted her to be an actress. And the best part is that the name fits her looks. Incredible.

Anyway, check this series out. It's been around since '02, so I might be the last one to learn about it. (I have no TV) But if not, perhaps I will be the catalyst of delight for one person.