Today is Election Day. I will be voting after work, but in the meantime, I am just a bundle of nerves. I am hopeful, very hopeful, for the future – and also scared that what seems so close may yet be ripped from our grasp.
DC is solidly Democratic and our 3 electoral votes will go for Obama, but I am still eager to add my vote to the many. This will be my first time voting in Ward 5, and I am happy to get the chance to reelect my neighbor as our ANC representative as well.
Beyond the election, I am most nervous about Proposition 8 in California, but there is not much I can do there right now. I gave (a little) money to the No on Prop 8 campaign, and now I am just hopeful that the citizens of my birth state will do the right thing. (Oh, and California – could you send me a replacement birth certificate already? It’s been 5 months at least. kthx.)
Anyway, that has all been a lot of election and very little distraction, so for something totally different, here are my top 5 choices for mystery series with a strong female protagonist. (Mysteries are after all my favorite, distracting brain candy):
Tess Monaghan: Tess is a former newspaper reporter turned private detective, working in Baltimore. The author, Laura Lippman, is a good writer (she used to be a reporter herself) and the flavor of Baltimore really comes through. It’s always fun to read about places you are somewhat familiar with.
Mrs. Pollifax: Mrs. Pollifax is awesome. She’s a widowed grandmother who heads down to the CIA and volunteers her services. These books offer the added bonus of some vicarious world travel. The last book in this series came out in 2001 and Dorothy Gilman is in her 80s, but I live in hope that another may yet be published.
Agatha Raisin: Set in the English Cotswolds, these books are the definition of a Cozy mystery. I picked up the series originally because I could resist the title of the first book (Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death!). Agatha Raisin is prickly and acerbic and imperfect and you can’t help routing for her.
Rei Shimura: Set in Japan and the United States and featuring a Japanese American protagonist, these books are a good mix of suspense and local color. The most recent one is the weakest of the bunch, I think, but they are definitely worth reading.
Stephanie Plum: To be fair these are probably making it in to the Top 5 because I’ve read a bunch of them lately while searching for a light easy read. Stephanie is a fairly inept bounty hunter, working in Trenton, New Jersey and the hijinks and characters are reassuringly familiar from book to book. No heavy thinking, just turn your brain off and enjoy.