Here are two more books that I bought at Once Upon A Crime in Minneapolis.
the Bleak Midwinter, by Julia Spencer-Fleming, is a first crime novel,
featuring one of those unlikely buddy pairs that can make detective
stories either really entertaining or cringingly bad, depending mostly
on the writer's skill with dialogue and narrative touch with
relationships. (There is an obvious intention to start a "series" here,
including a taster of the forthcoming second novel.) This writer is
neither the best nor the worst I have encountered, but nearer the top
than the bottom, so, so far so good. The pair is a newly appointed
female Episcopalian priest and a married, male, non-religious local
police chief. The scene is set to bring them together by a newborn baby
being left in the church porch, and the attempts to find the mother, the
father or the truth about what happened to them. Extra tension is added
to the relationship by a small romantic attachment on both sides, and
needs to be filled that are not being met by the wife on one hand or the
vocation on the other. Not at all bad for a first timer.
Dig, on the other hand, is one in a long-established and well-respected
series by crime author Linda Barnes. The female PI, six-foot tall,
red-headed, ex-cop Carlotta Carlyle of Boston, is very much in the V. I.
Warshawski/Kinsey Mullhone vein. The Big Dig is a real project, the
massive engineering feat of putting all the freeways in downtown Boston
underground, the "central artery tunnel", which is the largest modern
engineering project in the world. And a great setting for a mysterious
death that may be a murder.