I just finished a fabulous book by one of my favorite mystery writers—Kate Atkinson. She has written numerous books, but is probably most famous for her “Jackson Brodie”series. Her latest, Started early, Took my Dog, continues the story of former private investigator Brodie and his unique style of stumbling into another multi layered mystery.

Atkinson is simply a perfect storyteller, weaving many characters and putting it all together into these great British stories. I am a purist about reading series fiction in the order that they were published. Here are the titles of the first three Brodie books: Case Histories, One good turn, and When will there be good news. Read these titles first and then treat yourself to her latest. You will be glad you picked up an Atkinson book.

My favorite CD right now, believe it or not, is by a Dutch singer. Before you think I am singing along in Dutch, just know that this CD is in English. The CD is called Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor and the artist is Caro Emerald. What can I say? Her music is very addicting. If you are home, you have to play this while you are making dinner or if you just want to sit on the terrace. If you are driving, you want the windows down and this CD cranked up as high as your ears can take it. 

Caro Emerald was #1 on the Dutch album chart for 30 weeks, and it beat Michael Jackson’s Thriller. This was the biggest selling CD in the Netherlands in 2010. So I am not alone in my adoration of this music. 

Here is the good news and bad news: Caro Emerald is really hot in Europe but her CD is not available in America, YET.  You can find her online if you want and you can just wish that someone gets really smart and gets this CD across the ocean. If you want to dip your toe in the Dutch music canal, then try these two songs:  STUCK and A NIGHT LIKE THIS. I love, love, love this CD. I hope you do too. And to my American friends, there are no wooden shoes, tulips, wheels of cheese or windmills on this CD, but it is a great Dutch treat.

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  • Aledys Ver  On May 15, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I haven’t read any of the Brodie books yet, but after reading your comment I think I might like them! Thanks for the tip!

    I haven’t heard the whole CD but I like her song “A Night Like This” – do all the songs have that 50s style?

  • Leslie Sullivan  On May 16, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Just discovered Kate Atkinson! Listened to “When will there be good news” and loved it. Taking “Case histories” on our trip.

  • Joan McGinn  On May 23, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Hi, Jane! Betty gave me your blog address. Glad to hear your transition has gone well.
    Also, nice to hear that you,too, are a Kate Atkinson fan. It seems to me that her mystery books are primarily fascinating (and hilarious!) character studies, with a little murder or mayhem thrown in for good measure. Quite literate crime novels for a change, with full-dimensional and interesting women characters.
    For a really different change of pace is her first (I think) novel, apparently semi-autobiographical in nature called “Behind The Scenes at the Museum”. It’s a moving, tragic, funny and feminist history of a few generations of women and the choices they made, however restricted. Makes me realize the breadth of her talent.
    Anyway, good to connect and keep up the info about your new adopted country. Be well! Joan

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