Thursday, February 04, 2016

What is Abby Geni reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Abby Geni, author of The Lightkeepers: A Novel.

Her entry begins:
There is nothing better than a good mystery. Whenever I have the chance to read for pleasure, rather than research or work, I gravitate toward the pillars of the golden age of mysteries: Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Rex Stout, Dorothy Sayers, Georgette Heyer, and Arthur Conan Doyle. I enjoy the way mysteries return me to my childhood—staying up late with the lights burning, eyes heavy with sleep, at once horrified and thrilled, promising myself I’ll stop reading and get some rest after the next chapter, and then the next chapter, and then the next chapter.

It’s always a sad day when I have read everything ever written by of one of my favorite authors. When I had exhausted Agatha Christie’s marvelous canon, I was crushed. When I got to the end of Sherlock Holmes, I was devastated. It’s terrible to feel that there are no new books to discover, no new mysteries to solve. I try to remember that there’s always another great option out there. Still, it can be hard to take the leap of faith and move from an author I adore to one I don’t know.

Lately I’ve been reading the works of Margery Allingham. Though I’m just starting her Albert Campion series, I’m already struck by her wit, her propulsive plotting, and her intricately drawn characters. On my shelf right now is Police at the Funeral, with...[read on]
About The Lightkeepers, from the publisher:
In The Lightkeepers, we follow Miranda, a nature photographer who travels to the Farallon Islands, an exotic and dangerous archipelago off the coast of California, for a one-year residency capturing the landscape. Her only companions are the scientists studying there, odd and quirky refugees from the mainland living in rustic conditions; they document the fish populations around the island, the bold trio of sharks called the Sisters that hunt the surrounding waters, and the overwhelming bird population who, at times, create the need to wear hard hats as protection from their attacks.

Shortly after her arrival, Miranda is assaulted by one of the inhabitants of the islands. A few days later, her assailant is found dead, perhaps the result of an accident. As the novel unfolds, Miranda gives witness to the natural wonders of this special place as she grapples with what has happened to her and deepens her connection (and her suspicions) to her companions, while falling under the thrall of the legends of the place nicknamed “the Islands of the Dead.” And when more violence occurs, each member of this strange community falls under suspicion.

The Lightkeepers upends the traditional structure of a mystery novel — an isolated environment, a limited group of characters who might not be trustworthy, a death that may or may not have been accidental, a balance of discovery and action — while also exploring wider themes of the natural world, the power of loss, and the nature of recovery. It is a luminous debut novel from a talented and provocative new writer.
Visit Abby Geni's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Lightkeepers.

Writers Read: Abby Geni.

--Marshal Zeringue