Wednesday's Question: When Setting Is a Character

I'm reading Nevada Barr's A SUPERIOR DEATH, and being a native Michigander, enjoying the way she brings Lake Superior into the story and makes it one of the cast. How about some other mysteries where the setting is essential to the solution and excellently drawn? (I know, it's almost too easy!)

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Comment by P.J. on February 19, 2009 at 5:19am
Barb D'Amato's HARD TACK uses Lake Michigan as a central character - one that sailors, in particular, will recognize. Virginia Lanier makes good use of her setting as well, in her BLOODHOUND series.
Comment by Peg Herring on February 14, 2009 at 7:39pm
Oh, yes, I love Tony's work. The setting really are alive. I'll have to try Davis, thanks.
Comment by B.R.Stateham on February 14, 2009 at 11:31am
If you ever read a Tony Hillerman novel you'd truly understand how setting makes the novel. He writes about the four-corners area of the southwest and his cops are Navajo indians. You not only get a sense of immense space--but you get a cultural lesson in how the Navajo look at the dead.

Another one is Lindsey Davis' 'Falco' series. For many of her novels the environs around Imperial Rome are crucial. The Roman Empire in general, comes alive with her works.
Comment by Theresa de Valence on February 14, 2009 at 11:05am
I remember Ontario fondly (but not the winters!!). I'll try to remember to pick up a Nevada Barr, thanks for the suggestion.
Comment by Peg Herring on February 14, 2009 at 10:42am
I love Ontario, the parts I know are east and northeast of Michigan from Toronto northward. I just finished Nevada Barr's A SUPERIOR DEATH, and she did a great job with the northwood of Michigan's U.P.
Comment by Theresa de Valence on February 13, 2009 at 11:15am
Peter Rennebohm, in Blue Springs and French Creek, makes Minnesota seem like Paradise. Jess Lourey's June Bug also makes Minnesota seem fabulous. Both these authors have an incredible sense of place. I come from Ontario (and have no interest in returning to the ice and snow), but these two make me really enjoy armchair visiting. They both have more recent book titles, but these were my early reads of the authors where I was struck by the the intense appreciation for the environs.

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