Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday's "Forgotten" Books - The Merchant's House

Once again, for Friday's "Forgotten" books, I'm going to mention an author, Kate Ellis, along with her first book, The Merchant's House. Ellis' books aren't as popular in this country as they deserve to be. In fact, her latest Wesley Peterson mysteries are not even easy to find in this country. Check with your favorite independent bookstore to get a copy. I bought my last Kate Ellis book from Poisoned Pen Bookstore. I'm sure they can get these books, if your bookstore can't get them.

Why Kate Ellis' The Merchant's House? If you're a fan of cold case mysteries, and history, this series, and this introductory book, is perfect. Detective Sergeant Wesley Peterson transferred from London to the river port of Tradmouth, hoping for a positive change for his personal and professional lives. However, some of the other officers look a little askance at the black officer. Even so, he's immediately thrown into the murder investigation of an unidentified young woman whose face has been brutally disfigured. At the same time, he's able to indulge his interest in archaeology when a college friend working on a nearby dig uncovers bodies in a situation strangely parallel to Peterson's case.

Every Kate Ellis mystery combines archaeology and a current murder case. Over the course of the series, readers get to know Wesley, his wife, Pam, his boss, Gerry Hefferman, and his archaeologist friend, Neil. The mysteries are intricate, with fascinating stories.

It's a shame that Kate Ellis' mysteries aren't more popular in the United States. In England, she has twelve books in the Wesley Peterson series, beginning with The Merchant's House. She's even started a new series, beginning with Seeking the Dead. According to her website, "This is the first book in a spooky and mysterious new series set in the ancient city of Eborby in North Yorkshire and featuring DI Joe Plantagenet, a former trainee priest with a dark past." I'm hoping to finish the Wesley Peterson series, and start the new one.

Once you pick up Kate Ellis' books, you might not want to forget them either.

Kate Ellis' website is www.kateellis.co.uk

The Merchant's House by Kate Ellis. St. Martin's Press, ©1999. ISBN 0312205627 (hardcover), 246p.

And, for other Friday "Forgotten" Books, check out Patti Abbott's website at www.pattinase.blogspot.com, where she summarizes all the suggestions for Friday.

10 comments:

Kay said...

You were the one who told me about Kate Ellis and I read THE MERCHANT'S HOUSE. So good. I need to go on to book #2. Thanks for reminding me! You're doing a great job with these forgotten books, Lesa.

Jen said...

This definitely looks like one I need to check out! Thanks, Lesa.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kay. Kate Ellis' books get even better as they go on. I think there's one weak book that's about the third or fourth in the series, but, at that point, it's too late to quit if you're a fan.

Lesa said...

Hope you like them, Jen, once you get a chance to try them.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I hope to track one of these down. It sounds wonderfully different.

Lesa said...

Patti,

The early books are available in public libraries, but very few of them bought the last couple ones.

Martin Edwards said...

Kate is a good friend of mine, but even if she wasn't, I would admire her writing. The Blood Pit, published not long ago, is especially good.

Lesa said...

Thanks, Martin! I've made some people into Kate Ellis fans, and I hope she finds some more after this blog entry. Thank heavens The Poisoned Pen carries her books.

Cathy said...

I've long been a Kate Ellis fan. Hers is one of the few mystery series I'm completely caught up with. I've been fortunate enough to be able to get all her books, through either the Poisoned Pen or bookdepository.co.uk.

Lesa said...

I'm ashamed to say I have her latest in my closet and haven't read it yet. Maybe it's not even her latest in the U.S. now. But, I love her books, and I'll get around to it. It's one of those I save, like I saved Lee Harris', for when I need a dependable author.