Jeffrey Siger’s Spin

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Jeffrey Siger put an entirely different spin on my request for COVID reading. This one’s fun. It does feel funny posting his photo, though. There should be a second one here.

JEFFREY SIGER is an American living on the Aegean Greek island of Mykonos. A Pittsburgh native and former Wall Street lawyer, he gave up his career to write mystery thrillers that tell more than just a fast-paced story. His novels are aimed at exploring societal issues confronting modern day Greece. Visit him at https://jeffreysiger.com/

Look for Jeff’s Andreas Kaldis books, along with book suggestions, in the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/


I’m flattered Lesa asked for my take on books I’ve read since Covid shut the world down in 2020.  But I thought a more interesting post might be to cover the choices made by the person who shared two-plus years of isolation with me at our farm in the wilds of Northwest New Jersey.

My wife, Barbara, has spent a dozen years accompanying me to mystery conventions, conferences, and signings.  Having subjected her to all of that for so long, I figured she’d earned an opportunity to offer her opinion on what she’d read during the Great Shut-In.

Barbara began her journey in the UK, by reading six Jane Austen novels.  She finds them humorous and loved escaping our early 21st Century for Jane’s early 19th.

Next, she was off on an Ann Cleeves marathon that had her devouring eight of Ann’s deeply atmospheric Shetland Series, featuring Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez.  Dark-skinned DI Perez is of Spanish origins, possessed of a good, kind, intelligent, and thoughtful nature, but can be as moody and unpredictable as the rough, isolated, and stormy Shetlands themselves. Then she fell in love with Ann’s Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope TV series, titled “Vera,” read the first book in the series, “The Crow Trap,” and is halfway through the second.

Barbara’s Covid reading also took her outside the UK (and not just to my Greece-based manuscripts), most notably to Elena Ferrante’s four Neapolitan Novels, beginning with My Brilliant Friend.  Even though they’re not in the mystery genre—except in so far as to the well-hidden identity of its author–Barbara particularly enjoyed the first two. Her ardor cooled over the final two, but she’d soldiered on to finished them just to see “how things ultimately would turn out”—a luxury afforded by the vast amount of open time afforded by nothing much more to do over two years than read.

I, on the other hand, immersed myself in writing several books, two of which were part of my Greece-based Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis series (#11 A Deadly Twist (2020) set on Naxos island, and #12 One Last Chance (2022) set on Ikaria island), my Murder is Everywhere weekly blog, and a monthly column during the heart of the pandemic for Athens Insider Magazine, entitled the “Corona Chronicles.” I’m pleased to say both Kaldis books received stellar reviews and were chosen by Reader’s Digest for inclusion in its bi-monthly Select Editions publication.

Just to show I wasn’t totally consumed by my own work, there is a mystery novel that stood out among what I read, A Deadly Covenant by Michael Stanley. It’s an irresistible page turner and powerful contribution to Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip’s award-winning Botswana-based Detective David “Kubu” Bengu series.

Here’s hoping that someday soon we’ll all get to hang out together again in person…as opposed to separately. Stay safe and all the best.

––Jeff Siger