Oline H Cogdill

I am always amused when mystery authors reference others’ works in a novel. It’s kind of a wink to readers. It also shows that authors and readers are all part of a community.

So here are some recent authors who mention other writers in their novels.

Skyjack by K.J. Howe (Quercus) Howe has her niche in the women’s adventure genre with her action-packed series about kidnap and rescue expert Thea Paris. Thea’s intelligence as well as her mad skills in fighting, flying a plane, shooting or just about anything required of her. Thea also is a reader and a fan of British mystery writer Martina Cole, who’s been called “the queen of crime.” And Thea is most interested in Cole’s appearance at a local bookstore. Cole’s novels include The Good Life, Betrayal and Damaged.

The Way I Die by Derek Haas (Pegasus) The assassin Copeland has a different kind of assignment—protecting a software designer and his sons. Copeland’s grief over his wife’s death fuels his actions. Copeland’s fond memories of his wife include her enthusiasm for reading, especially with her “nose buried in a Jeff Abbott thriller.”

City of Sharks by Kelli Stanley (Minotaur) The reading tastes of Miranda Corbie, the heroine of Kelli Stanley’s excellent series set during WWII in San Francisco, are very much a part of her time. So she often loses track of time delving into The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, and The Thin Man.

Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates (Picador) This story about a horrific crime committed in childhood and how it affects the lives of the three people as they become adults features a crime reporter. Her favorite book is In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, fitting as she wants to write a book just like that. She also is a big fan of David Simon's HBO series The Wire.

White Bodies by Jane Robins (Touchstone) A bookstore is a central part of this story about twin sisters, one of whom seems to have a wonderful marriage and the other may be jealous, or concerned about her sister’s seemingly perfect husband. In the course of the novel, one character enthusiastically mentions Harlan Coben, and Scandinavian authors Henning Mankell, Camilla Lackberg, and Jo Nesbo.