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The Bookworm Sez

So far this summer, you’ve read at least a dozen murder mysteries. You love a good whodunit more than anything, and that’s great: summertime is when you’ll find tons of detective novels and thriller-mysteries for your vacationing pleasure. But aren’t you ready for something different? Check out these great real-life true-crime books, full of actual

So far this summer, you’ve read at least a dozen murder mysteries.

You love a good whodunit more than anything, and that’s great: summertime is when you’ll find tons of detective novels and thriller-mysteries for your vacationing pleasure. But aren’t you ready for something different? Check out these great real-life true-crime books, full of actual crimes and criminals…

For something light and lively and perfect for the airport or car-ride, “The True Crime File,” compiled by Kim Daly (Workman, $15.95) absolutely fits.

Let’s say you’ll be waiting for the kids to finish their ball game at the park. Excellent: the entries inside this book are of various lengths and they’re made to dive in and step out. Even better, you can easily finish one or two chapters if you want, or go on a longer journey with a killer beside you.

Learn how America searches for its missing kids and how Amber Alerts came to your phone and television. See how much you know about real crime around the country by taking a quiz. Read about cold cases, hot arson, dead bodies, and Mr. Rogers’ car, which was stolen by a couple of fans, obviously. Then read about survivors of crime, up-to-date-as-possible statistics, and get a few good recommendations for your next great read.

This book is small enough to tuck into a pocket or backpack — and hang onto that thought. Get “The True Crime File” for yourself, and then remember it for stocking-stuffer time.

When you read mysteries, you automatically become a crime-solver, don’t you? Because that’s something you love, you need to read “Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases” by Paul Holes with Robin Gaby Fisher (Celadon Books, $28.99). It’s by a guy who’s a real-life detective.

But it didn’t come quickly for Holes.

In 1994, Holes was a cold-case investigator and he promised himself that he’d find the Golden State Killer, who murdered at least 13 people. It took twenty-four years, but Holes did it, ultimately having a hand in capturing the until-then-elusive man who murdered. It wasn’t the beginning of Holes’ career, but the solving happened at just the right time: he became a wanted man in a good way, appearing on TV and in interviews.

This is Holes’ story, from his early life to his amazing career solving the iciest of cold cases. Along the way, readers will learn about some of the crimes he’s solved (including the Jaycee Dugard case), how he does what he does, what a real-life detective has to know, and how he ensures that the awful things he sees don’t follow him home and keep him up at night.

This is a mystery lover’s treat, catnip to a true crime reader, and fascinating for anyone who wants a thrilling memoir from a real-life crimesolver.

If these true crime books don’t strike your fancy, be sure to ask your favorite bookseller or librarian for help finding more, or finding some good mystery novels to fill your time. They’ll know exactly what you need, books by the dozens.

“The True Crime File,” compiled by Kim Daly
c.2022, Workman
$15.95
400 pages

“Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases” by Paul Holes and Robin Gaby Fisher
c.2022, Celadon Books
$28.99
288 pages