Saturday, June 4, 2016

Jo Perry

Jo Perry earned a Ph.D. in English, taught college literature and writing, produced and wrote episodic television, and has published articles, book reviews, and poetry. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, novelist Thomas Perry. They have two adult children. Their three cats and two dogs are rescues.

Perry's latest novel is Dead is Best.

Not so long ago I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
I am reading a number of books at once. Among those that made powerful impressions on me are two published by my new publisher, Fahrenheit Press:

James Craig's A Slow Death is a dark crime novel set in Berlin in 1990, the chaotic period after the Wall has fallen, and featuring Kriminalinspecktor Max Drescher--a cynical, gay police detective with a personal crisis who must solve a series of brutal murders.

Craig is a powerful, wry, masterful and economical writer; his unconventional and cynical hero, Drescher, is a man who is most alive when he does his job:

"I just love the smell of tear gas in the evening." Pulling up the waistband of his trousers, Kriminalinspector Max Drescher took a short run up and kicked the empty cannister - about the size of a tin of soup - ten yards down Prinzenstrasse, into the lingering haze of tear gas."

West of the City by Grant Sutherland is another one whose mood, story and setting intrigued and captured me. I'd never read a "financial thriller" before and have very little knowledge or, I admit, interest in the world of finance, but I was hooked immediately. Sutherland's is the story of a man whose marriage and whose career in the bank his grandfather established are threatened by the murder of his best friend--a man he both loved and hated.

One of the greatest pleasures of West of the City is the narrator, Raef Carlton--gloriously unreliable, brilliant, scared, wily, gentlemanly and desperate--who lies to the reader and to himself.

One other book that I must mention is nonfiction: What The Dog Knows by Cat Warren. Warren, a journalist, writes about the process of training her rambunctious dog to become a cadaver dog. The canine and human learning required, the physics and physiology of scent, the relationship between human brain and heart and canine spirit and nose, and the cool survey of how the dead disappear--are moving and brilliant.
Visit Jo Perry's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Jo Perry & Lola and Lucy.

My Book, The Movie: Dead is Better.

The Page 69 Test: Dead is Better.

--Marshal Zeringue