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Joan Dahr Lambert is an academic who accidentally became a novelist when she set out to write her first book. Intended as a non-fiction account of female contributions to human evolution (about which she knows a great deal), it mysteriously transformed itself into a novel as words and scenes appeared in her mind. That was CIRCLES OF STONE (Simon& Schuster 1997), and she has never looked back. Since then she has written two other books in the Mother People Series: CIRCLES IN THE SKY, which tells the story of the next Zena, and ICE BURIAL, which tells the story of the 5,000 year old Iceman discovered as glaciers melted in Italy and will be published soon.
On a lighter note, Lambert also writes British-style mysteries. Books One and Two in the series, WALKING INTO MURDER and WADING INTO MURDER feature Professor Laura Morland, an irrepressible sleuth with a love of adventure, an impetuous nature, and a tendency to be in the wrong place at the right time - all traits that land her in unusual and often dangerous situations as she pursues her love of walking in England and other parts of Europe. It is no accident that Laura goes on walking trips; so does her author. Nor is it accidental that Laura is a professor of Gender Studies. Lambert has studied gender issues for more than thirty years.
Book Three in the series, SKIING INTO MURDER, continues Laura's adventures, this time on skis (a sport she also enjoys but at which she feels singularly inept) in the famous towns of Zermatt and Murren in Switzerland. Book Four, as yet unnamed, will return to England, this time in Cornwall; Book Five will take place in Norway.
Writing the mysteries has been one of the most joyous occupations I could ever have imagined. It is FUN! Hard work, harder than a prehistoric novel because mysteries have to be so tightly plotted and one has to keep track of what is in every person's head at any given moment - no mean feat, I discovered. Mysteries also provide a way to talk about some of my passions - like female sex slavery and forced child prostitution - while maintaining a light-hearted tone. That's a challenge, and I like it. I also hope that by addressing these problems in an entertaining way, I can make more people aware of their existence and the need to address them.
Thanks for listening to me! Joan Dahr Lambert
Edward E. Rochon
on Nov. 22, 2013 :
This book meets all the criteria of criticisms lodged at the Miss Marple, Jessica (Murder She Wrote), etc. gang of serendipitous (sic) sleuths forever running into dead bodies. Improbability stretches the suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. We all know why Holmes, police detectives and non-consulting private eyes run into dead bodies. Isn't it obvious that Marple, Jessica and Laura are killing these people off (doubtless with accomplices) to satisfy a sort of Munchhausen syndrome where the nurse poisons her patients in order to heal them - in this case to knock them off permanently. Add to the fact that I knew this author in the past and seeing the many points of similarity between Morland and Lambert (some frankly admitted by the author), Lambert is clearly the murderess of all the corpses. It is chilling to realize that you dined with a murderess at some point in the past. Out of fear, I am tempted to give this the full four stars rating, but a sense of duty compels me to part with a mere two stars rating. Lambert should be encouraged to find a more plausible way to run into corpses. Peeking ahead to her other two novels, I suggest she either hook up with Thomas for business or put out a consulting detective shingle for four, five, etc. in the series. At least Thomas' business brings him into danger and potential murderers. TWO STARS: **
(reviewed within a week of purchase)