John Banville is an Irish writer and journalist. He won the Man Booker Prize in 2005, for his novel, The Sea. In the United States, he may best be known for his popular Quirke mysteries written under the pseudonym Benjamin Black. Some reviewers took offense to the pen name. It was an open secret. The readers knew, but did not care. In, Snow, Banville has written a murder mystery using his given name. It is set on a County Wexford country estate in 1957. The body is found in the library. The deceased is a priest. The detective inspector is St. John Strafford. Strafford is of the Church of Ireland and has the accent of a Protestant to the manor born. Throughout the story his names are mispronounced. As in almost all “body in the library” tales the murderer is from the inside. This is a compulsively readable book, a great whodunit and perfect for the Memorial Day weekend at the cabin.
Contributed by Maureen Millea Smith, a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.