Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day: Reservoir Noir! Drowned Towns in Mysteries

Today is Earth Day! It's a day to reflect on what we're doing to this planet Earth! Last year Mystery Readers Journal has an issue focusing on the Environment (Volume 29:1). Reviews, articles and Author! Author! essays perfect for today and every day. Have a look at the Table of Contents.

Today I'm sitting here on another beautiful day in Northern California thinking about drowned towns. We're in another year of drought, and we were promised a late rain. It didn't materialize, unfortunately.  And, even if it did rain for the entire week,  it wouldn't make up for the deficit of so many dry years. A few years ago a reservoir nearby was so low that a small airplane was seen above the waterline. It turned out to be a small aircraft containing the pilot that had disappeared many years ago. Mystery solved. Most of the Drowned Towns I've read about in mysteries were from intentional flooding or damming.

I’m fascinated by the number of mysteries that concern Drowned Towns. I read Peter Robinson’s In a Dry Season and Reginald Hill’s On Beulah Height because they came out about the same time. Being a list maker I was thrilled to find the site Library BookLists.

Reservoir Noir
Books that deal with intentional flooding of towns and villages because of building dams and reservoirs for water supply, irrigation, power and other reasons--a sad addition to the environmental crime fiction list.

Arnaldur Indridason's The Draining Lake
Robert Byrne's The Dam
Alan Dipper's Drowning Day
Paul Doiron's The Poacher's Son
Eileen Dunlop's Valley of the Deer (YA)
Lee Harris's Christening Day Murder
Reginald Hill's On Beulah Height
Donald James' Walking the Shadows
Beth Kanell's The Darkness Under the Water (YA)
James D. Landis' The Talking (Artist of the Beautiful)
Jane Langton's Emily Dickenson is Dead
Julia Wallis Martin's A Likeness in Stone
Sharyn McCrumb's Zombies of the Gene Pool
Michael Miano's The Dead of Summer
Michael Radburn's The Crossing
Ron Rash's One Foot in Eden
Rick Riordan's The Devil Went Down to Austin
Peter Robinson's In a Dry Season
Lisa See's Dragon Bones
Paul Somers' Broken Jigsaw
Julia Spencer-Fleming's Out of the Deep I Cry
Donald Westlake's Drowned Hopes
John Morgan Wilson's Rhapsody in Blood
Stuart Woods' Under the Lake

Let me know any titles you think should be included.

Read more about Drowned Towns (fictional and real) at Library Booklists HERE.

Be kind to the Earth. It's the only one we have.


Greg Herren said...

James Lee Burke's "Tin Roof Blowdown" was set during the time of the Katrina flood in New Orleans. And my own "Murder in the Rue Chartres" was set in the aftermath of the same flood, only after the water receded.

Priscilla said...

Hurrah for the list! Great idea for Earth Day. Some good books...