(What constitutes a good summer read?) a book you can curl up with and can take you to another place, a book you don't want to put down. (All three of your selections are mysteries and the first one takes place in Saudi Arabia. It's called �Finding Nouf,� the story of a wealthy Saudi girl who disappears and then is murdered just before her wedding.) the sleuth is a guide from the desert and he's a rigid Muslim who doesn't know how to interact with women yet he's searching for a 16 year old girl. He then has to work with a woman who has a forensics Ph.D. (The author is American but was married for a while to a Saudi man. That brings us to the second book, by a Scottish woman, and the book is called �Slip of the Knife,� set in Glasgow, and the main character comes from a working class Catholic background and she's trying to figure out who killed her ex-boyfriend.) This author has written a series around this woman character now, and this is one of the biggest stories. Her boyfriend was killed execution style and it could've been done by a hitman from the IRA, and at the same time a man was just released from prison so it's a combination of a political thriller and a murder mystery. This main character is the kind that stays with you because she's such a large character. (The third book may be the most traditional, it's called �Winter in Madrid.�) A friend of mine pushed this book on me, and he's always right about books. The book is set in WWII and looks on the last days of the Spanish Civil War, and the author has created a character who's a translator at the British Embassy. The main character is really there to spy on an old friend who may be up to no good. Along the way, all these threads are woven together and it's the story of a country at a decisive moment.

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