I think I'm going to add this book by Reggie Nadelson to my Amazon Wish List. It sounds like a pretty good mystery novel from the reviews it's getting, and I like the fact that it's set on Staten Island.
I lived on Staten Island for five months (next to a graveyard) and I always thought there was something interesting about the borough. It's sort of empty and desolate in a lot of spots (like St. George near the ferry terminal) but also unexpectedly beautiful in others -- plus you can see the Godfather house up on Todt Hill and riding the ferry is always fun, even if you're not a Working Girl fan (which I am, which made the boat even more fun). It's an undiscovered borough with an undeservedly bad reputation (for the most part), and to top it off I love regional mysteries, especially ones set in New York (I still have to read those Akashic books set in Brooklyn & Queens).
I took a walk out to Owl's Head park in Bay Ridge yesterday, which is a strange, suburban part of Brooklyn with the most unexpected little houses, and marveled at the pier and the pebble-colored gray-blue water and enjoyed the twinkling lights of the bridge and generally felt that very happy far-away feeling I get whenever New York harbor is involved. I love that sort of in-between body of water -- not the rivers, not the sea. The bay. Why that desolate, industrial, polluted bay makes me so happy I'll never know.
(This truly amazing photo I found on Flickr.)
With that in mind, I suppose I should read Nadelson's other Artie Cohen book, Red Hook, too ... but why do I inherently dislike any place that's suddenly become trendy? Doesn't that make me the worst kind of snob? I don't know. I guess I just like all the horrible places where there's no one else around.