Let me defend my choices. First one is by Martha Grimes:
Martha Grimes needs no introduction as a well-known mystery
writer. Perhaps her most famous series is the one with Richard
Jury of Scotland Yard.
This book is not of that series. It takes place in a village with a
lake and it is the end of summer. It is Labor Day weekend in
fact. The first line: “The Rainbow Café treated any day before a
holiday like big money.” Maud is a waitress in that café and is
the friend of the sheriff in the village.
In the long dark evenings, Maud sits on her small dock and looks
across the lake to the shining lights of the moneyed crowd of
villagers. The music and occasional swelling voices soothe her
worries as she dreams of what another life might be like.
The sheriff, who usually joins her with a beer late in the evening,
can’t dismiss an unsolved case of three murders which took place
in the past. Maud can’t dismiss worrying about her son who is
twenty now, and about to leave her.
I grew up on a lake where there was a distinct “summer crowd”
and this book haunts me enough so that I reread it often as a
new summer begins. I want to sit in that chair on the cover, and
watch the lights, and listen to the music, too. Maybe the music
would be “Perfidia”* or “Blue Moon.”** I think I could reread
this book for many years on a desert island.
*Alberto Dominguez ** Rodgers and Hart