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SUNDAY BEST

August 10, 1986|ELLEN MELINKOFF

Mysteries, She Read It should come as no surprise that a bookstore named Sherlock's Home specializes in mysteries. Beth Caswell, who owns the Long Beach shop, spends much of her time recommending books to readers who are just branching out to reach beyond Agatha Christie. These are some of her favorites.

"The Thin Woman," by Dorothy Cannell. "The plot involves a female interior designer who is restoring a castle while trying to solve a mystery. At the same time, she's trying to lose weight to earn an inheritance. It really is an excellent mystery."

"Berry and Co.," by Dornford Yates. "This story has to do with a brother, sister, husband and wife who engage in witty, fashionably 1930s sleuthing. A highly entertaining book."

"One Corpse Too Many," by Ellis Peters, "In this story, a 12th-Century monk solves mysteries in captivating medieval settings. The mysteries themselves unfold in a historically accurate context."

"Ten Years Beyond Baker Street: Sherlock Holmes Matches Wits With the Diabolical Dr. Fu Manchu," by Cay Van Ash. "The plot puts Sherlock Holmes in the clutches of the evil Fu Manchu in this marvelous pastiche."

"Checkpoint Charlie," by Brian Garfield. "This wry spy novel has a humorous side that even Agatha Christie fans would enjoy."

"Lady Molly of Scotland Yard," by Baroness Orczy. "By the author of "The Scarlet Pimpernel," this book is about a female counterpart to Sherlock Holmes."

Pasadena Potpourri Melody Malmberg reviews restaurants for the Pasadena Weekly. She favors an ethnic, but inexpensive, cuisine. These are among her favorite Pasadena-area restaurants.

Merida, Pasadena. "The soft tamales are delicious. This is authentic Yucatan cuisine served by wonderfully friendly people."

Suriya Thai, Pasadena. "A tiny, tiny place. Great dishes are bacon-wrapped shrimp and Chicken on Fire."

Boat House Sushi, Alhambra. "The sushi bar is very convivial. The chef does amazing things with a knife. When I was there he carved a polar bear out of a turnip. They have a large selection of fish--some of which you can't usually find easily."

All That Jazz Percussionist Washington Rucker has performed in the 1977 film "New York, New York" as a member of Liza Minnelli's and Robert De Niro's band, and he has played in just about every jazz club in Los Angeles. He names some favorite places to hear live jazz.

Marla's Memory Lane, Los Angeles. "You'll be served a great Sunday brunch while listening to performances by top local musicians. For those who don't know, the Memory Lane is owned by Marla Gibbs, star of the TV series '227.' "

Simply Blues, Hollywood. "Located at Hollywood and Sunset boulevards, Simply Blues has a good atmosphere for hearing all kinds of jazz. It's especially great on weekends when David and Suzanne Miller and Friends, the regular band, perform and invite guests to sit in with them."

Alleycat Bistro, Culver City. "Vocalist Maxine Weldon performs at this club, which gives jazz musicians the freedom to perform what they want. The club also serves great food. It's a hot spot for jazz aficionados."

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