by Sally Spencer
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 01 Jul 2017
It takes a lot of courage to sideline the lead character of a successful mystery series. Sally Spencer has done just that in The Hidden, placing DCI Monika Paniatowski in a coma after being attacked by a teen’s killer. Monika knows who the killer is but is unable to share that knowledge with her team. Monika’s attack and the ritualized murder of a teen found nearby is given to DCI Rhino Dixon’s team, pushing Monika’s team to the side. Dixon is more interested in fast results rather than in finding the truth, so Crane, Meadows and Beresford decide to risk their careers by mounting their own investigation. The behavior of the families associated with the young girl are strange, leading to the discovery of a peculiar cult and a killer who may try to ensure Monika never wakes up.
Once again Helen Durrant has crafted an impeccable police procedural where she successfully combines three complicated cases - two current and one from 17 years previous.
17years ago, Josie Wilkins’s daughter Jessica disappeared without a trace. No clues and no witnesses. Now someone has discovered an urn accompanied by what appears to be the toddler’s effects
Flora Appleton, a 16 year old is discovered in the boot of an abandoned car after being missing a week - a fact not reported by the mother
A local money lender with known violent tendencies is knifed and pushed over the rail of the housing block.
With the recent death of Imogen weighing on their minds, and Rocco away at an IT course, Calladine and his team are short-handed and out of sorts. His DS, Ruth Bayliss is having problems with her husband and is trying to balance her career with being the mother of an infant....
The Memory Agent by Matthew B.J. Delaney
General Fiction (Adult) , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 11 Jul 2017
The Memory Agent has a lot in common with The Matrix. But don’t think that detracts from its allure or originality. In The Memory Agent, traditional prisons have been replaced with virtual worlds set in alternate time periods where memory-wiped prisoners are given new bodies and new lives. Parker and his team break prisoners free from their virtual prisons. Their most recent assignment is their most difficult yet - entry into a closed system, the maximum security prison set in 1950s Manhattan.
The novel is extremely complex, it's very basis entrancing. At the beginning you have a set of 1930s adventurers excavating a tomb in Egypt. Deep inside they discover a modern Manhattan empty of people but filled with echoes of memory. The entire city is a memory temple for Parker and his team. Before Parker can move forward with the assignment, he must rec...
The Incredible Crime was the first of Poisoned Pen Press's British Library Crime Classic that disappointed me. My decision wasn’t influenced by comparing Lois Austen-Leigh to her illustrious relative. Instead it was the convoluted path the mystery took in combination with the bizarre insta-love that the heroine falls into with the Professor (once he has a haircut and gets his teeth fixed), that turned me off.
The novel was technically well written, but shallow. Prudence starts out as unconventional and strong-willed, but when faced with a man she suddenly melts and is willing to be subject to his command. Admittedly, it is in keeping with the mores of the times, but it didn't appeal to me. Prudence is also remarkably shortsighted and slightly dim compared to the male characters. Other writers of the time produced stronger, more formidable and intel...
All the Wrong Places (Cara Walden Mystery #1)
by Lisa Lieberman
Historical Fiction , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 27 Jul 2017
Lisa Lieberman’s All The Wrong Places is not a traditional mystery. It defies categorization and boldly creates its own path. Cara is a consummate storyteller, deftly painting a vivid picture of her extraordinary life and experiences. Her reminiscences capture the reader who wants to understand the mystery that is Cara.
Cara is a young actress who flees with her brother, a screenwriter, to England during the McCarthy persecution of artists and writers. She and her brother Gray have very different reasons for leaving the US, but they both need the healing distance offers. Cara shares details of her life, the people they encounter and their experiences in a nonlinear fashion. The novel is filled with the glamour of early filmmaking and extraordinary personalities - actors, directors, writers, musicians and revolutionarie...
I was very impressed by Blood Red, White and Blue. It is a well plotted mystery with plenty of lovable dogs - perfect for mystery lovers and animal lovers alike. The series has definitely improved over time.
Once again, Mary McGill finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation when she discovers a dead body at the Santa Louisa 4th of July celebration. Only hours earlier, she spoke with the man in front of Lowell’s Jewelry Store, as Millie, Mary’s cocker spaniel, wanted to greet Ranger, his German shepherd. That short exchange takes on a more ominous meaning when she discovers the victim was an agent with the California Bureau of Investigation tasked with looking into a series of jewel robberies across the state. Due to her family connections to the local police chief, her natural inquisitiveness and Santa Louisa’s small size,...
Dead on Arrival by Dorothy Simpson
Open Road Integrated Media
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 06 Jun 2017
Dorothy Simpson’s Dead on Arrival is an intriguing mystery, but the victim is almost too easy to hate. Steven Long makes it his business to make everyone miserable, from his half-siblings to his wife. His self absorption and self pity is so great that he takes absolutely no responsibility for his actions. I hated hIm so much that part of me wanted to put the mystery aside. That his twin Geoff had positive things to say about him was suspicious from the very beginning. Everyone had a reason for wanting him gone. I felt for DI Thanet and his sergeant having to investigate the murder of such a horrible fellow. I enjoyed the interactions between Thanet and his family. You could easily see the affection he has for his wife and children. It makes a startling comparison to Long’s lifetime of destructive self absorption. I anticipated one of the two major twists - it was almo...
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 01 Jul 2017
Death Scene’s biggest flaw is that it lacks the feel of the 1920’s. While technically correct, it doesn't capture the romance and mystery of the silent film industry as I had hoped. Instead, Death Scene is pretty much a standard police procedural that could be set anytime pre-1970. It isn’t a bad mystery but from the description and the cover I expected more film industry involvement. As a police procedural, it is solidly written with a strong focus on character - particularly that of the lead, DCI Henry Johnstone. Much of the novel is devoted to his memories of his and his sister’s difficult youth with their uncaring father and his memories of WWI. His DS is supportive, having been in the war alongside Johnstone and being the one individual other than his sister who knows his background. Jane Adams puts a lot of effort into character development, e...
by Eric Brown
Severn House Publishers
Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 01 August 2017
I love mysteries involving early Hollywood. I also love classic manor house mysteries. Put the two together like Eric Brown has and the result is an absolutely delicious historical mystery. David Langham is a mystery author/private investigator. American movie star Suzie Reynard hires him to investigate a potential threat to her lover, the film’s director. The cast and crew are preparing to film a mystery based on an actual murder that occurred not far from the film’s location - Marling house, a stately home in the Norfolk countryside. Suzie believes that something sinister is going on at Marling house, so she wants Langham and his fiancee to pose as her friends and stay the weekend. The danger is not readily apparent, but tensions between the cast, crew and homeowners are palpable. The relationships and histor...
Ocean of Secrets, V.1 Manga by Sophie-chan
Diamond Book Distributors
Comics & Graphic Novels , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 16 May 2017
Ocean of Secrets, Sophie-chan’s manga debut, is delightful. As it is only the first volume, it introduces the premise but doesn’t go deep into the story. There are three floating kingdoms where magic is an Integral part of life. A decade ago, a queen was murdered and her daughter lost. Since that time, Moria and Al have lived on a flying ship, evading capture and seeking the truth. Chance brings the rescue of Lia, a human orphan caught in the ocean during the storm. Life becomes far more complicated for Lia in a world where magic is essential to survive.
The artistry is good, but not exceptional. The story progresses a bit too quickly, but I believe that is because Sophie-chan is using this as a prelude. From here there are really two possibilities - the story develops more depth and complexity (I hope)...