Oxford with its longstanding history and traditional disparity between classes makes for an excellent mystery setting. (Morse anyone?). The followup to The Shivering Turn is equally as good. Dry Bones is skillfully plotted, showing just how long hidden murders can affect the present (in this case 1974). Jennie Redhead’s friend Charles, the bursar of St Luke’s College, begs her to investigate when two skeletons are discovered walled into the cellar of St Luke’s - one from the First World War and one from the second. Who were the murdered men? What links the two to St Luke’s? Sally Spencer moves adeptly between past and present revealing a complicated tale of evil deeds, long hidden secrets and honor. Jennie’s investigation will tax her belief in the ones she loves most and will challenge long held friendships. Not only that it will lead to murder....
The Case of the Deadly Doppelganger by Lucy Banks
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 06 Feb 2018
Dr Ribero’s supernatural agency are ghostbusters of a sort, though their methods of containment are simple and their technical equipment is often non working. I wouldn't say the novels are meant to be humorous, but the interplay between the vibrant characters can be funny at times. The story centers around Kester, Dr Ribero’s son who has newly become involved in the organization. His uncertainty and self awareness make him a charming character that is easy to identify with. His bickering counterparts on the other hand are hasty sketches with little depth. The previous novel did a far better job of making the supporting characters believable.
There isn't much of a mystery. A spirit is killing people, first taking on their appearance. Readers already know what is going on, so we spend our time watching Kester and the others and...
I am so glad I got the chance to read Chained. It’s a great mystery filled with plenty of suspense and just a touch of humor and romance. Kate Turner is a believable, well-rounded individual that you can easily imagine working in your local veterinary office. I absolutely loved the wide range of quirky clients and their pets. More to the point, I also loved the mystery. Flynn Keegan disappeared a decade ago. Most believed he had set sail for Hollywood, but only one person knew what really happened - until Flynn’s remains are discovered by one of Kate’s more exuberant clients. What starts as curiosity, becomes a formal investigation when Flynn’s family asks Kate to find out who killed Flynn and why. Kate doesn’t have access to a forensics lab. What she does have is persistence, and a willingness to ask uncomfortable questions. She also has the help of an old flame,...
What will you do for love? What would you sacrifice?
Mary Sugden chose to say nothing long ago - a choice that led an innocent man to be imprisoned. A choice that has haunted her life, and has now reared its head once more. The novel alternates between the present and the past, her memories and her actions as she chooses to face what happened long ago.
The Unforgotten is a powerful novel, bittersweet in its portrayal of a mother daughter bond turned topsy turvy by bipolar disorder. Betty is as much mother as daughter as she cares for her mother, whose days fly between brittle heights of frenetic activity and devastating lows made worse by broken relationships and temporary flings. It’s 1956, and Betty’s world is unraveling at the seams. A chain of murders is plaguing the small Cornish village, and the small hotel managed by her mother is filled w...
Shadow Play A British police procedural
by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 01 Feb 2018
Everyone lies to police. For what reason - now that is the kicker. When the body of a businessman is discovered in the yard of Eli Simpson’s car workshop, Bill Slider and his team have little to build an investigation on - until a girlfriend identifies his body and offers the team their first clue. Mr King was someone’s right hand man, and someone was determined to find what he had hidden. As they pull at the threads they discover an mp on the cusp of being blackmailed and links between Mr King and a few building projects in the works, projects that stand to make a lot of people a lot of money but is it a motive for murder?
One thing I like about Cynthia Harrod-Eagles’s procedurals is how she clearly characterizes the various members of Slider’s team and how those individuals each have their own approach to questioning suspects and gathering ba...
Sitting Murder A Baffling Victorian Whodunnit
by A. J. Wright
Horror , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 12 Oct 2017
Sitting Murder is a competently written but somewhat lacklustre Victorian mystery. From the start you know that not all is kosher with Alice Goodway and her seances. She knows more than she otherwise should, but DS Michael Brennan does not believe in ghosts. When Goodway’s husband’s Aunt is murdered, he must unravel the threads of the past to find a clever and determined killer.
Conceptually the plot is acceptable. The problem is that the characters are difficult to empathize with. There is no one that is remotely interesting or in the least likable. Brennan seems to simply plod along. As an investigator he isn’t a compelling or unique figure. When you don’t care about the characters, you don’t care what happens.
On the whole, I can’t recommend Sitting Murder. There are many far better historical mysteries.
A Choice of Crowns by Barb Hendee
Rebel Base Books
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 06 Feb 2018
You could say A Choice of Crowns is three novels in one. Olivia Geroux is betrothed to King Rowan. She knew he was reluctant to marry, but didn't realize it was because of his obsession with his stepsister, Princess Ashton. When she witnesses her greatest ally arranging for Ashton’s death, Olivia is given a remarkable opportunity - to see the results of the three paths open to her. First, the novel continues as if she hesitates before acting. Then she sees what will happen if she calls for help. Finally she sees what happens if she stops the murder herself. In each case the novel plays through to the conclusion. At the end she must choose based on the results she sees within the magic mirror. It’s an interesting approach. I expect that Barb Hendee will use the same technique in future novels in this series. The magic mirror will appear at an important crossr...
Dead Links is a well thought out piece of science fiction. Don’t be put off by the slow start. As you progress the story becomes more complex and far more interesting. What looks initially like a bog standard murder mystery set in the near future is in reality an exploration of what makes up reality and identity. It asks how far we are willing to go and what are we willing to sacrifice in order to be entertained. It questions the nature of our vast hunger for consumer goods and the difficulty we have connecting with other people. Though it brings up a lot of important questions, it doesn’t preach. Our answers and interpretations are our own. It is easy to feel contempt for Alan as he is an addict and in his own words a murderer. But is it possible his addiction mirrors our own, only to greater extreme? Ingle’s usage of current brands and company names made the situations in the novel at on...
The Ledberg Runestone will appeal to fans of the Dresden Files and other, similar urban fantasies. It features a ragtag ne'er do well shaman more used to pretending than to using actual magic. Past experience has taught Jonah that being a hero is not all it’s cracked up to be. But being in debt to the Carver brothers, Asheville’s version of the mafia, means that if he doesn’t come up with the cash he owes, he will be six feet under and his father will come tumbling after. Still, retrieving a runestone for 20,000 has too many risks. Jonah may be a drunken fool, but even he realizes that that much cash comes with strings attached. Reluctantly, Jonah begins his search for the runestone and finds himself drawing the attention of powerful players. Jonah doesn’t have a plan, but he does have ability and f...
Dead Eye (Tiger's Eye Mystery #1)
by Alyssa Day
Mystery & Thrillers , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 27 Feb 2017
Dead Eye is a cute paranormal cozy with an adorable heroine and a sexy hero who is itching to make her purr. Tess Callahan is sweet, smart and funny. She runs the Dead End pawnshop where a quirky array of residents bring their items to pawn and where visiting tourists find everything they never knew they had to have. But life isn't all taxidermied gators and vampire fangs, Jeremiah, Tess’s boss, was murdered and left on the pawnshop steps. And now just as his son Jack returns to town, another body is dropped at the shop. Jack is determined to get justice for his father and Tess is happy to help - so long as he keeps his hands to himself.
Dead Eye is a cute paranormal cozy. It has some romance, but nothing graphic. Neither does it have graphic violence. Dead Eye is a fun read that makes for the perfect afternoon escape.