Treacherous Is the Night by Anna Lee Huber
Historical Fiction , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 25 Sep 2018
Treacherous is the Night is an amazing piece of historical fiction. Not only does it provide insight into the changing role of women after WWI, it doesn’t shy from discussing the effects of time in the trenches on soldiers or from portraying the callous “patriotism” of those not directly involved in the war. The effects of war play a central roles in this espionage/mystery. On the one hand, there is the strain on Verity and Sidney’s marriage. (Verity had believed Sidney dead until only recently, and he was unaware of her work for the secret service). On the other hand is the more complex and compelling mystery- the disappearance of one of Verity’s former associates. Anna Lee Huber’s characters are complex, flawed, and affected realistically by their experiences. She is balanced in her portrayals, clearly understanding why some individuals collaborate...
by Susan Elia MacNeal
Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 07 Aug 2018
Imagine Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None played out on an island where British spies who are an “inconvenience” are kept. The newest Maggie Hope mystery, The Prisoner in the Castle, reinterprets Christie’s classic plot in a manner that is fresh rather than derivative. Maggie Hope was sent to Killoch Castle without explanation - her assumption is that she knows too much. After a new resident arrives, the deaths begin. First the kindly soldier ostensibly in charge, then one spy after another. Anyone present is capable of killing, but what would be the reason? As each turns on the other in suspicion, Maggie tries to hold things together and keep everyone alive. Meanwhile her good friend DCI Durgin realizes Maggie has gone missing and pursues her with the help of her friends and allies in the service....
A Gentleman's Murder Christopher Huang
FRONTLIST | July 31, 2018
Trade Paperback | 300 pages
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
$14.99 USD, $19.99 CAD
I was immensely impressed by A Gentleman’s Murder. Rarely have I come across a historical mystery that truly captures English life in the aftermath of WWI, particularly for those who came back after fighting in the trenches. Those men returned to a world where they no longer belonged, and Eric, the half-Chinese protagonist knows better than most what it means to struggle to belong. The Britannia Club is an oasis for former soldiers, a bastion of stability and propriety, until a new member is murdered. While the others want to sweep the death under the carpet, Eric becomes determined to both find justice for Benson and right the wrong that Benson was so eager to undo.
Christopher Huang’s masterful prose kept me glued to the page, eager to make discoveries alongside Eric. The character...
Murder at Half Moon Gate by Andrea Penrose
Historical Fiction , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 27 Mar 2018
Murder at Half Moon Gate is a compelling regency mystery with just the right touch of romance added for flavor. There is a steam tech element, but I wouldn’t classify the novel as steampunk. Still, I think it will appeal to fans of the genre who also enjoy well composed mysteries.
The novel begins with the brutal murder of an inventor known for his work designing efficient steam engines. Although it superficially appears to be the work of a cutpurse, too many people have a motive. Was it a revolutionary group determined to stop steam engines from stealing jobs or a competitor intent on acquiring a lucrative patent or even the beautiful and icily composed wife? Lord Wrexford, a gentleman scientist and adventurer, and Charlotte Sloane, a widow who pens satirical cartoons and has a wide range of contacts, join forces to find the killer. While both are intellige...
If I was only allowed a one word response to The Death of Mrs Westaway it would simply be “wow”. The novel is engrossing, quickly drawing the dealer into Hal’s world. But while the novel initially looks like it will be a psychological thriller focused on Hal’s deception, it becomes something far different and far more complex as it becomes clear that nothing Mrs Westaway has done is without purpose and that Hal does have a link to the family. Many are the secrets hidden in the past of the decaying Westaway home, and finding the truth may be more dangerous for Hal than she expects.
The Death of Mrs Westaway is compelling. I simply could not stop reading. By alternating excerpts from Hal’s mother’s past with Hal’s present, the reader gets tantalizing clues that are just beyond Hal’s reach. You need to know what parts of the past Hal discovers. You...
When a Cuckoo comes to roost how do you protect your nest? Smeaton-under-Lyme is celebrating. Julia’s assistant is getting married and it looks like Michael may soon propose. Unfortunately his sister Pammy shows up, taking over the small cottage Julia and Michael share. Her presence doesn’t lend to romantic interludes leaving Julia and Michael both exhausted and frustrated. Then, a man’s body is discovered, killed by an unknown blunt object - and Pammy may have been the last to see him alive. Add in a rude businessman showing far too much interest in Nuala and her cakes, and a local farmer behaving oddly, you have an intriguing story.
Smeaton-under-Lyme is a charming village, filled with character. Marty Wingate has a talent for breathing life into her settings and characters. Quirky and complex, they are...
The Lady Evelyn mysteries will appeal to fans of cozies set in the 1920s. The Study of Silence in the third Lady Evelyn novel, but it is not necessary to read the novels in order.
In The Study of Silence, Lady Evelyn Carlisle is back at Oxford working on finishing her degree. Trouble, however is near at hand, and soon one of St Hugh’s respected tutors is found dead, murdered. Suspicion falls on his wife, but Lady Evelyn is certain she is innocent. The more she investigates, the more certain she becomes that the crime is linked to the victim’s abuse of women. Although this is a historical mystery, it brings up many current issues regarding the treatment of women, physical and sexual abuse, and the tendency to blame the victim.
The Study of Silence is an excellent cozy, well researched, with characters that can be understood and empathized with....
Firing Line is a superb historical mystery set against the backdrop of WWII. I can easily imagine the story being made into a BBC miniseries. The characters are well developed and believable and the surroundings are clearly portrayed, bringing the blitz to life for the reader.
When a young woman is discovered strangled in her flat by an air warden and a fireman, Detective Inspector Jago and his constable first believe it might be the work of the Soho Strangler. It is easy to assume that Joan was on the game, but Jago isn’t one to accept the easy solution. The only clues are a pair of nylons and a sailor’s hat. As Jago digs into Joan’s life and family, he finds things are much more complicated than he expected. Family conflicts, a domineering mother in law, greed, and long hidden secrets all play a role.
I liked Firing Line a great deal and look forwar...
Death at the Seaside A Kate Shackleton Mystery
by Frances Brody
St. Martin's Press
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 12 Sep 2017
The Kate Shackleton historical mysteries are a delightful escape from the everyday. Set in a changing post WWI Britain, the novels draw readers in with their complex characters and well designed plots.
Death at the Seaside drew me in from the beginning. Can you imagine beginning your holiday, stepping into a shop and finding the owner murdered? That is exactly what happens to Kate when she goes to visit her friend Alma in Whitby. The situation is further complicated by the disappearance of Kate’s goddaughter and her friend Alma’s romantic aspirations. She doesn't want to intrude on the investigation, but as the local constable suspects her and Alma is being less than forthcoming she has little choice.
Brody has a way of making you feel for her characters. Alma, though innocent of murder is definitely frustrating. Unlike in many cozies,...
Death Plays a Part A Cornish Castle Mystery
by Vivian Conroy
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 07 Jul 2017
With it's beautiful setting on the Cornish coast and its charming lead, Death Plays a Part makes for an enjoyable reading experience. It is a cozy mystery that will appeal to a wide range of ages.
Guinevere is a costume maker, but as the London theater she works for is being remodeled, she has taken a job cataloging the library of Cornisea Castle. Her arrival coincides with the rehearsal of the trial of a historic villain from the area. The intention is to draw tourists, but police are drawn instead as one of the cast is murdered. Haydock is a thoroughly despicable man, but it looks like Lord Bolingbrooke was the only one with an opportunity. Though he has a definite motive, Lord Bolingbrooke proclaims his innocence, and Guinevere believes him. With the help of Bolingbrooke’s prickly son Oliver and her dachshund Dolly, Gu...