Category: Mystery

“Death Comes to Dartmoor” by Vivian Conroy

“Death Comes to Dartmoor” by Vivian Conroy

Blurb:

Miss Merula Merriweather barely saved her uncle from the gallows after he was wrongly accused of murder—and now, she’s left the bustle of Victorian London to recuperate in the fresh air of Dartmoor with her fellow zoologist, Lord Raven Royston. The trip offers a unique treat, as they’ll be staying with a friend of Raven’s, who owns a collection of rare zoological specimens—including a kraken, a sea monster of myth and legend.

But all is not right in the land of tors, heaths, and mist. Their host’s maid has vanished without a trace, and the townspeople hold him responsible, claiming that his specimens are alive and roam the moors at night, bringing death to anyone who crosses their path. Merula and Raven are skeptical—but the accusations become more ominous when they find several specimen jars empty.

As the two hunt for clues across a desolate and beautiful landscape, a stranger appears bearing a shadowy secret from Merula’s past. Could there be a connection between her family history, the missing girl, and a fearsome monster that could be on the loose? The race is on to find the truth.

My Thoughts:

This story was very middle-of-the-road for me. The storyline was intriguing and I liked the idea of the mad scientist accused of murder but I didn’t take very well to the characters. I seemed as though Merula and Raven didn’t have much depth and I couldn’t quite figure out exactly what the nature of their relationship is. The Dartmoor setting wasn’t particularly special and while I was curious as to how the story would end, and I did finish it, I just didn’t feel very satisfied with it overall.

Alinefromabook’s Rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

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Find it on Amazon



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“Death in the Covenant” by D. A. Bartley

“Death in the Covenant” by D. A. Bartley

Blurb:

Detective Abish “Abbie” Taylor returned to the mountain town of Pleasant View, Utah, hoping for a quiet life. But that hope dissipates like a dream when she wakes to an unsettling phone call. Arriving at the scene of a fatal car accident, she discovers that the victim was one of the most beloved leaders of the Church—and an old family friend.

Abbie is skeptical when her father insists the death was not an accident, but in an attempt to patch up their relationship, she takes a few days off from her job as the sole detective in the police department, and heads to Colonia Juárez, a former LDS colony in Mexico. There, she uncovers a plan hearkening back to the Church’s history of polygamy. But Abbie knows too well that bringing secrets to light can be deadly. Is that why her father’s friend died?

Abbie realizes with a jolt that her investigation could cost her father his job and possibly get him excommunicated. Who is the murderous mastermind of this secret plot? Time is running out for Abbie to save her father’s position—and her own life—as dark forces close in, and the outlook for Pleasant View turns decidedly unpleasant.

My Thoughts:

Abish Taylor is my newest female detective heroine. I found her incredibly relatable. Her conservative upbringing, walking away from the faith she was raised in, struggling with loss and moving on, are all things that I could connect with immediately. The author picked a beautiful setting in Utah to place this story and drew it in words to perfection. The story itself has a very complex plot woven into it that really gave me food for thought. The themes of domestic abuse and polygamy are seamlessly inserted into the plot and I think they were handled with care. This is the second book in this series and the author can’t write a 3rd one fast enough for me. Highly recommend!

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“Liar in the Library” by Simon Brett

“Liar in the Library” by Simon Brett

Blurb:

Fethering has everything a sleepy coastal town should: snug English pubs, cosy cottages, a little local library – and the occasional murder . . .

Bestselling author Burton St Clair, complete with soaring ego and wandering hands, has come to town to give a talk. But after his corpse is found slumped in his car, he won’t be leaving. Jude is the prime suspect; she was, after all, the last person to see Burton St Clair alive. If she is to prove her innocence, she will have to dust off her detective skills and recruit her prim and proper neighbour (and partner-in-sleuthing) Carole to find the real culprit.

My Thoughts:

This is book 18 in the Fethering series but the first one from this author that I have read. I have listened to some of Simon Brett’s BBC radio productions in the past and enjoyed them so I thought I would give one of his books a try. I found this book to be a fun, cozy mystery. The characters are all very unique but some of them took me a little time to warm up to. I even liked the villain, but only until he was exposed for his crimes at the very end. Mr. Brett’s vivid characterizations is what I had enjoyed the most in the radio programs and the characters here are equally vivid. Jude and Carole rule the show of course, but they are so different. I was surprised by the number of avenues of investigation these two explored. Fethering turns out to be a quite charming village but it is not immune to the challenges of our times like drug addiction and a reduction in library funding. This was a fun little mystery and I was not disappointed.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Bad Axe County” by John Galligan

“Bad Axe County” by John Galligan

Blurb:

Fifteen years ago, Heidi White’s parents were shot to death on their Bad Axe County farm. The police declared it a murder-suicide and closed the case. But that night, Heidi found the one clue she knew could lead to the truth—if only the investigators would listen.

Now Heidi White is Heidi Kick, wife of local baseball legend Harley Kick and mother of three small children. She’s also the interim sheriff in Bad Axe. Half the county wants Heidi elected but the other half will do anything to keep her out of law enforcement. And as a deadly ice storm makes it way to Bad Axe, tensions rise and long-buried secrets climb to the surface.

As freezing rain washes out roads and rivers flood their banks, Heidi finds herself on the trail of a missing teenaged girl. Clues lead her down twisted paths to backwoods stag parties, derelict dairy farms, and the local salvage yard—where the body of a different teenage girl has been carefully hidden for a decade.

As the storm rages on, Heidi realizes that someone is planting clues for her to find, leading her to some unpleasant truths that point to the local baseball team and a legendary game her husband pitched years ago. With a murder to solve, a missing girl to save, and a monster to bring to justice, Heidi is on the cusp of shaking her community to its core—and finding out what really happened the night her parents died.

My Thoughts:

Bad Axe County has a bad-ass sheriff. Well, technically she’s the interim sheriff until the special election is held. But there is nothing interim about her drive to bring down the criminals of the county. Heidi Kick is a complicated character. Difficult enough to be a wife, mother and sheriff but Heidi is haunted by her past and when if begins to collide with her present she struggles to keep her objectivity. I would love to meet her in person. I was initially drawn to this story because it’s set in the Wisconsin Dells area, a place I have vacationed at several times. I was impressed by the way the author used the setting as a character in the story. The hills and valleys of the place, even the weather, play a huge part in the drama and thrills of the narrative. This drama also touches on the issues of sex trafficking, the drug trade, and illegal interstate commerce. Not to mention the complicated relationships between residents. This book kept me on the edge of my seat for the whole ride and kept me guessing till the end. Top-notch read!

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

This book releases on July 9, 2019. Pre-order yours today!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“House Call” by Darden North

“House Call” by Darden North

Narrated by Michael Robbins

Blurb:

In national award-winning author Darden North’s debut novel, House Call, a police investigation into the murder of a young hospital nurse rips through a Mississippi community consumed in self-indulgence, reverse sexual discrimination, and cut-throat medical politics. Before a psychopath can be stopped, another will die.

In House Call, Dr. Knox Chamblee joins a prominent medical clinic in a small southern town and soon finds himself the object of reverse sexual discrimination in the workforce. Worse yet, he is possibly a murder suspect.

There are no real leads in the stabbing of nurse Taylor Richards until police uncover tire prints in a driveway that lead them to an answer in backwoods Mississippi.

My Thoughts:

As a debut novel, Darden North has created a mystery full of twists and false trails. I loved Dr. Knox and hated his boss. He’s a nice guy looking to do good while the universe seems to be out to get him. There are some very interesting and unique side characters in the story including a personal shopper to the ultra-rich and a super snobby charity lady who thinks she can control everybody. A significant portion of the story is taken up with commentary on the way the health care business works which is enlightening but is almost too much. The narrator has a good voice for the story but at times the rhythm felt a little off. Overall, a good debut.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

 

“A Murderous Malady” by Christine Trent

“A Murderous Malady” by Christine Trent

Florence Nightingale is back! And she’s got another doozy of a mystery to solve. When her friend Liz is attacked by a man with a gun while riding in her carriage, Florence is asked by her husband Sydney, to investigate and try to determine who did it and why. Trouble is, the carriage was traveling through SoHo at the time and there’s an outbreak of cholera in the district. Florence can’t help but get involved at a local hospital in spite of the risk of contracting the disease herself.

So what keeps drawing me to this series? First of all, the mysteries are intriguing but I think what I like best is the historical aspects of the stories. Not only is the author following the progression of Florence’s career by using real events from her life in the stories, but she is also using the story to relate pieces of history that the reader might not otherwise come across. In this book, the plot focuses on events that took place in Afghanistan when the British tried to take over control of that country in the 1800’s. I found that reading about that war really helped me to understand the current difficulties in that country and their resentment of western countries. In this story, I also enjoyed how the author incorporated the work of Dr. Snow into the story. I have come across parts of his story and his impact on the fight against cholera before and it was fun to find him in this story. Ms. Trent’s Florence Nightingale is lovely, likable, and very committed to the work of improving the standard of nursing wherever she found herself. I think this series is a wonderful addition to the genre of historically based mysteries and suggest that you waste no time checking it out.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-5-star-rating  4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Find it at:   Goodreads   |   Amazon   |   Author’s website

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing a review copy. This book will be available in the U.S. on May 17, 2019.

 

“The Highwayman: A Longmire Story” by Craig Johnson

“The Highwayman: A Longmire Story” by Craig Johnson

Narrated by George Guidall

What happens when you combine my favorite audiobook narrator with a Walt Longmire story? 3 hours and 45 minutes of  enthralling listening! Mysterious radio dispatch calls are being received in the Wind River Canyon, Walt and Henry find themselves putting their lives on the line to confront a legend.

This is a novella so there’s not a lot of room for character development. I think I definitely enjoyed this book more having already become familiar with the main characters in the longer books. That being said, it would also be a good choice if you just want to dip your toe in and see what the water feels like. I also really enjoyed the touch of the supernatural that’s incorporated into this story. And, what can I say about George Guidall? He is a master of his craft and there’s something in his voice that makes me feel like I’m sitting by the campfire on a starry night. This novella is just perfection for me. Great writing, great characters and a great narrator. I’m in heaven!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“My Sister’s Grave” by Robert Dugoni

“My Sister’s Grave” by Robert Dugoni

Narrated by Emily Sutton-Smith

Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House — a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder — is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past — and open the door to deadly danger.

So, I recently reviewed “A Steep Price” by this author, which is the most recent book in the Tracy Crosswhite series. Then this one popped up on my Audible feed and I just couldn’t resist finding out how it all began. I really like Tracy because she is believable. She can be the tough cop, but she is also an intrepid investigator and a woman who has feelings and desires just like the rest of us. At times this creates conflicts but also adds drama and realism to the story. I found the storyline of the sister’s disappearance to be really intriguing and the culprit was definitely not obvious until very late in the story. As I expected, there is a host of secondary characters that drive the story forward and I will leave you to read the book for yourself and discover the hero.  I listened to the audiobook version which was expertly narrated and really captured the drama. I look forward to reading more in this series and highly recommend it.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-5-star-rating 4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Death in the Stocks” by Georgette Heyer

“Death in the Stocks” by Georgette Heyer

Blurb:  In the dead of the night, a man in an evening dress is found murdered, locked in the stocks on the village green. Unfortunately for Superintendent Hannasyde, the deceased is Andrew Vereker, a man hated by nearly everyone, especially his odd and unhelpful family members. The Verekers are as eccentric as they are corrupt, and it will take all Hannasyde’s skill at detection to determine who’s telling the truth, and who is pointing him in the wrong direction. The question is: who in this family is clever enough to get away with murder?

My Thoughts:  This is a mystery story but it tickled my funny bone more than it challenged my detective skills. The mystery storyline wasn’t bad but the story overall seemed to be more about the relationships between the characters with less police type work than you would expect. Georgette Heyer is probably best known for her Regency romances but she also published quite a few mysteries. This is the first one to feature Superintendent Hannasyde and Detective Hemingway. The murder did keep me guessing and I didn’t begin to suspect the culprit until near the end. My favorite part though, had to be the Vereker family. Not only are there two sets of siblings who can’t seem to get along, but a lost brother who appears out of nowhere and a particularly nasty big brother. Based on this book, I would say that characterization is where Georgette Heyer really shines. None of these people are clichés. This story is also written with a lot of humor and, overall, I found this to be a delightful read.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads

“Leave No Trace” by Mindy Mejia

“Leave No Trace” by Mindy Mejia

Blurb: There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned.

Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later…the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life.

But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.

My Thoughts: If you have not yet discovered this author, then now is the time! This is her third book and I really enjoyed the previous one “Everything You Want Me To Be” so I was looking forward to this one. This is not a series but, in my opinion, it is a case of the author getting better as they go along. This story had me spellbound from start to finish. First, the setting is the Duluth area of Minnesota, which I have visited and is as beautiful as the author makes it sound. Of course, technically, I live in North Dakota but Minnesota is within walking distance of my house, so this story feels like it’s in my backyard. Maya is a deliciously complicated character who works as a therapist in a mental hospital, so there’s the psychology aspect that I love. The story has a mystery woven in to it and a very unusual relationship between the main characters. One important thing for me in making a story good is the secondary characters. I look for characters that are distinctive and unique, not just there so the main character can have a conversation. This author hits the nail on the head here for me. From Maya’s boss to her father to the security guard, they all bring something to make the story better not just fill a space. Finally, I love the way that in this book the Boundary Waters themselves are a character and really enriches the story. I don’t think this particular story would be as effective if it was in any other setting. I look forward to a lot more wonderful books from this author in the future and am so glad that I have had the opportunity to read her books. Get a copy now!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website