Category: Mystery

“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.

 

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“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

“The Belting Inheritance” by Julian Symons

“The Belting Inheritance” by Julian Symons

Lady Wainwright rules over Belting Manor with an iron hand. Her elder sons Hugh & David have both been killed in the war and she’s left with her two younger sons, who she finds to be perpetually disappointing. Also in the household is her orphaned nephew, who is now 19 and has just returned from college on a break. Lady Wainwright’s health is starting to fail and the brothers are hanging around out of habit and a desire to not be written out of the will. But then a stranger shows up claiming to be David, returned from years in a Russian prison camp. Everybody is skeptical except Lady Wainwright. Hugh sends his nephew to London to find people that knew David and will be able to expose him as an imposter. When the mystery is finally solved you will be surprised.

My work for this book is charming. The story is told by the nephew as narrator and he is delightful. The story is carefully crafted to move at a fully engaging pace with fascinating people and conversations. The number of family secrets seems limitless and there is more than one skeleton hidden in the closets of Belting Manor. I was quite frankly, surprised by how much I enjoyed story. A great example of a British crime story and I highly recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads

“Then She Was Gone” by Lisa Jewell

“Then She Was Gone” by Lisa Jewell

Narrated by Helen Duff

Ellie was beautiful, smart and had the whole world in front of her. Then she disappeared. The police had nothing to go on and the uncertainty tore her family apart. Her father has remarried and seems to be moving on, as have her brother and sister. But Mom is stuck. Ten years later and Laurel is still obsessed by the loss of her daughter and refuses to give up hope. Then she meets Floyd and suddenly she feels alive again. Soon she also meets his daughters and Poppy, his youngest, takes her breath away because of the ways she reminds her of Ellie. As their relationship develops, so does the mystery surrounding Poppy.

This was a fascinating story to listen to. I think Helen Duff did an excellent job of voicing the characters and letting the story create the drama. The author created some very unique characters in this book and developed them in a way that feels natural. When we first meet Laurel she comes off as rather pathetic for the way she is still drowning in her grief. But when she starts to participate in life again we see a totally different side to her. This story incorporates flashbacks to Ellie as a teenager and I found the contrast of how Laurel related to Ellie with how she relates to Poppy made her a very complex character. Floyd is handsome and charming and is devoted to Poppy. There something mysterious about him though that made me a little nervous for Laurel during most of the book. The plot here is unique and took me by surprise at the end. This book is a great choice for a mystery lover or someone who likes family drama. I highly recommend!

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

Happy Listening!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads

“Blue Murder” by Colin Watson

“Blue Murder” by Colin Watson

Kidnapping, murder, dirty movies. It’s just another day in the charming town of Flaxborough. A group of reporters are in town in pursuit of a story and manage to disrupt market day by nearly running over a police officer. They have taking over a local boarding house and the housekeeper is sure they are up to no good. Then the reporter of the group is kidnapped and it’s up to Inspector Purbright and Sergeant Love to return a state of order to Flaxborough.

I have to say I was disappointed by this installment in the series. The story just fell flat for me. Inspector Purbright barely appears in the first half of the book and there is no trace of the lovely Miss Teatime. I had the feeling that the author was just forcing himself with this one. So that’s it folks, just an average story, not up to the quality of the previous ones.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3 star rating 3 stars

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads

“A Measure of Darkness” by Jonathan Kellerman & Jesse Kellerman

“A Measure of Darkness” by Jonathan Kellerman & Jesse Kellerman

Clay Edison is a deputy coroner whose last case earned him a suspension. But things are going great with his girlfriend and he’s back at work. Then that middle of the night call comes. There’s been a shooting in an East Bay neighborhood and there are multiple victims, including a Jane Doe. Clay decides to take on identifying Jane, which will turn out to be quite a project. While this is going on, his brother is released from prison and shows up for Thanksgiving with a big surprise.

I think this series is a great collaboration from the Kellermans. In the beginning I wasn’t quite sure what to think about Clay but he quickly grew on me. I loved how the story was not limited to the investigation but brought in the challenges of Clay’s personal life as well. My favorite character though, may well be Clay’s girlfriend. She is so supportive but at the same time has a way of keeping him rooted in reality. I like that this story has a real life feel to it. That being said, the story is full of twists and mysteries and action enough to satisfy any mystery lover. The fact that this story is set in California is just a bonus for me. Definitely check this series out.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Down the River Unto the Sea” by Walter Mosley

“Down the River Unto the Sea” by Walter Mosley

Narrated by Dion Graham

Joe King Oliver used to be an NYPD detective, and a good one too, until somebody set him up to take a fall. Then he was a prisoner and what he experienced in Rikers Island would change him and his life forever. Years later, Joe is a private detective with a teenage daughter, an ex-wife, and a wounded soul. Then he gets a letter from the woman who helped set him up and he decides it’s time to find the person who orchestrated his downfall and set things right. Along the way there’s a kidnapped young girl to find, an ex-con comes to his assistance, and his daughter’s life is put in danger. The question is, can Joe connect all the dots before more people get hurt?

This is a gritty story that takes the reader into some really dark places. That being said, I enjoyed it very much. Joe King Oliver is a great character. He’s obviously damaged by his experiences and doesn’t try very hard to hide it. He’s also a very thorough and effective detective. The bright spot in this story is his daughter. She is a typical teenager but she worships her father. I really loved the way the author wrote their relationship. Joe’s devotion to her equals her love of him and it was refreshing to see a teenager who had a good relationship with a parent. The same can’t be said for her relationship with her stepfather though. I found all the players in this drama to be unique and felt true to life. The story is written at a really good pace that keeps the reader engaged throughout. Overall, I think this is a well-crafter first novel.

The narration of this story really shines. Dion Graham has voice like honey and I kept listening as much for the sound of his voice as for the story itself. I will definitely be watching for this narrator on future books.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website