Category: Mystery

“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

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“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

“One Man’s Meat” by Colin Watson

“One Man’s Meat” by Colin Watson

A young man has fallen out of a carnival ride to his death in the city of Flaxborough. DI Purbright and Sgt. Love are charged with the investigation. While busy with this, the wife of the local dog food manufacturer’s manager goes missing. But her husband thinks she just setting him up to look bad during the divorce proceedings. And then, Miss Teatime is asked for assistance by an old friend who’s in a bit of a muddle with a job he was hired to do by the dog food people and know wants to get out of. When Miss Teatime discovers that dogs have been disappearing from the local shelter you have to wonder what’s to become of Flaxborough. Will Purbright and Love be able to untangle all these knots? You’ll have to get yourself a copy of the book and find out.

You all know how much I have been enjoying this series and this one is no exception. I found this story a little bit different in that much of the story is told from the perspective of those perpetrating the crimes, rather than all from the investigator’s standpoint. The story starts with the riders in the carnival ride shortly before the fall and left me feeling a little off balance right from the start. The drama increase from there and the kidnapping plot gets underway. In the end, Purbright brings the investigation to a mostly satisfying conclusion and Flaxborough returns to its quirky self once again. I thoroughly enjoyed this one!

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

“No Cure for the Dead” by Christine Trent

“No Cure for the Dead” by Christine Trent

We all know Florence Nightingale and her contributions to the nursing profession, but was she also a detective? In “No Cure for the Dead”, Christine Trent presents Florence as just that. She has recently been appointed as director of a hospital for women in London. One week into her new job she finds one of her nurses hanging from the ceiling in the hospital’s library. The board of directors start to think that hiring her was a mistake, the police seem to think it’s a case of suicide, but when more strange things start to happen in the hospital Florence is convinced there is more to this story. With the help of her companion she begins an investigation of her own. Will she be able to uncover the culprit before more people are hurt?

This one really surprised me with its suspense and charm. “No Cure for the Dead” is the first in a new series from the author and I’d say it’s off to a great start. I really loved the Florence character that the author created and the personality felt true to life. I could see Florence Nightingale doing this investigation. In addition, there is a whole host of other fun characters from the daft old lady patient to the young boy who does odd jobs for the hospital, they were all believable and fit in with the story and the setting. The investigation has a lot of unexpected twists which makes it a very engaging mystery. I found that the author’s descriptions of London at the time really drew me into the story. Basically, I loved this story and can’t wait for the next installment in the series.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Weekend at Thrackley” by Alan Melville

“Weekend at Thrackley” by Alan Melville

When Jim Henderson receives and invitation to a weekend party at Thrackley Manor in rural Surrey, he has no idea how it will change his life. Henderson finds himself as one of a party of six being hosted by the reclusive and mysterious Edwin Carson. Carson is known to be a jewel collector and everyone but Jim is dripping with them making Jim wonder why he was invited. Then he meets Carson’s daughter Mary and discovers that the chauffeur is really an undercover Scotland Yard man sent there to investigate Carson. Will Henderson and his friend be able uncover the truth, will the guests ever be allowed to leave the house, and does Mary like Jim as much as he likes her?

This book has been re-published as part of the British Library Crime Classics. Set in the 1930’s this is a charming little mystery. Jim Henderson is a handsome and appealing young man with a mind for details and an insatiable curiosity. Though not from a privileged background, he behaves like a perfect gentleman. Mary Carson is a bit of a mystery in the beginning but her courage is the key to unlocking this mystery. I thought the author did a great job of creating the atmosphere for this mystery. His descriptions take the reader right into the house and gardens and keeps you engaged. The story moved at a very comfortable pace and I had some difficulty putting this one down. This is a great example of the classic British crime novel.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

“A Gentleman’s Murder” by Christopher Huang

“A Gentleman’s Murder” by Christopher Huang

London, the 1920’s. The first World War is over but the after-effects are still being felt. Especially among the men who survived, many of whom are now members of the Britannia Club. Eric Peterkin is one of these men. The men of his family have been members since the club originated and they have all been highly respected by their peers. Eric has just recently been admitted and is still adjusting to civilian life after serving in Flanders during the war. One evening another new member makes a wager with one of the board members that the club’s vault cannot be broken into. Unfortunately for him, he will end up dead by morning on the floor of that same vault. Eric can’t help but notice some suspicious things going on with the investigation and decides to look into the matter himself. This may turn out to be more dangerous than war.

This story has a very clever plot line that definitely makes the reader work to figure out who the culprit is. The story also really captures the time period of the mid-1920’s. Eric Peterkin is a very likable character, young and handsome. His sister Penny, though, was my favorite. She is a secondary character but I found her absolutely delightful. There are a whole host of former military men involved in this mystery and each has a unique personality and story which adds depth to the story. The only thing I didn’t like about this book is the periodic flashbacks to the war. I found the descriptions to be disturbing, though they did add to my understanding of the story and the characters. So, if you are sensitive about such topics you might not enjoy this book. However, if you enjoy historical mysteries I think this is a good one for you.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Naked Nuns” by Colin Watson

“The Naked Nuns” by Colin Watson

Are there really nuns running around naked in Flaxborough? Suspicious, coded letters have been received by the police which point to a murder soon to be committed in Flaxborough. Word comes down to Inspector Purbright and he begins the thankless search for who the victim is to be. Meanwhile, a local businessman receives a threatening letter. He is offered protection but doesn’t seem to take the situation very seriously. Then there’s the suspicious character who turns up at Miss Teatime’s. A friend of a friend he claims to be, but when his dark past comes to light he is suspect #1. When it all comes to a head, all the answers will be revealed.

This is book 8 in the Flaxborough Mysteries series. I think this is my least favorite story so far. While the writing is classic Colin Watson, I found the story overall to be kind of messy and it felt like it could have been structured a little better. That being said, all my favorite characters are back: Inspector Purbright, Seargeant Love, Miss Teatime and Chief Constable Chubb. The secondary characters didn’t seem as compelling as in some of the other books. Overall, I found this one a little disappointing.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating 3.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

“Miss Seeton Flies High” by Hamilton Crane

“Miss Seeton Flies High” by Hamilton Crane

Let me introduce you to Miss Seeton. She is the 1970’s answer to Miss Marple. In this installment of the series, Miss Seeton is asked to design the sets for the annual school Christmas play. This year the story will be about King Arthur and in order to be inspired Miss Seeton travels to the West country to visit the historical sites. Meanwhile, her friend Chief Superintendent Delphick and a kidnapping to deal with and he needs some insight. Miss Seeton is well known at Scotland Yard for the pictures she draws that contain clues to crimes, so Delphick pays her a visit. Several drawings and a hot air balloon ride later Delphick is finally closing in on his suspect and Miss Seeton has new project.

This was a delightful little story. Miss Seeton is a charming character is like Miss Marple before her is more that she appears to be. This is not the first in the series but it stands on its own just fine. The plot has some really nice twists and a few red herrings to keep the reader guessing. My favorite part of the book is how well the author portrays the time period. I can’t quite tell you how but the feel of the 70’s really comes through. There are hippies, and illegal marijuana growing. There’s the clash between the older and younger generations of the time. Finally, there are the references to the legend of King Arthur and the historical sites related to the stories. All of this combined to make a very engaging story. I think this book will be especially enjoyable for cozy mystery lovers.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads