Category: Mystery

“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

Advertisements
“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

“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