Category: Mystery

“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

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“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

“Broomsticks Over Flaxborough” by Colin Watson

“Broomsticks Over Flaxborough” by Colin Watson

It’s been a couple weeks since I visited Flaxborough and I just had to check and see what Inspector Purbright is up to. Well, he certainly has his hands full in this story with witches and Lucies and dead store managers. Once again, Colin Watson does not disappoint. When Edna Hillyard disappears and Mr. Persimmon is found dead, both after a night of dancing with the local witches’ coven, Purbright and Sgt. Love and hot on the trail of the culprit. Miss Teatime is also making herself useful with some inside knowledge into local going-on. And because it’s the 60’s there are Lucies going door-to-door asking questions. I’m not going to say any more about the Lucie’s because you really need to read the book and experience them for yourself. This is book 7 in the series and one of the best so far. Any of the books in this series will make a great summer read.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Amazon CA

P.S. The Kindle edition is only 99 cents on Amazon US right now!

“The Cold Dish” by Craig Johnson

“The Cold Dish” by Craig Johnson

The Walt Longmire Series Book 1

Narrated by George Guidall

Two years ago, four high school boys brutally raped a young Cheyenne girl. Now, one of them and shown up dead and it’s up to Sheriff Walt Longmire to find the perpetrator. Nobody seems to be sad that the young man is dead but pinpointing who pulled the trigger is going to take some very careful investigative work. Will Longmire be able to find the murderer before he strikes again? You’ll have to get a copy to find out.

There are so many things I loved about this book. Let’s start with Walt Longmire. He makes a perfect Wyoming sheriff, he’s tough but he also has a softer side. He’s been grieving for his wife for the last two years and has so far been unable to move past her death in his personal life. He’s an excellent investigator and really cares about the people that are under his jurisdiction. His best friend Henry, a Cheyenne, is a perfect foil for him. Craig Johnson has really done an inspired job of creating these two characters and developing the relationship between them. Henry is always there to have Walt’s back and to be a go-between when Walt needs to deal with the Cheyenne people. I also love the way the storyline developed. There are twists and false leads to keep you guessing yet the story always feels like it is moving forward. The author’s use of the landscape in the stories adds a dimension that really draws the listener in. Finally, my hat is off to George Guidall who has done a fabulous job of bringing this story to life. His voice has the perfect Western narrator sound to it, and he has mastered the art of conveying emotion through his voice. As you can see, I loved this book and everything about it. This is Western with a modern edge.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA   |   Author’s website

“The Flaxborough Crab” by Colin Watson

“The Flaxborough Crab” by Colin Watson

Surprise! Surprise! I have visited Flaxborough again and you just never know what will be happening here. I knew about 5 paragraphs in that this was going to be an original story with a very curious mystery. Young women in Flaxborough are being attacked by old men on the streets and in the parks. Initially, Inspector Purbright and Sergeant Love assume that they are looking for one person who is a repeat offender but is that the whole story? Maybe, maybe not. And then, while Sergeant Love is investigating Samson’s Salad he finds Miss Teatime at the helm of the venture. What would Flaxborough be without Miss Teatime? Colin Watson has once again pulled out all the stops with this mystery.

Can you tell that I just can’t get enough of this series? I just love how clever the stories are and the quirky characters. But Inspector Purbright is always there to bring order back to the wacky world of Flaxborough. I found the imagery in this one to be so hilarious I just couldn’t stop reading. This series continues to be the perfect place to tickle your funny bone and your brain all in one sitting. This is book 6 and if you haven’t picked up one of the books in The Flaxborough Series yet, what are you waiting for?

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Amazon CA

P.S. The Kindle edition is on sale for 99 cents right now, click Amazon US link above.

“Charity Ends at Home” by Colin Watson

“Charity Ends at Home” by Colin Watson

Book 5 in The Flaxborough Mysteries

One of my favorite things about this series is the originality of the storylines. This one starts when the competition for donations to local charities starts to get a little nasty. Then the head of one the charities is found dead. Inspector Purbright and Sergeant Love are right on top of this one. In the meantime, Mortimer Hive, a private detective, is in Flaxborough on a job which just happens to involve the husband of the dead woman. He is also visiting his old friend Miss Teatime, who we first met in Lonelyheart 4122. Sergeant Love continues to have a more prominent role in the solving of crime which is delightful. All of Colin Watson’s book so far in this series are written with a great deal of wit and humor, but I found myself laughing a lot more with this one. This one seemed a bit shorter than the first 4 but the story was just as well constructed and the mystery well twisted. You definitely don’t want to miss this one!

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

“Lonelyheart 4122” by Colin Watson

“Lonelyheart 4122” by Colin Watson

The Flaxborough Mysteries series Book 4

Miss Teatime has arrived in Flaxborough and any eligible men of means had better be on guard. DI Purbright has the case of two missing middle-aged women on his hands and thinks that Miss Teatime may be the next victim. Sergeant Love is being walked off his feet tracking down clues. And who is breaking into the offices of the Handclasp House, a matrimonial agency? All this and more awaits the eager visitor to Flaxborough.

I just continue to be delighted with this series and with Detective Inspector Purbright, but I have to say that Miss Teatime really takes the show in this one. She appears to be just another tourist but the longer you know her the more complicated she becomes. Sergeant Love has a larger role in this book than in the previous ones which I really enjoyed. He and Purbright play off of each other perfectly. I also really enjoyed the story itself, it starts off seeming pretty straightforward but it’s definitely not. I was questioning motives and suspects right up until the end. Colin Watson really knows how to put together an engaging, make-you-think twice, kind of story.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Amazon CA

“The Punishment She Deserves” by Elizabeth George

“The Punishment She Deserves” by Elizabeth George

The Inspector Lynley Series Book 20

Lynley and Havers are still on the job and the residents of Ludlow had better get their stories straight. A deacon of the local church, who is highly regarded for his work in the community, has been arrested and found dead while in local police custody. The death was ruled a suicide but the deacon’s father says that’s not possible and begins to make a stink and threaten lawsuits. Barbara Havers and Isabelle Ardery are initially sent out to Ludlow to make sure that the investigation into the death was according to procedure. But Isabelle’s demons have joined them on this trip and her dislike of Havers causes her to disregard her concerns about the investigation. When they get back to London, Ardery tells Havers to falsify the report and when Lynley finds out it all blows up. Lynley and Havers are sent back to Ludlow to get uncover the truth behind the unanswered questions. Not an easy task but these two don’t give up until they have all the answers.

It has been way too long since I read anything from this series and when I saw it come up on First to Read I knew I had to get a copy. Reading this book was like visiting with friends you haven’t seen for years. Lynley is still the charming British gentleman and Havers continues to be her frumpy self, only this time she’s added tap dancing to her repertoire of skills. As usual with Elizabeth George, this is a complicated story but told it way that allows the pieces to gradually be put in their proper places till the whole picture is revealed. I love the way the author tells a story. There is a lot of descriptive detail which just draws me in as a reader and adds depth to the story itself but in such a way that it doesn’t feel weighted down. All of the characters are individuals, some quirkier then others. There are a whole host of motives floating around, but which motives led to which crimes, that is the mystery. I can honestly say that I completely lost track of the world around me every time I picked up this book. Excellent read!

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA