Category: Mystery

“Y is for Yesterday” by Sue Grafton

“Y is for Yesterday” by Sue Grafton

Narrated by Judy Kaye

Blurb:

In 1979, four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate—and film the attack. Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state’s evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace.

Now, it’s 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents—until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That’s when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he’s not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find…

My Thoughts:

I am a die-hard Kinsey Millhone fan and have read every book in the series but this one I listened to which felt like coming full circle. My first exposure to Kinsey was I don’t even remember how long ago. I was traveling and made a stop at my aunt and uncle’s house and my aunt said I should listen to books on tape while driving and she loaned me this great book she had called “A is for Alibi”. I don’t remember who narrated the first one but it definitely captured my imagination. This latest in the series was no less captivating than the first one. Kinsey seems to be a little bothered to have a case but needs something to do, if for no other reason than to get away from the homeless people camped out in her landlord’s yard. I have to say that Sue Grafton is really an expert at characterization and her characters always act in a way that surprises but seems to fit them completely. That being said, the facts of this case are at times graphic and brutal. The story moves back and forth between the events in 1979 and the “present day” of 1989. I was particularly impressed with the way that the author depicted how the past events, the choices the kids made as teenagers, impacted how their lives played out. These people are haunted by those events, each in different ways, but you get the sense that they will never be able to get away from them.

Finally, I want to give a shout-out to the cat in this story, who plays a key role in catching a bad guy. This book hits all the marks for me and if you haven’t yet met Kinsey, what are you waiting for?

Alinefromabook’s rating:

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Happy Reading!

Find it on Amazon!

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“Bloody Genius” by John Sandford

“Bloody Genius” by John Sandford

Pay attention mystery lovers, a new Virgil Flowers investigation has just hit the shelves. Never mind that his girlfriend is about to pop out twins and the hay needs to be harvested, the governor of Minnesota needs Virgil’s help to uncover who killed a prominent University of Minnesota professor. A leading light in his field, someone has bashed his head in with his computer and left his dead body locked in a carrel in the library undetected for two days. Virgil is perceived as an intruder into her investigation by Minneapolis detective Trane, but Virgil’s unique charm soon wins her over.

This is a twisty investigation that is constantly running into leads that go nowhere. One of my favorite things about John Sandford’s books in general is the way that he weaves his character’s personal life seamlessly into the investigations making the character a well-rounded person instead of a one-dimensional caricature. Then there is Minnesota which Sandford brings to a life in a way that just makes you want to be there and discover what all the fuss is about. Finally, I found the pairing of Flowers and Trane to be fun and delightful. They are opposites in everything but their search for the truth and it gets crazy before it’s over. You might find yourself wanting to take notes as you work your way through this story just so you can keep track of all the players, but you will definitely enjoy the process.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

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“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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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