Tag: #mystery

“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

 

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“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

 

“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

“The Murder That Defeated Whitechapel’s Sherlock Holmes” by Paul Stickler

“The Murder That Defeated Whitechapel’s Sherlock Holmes” by Paul Stickler

4-star-rating

Category:  Historical True Crime

Blurb:  In 1919, when a shopkeeper and her dog were found dead in Hitchin, Hertfordshire with brutal head injuries, there followed an extraordinary catalogue of events and a local police investigation which concluded that both had died as a result of a tragic accident. A second investigation by Scotland Yard led to the arrest of an Irish war veteran, but the outcome was far from conclusive.

My Thoughts:  What first got my attention with this book was the Sherlock Holmes in the title and then that it was the murder of a widow, and I found that I really enjoyed it. This is not a fictional account but more of a documentary style. Because the murder occurred in the 20th century there is quite a bit of documentation that the writer had to work with and forensic techniques were beginning to be developed. Mrs. Ridgley was by all accounts a decent woman who ran her shop to make her living and didn’t have any particular enemies, yet she is found dead in her shop one cold morning. The first policeman to arrive tries to follow all the correct crime scene procedures of the time but the local investigators aren’t quite so conscientious. After a week, Scotland Yard is called in and they send their best detective to run the case.

One of the things that I think makes true crime so fascinating is all the forensic tools now available to solve crime and sometimes we forget that those tools are still relatively new. I found this investigation to be intriguing, not only because of the way the forensics were messed up but because the techiniques were still new. Though they couldn’t DNA match the blood, they could determine that it was blood on the accused’s shirt. The author takes the reader through the investigation in great detail using records from the time period and trial transcripts as much as possible. This crime took place 100 years ago but boy how things have changed since them. This book would be a great pick for true crime lovers or anyone interested in police work.

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Wolf in Winter” by John Connolly

“The Wolf in Winter” by John Connolly

Narrated by Jeff Harding

Blurb:  The community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children’s future secure. It shuns outsiders. It guards its own. And at the heart of Prosperous lie the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town.

But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. Parker is a dangerous man, driven by compassion, by rage, and by the desire for vengeance. In him the town and its protectors sense a threat graver than any they have faced in their long history, and in the comfortable, sheltered inhabitants of a small Maine town, Parker will encounter his most vicious opponents yet.

Charlie Parker has been marked to die so that Prosperous may survive. Prosperous, and the secret that it hides beneath its ruins….

My Thoughts:  Prosperous, Maine is an entirely creepy place but a great setting for a thriller. The devotion of the people of Prosperous to their town is unmatched. Even when they leave they stay loyal to the end. Charlie Parker has his work cut out for him getting to the bottom of this one. This is another twisty, turny thriller in this series, with an excellent narration. Definitely a great addition to the series!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“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

“Their Lost Daughters” by Joy Ellis

“Their Lost Daughters” by Joy Ellis

Narrated by Richard Armitage

Blurb: Deep in the muddy fields of the Lincolnshire Fens, a teenage girl is found wandering, delirious, claiming to have been drugged at a party. Metres away, the drowned body of another girl is found on an isolated beach. And all this on a small stretch of land where, nearly 10 years ago, the shocking disappearance of a young girl remains an open case.

For DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans, the pressure is on to bring the perpetrators of these shocking crimes to justice. Are the crimes linked? Who are these young girls? And what on earth is going on under the green and pastured land of the Lincolnshire Fens?

My Thoughts: Dark. This story goes to some very dark places, both literally and figuratively. This is book one in the Jackman and Evans series and also the first I’ve read from this author and I was a little nervous going in. But this one really surprised me. Jackman is the older, seasoned detective, single, lives alone. Evans is his trusted partner, also single, devoted to the job and fighting some of her personal demons in this one. I particularly enjoyed the way these two spark ideas off of each other and seem to anticipate the other’s thinking as they dig into the investigation. They find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place when they are assigned to assist an investigation at another division while also looking into the assault on a local teenager and a high-profile cold case. I also found the criminal activity to be unique from other missing girls stories I’ve read. There are a lot of suspects but Jackman and Evans, through many twists and turns, manage to hone in on the culprits and find connections where none were suspected. Richard Armitage is great as the narrator of this dramatic thriller. He manages to give distinction to each of the characters while allowing the author’s words to tell the story. This series is a great discovery for me and I highly recommend the audiobook version.

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Liar, Liar” by Lisa Jackson

“Liar, Liar” by Lisa Jackson

Narrated by Brittany Pressley

Blurb: In death, Didi Storm is finally getting the kind of publicity that eluded her in life. Twenty years ago, the ex-beauty queen worked the Vegas strip as a celebrity impersonator, too busy trying to make it big to spare much time for her daughter, Remmi. Shortly before she leaped from a San Francisco building, Didi’s profile was rising again, thanks to a tell-all book. To Detective Dani Settler, it looks like a straightforward suicide, or perhaps a promotional stunt gone wrong. But Remmi knows the truth isn’t so simple. Because though the broken body on the sidewalk is dressed in Didi’s clothes and wig, it isn’t Didi.

Remmi was 15 when she last saw her mother. Their parting came in the aftermath of a terrible night in the Mojave desert when Remmi – who’d secretly stowed away in Didi’s car en route to meet her crush, Noah Scott – instead became witness to a mysterious rendezvous. Didi handed over one of her newborn twins to a man Remmi didn’t recognize. Subsequently, Didi disappeared, as did Remmi’s other half-sibling. Remmi has pleaded with the authorities to find them, but there have been no clues. Yet she’s always had the sense that someone is watching her….

If the victim isn’t Didi, who is it – and what’s the connection? Remmi is shocked when Noah resurfaces. He was also in the desert that night, and now runs his own PI firm. He too believes it’s time to find out what really happened. As they and Detective Settler dig deeper, the truth about Remmi’s missing family begins to emerge…a story of ruthless ambition and twisted lies that someone will kill again and again to keep hidden….

My thoughts: I found this story really intriguing. It begins and end with action and thrills, and the narrative in-between had so many twists I wasn’t sure the answer would ever be found. I also found Remmi devotion to finding answers about her mother, in spite of the pain her disappearance had caused her, to be quite touching. The parts that are told from Remmi’s perspective felt very human. Detective Dani Settler was also a fascinating character with a distinct story to tell. I think the author took great care in creating these two female characters and it shows. The nasty extended family characters were also really well written and the interplay between them and Remmi was totally unexpected. Hat’s off to Brittany Pressley for her narration of all these characters that really brought them to life for me. I found this story to be unique and surprising and overall a great read!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“A Steep Price” by Robert Dugoni

“A Steep Price” by Robert Dugoni

Narrated by Emily Sutton-Price

Blurb: Called in to consult after a young woman disappears, Tracy Crosswhite has the uneasy feeling that this is no ordinary missing-persons case. When the body turns up in an abandoned well, Tracy’s suspicions are confirmed. Estranged from her family, the victim had balked at an arranged marriage and had planned to attend graduate school. But someone cut her dreams short.

Solving the mystery behind the murder isn’t Tracy’s only challenge. The detective is keeping a secret of her own: she’s pregnant. And now her biggest fear seems to be coming true when a new detective arrives to replace her. Meanwhile, Tracy’s colleague Vic Fazzio is about to take a fall after his investigation into the murder of a local community activist turns violent and leaves an invaluable witness dead.

Two careers are on the line. And when more deadly secrets emerge, jobs might not be the only things at risk.

Thoughts: This is book 6 of this series but the first one I have read and I have to say I was impressed by this story. I found Tracy to be one of those characters that you can imagine being a real person. I really enjoy books where the main characters have personal lives, but sometimes that part of the story feels forced to me. I did not have the feeling with this story so bonus points to the author for being able to write that way. Another thing I really like about this book is that the victim is a young woman from an Indian family and I think the cultural aspects of that were handled really well. The investigators came across to me as being sensitive to the fact that the family’s cultural norms might be different from theirs and handled them with respect.

As to the story itself, I found the plot to be original and unique. The young woman’s disappearance had lots of mystery and contradictions that kept me guessing. It was definitely not immediately apparent who had done it. As the investigation continues it just got more and more intriguing. While the ending was not a complete surprise it was really well written. Finally, the narrator was a really good pick for this one, knowing when to bring in tension and drama and when to be more relaxed. I enjoyed listening to the narrator as much as the story itself. Overall, I would highly recommend this one and I will be on the lookout for other books in this series.

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website