Tag: #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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“The Crooked Staircase” by Dean Koontz

“The Crooked Staircase” by Dean Koontz

A Jane Hawk Novel #3

Looking for non-stop action? Look no further. Reading a Jane Hawk book is like riding a roller-coaster, in a good way. Jane is still hot on the trail of the conspirators who are taking over people’s minds. As she gets closer, the danger begins to spread to those closest to her. But Jane has a way to turn the tables. Armed with the mind control device, Jane uses one of their own against the conspirators and unravels some of their darkest secrets. Meanwhile, those being controlled continue to wreak havoc, and Jane’s son is hidden from view. Can Jane bring these people down, or will they get to her and her loved ones first?

This continues to be a compelling series that feels like it’s all too real. Jane is like a one-man army as she continues to undermine the organization while staying just under their radar. We get to know her son a little more in this book and he is a great kid. As usual, there is a cast of side characters, good and bad, who make Jane’s work possible. I especially enjoyed the Shukla twins in this one. I continue to be surprised by the complexity of the plot in these books. Dean Koontz is a best-selling author for good reason. His stories are carefully crafted and his characters are well-developed and believable. I am a huge fan of this series and can’t wait for book 4 later this year.

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

Happy Reading!

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

“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

“The Unquiet” by John Connolly

“The Unquiet” by John Connolly

Narrated by George Guidall

Book 6 of the Charlie Parker series

In this installment in the series Charlie finds himself involved in a case that centers around child abuse. Someone is stalking Daniel Clay’s daughter and wants information from her about her father that she doesn’t have. Daniel Clay disappeared several years earlier and has been declared dead by the courts. Before he disappeared, there were accusations of child abuse surrounding him and his work as a child therapist. John Merrick’s daughter disappeared at about the same time and he is convinced that Daniel Clay was involved. He was in prison when it happened but now he’s out and he wants revenge. Parker has been hired to scare Merrick off but in the process sets out to find out what really happened to Daniel Clay. He uncovers other children who were abused by “bird-men” and finds a hornet’s nest of evil lurking in the darkness.

If you follow me, you know how much I love this series and this installment continues the greatness that is Charlie Parker. In addition to a great story, we have George Guidall as the narrator, one of my favorites. He always brings a depth and richness to the storytelling that I love every time I listen to one of his narrations. Of course, Lewis and Angel are back, though they didn’t seem to be quite as prominent this time. Rachel didn’t appear nearly enough in this story which I really missed. This is a dark story about child abuse which could be a problem for some readers, so a note of caution there. As always the story is complex and full of twists. There is a host of secondary characters that add to the richness of the story itself. All in all, this is a great book, though it’s not my favorite of the series so far. Readers who love thrillers and mysteries should really enjoy this one and I highly recommend the audiobook version.

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

Happy Reading!

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

“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

“Erasing Memory” by Scott Thornley

“Erasing Memory” by Scott Thornley

Book 1 in the MacNeice Mysteries series

MacNeice is a senior police detective in the city of Dundurn, a fictional city in Southern Ontario. While returning one evening from visiting his wife’s grave, he is called to a crime scene. A beautiful young woman who has just graduated from Conservatory, is found dead in a luxurious lake cottage. The crime scene is pristine and the girl has no identification with her. MacNeice and his team have their work cut out for them finding a suspect and a motive. When they find out the girl’s father is a former Romanian microbiologist and investigation turns international and gets really messy.

This is a great beginning to a new series. MacNeice is a top-notch detective with a definite soft-spot. The death of his wife has left him a bit of an emotional mess and I think the author did a really good job of portraying that aspect of him. He has a couple of great characters on his team, Aziz and Verestri, who all work together brilliantly and offset each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I found the storyline fascinating. The manner of death in particular got my attention because of its uniqueness, and I just couldn’t stop until I knew how this had come about and who was responsible. The international intrigue that is brought in through the Romanian connection really amped up the drama of the story. There are fistfights and gunfights and car chases for those who like thrills with their mysteries. I would definitely recommend this book for mystery and thrill lovers.

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

Happy Reading!

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

“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!

“Lullaby Road” by James Anderson

“Lullaby Road” by James Anderson

Something really different for your reading pleasure! Ben Jones is a truck driver on Route 117, a remote highway in the desert of Utah. He travels back and forth from Price to Rockmuse making deliveries the “desert rats” that live along his route. As he heads off on his route one winter morning he comes across a mute Hispanic child. Not being able to leave the child alone at a truck stop, he takes him with in the cab planning to find his father, a truck stop employee, upon his return. This is just the start of what will turn out to be a very unusual day for Ben and everyone who lives on Route 117.

This story is simply incredible and there’s really not a good category to put it in. It’s fiction but with a lot of mystery and thrills thrown in. Ben is a bit of a troubled soul. His lost the love of his life and his only comfort is the presence of a young single mom who lives in the other half of his duplex. His route puts him in contact with a wild assortment of people, some friendly, others downright hostile, and all wanting to be left alone. Rockmuse is a community that is slowly being abandoned following the withdrawal of a source of employment. This story is so rich with characters and all of them make the narrative happen, none of them feeling superfluous. I also really enjoyed the rich descriptions of the desert, capturing everything about it from the rocks to the weather, and you really get the feeling that the desert and the people that live there and somehow intrinsically intertwined with each other. Finally, the story itself is full of attention-grabbing interactions and twists that all feel like they could really happen but perhaps only in that place. You really should check out this rich and fascinating story.

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

Happy Reading!

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

“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