Tag: #mystery

“The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross” by Lisa Tuttle

“The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross” by Lisa Tuttle

This is book 2 from The Casebooks of Jesperson and Lane series. Jasper Jesperson and Miss Lane and partners in a newly formed detective agency. In this case, the victim, Charles Manning, literally dies at their feet and pounding on the door in the middle of the night. The coroner declares the cause of death to be a heart condition but Miss Lane saw the absolute terror on his face just before he died and our two detectives think that something other than natural causes is behind this man’s death. They set off to the community of Aylemorton where Manning was last known to have been living and find themselves dealing with a witch, a folklore enthusiast and the supernatural.

I liked the historical setting of this story and the plot line was well constructed. The story moves at a good pace and has some unexpected twists. Miss Lane is a very likable young woman. Jasper Jesperson was a little harder for me because I didn’t feel like I got to know him very well as a person. This might be because I have not read the first book in the series and I did feel like I was missing part of the story for that reason. I really enjoyed how the author incorporated the folklore into the story and the tension between the local minister and the witch was very well presented. All in all, this was an enjoyable read though I would recommend starting with the first book. This book would probably appeal the most to readers of cozy mysteries.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 3-5-star-rating  3.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

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“The Bookworm” by Mitch Silver

“The Bookworm” by Mitch Silver

A conspiracy between the American president and the Russian government? This story reads like it just came off the front pages. Dr. Larissa Klimt is a Russian historian who spends her time teaching and researching her new book. On an otherwise ordinary day, a bag full of old Dictaphone cartridges is given to her along with a mysterious message. Before she knows what’s happening, she finds herself trying to unravel a decades old mystery that has a tremendous impact on current events. Suddenly, her life is in danger and Larissa doesn’t know who to trust.

Hold on to your seats, readers, because this is a thrill ride of a story, made even more exciting because it’s all so current and feels very real. I really enjoyed the twists and turns in this one. I also really liked the character of Dr. Larissa Klimt. She’s not exactly the stereotypical history professor, but then again, she kinda is. In any case, she’s as complex as the story she is telling. And then there’s the ex-husband who I just loved to hate, but sometimes he is a bit charming, and he’s cute. I believe this is a stand-alone novel, but I wouldn’t be sad to see more books with these characters as they really grew on me by the end. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It will definitely satisfy the appetite of the conspiracy theorists out there, and it’s a good mystery too.

This book is expected to publish on Feb. 6, 2018 in the US and Mar. 6, 2018 in the UK, and is now available for pre-order, see the links below.

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

Happy Reading!

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To order on Amazon UK click here.

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A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley and Pegasus Books in exchange for an honest review.

 

“Darkness at the Edge of Town” by Jennifer Harlow

“Darkness at the Edge of Town” by Jennifer Harlow

Welcome to Book 2 in the Iris Ballard series! Iris is a forensic psychologist who previously worked for the FBI. Now she is an acclaimed author. While on a tour to promote her book, she is summoned back to her hometown in Pennsylvania because her brother has abandoned his life and joined a cult. Iris’s high-strung mother is fit to be tied and determined that Iris will get her brother back. To do this Iris must infiltrate the cult and try not to get killed in the process.

So, I have a little bit of an obsession with books about cults. I find the inner workings of these groups to be endlessly fascinating. This story is pure fiction, but takes the reader into the heart of the cult and exposes you to the tactics they use to gain followers. The main characters are a diverse group with some very complicated personalities. In particular, Iris’s family is highly dysfunctional and her mother can be scary at times. The story is about Iris trying to find and extricate her brother but at the same time she is working through some very intense personal emotions and relationships. The story itself moves at a quick pace and keeps the reader turning pages. My only issue with the book is the over use of the “F” word throughout and that’s why I’m giving it a lower rating. If that’s not a problem for you then you are in for a compelling psychological thriller.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 3 star rating  3 stars!

Happy Reading!

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Thank you to NetGalley and Alibi books for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“Unwanted” by Andrew Young

“Unwanted” by Andrew Young

It’s the late 1800’s in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and a young woman’s decapitated body has been found in a farmer’s field. This book traces the story of the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators. The initial challenge is to simply identify her because the head is missing. With fingerprints not yet broadly used in law enforcement and crime scene preservation not even a topic of conversation, the attempt to identify the girl finally comes down to an observant shoe seller who recognizes her shoes uniqueness and is able to actually trace the sale. The young lady had traveled to Cincinnati from her family’s rural farm to meet up with a boyfriend.

This is a very detailed look at a very brutal crime. The story is based on extensive research of the accounts that remain from the time. I really appreciated the structure of the chapters, with each looking at an aspect of the investigation from start to finish. It’s almost surprising that the identification of the body and the perpetrators was possible given the limited tools the police had available to them at the time. This book should be of interest to those who like true crime or historical crime stories.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating  3.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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Thank you to Pen & Sword Publishing for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“A Treacherous Curse” by Deanna Raybourn

“A Treacherous Curse” by Deanna Raybourn

It’s Victorian London and Veronica Speedwell and her colleague Stoker are on the case. In this 3rd installment of the series, Stoker’s former expedition partner has disappeared after abruptly leaving the Egyptian expedition he was working at. Also missing is the necklace worn by the Egyptian princess whose grave was uncovered. Further complicating things is the curse that was released when the princess was uncovered. One man is dead and another gone missing. Will Veronica and Stoker be able to unearth the culprit and find the missing necklace?

What a delight is was to spend a few hours with these two! Veronica and Stoker play off of each other really well and neither is your typical Victorian detective type. The story has some very unexpected twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. I really loved how the author incorporated some much Egyptology information into the story and do it in a way that feels natural. Lovers of period detective stories should really enjoy this one.

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

Happy Reading!

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Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“The Killing Kind” by John Connolly

“The Killing Kind” by John Connolly

Narrated by Holter Graham

WARNING: This book is full of action and thrills, scary people and spiders. If you don’t like spiders you might not want to read this one. That being said, I have once again had the privilege of listening to a John Connolly story. This is book 3 in the Charlie Parker series they just keep getting better. In this one, Charlie is asked to look into the death of a graduate student, Grace Peltier. Police ruled it suicide, but the father doesn’t believe his daughter would kill herself. As he investigates, he gets tangled up with a really creepy guy who calls himself Mr. Pud. This guy just oozes evil wherever he goes. Charlie’s sidekicks and his girlfriend are back to add their distinctive charms to the story, and sometimes get themselves in trouble.

So, I loved the story and the narration. I really liked the way the narrator was able to subtly adjust his voice as the drama increased. Also, he did a great job with the characterizations, giving each a distinct voice. The author has once again crafted an edge of your seat story. One of my favorite things about this series so far is the use of the paranormal. This one is packed with ghosts but not in the traditional way of mysterious noises or wandering the halls. These ghosts are more complex than that. I can’t wait to read book 4 and I highly recommend this book and the series.

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

Happy Reading!

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“Two Girls Down” by Louisa Luna

“Two Girls Down” by Louisa Luna

Alice Vega finds missing people. Max Caplan is a former cop turned private detective in a small Pennsylvania town. When two young girls go missing Vega gets a call from the family and quickly finds herself on the wrong side of the local police. She teams up with Caplan to track down the missing girls but the search is not without danger. What’s the connection between the girls, a local ballet studio, and the drug trade?

This is an edge-of-your-seat read. The deeper you get into the story, the closer you get to edge of your seat. The author has created a complex story that at first seems to make no sense but comes together beautifully in the end. Alice Vega is a hard-edged, bad-ass kind of female character but the more you get to know her the more apparent it becomes that she is much more complex that she at first appears. Max Caplan, when we first meet him, seems very defeated. It appears that his only reason for living is his precocious teenage daughter Nell. But maybe he just needs someone to reignite his spark. Both Caplan and Vega really grew on me as the story developed. Nell is a real treat in the story. She doesn’t play a huge part but when she does show up she adds an element of fun and liveliness to the otherwise rather dark story. Finally, I thought the interplay between the police and the PI’s was unique and added a level of tension to the story that enhanced the drama. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and I would highly recommend it, especially if you feeling the need for some thrills.

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

Happy Reading!

To purchase on Amazon US, click here.

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To view on Goodreads, click here.

Thank you to NetGalley and Doubleday Books for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

“Last Stop in Brooklyn” by Lawrence H. Levy

“Last Stop in Brooklyn” by Lawrence H. Levy

New York in the 1890’s. Mary Handley has made a career for herself as a private investigator and she has no interest in her mother’s wish for her to get married and settle down. Harper Lloyd is an investigative reporter. These two cross paths when Mary is asked to investigate the murder of a prostitute that occurred three years earlier. The police have tried and convicted their man but his brother wants Mary to prove his innocence. Mary is convinced after she reads the trial transcript and realizes that the immigrant from Algeria, with poor English skills, was railroaded and embarks on a search for the real killer.

This book is the 3rd in the series but the first that I have read. I really enjoyed how the author brought Victorian New York to life with his descriptions of the city. The book also addresses some compelling social issues which are still relevant in our current culture. The story had quite a few twists and some gripping moments which kept it lively and engaging. Mary Handley is the star of this show and I found her delightful. She’s not willing to follow “the plan” that society dictates for young women, unless she wants to. of course. I found her to be an intelligent investigator and very resourceful. Her relationship with Harper is quite entertaining and not your typical romance. This story is based on actual events of the time and features several real persons throughout. I think lovers of historical fiction and mysteries will enjoy this one.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating 3.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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Thank you to Penguin Books and First to Read for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins

“The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins

Now I know why this book got so much attention. I was nearly at the end before I even began to suspect the person who turned out to be the killer. The beginning reminded me of “4:50 From Paddington” by Agatha Christie in that the first character we meet is Rachel who is watching a particular couple in their house next to the railroad tracks as she passes by every day. Then one day the wife disappears and Rachel thinks she has knowledge that may be critical to the investigation. But Rachel is a drunk and an “unreliable witness”, so she goes directly to the husband. What Rachel doesn’t know is that she is directly involved in the disappearance. Rachel’s life is already spiraling out of control because of her drinking, but will this investigation tip her over the edge? Or will she even survive?

I loved the way this book was structured in that it moves back and forth from Rachel telling the story, to Megan, the victim, detailing the days and weeks before her disappearance. I think this kind of structure heightens the suspense in a thriller and allows the reader to see the events from more than one angle, and there is always more than one angle in a mystery. That being said I didn’t really like either of them, at least at first. Rachel comes off as pathetic and whiny at the beginning, but her persistence in the matter gave her more depth as the story moves along and I appreciated the attempts she was making, in the midst of all the drama, to pull her life back together. Megan on the other hand seemed to be spinning out of control, bored with her life and her marriage. The twists and turns in this story will keep you guessing till the end. If, like me, you didn’t read this one when it first came out, you should definitely pick it up now.

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

Happy Reading!

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“Private” by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro – Audiobook

“Private” by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro – Audiobook

Narrated by Peter Hermann

Jack Morgan is a former military helicopter pilot, the son of a convict, the brother of an evil twin, and head of Private Investigations. Private is a top-notch investigative agency, catering to the rich and famous. Jack has a world-class support team which includes Del Rio, Justine, Sci, and others. Jack is hired to find out who killed the wife of his long-time friend, this death hits him hard because he had introduced them. At the same time, his uncle hires him to investigate possible game-fixing within the NFL. As if these two investigations aren’t enough, Justine is hot on the trail of what appears to be a team of serial killers who are stalking high school girls. This is the first book in the “Private” series.

Jack is a man who is haunted by his past but nevertheless I found that I liked him a lot. He’s terrible with relationships but he keeps trying and seems to learn from his mistakes. Justine is great as the strong, female character and her not so friendly relationship with Nora, the cop, is fun to watch. Tracking three separate storylines in one book can be challenging but in this case I found that it all flowed together nicely, with smooth transitions from one investigation to the next. Since I listened to the audiobook version of this story the narration quality was very important. I think the narrator did a good job but I did find my mind wandering a little bit at times. Overall, this is another good thriller from James Patterson. I enjoyed the story and characters.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating  3.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

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