Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Updating some favorite series

Librarian Melissa was kind enough to share her reviews of three of our favorite mystery authors.

I eagerly look forward to the next book in the series from several mystery authors, and somehow it seems they all are on the same writing schedule (maybe they all know each other and go on holiday--or on tour--together once the books are published? ha ha), since their books come out within a month or so of one another. So I have yet again had a reading fest to catch up with them.

They are...

Why Kings Confess (Sebastian St. Cyr #9)
by C. S. Harris

Harris keeps her Regency mystery series going with consistent high-quality situations, emotions, and characterizations, plus a multifaceted murder mystery. I found one theme of this book--the possible restoration of the Bourbon dynasty to France--intriguing, since I knew little of the history of the heirs' years of exile in England after the French Revolution. Placing the murders in juxtaposition to a secret delegation sent to Britain by Napoleon to open peace talks gave full scope to the possibilities for volatile emotions to hold sway--between those who want peace at any price vs. those who want to win the war (and beat Napoleon), and those who want to restore the Bourbon monarchy vs. those who favor a more Republican solution. And introducing a character from Sebastian's troubled past in the military spiced it up even further. I also enjoyed a more intimate exploration of the character of Irish surgeon Paul Gibson, and also the interplay of emotions between Sebastian and his new wife. I don't want to say too much more about the continuing parallel personal story of Sebastian, because if you haven't read this far (or at all) in the series, that would spoil it for you; but it continues to be interesting!

The Outcast Dead (Ruth Galloway #6)
by Elly Griffiths

I am continuing to enjoy this narrative, and I liked the mystery in this one better than that in the last book. The parallel between the discovery by Ruth of a body thought to be the notorious Mother Hook, who was hanged in 1867 for murdering five children, and the present-day self-styled "Childminder," who is kidnapping (and possibly killing) children in Norwich is brought together when Ruth becomes a reluctant participant in the production of an episode of a TV series about her archaeology dig, dubbed "Women Who Kill." Meanwhile, DCI Harry Nelson can't figure out if he's looking for one killer or two... 

Griffiths "got" me with this one, because I thought I had solved the mystery (the whodunnit) from close to the beginning of the book, and I was wrong. That's always nice in a mystery!

Hard Going (Bill Slider #16)
by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Inspector Bill Slider has a real puzzler in the murder of Mr. Lionel Bygood, an old-fashioned sort of

gentleman who was bashed in the head during what Doc Cameron describes as "our old friend the Frenzied Attack." It seems like the poor man must have known his killer, but if that's the case, how to discern who it is from among the multitude of suspects? He was a gregarious old guy, so there are many.

I love this series. I can't say this one was my favorite, but it was well done. There were the usual updates on life in the Slider household, as well as goings-on at the police station. Porson offers up his usual hilarious malapropisms, and Harrod-Eagles provides good plot twists as usual.

And now I am back to waiting for a year (?) until the next round! It's a good thing I work in a library and can discover some new series to follow in the meantime!

Monday, April 21, 2014

World at War

With this being the 100th anniversary of the opening of World War I, you know we'll be seeing more books set in that era. Well, here's one that I really enjoyed. Jack of Spies by David Downing will be released in the US on May 13th and already it's a Publisher's Weekly Top 10 Mystery/Thriller for Spring as well as Library Journal Editors Pick.

David Downing is the author of the John Russell World War II thriller series (Zoo Station, etc.). This new series begins in 1913 as the world teeters on the edge of the abyss. Jack McColl, a Scottish luxury car salesman with a penchant for languages, is promoting his company's automobile in cities around the world from Shanghai to New York.

On the side, Jack collects intelligence for His Majesty's Navy. But the British Intelligence Service is in its infancy and Jack has only a shoestring budget  and little backup for his endeavors. As he travels the globe, though, it's becoming apparent that catastrophic events are brewing and things could easily explode in a world-wide conflagration.

Jack soon finds out how dangerous spying can be when his casual  intelligence gathering leads to knife attacks. Enter the beautiful young journalist Caitlin Hanley, a fervent suffragette and feminist. They begin an affair the spans from Shanghai across the Pacific to San Francisco to New York. At the back of Jack's mind, however, is the niggling fear that the relationship won't survive Caitliln and her family's Irish-American politics and her antagonistic view of British colonialism.

Some critics have stated that the book is more of a travelogue than spy thriller, but I really enjoyed the diverse locations. So many stories set in the World War I era plunge you immediately in the trenches and battlefields of France and Germany. Downing points out that it truly was a world at war. Political and social upheaval was touching off confrontations from Mexico to Ireland to India and everywhere in between.

It will be interesting to see where David Downing's story takes Jack McColl next.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New Mystery Releases for April

So many lovely mysteries to enjoy!
  • Death Come Quickly [China Bayles] by Susan Wittig Albert 
  • Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well [Aunt Dimity] by Nancy Atherton
  • Aloha Betrayed [Murder She Wrote] by Donald Bain & Jessica Fletcher
  • The Target [Will Robie] by David Baldacci
  • Destroyer Angel [Anna Pigeon] by Nevada Barr
  • Warriors [Alex Hawke] by Ted Bell
  • From the Charred Remains [Lucy Campion] by Susanna Calkins
  • The Oxford Fellow  [Denton] by Kenneth Cameron
  • Death Money [Jack Yu] by Henry Chang
  • The Winter King [Hawkenlye] by Alys Clare
  • I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark
  • Hanging by a Hair [Bad Hair Day] by Nancy J. Cohen
  • The Wolf in Winter [Charlie Parker] by John Connolly
  • The Marathon Conspiracy [Nicolaos] by Gary Corby
  • The Axe Factor [Jimm Juree] by Colin Cotterill
  • Blood Always Tells [Lily Moore] by Hilary Davidson
  • Under Cold Stone [Molly Smith] by Vicki Delany
  • Deadly Echoes [Donovan Nash] by Philip Donlay
  • Frog Music  by Emma Donoghue
  • The Blank Canvas by Glen Ebisch
  • Black Lies, Red Blood [Ann Lindell] by Kjell Eriksson
  • The Cold Nowhere [Jonathan Stride] by Brian Freeman
  • Waiting for Wednesday [Frieda Klein] by Nicci French
  • Don’t Ever Look Back [Buck Schatz] by Daniel Friedman
  • The Johnstown Girls by Kathleen George
  • Murder on High Holborn [Thomas Chaloner] by Susanna Gregory
  • Far Gone  by Laura Griffin
  • Everything To Lose by Andrew Gross
  • Under a Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes 
  • Dead People [Glyn Capaldi] by Ewart Hutton
  • Natchez Burning [Penn Cage] by Greg Iles 
  • Live To See Tomorrow [Catherine Ling] by Iris Johansen
  • Death on the Rocks [John Rawlings] by Deryn Lake
  • By Its Cover [Guido Brunetti] by Donna Leon
  • Night Diver by Elizabeth Lowell
  • Killer Physique [Savannah Reid] by G.A. McKevett
  • Ruin Falls by Jenny Milchman
  • Classic in the Pits [Car Detective] by Amy Myers
  • High Crime Area: Tales of Darkness and Dread  by Joyce Carol Oates
  • The Ballad of a Small Player by Lawrence Osborne
  • The Kill Switch [Tucker Wayne] by James Rollins & Grant Blackwood
  • The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose
  • Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeover [Miss Julia] by Ann B. Ross
  • Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline
  • Panthers Play for Keeps [Pru Marlowe] by Clea Simon
  • The Poor Boy’s Game by Dennis Tafoya
  • Gone and Done It [Dreamwalker] by Maggie Toussaint
  • A Few Drops of Blood [Natalia Monte] by Jan Merete Weiss
  • Carnal Curiosity [Stone Barrington] by Stuart Woods

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tempting Titles for Cozy Lovers

Avery Aames, aka Daryl Wood Gerber, is one busy lady. She just launched TWO new books recently. If you haven't dipped into her mystery series as yet, you are in for a real treat! The Cheese Shop mysteries are set in the fictional Ohio town of Providence and feature Charlotte Bessette, operator of Fromagerie Bessette, better known around town as The Cheese Shop.

Written under Daryl's pen name of Avery Aames, this delightful series gives you a hankering to check out the gourmet cheese section of your local market. Forget the American cheese, give me a nice wedge of cheddar. Thanks to the suggestive tips in Avery's books, I recently discovered the joys of English Cheddar Cheese with caramelized onions. Very yummy with apples and crackers.

The fifth outing in the Cheese Shop mysteries is Days of Wine and Roquefort. Charlotte Bessette’s life seems quieter than ever with her fiancé out of town and her cousin Matthew and his children out of the house. But before she can put up her feet and enjoy a glass of chardonnay, Matthew asks her to play host to Noelle Adams, a bright sommelier visiting to help grow business for the local winery.

Daryl's second Cookbook Nook mystery just came out this month. This cozy mystery series features Jenna Hart, avid reader and  foodie, who owns a cookbook store in a picturesque coastal California (think Carmel, California). In Inherit the Word, the Cookbook Nook is set to host the town’s upcoming Grill Fest, a tasty tradition, which pits local amateur chefs against one another. The expression “too many cooks” proves all too true when the eight-time champ is found murdered in the alley behind the café. Jenna has to douse the flames before the wrong person gets burned.

Visit Avery Aames/Daryl Wood Gerber website for more information on her books and lots of taste-tempting recipes. Daryl also writes on the Mystery Lovers' Kitchen blog. Check it out if you want more mouth-watering recipes!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Mystery Releases for March

Spring is in the air and there's a fresh crop of mysteries to enjoy. The great thing about the mystery genre is that no matter what mood you're in, it's always possible to find a great read. Cozy readers will enjoy the latest installment of Laura Child's Tea shop mysteries. Looking for a little noir? Benjamin Black has channeled Raymond Chandler for a walk down the mean streets with  Philip Marlowe. Something historical? Anne Perry has a new Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novel and C.S. Harris takes us on another Sebastian St. Cyr adventure.

So many good books to enjoy...
  • Be Careful What You Wish For [Clifton Chronicles] by Jeffrey Archer
  • Roosevelt’s Beast by Louis Bayard
  • The Black-Eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black
  • Murder in Pigalle [Aimée Leduc] by Cara Black
  • City of Darkness and Light [Molly Murphy] by Rhys Bowen
  • Stone Cold [Joe Pickett ] by C.J. Box
  • Notorious [Max Revere] by Allison Brennan
  • A Traitor’s Tears [Ursula Blanchard] by Fiona Buckley
  • The Backward Boy [Denton] by Kenneth Cameron
  • The Past Master [Denton] by Kenneth Cameron
  • The Seeker by R.B. Chesterton
  • Steeped in Evil [Tea Shop] by Laura Childs
  • Missing You by Harlan Coben
  • Apocalypse [Ethan Warner] by Dean Crawford
  • The Bootlegger [Isaac Bell] by Clive Cussler & Justin Scott
  • Double Fault [Fran Harman] by Judith Cutler
  • The Alpine Yeoman [Emma Lord] by Mary Daheim
  • Trouble in Mind: Collected Stories, Volume 3 by Jeffery Deaver
  • Providence Rag [Liam Mulligan] by Bruce DeSilva
  • Dark Side [Ingrid Langley & Patrick Gillard] by Margaret Duffy
  • Spirits Revived [Daisy Gumm Majesty] by Alice Duncan
  • Don’t Look for Me [Amos Walker] by Loren D. Estleman
  • Chain Reaction [Lucinda Pierce] by Diane Fanning
  • Wrecked [Josie Gray] by Tricia Fields
  • The Outcast Dead [Ruth Galloway] by Elly Griffiths
  • Black Horizon [Jack Swyteck] by James Grippando
  • Blood Pact [Kirk McGarvey] by David Hagberg
  • The Coal Black Asphalt Tomb [Mitch Berger & Des Mitry] by David Handler
  • Why Kings Confess [Sebastian St. Cyr] by C.S. Harris
  • Verdict of the Court [Burren] by Cora Harrison
  • False Diamond [Abbott Agency] by Veronica Heley
  • The Detective by James Patrick Hunt
  • A Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante
  • Kill Fee [Kirk Stevens & Carla Windermere] by Owen Laukkanen
  • World Gone By [Joe Coughlin] by Dennis Lehane
  • Rivers to Blood [John Jordan] by Michael Lister
  • Strongwood: A Crime Dossier [Sherlock Holmes & Shadwell Rafferty] by Larry Millett
  • Citadel [Languedoc] by Kate Mosse
  • The Disappeared [Fredrika Bergman] by Kristina Ohlsson
  • Murder on Insel Poel [Annie Young] by D-L Nelson
  • The Player [Carter Ross] by Brad Parks
  • Poisoned Ground [Rachel Goddard] by Sandra Parshall
  • The Accident by Chris Pavone
  • Death on Blackheath [Thomas & Charlotte Pitt] by Anne Perry
  • Murder at Cape Three Points [Darko Dawson] by Kwei Quartey
  • Ten for Dying [John, Lord Chamberlain] by Mary Reed & Eric Mayer
  • Children of the Revolution [Inspector Banks] by Peter Robinson
  • Watching You [Joseph O’Loughlin] by Michael Robotham
  • Without Warning by David Rosenfelt
  • Grey Howl [Dulcie Schwartz] by Clea Simon
  • Death’s Dark Shadow [Monika Paniatowski] by Sally Spencer
  • The Cairo Affair  by Olen Steinhauer
  • Death in Sardinia [Inspector Bordelli] by Marco Vichi
  • Bone Deep [Doc Ford] by Randy Wayne White
  • I Remember You by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
  • Savage Girl  by Jean Zimmerman
  • The Lady of Sorrows [Hermes Diaktoros] by Anne Zouroudi

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sequel to "Cuckoo's Calling" Announced

I must say I really enjoyed reading Robert Galbraith's debut novel, Cuckoo's Calling last year (see the blog post here). The characters were memorable and the crime unusual. But truth be told, I may not have discovered the author quite as quickly if it hadn't been leaked that J.K. Rowling actually penned the crime novel.

It was just announced that a sequel to the bestseller will be released on June 19th in the UK and on June 24th in the US. The Silkworm features the London P.I. Cormoran Strike and his young assistant Robin Ellacott who face a most unusual assignment.

Here is Mulholland Books' description:

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first,
British cover art
Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…

Friday, February 7, 2014

New Mysteries for February...Check These Out!

  • Miss Dimple Picks a Peck of Trouble [Miss Dimple] by Mignon F. Ballard
  • Death of a Policeman [Hamish Macbeth] by M.C. Beaton 
  • The Counterfeit Agent [John Wells] by Alex Berenson 
  • The Ghost Runner [Makana] by Parker Bilal 
  • Love Story, with Murders [Fiona Griffiths] by Harry Bingham 
  • Where Monsters Dwell [Odd Singsaker] by Jorgen Brekke
  • The Strangling on the Stage [Fethering] by Simon Brett
  • Do or Die [Reluctant Heroes] by Suzanne Brockmann
  • Murder in the Afternoon [Kate Shackleton ] by Frances Brody
  • The Deepest Secret by Carla Buckley
  • Dead Water [Shetland Islands ] by Ann Cleeves
  • Cell by Robin Cook
  • The Deliverance of Evil [Michele Balistreri] by Roberto Costantini
  • The Breakfast Club Murder by Camilla T. Crespi
  • The Chase [Fox & O’Hare] by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg
  • The Drowning Spool [Needlecraft] by Monica Ferris
  • Blackberry Pie Murder [Hannah Swensen] by Joanne Fluke
  • Brotherhood of Fear [Willi Kraus] by Paul Grossman
  • The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
  • Moving Target [Alison Reynolds] by J.A. Jance
  • The Mangle Street Murders [Sidney Grice] by M.R.C. Kasasian
  • Killer [Alex Delaware] by Jonathan Kellerman
  • Baptism [Ed Mallory] by Max Kinnings
  • Who Thinks Evil [Professor Moriarty] by Michael Kurland
  • Runner [Sam Dryden] by Patrick Lee
  • After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman                
  • We Are Here by Michael Marshall
  • The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
  • The Red Road [Alex Morrow] by Denise Mina
  • The Stolen Ones [Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne] by Richard Montanari
  • The Cat, the Devil, and Lee Fontana by Shirley Rousseau Murphy & Pat J.J. Murphy
  • Chance by Kem Nunn
  • The Amazing Harvey by Don Passman
  • Private L.A. [Jack Morgan] by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan
  • Free Falling, As If in a Dream by Leif GW Persson
  • Drowning Barbie [Ike Schwartz] by Frederick Ramsay
  • The Way You Die Tonight [Rat Pack] by Robert J. Randisi
  • A Killing of Angels [Alice Quentin] by Kate Rhodes
  • Concealed in Death [Eve Dallas] by J.D. Robb
  • Without Warning by David Rosenfelt
  • Raiders of the Nile [Roma sub Rosa prequel] by Steven Saylor
  • The Dealer and the Dead by Gerald Seymour
  • She’s Leaving Home [Cathal Breen & Helen Tozer] by William Shaw
  • Lion Plays Rough [Leo Maxwell] by Lachlan Smith
  • Cold Storage, Alaska by John Straley
  • Influx by Daniel Suarez
  • Bad Blood [Marjory Fleming] by Aline Templeton 
  • Bad Reputation [Madeline Maclin] by Jane Tesh
  • The Resistance Man [Bruno Courrèges] by Martin Walker
  • Don’t Talk to Strangers [Keye Street] by Amanda Kyle Williams