Sunday, September 25, 2016

Brighton Belle

If you enjoyed Susan Elia MacNeal's series starting with Mr. Churchill's Secretary, you'll want to read Sara Sheridan's Brighton Belle. While the book was just released here in the U.S. this past spring, Sheridan published four additional Mirabelle Bevan books in Britain.

This cozy crime novel with its feisty heroine takes place in the 1950s. The austerities of postwar Britain created a variety of challenges for a population recovering from years of warfare. Mirabelle Bevan spent the war in Intelligence, rather than in the field. But since the death of her lover, all she wanted to do is flee her past life and forget. Belle finds a quiet, undemanding job in a debt collection office in Brighton, far away from London and all her old acquaintances.

For two years she lead an unexceptional life. But one day when her boss is absent, she is asked to collect a debt from Romano Laszlo, a pregnant Hungarian refugee who has moved to the coast to have her baby. Belle soon finds that the facts about; the woman don't add up, so she can't resist doiong a little detective work to discover the truth. She's joined in her investigations by a young insurance clerk from the office down the hall. Between them, they uncover a complex and deadly plot which involves the war, several corpses, a betting scam and a prostitution ring.

Brighton Belle is a light and pleasant read with plenty of color and action. The engaging Belle and the cast of characters kept me turning the pages. It is similar in tone to Mr. Churchill's Secretary with maybe a little more humor. I highly recommend it if you enjoy historical mysteries.

Author Sara Sheridan was born and lives in Edinburgh. She studied at Trinity College in Dublin and has received a Scottish Library Award and was shortlisted for the Saltire Book Prize.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September's New Releases


There's a great line-up of mysteries this month. Of particular note is The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. As you may remember, Mr. Moore's debut novel, The Sherlockian, was published in 2011 to many accolades. Then Moore went on to win an Oscar for his screenplay, The Imitation Game. His new novel, Last Days of Night, is part legal thriller and part historical fiction. It's a look at an exciting period of American history -- the battle to bring power to the country. Real-life trailblazers in science, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse take to the stage in a colossal duel of genius. EW has posted that Eddie Redmayne will star in the upcoming film adaptation of Last Days of Night.

Also of interest is a new offering by Sophie Hannah, Closed Casket. It's the second novel featuring Agatha Christie's beloved detective, Hercule Poirot.

Addictive, ferociously clever, and packed with clues, wit, and murder, Closed Casket is a triumph from the author whose work is "as tricky as anything written by Agatha Christie" (Alexander McCall Smith, The New York Times Book Review).
  • Victim Without a Face [Fabian Risk by Stefan Ahnhem 
  • Stripped Bare [Kate Fox] by Shannon Baker
  • Pushing Up Daisies [Agatha Raisin] by M.C. Beaton
  • Blue Madonna [Billy Boyle] by James R. Benn
  • Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton
  • Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d [Flavia de Luce] by Alan Bradley
  • This Is Not Over by Holly Brown
  • Body on the Bayou [Cajun Country] by Ellen Byron
  • Fates and Traitors: A Novel of John Wilkes Booth by Jennifer Chiaverini
  • Home [Myron Bolitar] by Harlan Coben
  • Winter’s Child [Wind River Reservation] by Margaret Coel
  • Robert B. Parker’s Debt to Pay [Jessie Stone continuation] by Reed Farrel Coleman
  • Insidious [FBI] by Catherine Coulter
  • Pirate [Sam & Remi Fargo] by Clive Cussler & Robin Burcell
  • Wake the Devil [Jack Kale & Beth Sturgis] by Robert Daniels
  • The Dread Line [Liam Mulligan] by Bruce DeSilva
  • Because I’m Watching [Virtue Falls] by Christina Dodd
  • The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
  • Against The Light by Marjorie Eccles
  • Playing with Fire [Daniel Jacobus] by Gerald Elias
  • Christmas Caramel Murder [Hannah Swensen] by Joanne Fluke
  • The Authentic William James [Sebastian Becker] by Stephen Gallagher
  • Final Act [John Lambert & Bert Hook] by J.M. Gregson
  • End Game [Kirk McGarvey] by David Hagberg
  • The Vanished [Konrad Simonsen] by Lotte & Søren Hammer
  • Closed Casket [Hercule Poirot continuation] by Sophie Hannah
  • The White Mirror [Li Du] by Elsa Hart
  • Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen
  • Red Right Hand [Michael Hendricks] by Chris Holm
  • Downfall [Joanna Brady] by J.A. Jance
  • An Obvious Fact [Walt Longmire] by Craig Johnson
  • The Dead Hand [Rachel Gold] by Michael A. Kahn
  • Reckless Creed [Ryder Creed] by Alex Kava
  • Dragon Fruit [Jaymie Zarlin] by Karen Keskinen
  • Manitou Canyon [Cork O’Connor] by William Kent Krueger 
  • Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaître
  • Presumption of Guilt [Joe Gunther] by Archer Mayor
  • British Manor Mystery [lucy Stone] by Leslie Meier
  • The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan
  • Stalking Ground [Timber Creek K-9] by Margaret Mizushima
  • The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore
  • Ghosts of Havana [Judd Ryker] by Todd Moss
  • Darktown by Thomas Mullen
  • Murder in Schwyz [Third-Culture Kid] by D-L Nelson
  • So Say the Fallen [Serena Flanagan] by Stuart Neville
  • Blind Sight [Kathleen Mallory] by Carol O’Connell
  • What Gold Buys [Silver Rush] by Ann Parker
  • Woman of God by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
  • Revenge in a Cold River [William Monk] by Anne Perry
  • Apprentice in Death [Eve Dallas] by J.D. Robb
  • Santorini Caesars [Andreas Kaldis] by Jeffrey Siger
  • The Kept Woman [Will Trent & Sara Linton] by Karin Slaughter
  • Lady Cop Makes Trouble [Kopp Sisters] by Amy Stewart
  • Infamy [Butch Karp & Marlene Ciampi] by Robert K. Tanenbaum
  • A Taste of Blood and Ashes [Jared McKean] by Jaden Terrell
  • A Fragile Spring [Francis Sadler & Connie Childs] by Sarah Ward
  • Foreign Bodies [Marcus Corvinus] by David Wishart