#6 Cmdr. Adam Dalgliesh mystery in which he heads north to a rather remote village to investigate the death of the Director of a crime lab. Dr. Lorrim#6 Cmdr. Adam Dalgliesh mystery in which he heads north to a rather remote village to investigate the death of the Director of a crime lab. Dr. Lorrimer was much-disliked, with many suspects with motive, but means and opportunity are problematic as he was in the lab building after hours and access was much restricted.
As usual, James spends about the first third of the book setting the scene before Dalgliesh even enters the picture, and as usual, the story was brilliantly, intricately plotted with all the clues there, but well-hidden. Enjoyable classic mystery read! ...more
Third and final entry in the Tamir Trilogy, in which Princess Tamir (once Prince Tobin, Tamir being revealed in the previous book when a mystical fireThird and final entry in the Tamir Trilogy, in which Princess Tamir (once Prince Tobin, Tamir being revealed in the previous book when a mystical fire burns away her male body, a shell and illusion held in place by magic) takes her place as the leader of Skala from the prophesy--or she will as soon as she can thrust her cousin Korin and his evil wizard Niryn from the usurper's role. Gathering her army and supporters, Tamir begins without much confidence, but grows in assurance as the leader of her country each day. Her personal life is a shambles, of course, what with the big adjustment to her new gender ('there's an empty spot in my breeches!' LOL) and her feelings for Ki, her squire plus her worries over Korin, believing him to be a victim of Niryn's dark wizardry and manipulation.
The ending to this was fairly predictable, but I really enjoy Flewelling's writing style and her characterizations, and this was certainly among the most unique series I've read in recent years with its strange premise and storyline. Will be checking out other series by this author for certain!...more
#7 overall publication order of the "Pern" fantasy series, this seems to be a stand-alone story of the weyr-woman Moreta, whose dragon Orlith is the q#7 overall publication order of the "Pern" fantasy series, this seems to be a stand-alone story of the weyr-woman Moreta, whose dragon Orlith is the queen of Fort Weyr. The events in this book happen about 900 years before the earlier books in the series, and take place when they are just discovering that dragons cannot only go "between" and thus traverse hundreds of miles in the blink of an eye, but that they can also go other places in TIME. A plague is upon the land, started by a strange cat-like creature and spread to horses and other four-legged beasts. Many all across Pern have died, but some have recovered, and the principle of vaccination is put to good use to keep many people (and animals!) alive. Moreta works together with Alessan, new leader of Ruatha Hold--they meet at a Gather there, and shortly after when the sickness starts, they work together to secure ingredients needed to treat the illness by using dragon riders to travel other places and times. A romance develops between them, but the story has a rather sad and bittersweet ending, but this is something you sort of knew was coming if you're familiar with the series, as there is a ballad in some of the other earlier books (that Menolly sings if I remember right) about Moreta's Ride--and now it all makes sense. Very well done, enjoyable to listen to--another different reader than previous books, but very well-suited to the prose and the tone of the book....more
#3 Bryant & May British police procedural featuring the Peculiar Crimes Unit. This mystery goes back in time again, to 1973, telling the story of#3 Bryant & May British police procedural featuring the Peculiar Crimes Unit. This mystery goes back in time again, to 1973, telling the story of how the PCU investigated the deaths of several members of the noble Whitstable family, members of the fabled Watchmaker's Guild and (they believe) another secret society within the guild. These strange murders, all with a different MO (and all the methods of death very odd indeed) are obviously tied together due to the family connection, but the PCU is up in arms trying to figure out how and why.
Under pressure from the higher-ups, the press and the Whitstable family themselves, they must navigate a host of strange and seemingly disconnected clues to piece together the real story, one that spans decades of planning and deceit. Told from the point of view of both Bryant and May as well as a couple of other people, I have to admit that the book got a little confusing at times, and was a little too convoluted with forays not only to the '70's, but also back into the 1880's with other stops along the way.
It was interesting, but (possibly because of the way I read the book--piecemeal, on my breaks at work over the course of more than a week) I'm still not sure I have the whole thing straight in my mind even after the reveal. There are a lot of subtle nuances and half-hidden clues that I'm sure I missed. Still, you gotta love Bryant & May, and the historical tidbits and information is all very interesting, too. I'm marking this one down slightly from the grades previous books in series got, but I think in future I won't be using this series as a 'take to work' read so I can concentrate on things better. I'm still really looking forward to the next one! ...more
#15 Roger the Chapman medieval mystery set in the UK. Roger is in the Green Lattis pub savoring an ale when a stranger approaches several people inclu#15 Roger the Chapman medieval mystery set in the UK. Roger is in the Green Lattis pub savoring an ale when a stranger approaches several people including the chapman, asking after news of his brother's ship that sailed from Bristol several weeks previously. There has been no news, but Roger thinks he's met the young man somewhere before, but can't quite place John Wedmore.
Until a day later when the sheriff comes calling, stating he's got young Mr. Wedmore in his jail, accused of being a thief and murderer, implicated by a countrywoman who named him her page six years ago. And he's asked to speak to Roger--who subsequently learns that John Wedmore is his previously unknown half-brother and he realizes he 'recognized' his father's facial features in the young man.
Roger ends up journeying out to Wells, where he was born and grew up, to the country manor of his brother's accuser to see what he can learn about this six-year-old murder in hopes of exonerating him. Meanwhile, a long lost son returns to that manor at the same time as Roger and begins stirring up a hornet's nest.
Enjoyable visit as always to 14th century England. The mysteries are not terribly difficult to figure out, but the writing style, the characters and historical ambiance make all the difference. ...more
#2 Joe Pitt ‘paranormal noir’ mystery series. Joe, a Rogue Vampyre not pledged to any of the vampyre clans in New York, is feeling a bit peaky these d#2 Joe Pitt ‘paranormal noir’ mystery series. Joe, a Rogue Vampyre not pledged to any of the vampyre clans in New York, is feeling a bit peaky these days. He’s down to his last 3 pints of blood in the fridge and two months behind on his rent. Ever since the incident in which he cheesed off a couple of the major clan bosses, the work coming his way has been slim to none. He’s about to go begging for a job when one gets thrown his way by Terry, the Society boss.
New vampyres are hitting on some new drug out there that’s making them go a bit crazy and Terry wants Joe to figure out what this drug is and who’s supplying it. It’s disrupting the tentative truce between the clans and no one wants an all-out war. Or do they? Joe treks across forbidden Coalition territory to the Hood to look up a guy whose name he got from another guy—yeah, the connection is slim but when you’re not sure where your next pint of blood is coming from, and your girlfriend (who, by the way, doesn’t even KNOW you’re a vampyre!) is needing some expensive medical treatments, you get a bit desperate. What ensues is a madcap couple of days with Joe nearly meeting an untimely end several times and the unveiling of plots within plots and much political scheming.
Very dark and noir, lots of graphic violins (but very little sax! LOL) and many unsavory four-letter words. In other words, my kinda book. ::grin:: I love Joe’s rogue attitude, what I call his whole “eff you personality,” since I tend to have the same attitude to belonging to groups myself. I have the next Joe Pitt book here on my TBR and I know it won’t be too long before I get to it. A....more
#2 Kitty Norville paranormal series featuring the radio talk show hostess who is also a werewolf. Kitty, now traveling around the country doing her ni#2 Kitty Norville paranormal series featuring the radio talk show hostess who is also a werewolf. Kitty, now traveling around the country doing her night time talk show from different cities, has been subpoenaed by a Congressional Committee to testify regarding an ongoing research project into the causes and potential cures of the ‘supernatural’ races like vampires, werewolves, and the like. She’s never been to the nation’s capital and hopes to combine some sightseeing with her testimony. That doesn’t happen, though, as she is waylaid by the city’s Vampire leader on the way to her hotel, commandeered to Alette’s townhouse and warned of rogue lycanthropes who may want to harm Kitty. She doesn’t know whether to trust Alette and her lackeys and does eventually hook up with a sexy Brazilian were-jaguar named Luis (he purrs! LOL) whom she met at a party.
Luis leads her to a bar that is a hangout for weres—there is no pack, no leader and the place exudes comfort and friendship. Was Alette lying, or are things not as they really seem? Kitty also finally meets the head of the research project she’s testifying about. She isn’t sure whether to trust Dr. Paul Flemming either—he’s been nothing but evasive when she’s tried to speak to him in the past and this is no exception. She knows she doesn’t trust Senator Duke, who is looking for a witch hunt (rather, a were-hunt) and wants Congress to declare open season on all ‘abominable creatures of the devil’ like weres and vampires. But who among those she’s met of the supernatural community has her best interests at heart? She finds out the hard way in a stunning climax that shocks not only Kitty but the whole world.
Very enjoyable read—I really like Kitty, and I find the world that Vaughn has created to be believable and plausible, and I like that she is able to incorporate a bit of a sex for her heroine without making romance and sex so pervasive that it takes over the story. Glad to have the next couple in the series here waiting patiently for me....more
#3 Kitty Norville paranormal mystery. Kitty has decided to take a break from hosting her supernatural talk show, The Midnight Hour, and heads for the#3 Kitty Norville paranormal mystery. Kitty has decided to take a break from hosting her supernatural talk show, The Midnight Hour, and heads for the hills (an isolated cabin in the mountains) to work on writing a book she's contracted for to share her life and experiences since becoming a werewolf four years previously. She's not making much progress, but her efforts are interrupted by the appearance of werewolf-hunter Cormac with her friend and lawyer Ben O'Farrell, who has been bitten and is now also a werewolf. Cormac hopes that Kitty can help Ben through the horrible first days and weeks and the first "change" at the full moon. Cormac and Ben have been best friends since childhood and at one time gave a promise to each other to kill the other if they ever were to become a lycanthrope. Cormac couldn't follow through on that promise and Ben is angry, but the situation is complicated by the fact that there was "something else" working with the wolf who bit Ben that got away, and Cormac is determined to hunt it down.
While longing for some solitude, Kitty is happy to help Ben but then finds that the neighbors are not so keen on having a werewolf next door and Kitty begins receiving threats, dead animals on her doorstep and some kind of odd curse with barbed-wire crosses strewn around her cabin--and then Cormac's 'evil thing' shows up and makes itself known, but the hostile sheriff thinks Kitty is behind some attacks on cattle some few miles away. Things take a romantic twist (of course!) but it was well-done and not off-putting to me like some romantic side plots can be, so I'll definitely keep reading the series. Enjoyable, quick read...more
#1 Inspector O mystery, set in modern day North Korea, mostly in the capital Pyongyang, but O also travels out to several outlying areas. The story be#1 Inspector O mystery, set in modern day North Korea, mostly in the capital Pyongyang, but O also travels out to several outlying areas. The story begins with him on a stakeout to take a picture of a car going by on a road in a rural area outside the city. Those are his orders, but of course the camera fails due to dead batteries and the story moves along to a tale of intrigue and espionage between one Ministry and another, sort of a Spy vs. Spy kind of thing with a friend of O's boss named Kang directing much of the action as he tries to evade the Military Security branch run by Colonel Kim. Many deaths occurred along the way, and O is never quite sure who to trust, so mostly he doesn't trust anyone.
It was confusing at first, since I had virtually no knowledge of how things are in North Korea, or what life is like. But I quickly came to like Inspector O, and once I stopped trying to figure everything out and sat back to enjoy the story, it was fine, the details fell into place and I really enjoyed getting to know the country and the main character. The writing style is hard to describe--somewhat of a literary, lyrical side to it, and a definite dry sense of humor there in the background too. I have to read the next book just to find out if O ever gets his cup of tea! ...more
#2 in the Riverworld Saga. This book, the second in a sci-fi series that features a sort of repository for the dead--basically, everyone ever born on#2 in the Riverworld Saga. This book, the second in a sci-fi series that features a sort of repository for the dead--basically, everyone ever born on earth is resurrected in the Riverworld--focuses on Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain. His big dream on Earth was to build and captain a Riverboat, and now that he's basically got all eternity, he's determined to do it.
This life-after-death place isn't exactly what you'd call heaven, though--the same cliques, clans and territorial battles still break out, and as some resources are in short supply, Sam knows he will have to do battle or barter to get the materials he needs.
As with the previous book, a host of different characters from history--ancient and recent--show up, often in unlikely roles. Quite entertaining and an interesting concept of what 'life after death' could be like. ...more
#16 Hamish MacBeth mystery set in fictional Lochdubh, Scotland. This was an ‘afterthought’ I think, since it was the second Hamish book published in 1#16 Hamish MacBeth mystery set in fictional Lochdubh, Scotland. This was an ‘afterthought’ I think, since it was the second Hamish book published in 1999. It’s very short (I read it in about an hour and a half) and there’s no actual murder—it’s just a bit of a cozy look at Christmas in the Highlands with a little burglary and some “Bah Humbugs” to keep Hamish busy. Lots of village spirit and goodwill towards men and all that—a nice little “feel good” book but not really much of a mystery. Enjoyable!...more
#18 Hamish MacBeth mystery set in fictional Lochdubh, Scotland. A young woman, star of a local television show that has begun doing exposes of various#18 Hamish MacBeth mystery set in fictional Lochdubh, Scotland. A young woman, star of a local television show that has begun doing exposes of various Highland people and institutions, is killed. Hamish himself could be suspect as she was about to interview him and smear the local constabulary. A new interim Chief Inspector, Pat Carson, seems a little more keen on Hamish and his wild ideas than his old nemesis Blair was, but a couple of small foul ups leave Hamish once again banished to his own village patch to let the big boys in Strathbane solve the murder--or make fools of themselves trying. Of course it takes a second murder to wake them up and realize Hamish was right from the start.
These books have gotten to be all so much alike that I'm sure the author can write them in her sleep--just as I can almost read them in my sleep. I know I say this after almost every book in this series...it's not that I hate the books, and I really do like Hamish, but I'm going to give up now, I think. They just don't seem to be worth the couple of hours of time it takes to read them, so predictable have they become....more
#1 Maggy Thorsen mystery set in Brookhills, Wisconsin. Maggy and her business partners Caron and Patricia are set to open their new coffee shop, Uncom#1 Maggy Thorsen mystery set in Brookhills, Wisconsin. Maggy and her business partners Caron and Patricia are set to open their new coffee shop, Uncommon Grounds, in a strip mall in suburban Brookhills. Maggy, late on her first day, opens the door only to find Patricia collapsed on the floor, a pitcher of milk spilled around her. At first it appears to be some sort of natural event but it's later determined that the espresso machine was interfered with and that Patricia was deliberately electrocuted. Although Patricia could be a bit intense and overbearing, Maggy can't think why anyone would want to kill her--until some previously unknown facts about her come to light, and Maggy realizes how little she really knew Patricia. Then the suspect list begins to burgeon, though the new sheriff in town, Jake Pavlick, seems to be happy with the easiest result. Gary Donovan, the town's chief of police and long time friend of Maggy, helps her mull over possibilities--she just doesn't believe that Patricia's husband David is capable of murder as everyone seems to think--but when he turns up dead of an apparent suicide, she begins to wonder. I had a vague inkling about the bad guy early on but wasn't sure til about two-thirds of the way through. I enjoyed the book quite a lot more than I expected, as I've had a pretty low opinion of most "themed" cozy series I've tried lately--to the point where I haven't bothered finishing most of them. But this has a little harder edge to it than your "typical" cozy mystery, and I liked Maggy a lot--she seemed to be a very "real" person with some depth of character--and not an annoying one!--and her supporting cast is also coming along nicely. I found a few bloopers (wrong form of a word used, wrong character name, etc) which threw me off guard a bit, and Maggy did admittedly suffer from that old 'amateur sleuth' curse where she does dumb things like withholding evidence and investigating dangerous things on her own....but that almost seems de rigeur these days. I'm glad to have found a cozy series that I'm actually looking forward to carrying on with....more