A caper worthy of Donald Westlake, but starring a woman much more savvy than Dortmunder. What more need be said?
Dangerously funny! Be warned, there ar...moreA caper worthy of Donald Westlake, but starring a woman much more savvy than Dortmunder. What more need be said?
Dangerously funny! Be warned, there are sneaky spit-laugh moments throughout. Honestly, I have not laughed out loud, loudly, in the middle of the night so often since I was in third grade and entranced by Freddy the Pig.
The porkers here are Gina’s male relatives and their “business” acquaintances, as befits a woman whose extended family is THE local crime family in their part of Canada. After a courier from another “famly” gets killed on their turf, they’re desperate to avoid a gang war and Gina’s the least likely to be searched at the border so….
Oh, did I mention the jewels? Fabulous! And the shoes? To die for, darlings! And the MAN. The kind we’d all like to have at our side (or back, or front) when bullets are flying and bodies are bouncing. There’s a bit of mattress-bouncing too, but the heated action takes place off-page, with only some tasty flirtation around it.
Also, it’s short, a Rapid Read that you can get through in half an hour over your coffee.With due respect for potential choking due to sudden spurts of laughter.
This is an insanely zany caper that unrolls speedily into your eyes and brain with great visual images crafted from fewer words than I would have ever imagined possible. A comic tour-de-force and not to be missed! A heartfelt five stars from me. (less)
This novel is at once a neatly plotted mystery and a lacy confection worthy of the Baroque in gilded, dissolute Venice. The writing is so smooth as to...moreThis novel is at once a neatly plotted mystery and a lacy confection worthy of the Baroque in gilded, dissolute Venice. The writing is so smooth as to become rapidly invisible, leaving me immersed in the world of Tito Amato: his home life, his singing background and aspirations, his adjustment to his new role as a fêted darling of the haughty ruling families of Venice. The secondary characters are well rounded and believable.
The investigation of a dire crime at Tito's first opera job is motivated and convincingly conducted. It was not necessary to know anything about opera, and very little about Venice, to follow this tale, but I learned quite a bit about both without being at all distracted from Tito's travails.
A wonderful book, and highly recommended to historical mystery readers and those looking for a solid mystery outside the usual. (less)
Very early into this historical fiction, a first try of this author, and I am guardedly impressed. It's a middle ground between Dorothy Dunnett and Ge...moreVery early into this historical fiction, a first try of this author, and I am guardedly impressed. It's a middle ground between Dorothy Dunnett and Georgette Heyer, with a good try at the repartee that characterized both, although slightly less erudite than either, possibly more in deference to today's woeful educational standards than to the author's preference.(less)
This is the first in a new series by award-wining author Anthony Bidulka, who made his name in mystery by writing about a gay detective living a big l...moreThis is the first in a new series by award-wining author Anthony Bidulka, who made his name in mystery by writing about a gay detective living a big life in a small Canadian city. Adam Saint’s first outing has an explosive opening: a Russian plane crashes, killing the Canadian governor-general. The action jumps back to Canada, where a young mother is on the run with her son, running low on cash and hope. Weaving these two stories together is Adam Saint, a field investigator for a mysterious Canadian agency with international tentacles. The plane crash investigation flips from routine to deadly in the blink of his jet-lagged eye.
From then on Adam stretches all his skills and stamina to stay ahead of pursuit that ranges from the heights of Asian luxury hotels to the bare Saskatchewan prairie. Can he discover who betrayed whom, and why, before time runs out for himself and for the innocents he has staked his life on protecting?
When the Saints Go Marching In is a high-stakes international thriller with down-on-the-farm community spirit. (less)
This ninth book of the series drags Inspector Green far outside his comfort zone. When his daughter Hannah hits the whitewater on the breathtakingly b...moreThis ninth book of the series drags Inspector Green far outside his comfort zone. When his daughter Hannah hits the whitewater on the breathtakingly beautiful and dangerously isolated Nahanni River, vague parental worries soon solidify into well-founded concern, for Green if not for the wilderness area’s RCMP.
Disturbing facts come to light about the expedition’s leader. A freak storm washes one of the group’s canoes downstream. Mining consortiums war with environmentalists. Soon Green and Sullivan are on their way to the Yukon, hoping to find Hannah before the rising tensions rend her group and leave her stranded in a trackless, perilous wilderness. Desk-bound Green forces himself past physical and psychological weaknesses in an unfamiliar and hostile environment, where grizzlies and wolves are no longer the most dangerous predators.
Part family saga, part a thoughtful exploration of the growing conflict between environmental and resource-extraction priorities, “Whisper of Legends” is an adrenaline-fueled adventure, nearly impossible to put down. (less)
Opening sentence: RCMP Constable Danutia Dranchuk pinned another crime scene photo to the board, this one showing Esther Mike’s distorted face, her ey...moreOpening sentence: RCMP Constable Danutia Dranchuk pinned another crime scene photo to the board, this one showing Esther Mike’s distorted face, her eyes and neck bulging from the red ribbon used to strangle her.
More than a mystery, Sitting Lady Sutra is a culturally fascinating tale of families forced apart – and drawn together – by violent crimes. While the investigation into a serial killer forms the backdrop for this novel set in 1996 Victoria, BC, the characters and their interactions are the greater draw.
Constable Dranchuk is intent on proving herself as Special Investigator into the serial killings of Aboriginal women while maintaining an unspoken rivalry with Corporal Farrell and a guilty avoidance of her parents’ phone calls. Ex-con Ritchie, torn between hope and fear over his daughter’s whereabouts, is putting off phoning her mother for fear of what he might hear. Surinder Sharma juggles his fractious sons, furious mother, and conflicted, half-Anglo niece in between mentoring Danutia through her investigation. Troubled Trav is watching his mother die of cancer and drink. Behind them are other ex-cons, other cops, parks workers, party people, Aboriginals young and old, all going about their lives while Sitting Lady Falls rush and ebb with the cycles of seasonal rainfall, and the Gorge waterway seduces the unwary with its deceptively smooth surface, and death walks among them.
While the natural waterways flow through the story, racism runs like a sewer through the lives of these characters. It is balanced by the beauty of Emily Carr’s art and by delicately performed cultural rituals. This feels like a much larger story than is contained in the slim hardback put out by Touchwood. I look forward to reading the next in the series, “Unholy Rites,” in hopes of resolution to some of the issues haunting Corporal Dranchuk both personally and professionally. (less)
This is one of my favourites in the series, partly for the Christmas setting and partly because all the secondary characters are so fully formed. Ther...moreThis is one of my favourites in the series, partly for the Christmas setting and partly because all the secondary characters are so fully formed. There is never a question in my mind that these are real people, not merely puppets, surrounding Russell. (less)