This classic novel from mystery's golden age was the June read for the DorothyL Book Discussion group. I'd read it years ago, in my teens, and remembeThis classic novel from mystery's golden age was the June read for the DorothyL Book Discussion group. I'd read it years ago, in my teens, and remembered the basic plot but few of the details. It's the story (based on a real-life incident) of a teenaged girl who turns up at her adoptive parents' home after being missing for a few weeks, saying she was being held against her will in an isolated house by two elderly women. Of course, the women assert that they have no knowledge of the girl, and their solicitor Robert Blair endeavours to clear them from suspicion. This is nominally an Alan Grant novel, but we actually see very little of the good Inspector. A great example of Tey's wonderful writing!...more
This is the first in a new series with protagonist Theodora "Teddy" Bentley, an heiress who has decided to become a zookeeper. She works, despite herThis is the first in a new series with protagonist Theodora "Teddy" Bentley, an heiress who has decided to become a zookeeper. She works, despite her family's disapproval, at a small private zoo on the central coast of California. One morning, Lucy the anteater discovers a human corpse in her enclosure, and is blamed for the death of one of the zoo's largest benefactors. Teddy is certain that Lucy is innocent, and sets out to prove it. Her efforts are complicated by her mother's unsubtle efforts at matchmaking, the attempts of an upper-crust group to evict her from her shabby houseboat, and her ex-boyfriend Sheriff Joe Rejas, who thinks she's getting in the way of his investigation. The unusual cast of supporting characters is somewhat reminiscent of Donna Andrews' Meg Lanslow books, where only Meg and her husband appear to be sane. I look forward to more in this series....more
Third installment in the series. Although Elliott Freed and his ex-wife Sharon have been divorced for some time, they are still close friends and stillThird installment in the series. Although Elliott Freed and his ex-wife Sharon have been divorced for some time, they are still close friends and still celebrate their wedding anniversary together. However, this time, Sharon's soon-to-be new ex-husband Gregory tells Elliott that Sharon has disappeared. Elliott is certain that this is a mistake, and that Sharon will contact him to let him know where she is, but there is no word from her at his house or his theater, Comedy Tonight. Elliott's friend the police chief says it's too soon to search for her so Elliott decides to do it himself. He goes to her office and learns of the suicide of a patient whom she apparently misdiagnosed. The staff all believe she's gone away for a few days to get her head together, but Elliott doesn't think she would do that without telling a soul, and he's convinced that foul play has come to her. Elliott is blessed with family and friends who are somewhat eccentric, and he seems to attract disastrous incidents, such as being hit by a brick while walking down the street. The accident-prone part of me really identifies with him. ...more
In the third Charlotte Adams outing, Charlotte has been hired by the office manager of an importing company called Quovadicon to clean up an employee'In the third Charlotte Adams outing, Charlotte has been hired by the office manager of an importing company called Quovadicon to clean up an employee's particularly messy desk. When Charlotte goes to the office, the employee, Barbara not in. Loathe to do too much without consulting the desk's owner, Charlotte drops by her home. She finds the door wide open, and the landlord worried. Charlotte is convinced that Barb is in trouble, and when the police decline to search for her, Charlotte decides to investigate on her own. Charlotte is nothing if not persistent, and comes close to getting herself killed. But despite being nosy and pushy, she is likeable enough for the reader to care what happens to her, especially since her closest friends are suddenly too busy to spend time with her. ...more
I received this book through Library Thing's Early Reviewer Program. I didn't know what to expect, but it sounded kind of interesting (despite the facI received this book through Library Thing's Early Reviewer Program. I didn't know what to expect, but it sounded kind of interesting (despite the fact that I'm not a sewer), and besides, there's a an adorable embroidered teacup lady on the cover.
What it turned out to be is an wonderfully readable appreciation of antique and vintage kitchen linens: tablecloths, napkins, placemats, aprons, and teatowels. Geisel is an expert on the subject, and has also written The Apron Book and Apronisms.
Chapter topics include discussions of the various fabrics used to make the items, different techniques for making them, and a plethora of uses, both mundane and unexpected during the past century or so. Interspersed throughout the narrative are short essays from other vintage linen aficionados describing their personal memories associated with kitchen linens. There are also some gorgeous colour photographs that made me want to run out to the nearest thrift or antique shop to see what I could find.
The book was a delight, and I recommend it to lovers of all things vintage and culinary, and also fiber lovers, including knitters (like me), crocheters, and sewers. ...more
The fourth Wollie Shelley mystery finds our heroine taking a job as a spy. No, really. It all begins with jury duty. After the trial, the defendant offThe fourth Wollie Shelley mystery finds our heroine taking a job as a spy. No, really. It all begins with jury duty. After the trial, the defendant offers Wollie a job as a "social coach" for foreign celebrities. Although she feels uncomfortable with the whole concept, she accepts because the salary is exceptional and she needs the money. Then an FBI colleague of Simon's asks her to spy on her new employer, and she can't think of a way to say "no".
When she finds out that the previous "social coach" was killed in a freak accident, she gets nervous, but the FBI handler blackmails her into staying by suggesting that her brother, who is psychologically unstable, might be unable to stay in his halfway house. She stumbles along, feeling incompetent in both jobs, and trying to find a way to get out.
Wollie reminds me a little bit of Lucy Ricardo. Or maybe Stephanie Plum. Or a combination of the two. She has the best of intentions, but somehow things tend to go awry, putting her in extremely awkward situations.
I got this book as a Goodreads giveaway, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Charlize Edwards, known to her friends and loved ones as "Charlie", has a great lifI got this book as a Goodreads giveaway, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Charlize Edwards, known to her friends and loved ones as "Charlie", has a great life. She works as assistant to a movie star, has a house in one of LA's hippest neighborhoods, a handsome boyfriend, and two gorgeous and generous female BFFs.
Okay, so her family is a little crazy -- her mother wants to have a baby, for goodness' sake! And her boyfriend Jordan, a photographer, takes a job in Paris, and she thinks the noble thing to do is give him his freedom. Then she runs into an old family friend who is handsome, rich, and single...
I hadn't realized this book was a sequel (to A TOTAL WASTE OF MAKEUP), but didn't have any problem understanding the plot. Grunenfelder's style reminds me a little bit of Janet Evanovich, though this isn't a mystery. It is funny, and despite the usual chick-lit theme of people trying to find The One, there are some thought-provoking twists to the conclusion. ...more
I've known Robin Burcell virtually for many years. I didn't actually meet her in person until Left Coast Crime in Hawai'i in March, at which I was pleI've known Robin Burcell virtually for many years. I didn't actually meet her in person until Left Coast Crime in Hawai'i in March, at which I was pleased to obtain a signed copy of her latest book, Face of a Killer.
I have read her previous books, featuring SFPD Homicide Investigator Kate Gillespie. The latest book is not part of the series, although the protagonist, FBI agent Sydney Fitzpatrick, does mention knowing Kate.
Sydney has recently transferred to San Francisco, partially with the ulterior motive of meeting the man who is in prison for murdering her father 20 years earlier. He has maintained since his arrest that he is innocent, and when Sydney visits him, she finds herself believing his story. Beginning to investigate it, she finds herself the object of a serial killer. Or is it a hit man?
This is a gripping story. We learn quite a bit about Sydney's (and Robin's) talent and training as a forensic artist. The character of Sydney is sympathetic, and her thought patterns and relationships with family and co-workers are realistically portrayed.
I had to force myself to read more slowly than usual so I could enjoy the excellent writing. I'm now planning to go back and reread the Kate Gillespie books....more
Jan Burke's latest book is a standalone that could best be described as a paranormal mystery. Tyler Hawthorne was born in 1791, and died in the BattleJan Burke's latest book is a standalone that could best be described as a paranormal mystery. Tyler Hawthorne was born in 1791, and died in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. While he lay dying on the battlefield, he spoke to a mysterious person who gave him a ring, and a dog, and the task of Messenger. The Messenger carries the wishes of the dying who can no longer communicate verbally to their living loved ones. When we meet Tyler, he is living in present-day Los Angeles. He lives a solitary life, with only his dog Shade as a real companion. Somehow,Tyler knows when dying people need his services, and he goes to them to offer comfort and more. Yet, after over 200 years, having outlived all his peers and being unable to die, he wishes he had given a different answer to the being who approached him on the battlefield. He buys a mansion in the hills, and befriends Ron, the grandson of the previous owner. Ron's friend Amanda, a "trust-funder" who lives nearby, is suspicious of Tyler's Samaritanship, but is unsure what to do about her misgivings. Driving home from a party in the desert, she witnesses a truck running him down on his motorcycle, and is pretty sure he's dead. But he's still alive, despite what Amanda saw. Now the men in the truck are after her, too, and Tyler has to tell her about himself so he can protect her. Jan Burke has crafted another spellbinding tale. She is an amazing writer, and has obviously done painstaking research for this book. Don't pass it by because it's not part of the Irene Kelly series!...more
Our heroine, Bree Winston-Beaufort inherits a law practice in Savannah from her uncle. Her first night in town, as she is unpacking, she receives a caOur heroine, Bree Winston-Beaufort inherits a law practice in Savannah from her uncle. Her first night in town, as she is unpacking, she receives a call from billionaire Benjamin Skinner, who just happens to have died earlier that day. She is as confused by this as she is by the fact that most people are unable to find her office, until she talks to one of her old law professors, who informs her that she is to try this case in the Celestial Courts, where Skinner has been charged with greed. This is somewhat of a departure for Stanton, who has written several childrens' fantasies (and as Claudia Bishop writes traditional mysteries) but I think she's done a splendid job. I stayed up waaaay too late finishing it, and started the next book in the morning....more
This is the Gourmet Girl mystery series co-written byJessica Conant-Park and her mother, Susan Conant. Our heroine Chloe Carter tags along with her boThis is the Gourmet Girl mystery series co-written byJessica Conant-Park and her mother, Susan Conant. Our heroine Chloe Carter tags along with her boyfriend chef Josh Driscoll as he films an episode of a "battle of the chefs"-style television series. They choose a random shopper at an upscale market to be the recipient of a home-cooked gourmet dinner, but the fun is spoiled when the shopper's wife dies a painful death during the meal. Josh is not a suspect, but having been the only person to witness the death, Chloe feels that she must discover whodunnit....more
As well as this series, she writes the Hemlock Falls mysteries. This is the second in the series about Dr. Austin McKenzie, who practices veterinary mAs well as this series, she writes the Hemlock Falls mysteries. This is the second in the series about Dr. Austin McKenzie, who practices veterinary medicine in rural upstate New York. In this outing, Dr. McKenzie must solve the mystery of who killed a most unpleasant turkey farmer, in order to absolve the young man who sells him turkey feed....more
**spoiler alert** In the third volume of the Spellmans series, our intrepid heronine Isabel is in court-ordered therapy after ignoring a restraining o**spoiler alert** In the third volume of the Spellmans series, our intrepid heronine Isabel is in court-ordered therapy after ignoring a restraining order filed by her neighbour. Isabel is also taking a self-inflicted break from the family detective agency and working in her friend Milo's bar. Her brother David asks her to house-sit for him, and she discovers that he has an empty apartment in his basement, which comes in handy when she loses her job at the bar. She secretly moves into the apartment, whilst working on a case for a friend of Milo's, attending therapy sessions, and trying to decide what she wants to do with her life. The Spellmans are an interesting, if unusual family. Isabel's generation all grew up in the family firm, and while her older brother David decided not to continue in the business, Isabel did. However, she has a great deal of difficulty differentiating the business of a private detective from regular life, and treats most of her daily activities and contacts as if they were investigations. I loved this book, but I do have a problem with the footnotes, which I find terribly distracting....more
Landscape designer Paula Holliday has been invited by her old school friend Lucy to spend a weekend at a hotel and spa in Connecticut wine country. WhLandscape designer Paula Holliday has been invited by her old school friend Lucy to spend a weekend at a hotel and spa in Connecticut wine country. While she's in the bar waiting for her friend to arrive, Lucy is hit on by a handsome man who later is found dead behind the hotel. Of course, Paula is a suspect, and in order to prove her innocence, she must discover who is guilty.
Former NYC medical examiner Dr. Edward Jenner is asked by a friend to look into the case of his daughter's murder, which turns out to be one of a striFormer NYC medical examiner Dr. Edward Jenner is asked by a friend to look into the case of his daughter's murder, which turns out to be one of a string of serial killings. The young woman's roommate turns up at his home, asking for shelter, and a relationship develops between them as they search for the madman together....more
Twist Phelan is one of the authors who will be at Left Coast Crime next week. (Aside: squeee, I can't believe it's next week!!)In the second of the PiTwist Phelan is one of the authors who will be at Left Coast Crime next week. (Aside: squeee, I can't believe it's next week!!)In the second of the Pinnacle Peak mysteries, attorney Hannah Dain has joined the family law firm, Dain & Dain, in hopes of repairing the troubled relationship she has with her father and her sister (two of the firm's partners). (Another aside: I read this thinking it was the first in the series, and now I'm disappointed, as I'm one of those anal people who must read series in order.) Her father Richard, has always been cold and distant, while her sister Shelby has always been openly hostile and antagonistic. Hannah isn't sure why they are this way, or why she needs to try to fix things, but she does. She mitigates her distress with long bicycle rides in the desert outside the fictional Arizona town of Pinnacle Peak, which at the time of this story is in the middle of a searingly hot, dry summer. When a seemingly routite IPO she is working on goes awry and she is blamed for it, she feels the need to find out what went wrong, and at the same time, exonerate herself. Shelby is an appealing, if tortured protagonist, and the story is interesting and gripping. I look forward to reading more of the series. ...more