In London during the fear and furor of the Ripper murders, the police take the brunt of the criticism for not being able to apprehend the brutal murdeIn London during the fear and furor of the Ripper murders, the police take the brunt of the criticism for not being able to apprehend the brutal murderer. Inspector Ian Frey is one of the gentry who has chosen to make the police his career and his personality does not make him beloved by the administration of the police. When a brutal murder happens in Edinburgh, he gets sent there in lieu of being fired. Viewing Scotland as the back-end of nowhere, Frey makes his way to Edinburgh where he is assigned to work with Detective McGray who heads of department of what we might call in our times, as paranormal activities.
McGray is eccentric to say the least. The murder and disemboweling of a virtuoso violinist is the first in a string of murders that the two detectives race to solve. Combating both the murder's progress and the police bureaucracy's fears about their own publicity, the two fight, bicker and insult each other and their respective countries all through the action.
This is a very good book. I won't say that either one of the characters is likable. I'm used to Victorian mysteries being full of polite conversation correct behavior. Neither of these gentleman respect each other and their bickering, insults, and assumptions about each other was surprising and entertaining. The mystery was compelling. My interest flagged a bit two thirds of the way through but when I kept with it, the action and my interest picked up again. I'll be reading the sequels. ...more
One of Christie's standalone mysteries and not one of her best, in my opinion. Melodramatic, complicated, and many ways absurd. I liked the main charaOne of Christie's standalone mysteries and not one of her best, in my opinion. Melodramatic, complicated, and many ways absurd. I liked the main character well enough but not much about the others made any sense. Why did I keep on. I liked the main character well enough to keep going. ...more
Tracy Crosswhite is a a former Chemistry teacher and now Homicide cop in Seattle. It took her 20 years to get from the schoolroom to Seattle's most elTracy Crosswhite is a a former Chemistry teacher and now Homicide cop in Seattle. It took her 20 years to get from the schoolroom to Seattle's most elite squad of detectives. She joined the police after her sister disappeared and was never found; someone was sentenced to life for the crime but Tracy never believed he was guilty. After years of searching and researching, she had come to the conclusion that she could go nowhere else unless new evidence is found.
After 20 years, new evidence is found in the form of Sara's body. Tracy returns home to her tiny home town of Cedar Grove for the funeral. Her parent are now gone and Tracy is alone. Having grown up in the town, she encounters all the old cast of characters from the police chief to an old childhood friend who looks pretty good. Tracy meets resistance from everywhere including some of the publicity-shy supervisors of her current job and the Cedar Grove police. As she persists, more secrets and dangers are revealed.
A page turner and engrossing story. From court room drama to adventure and independent investigation, the story goes on. And on. and on. Don't get me wrong, the characters are engaging, the romantic elements are sweet, and the investigation is good. Even with that, I wanted it to be over before it was over. I read the short story prequel and really liked it so I might go on and try another novel in the series. Two stars, according to goodreads says "it's okay." ...more
Sophie Mercer is a witch. As soon as her mother found out that her new husband was a warlock, she left him and raised her daughter in the human world.Sophie Mercer is a witch. As soon as her mother found out that her new husband was a warlock, she left him and raised her daughter in the human world. Now 16, Sophie has moved around a lot, barely a grade before moving on. Her mother learned as much as she could about the Prodigiums in order to raise her daughter. Sophie doesn't have many friends. At the prom, she encounters one of her outsider friends distraught about a crush on a boy and being dateless at the prom. Sophie decides to cast a love spell. It did not go well.
As a result, Sophie gets sent an isolated island school, a sort of reform school for shifters, witches, vampires, and fairies. High school is high school no matter who is in the population, and Sophie knows next to nothing about the Prodigium, something that does not help. Also, her room-mate is a vampire, something reviled by the Prodigium; and whose roommate was killed and most suspect her roommate. So Sophie needs to settle in, protect herself, and she ends up looking into the murder because not to do so would bring her the same fate. And then other girls start getting attacked......
A very enjoyable book. Delightful in fact. Sophie is bright, sarcastic, and smart. She is intuitive and brave as well. This is the first in a trilogy. I'll be reading.
Lyon Wentworth is a children's book author and his wife, Bea, is a state senator; their marriage has survived the hit and run death of their only chilLyon Wentworth is a children's book author and his wife, Bea, is a state senator; their marriage has survived the hit and run death of their only child. Their marriage is strong and supportive. Lyon is called in by his longtime friend, the Chief of police to provide his thoughts on some bones discovered on a remote property. It turns out to be a murder of a family from over thirty years ago. The mystery captures Lyon's attention away from his current book, much to Bea's annoyance.
First he discovers the name of the family including the little girl awakening his grief for his own child, and then he moves to solve the murder.
Written in 1975, this book holds up. It's surprisingly witty and funny as well as not holding back on some violence. I enjoyed it immensely and have already requested the second one through inter-library loan....more
Rushmore McKenzie, "Mac" to his friends has a lot of friends and former girlfriends. One of the latter is the first lady of the state, and her husbandRushmore McKenzie, "Mac" to his friends has a lot of friends and former girlfriends. One of the latter is the first lady of the state, and her husband is running for the Senate. She contacts Mac to discover who sent an email accusing the governor of killing his high school sweetheart. Mac tracks the computer sending the email back to the small town where the governor grew up. He finds a strange town full of racism, fear, secrets, and people willing to fight to keep those secrets....more
There is a saying in Sherlockian and Holmsian circles that the Great Detective is not dead because his obituary has never appeared in The Times. In thThere is a saying in Sherlockian and Holmsian circles that the Great Detective is not dead because his obituary has never appeared in The Times. In this short novel, during the latter part of the second World War, a small boy lives with the local vicar. He is a refugee, a Jewish German child who managed to escape. He is only accompanied by his parrot, a talkative bird, who spouts ranges of letters and number and often speaks for the mute boy. Also living in this area of Sussex is an old, old man who keeps bees and his own company. Never named, he was once world famous for his intellectual ability and ability to solve crimes. This old man has outlived all his friends and enemies alike.
When the young boy, Linus, has his parrot stolen, he appeals to the old man for help. In addition to the stolen bird, one of the lodgers to the vicarage is murdered. The old man is contacted by some military/intelligence to retrieve the parrot since the bird seems to be speaking in some code.
Focusing on his commission from the young boy, the old man sets off to retrieve the parrot and restore it to the boy.
Let me say at the outset, that I did like this book. I did find it a bit of a puzzlement. It is more of a tone poem than a mystery novel. It makes it very interesting to see inside the mind of a once-great 89 year old has he reflects on his fears, sorrows, and desires. The story shifts from a couple of viewpoints, including the bird. It's a very short novel and well worth the read....more
During WW2, it is rumored that the English royal family stored the crown jewels in Montreal....or a cave in Wales, with great secrecy from the GermansDuring WW2, it is rumored that the English royal family stored the crown jewels in Montreal....or a cave in Wales, with great secrecy from the Germans and the English people. Based in part on a true story as well as true rumors. This novel plays on the idea that it was Montreal where the jewels were stored, dismantled and sent in hatboxes. Martine LeDuc, directoire of publicite for the City of Montreal is summoned to a meeting with various officials and a PhD student who believes she has found the jewels, stored in the tunnels under the city. They go and indeed, they find some jewels and a skeleton, obviously shot in the head.
Martine is also experiencing some cracks in her near perfect marriage to the almost perfect man (annoying in the first book, better in this one) that need her attention. As she works through the problem presented to her, she also is concerned with the growing menace from this discovery...when another murder occurs and the reputation of the city is at stake.
Very good book, good technique, interesting history, and a rather endearing minor character. ...more
Bernie Rhodenbarr is a successful burglar, well studied in his craft and well practiced. His desires are modest and he only burgles to make a living -Bernie Rhodenbarr is a successful burglar, well studied in his craft and well practiced. His desires are modest and he only burgles to make a living -- he's not greedy. He is discreet, or so he thinks until his dentist talks to Bernie about his ex-wife and, her slutty ways, and her jewelry; and how he, Dr. Sheldrake, would like to get some of his investments back. Always adaptable, Bernie breaks into her apartment and, knowing he has a lot of time, takes his own time savoring the process. Unfortunately, the ex-wife comes back with a male admirer. Quickly, Bernie closes himself into the closet, hoping not to be discovered, and trying not to listen.
When it's over, the lover leaves and the lady prepares to take a shower. As she goes, she locks the closet door! Patiently picking the lock, Bernie prepares to leave with the valuables and the doorbell rings, and this time, it's murder. A murderer who steals his valise full of items.
The dentist is quickly arrested. Fearing that the dentist will turn him over to the police, Bernie moves to solve the case and get his jewels and cash back. Bernie is charming and funny and his inner voice is reflective in a very funny way. Enjoyable series full of crazy characters and witty dialogue....more
The summer of 1922 in India is sweltering and beastly hot, so the British Raj move to their summer homes in the Himalayan Mountains. Here the BritishThe summer of 1922 in India is sweltering and beastly hot, so the British Raj move to their summer homes in the Himalayan Mountains. Here the British re-establish England-in-India rather than adapting to the landscape. Approaching beautiful Simla is a treacherous climb via vehicle or by a "to train.' Joe Sandilands of Scotland Yard, seconded to India, is about to go home. He is offered a stay at a holiday bungalow, though Joe knows full well there's an ulterior motive. He meets a famous opera star on the way to Simla and offers him a ride in a car. On the way up, the man is killed by a sniper.
And there begins a complex tale of survival, secrets, money, marriage, love and hate, abuse of power, and the past coming to demand its due. Very, very good. An interesting tale of colonialism, colonists, class, lies, and desire. ...more