Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fear the Darkness by Becky Masterman

Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn, making good on a promise to her just-deceased sister-in-law, Marylin, lets Marylin's daughter, Gemma-Kate, live with her and her husband, Carlo, as Gemma-Kate prepares to attend the University of Arizona.  When one of Brigid's dogs is poisoned and she starts feeling sick herself, Brigid wonders if something is really wrong with her health or if someone is trying to make her seriously ill. Could her current state also have something to do with her investigation into the death of teenager Joseph Neilsen?  In this second novel in the Brigid Quinn series, Masterman writes a page turner that should appeal to readers who enjoy Sue Grafton.  It will be published in January.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Death of a Liar by M.C. Beaton

Policeman Hamish Macbeth again finds himself juggling several murder investigations, despite being stationed in the small Scottish village of Lochdubh.  This time, a local couple, who recently moved to town are found murdered along with Liz Bentley, who had a hard time telling the truth. Hamish tries to solve the crimes, even after being warned by his superiors to not get involved and knowing that, if he succeeds, it might mean a career away from his beloved Lochdubh.  It will be published in February.

The Murder Man by Tony Parsons

After a transfer from the anti-terrorism unit to homicide, DC Max Wolfe is immediately involved in the investigation into the grisly murder of investment banker Hugo Buck. When a homeless man is killed soon after in the same way, it seems there's a serial killer on the loose who specifically targeted both men.  What is the connection between the victims and will there be more deaths before Max and his colleague, DCI Mallory discover the identity of the killer? In this first book in the Max Wolfe series, author Parsons creates an interesting main character who struggles to raise his five-year-old daughter, Scout, on his own, while mourning the loss of his wife. He is also able to craft a puzzle that keeps you guessing until the end. A good read-alike for those who enjoy the Mark Tartaglia series by Elena Forbes.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Land of Dreams by Vidar Sundstol

Lance Hansen, a police officer who works for the U.S. Forest Service on Lake Superior in Minnesota, discovers a young Norwegian man, incoherent and bleeding, with his best friend dead nearby. The murder case is quickly passed to the local police, then to the FBI who are working with a cop from Norway named Eirik Nyland. Lance remains intrigued by the crime, as people are wondering if it's the first murder ever in Cook County. As the keeper of the local history files, Lance is reminded of the disappearance of Swamper Caribou, an Ojibwe who went missing near the current crime scene over 100 years ago. Could the two cases be connected? Lance is also troubled by the behaviors of someone in his own family. In this first book of the Minnesota Trilogy, Sundstol writes a leisurely-paced mystery filled with local lore, an interesting setting, and flawed characters. For readers who enjoy Paul Doiron, C.J. Box, and William Kent Krueger.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar

With their marriage unraveling because of their inability to have a child, Hannah and Will move to the small village of Tornley. Their new home, Tornley Hall, needs a lot of work to get it ready for a visit in two weeks time from Barbara, who will help decide if they will be able to adopt a child. Soon, more cracks soon form in Hannah and Will's relationship, as Will spends his time in London working and Hannah finds herself involved with mysterious happenings in the house, nasty neighbors, and buried secrets. A page turner similar to Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster and Hold My Hand by Serena Mackesy.

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch is paired with newbie detective Lucia Soto to investigate the murder of mariachi musician Orlando Merced. Merced was shot ten years ago, but only recently died--the bullet had been lodged in his spine since the shooting. Bosch and Soto delve into the original investigation of the case and try to find who would've wanted Merced dead. Bosch also becomes involved in another cold case, the Bonnie Brae fire of 1993, in which nine people lost their lives. Soto was one of the children who survived the fire and, now, having become an LAPD detective, has secretly been looking at the old files to find out who was responsible. The Burning Room shows Connelly is still in top form after all these years, giving the reader an engaging mystery and characters you really care about. It will be published in November.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Three Story House by Courtney Miller Santo

Lizzie and her step-cousins, Elyse and Isobel, have been like sisters to each other since they were children. Now, all three find themselves floundering as they near thirty. Lizzie, a professional soccer player, has torn her ACL for the third time and worries that she's past her peak. She also has a distant, frosty relationship with her mother, who has kept the identity of Lizzie's father a secret. Elyse, meanwhile, is nursing a broken heart when she learns that her younger sister is marrying Landon, the love of Elyse's life. Isobel is finding the transition from child television star to adulthood difficult, even though she has a possible new career (her father taught her home renovation skills as she was growing up). The "Triplins" find themselves living together in Lizzie's grandmother's quirky-yet-rundown house in Memphis as they try to move to the next phases of their lives. I really loved Santo's first novel, The Roots of the Olive Tree and was hoping that Three Story House would be equally good. Unfortunately, I just didn't connect emotionally as deeply with the characters and story as I did in her debut.