Tuesday, November 22, 2011

V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton

When Kinsey Millhone alerts a store associate about a shoplifter, she has no idea that she will end up with a broken nose on her birthday. As a private detective, Kinsey feels it's her duty to report the woman. But when the woman, Audrey Vance, ends up dead in what the authorities believe is a suicide, Kinsey is hired by Audrey's fiancee to find out about her past. Kinsey finds herself entangled with an ex-con whom she considers a friend, a crooked cop from her past, and the mob. In V is for Vengeance, Grafton has written another mystery that's hard to put down. In using multiple points of view to tell the story, she has made the characters multi-layered and interesting. Kinsey's personality shines brightly.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Knit One Pearl One by Gil McNeil

Jo is now the mother of three. The youngest, her daughter Pearl, is fifteen months old. Jo's also opened up a tea shop next door to her knitting store, with her Italian friend, Connie. Juggling her businesses along with being a mom, she's helped by her Gran and Connie's niece, Cinzia. Her love life is still in flux--she's finding it hard to carve out time to spend with Martin (nicknamed "Dovetail" because of his love of woodworking). Her relationship with Pearl's dad (famous photographer, Daniel) is also unresolved. In Knit One, Pearl One, the stories of Jo and the residents of the seaside English town of Broadgate continue with the series' typical tones of humor, warmth, and togetherness. My only complaint with this third book in the series is that it could have had more of a plot. It will be published next month.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Killer's Christmas in Wales by Elizabeth J. Duncan

It's Christmastime, and the small Welsh village of Llanelen welcomes a newcomer, American Harry Saunders. Wealthy widower Evelyn Lloyd is smitten, and even though several friends try to warn her about Saunders, she puts 20,000 pounds into a joint account with him. He and the money go missing and he is then pushed to his death at Conwy Castle. Local amateur sleuth and spa owner Penny Brannigan is asked by Mrs Lloyd to try and find out who murdered Saunders, since Lloyd is a suspect. With inside information from her boyfriend, DCI Gareth Davies, she might just be able to do that. A Killer's Christmas in Wales is the third book in the Penny Brannigan series, and I throughly enjoyed it, even though I guessed the murderer very early on. For readers who like the mysteries of M.C. Beaton, the Evan Evans series by Rhys Bowen and Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Season of Darkness by Maureen Jennings

All of England is shaken by the events of Dunkirk during World War II. When land girl Elsie Bates is murdered in the small rural village of Whitchurch, the relationship between the townspeople and the German nationals who are imprisoned at a camp outside of town becomes even more uneasy, even though the men are mostly intellectuals and don't seem to have Nazi ties. DI Tom Tyler of the Shropshire constabulary works with his colleagues to find out who would want Elsie dead. But when someone else is killed, a mild panic sets in. It soon becomes clear that there is a connection to the camp and maybe even a killer in its midst. Season of Darkness is the first book in this mystery trilogy. I really liked the characters and the setting of a English town in 1940. If you like historical mysteries, give it a try.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chelsea Mansions by Barry Maitland

After visiting the Chelsea Flower Show, American tourist Nancy Haynes is pushed in front of a bus and killed. With cameras all around London, DCI David Brock and his colleague DI Kathy Kolla are able to trace the movements of the murderer right after the crime. But who would want Nancy dead and would go to the trouble of committing the crime while she was on vacation? Then wealthy Russian expat Mikhail Moszynski is found stabbed to death near his home, which is near the hotel at which Nancy was staying. This leads Brock and Kathy to wonder if the cases are connected. Kathy delves into the pasts and lives of both Nancy and Moszynski in order to solve both cases. Chelsea Mansions is the latest book in the Brock/Kolla series and would appeal to people who like complex police procedurals such as Peter Robinson, Deborah Crombie, Peter James, and Elena Forbes.