Friday, February 28, 2014

Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy

In this collection of short stories that Maeve Binchy wrote over decades, the reader is transported to Chestnut Street in Dublin.  We meet solitary Mr. O'Brien (who lives alone for years until his niece Fay moves in) and Bucket Maguire, blind to his son Eddie's faults--even though Bucket's neighbors see Eddie's true colors.  There are also Cissy, Martin, Josie, and Louis, who become confidantes after spending one New Year's Eve together. Binchy explores love and loss in her usual cozy style, although the stories were too short for me to be truly satisfying. I prefer collections like The Lilac Bus, which explores characters' lives with more depth.  Chestnut Street will be published in April.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Death of a Policeman by M.C. Beaton

Policeman Hamish Macbeth's archnemesis, DCI Blair, wants nothing more than to close Hamish's police station and put him out of a job. Blair sends cop Cyril Sessions up to Lochdubh to spy on Hamish, hoping that Cyril will get some dirt on Macbeth that he can report to Superintendent Daviot. However, Cyril ends up murdered, found on the beach. When vengeful librarian Hetty Dunstable reports to the police that she heard Macbeth say he would shoot Cyril,  Hamish finds himself suspended from work. Hamish, with his usual tenacity and help from his assistant, Dick (and other friends) is determined to uncover who killed Cyril.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant

Gaby Mortimer, a famous morning show presenter, finds the body of a woman while out jogging one day. The lead investigator, DI Perivale, is immediately suspicious of Mortimer and it isn't long before she's brought in for questioning. When connections begin to be made between Gaby and the murdered woman, Ania Dudek, Gaby wonders if someone is trying to frame her for the crime. With her marriage faltering and notes from a unknown stalker, Gaby enlists the help of a journalist to clear her name. For readers who enjoy psychological novels focusing on women's lives.

I Can See in the Dark by Karin Fossum

Riktor is a seriously disturbed loner who works as a nurse at a senior citizen home.  He delights in flushing the residents' medicines down the toilet and other far crueler acts. When the police arrest him for a crime he didn't commit, although there are others he did perpetrate, Riktor is stunned. Will he be found guilty or will the authorities find out about his other crimes? In I Can See in the Dark, Fossum delves into the mind of a social misfit who's unpredictability is frightening. The book will be published in August.