Don’t you hate it when you look at someone’s blog and see that it has been months or even years since their last posting? I apologize for my neglect for although, I have not stopped reading, I just haven’t stopped to write about it. In my defense, I have been somewhat distracted these past couple of weeks with a vacation, re-watching all 7 seasons of Games of Thrones, a couple good audio books, the new seasons of Poldark, Durrells in Corfu, Outlander and having discovered that all 85 episodes of the 1980’s sitcom Allo’ Allo’ is on Netflix. Since this IS a blog about book reviews, I will catch you up on the books that I’ve been reading. This posting will look at the mystery books.
Nine Lessons: A Josephine Tey Mystery by Nicola Upson. Pub. Date October 10, 2017. This is the seventh Josephine Tey mystery written by Upson, a former journalist who has done quite a bit of research on the Tey and 1930’s Britain. If you’ve never read Tey’s The Daughter of Time, you have missed a true classic mystery! This was the first book in the series that I’ve read and I was pleasantly surprised by the complexity of two concurrent mysteries and the multifaceted characters. Upson has a talent for capturing the overall tenor of the time period making for a most enjoyable read.
Edinburgh Twilight by Carole Lawrence. Pub. Date September 5, 2017 If you go to Amazon you can download the Kindle book for free and if you are currently without something to read, this will do. Not that it is bad, it is just a bit of a slog. Lawrence, is an award winning author so she is no schlep. She does capture the atmospherics of turn of the century Edinburgh and most of her major players are engaging, in fact I wouldn’t mind meeting them again. However, for a historical novel, it could have been better researched and I wanted to kick the characters in the butt once or twice to get them moving.
A Christmas Return by Anne Perry. Pub. Date November 7, 2017. I have found that Anne Perry’s books vary depending on her characters. Her female protagonists are usually outspoken with single minded convictions. 80 year old Mariah, is just the right character for a holiday tale. In the process of solving an old mystery she is forced to dredge up some rather unpleasant memories of her own. This is the perfect little mystery for a snowy afternoon.
The French Girl by Lexi Elliott. Pub. Date February 20, 2018. There is a lot of gray area in this book because you are never quite sure. There are people you like, some you despise, and others that you are not sure of at all, including the main character. Six university friends spend what should have been the perfect week at a house in France but by the time they leave to go home nothing is ever the same. Relationships are forever fractured, trust is broken and the seductive young mademoiselle next door has gone missing. A decade later the woman’s body is found on the property and a dogged French detective starts digging into their lives. Kate Channing finds herself not just haunted by the memories of that week but by the dead young French woman herself. This has movie script written all over it.
The Island by MJ Trow Pub. Date January 1, 2018 This is book 4 in the Grand and Bachelor Mystery Book Series. Matthew Grand, a Civil War Captain from Maine and James Bachelor, a former journalist live in London with a formidable housekeeper. They travel to Matthew’s family home on an island off the coast of Maine for his sister’s wedding and find themselves faced with family scandals, the sudden appearance of a mysterious lost cousin, a drunk uncle, an investigative reporter, a dodgy bridegroom, a couple corpses and a famous relation, one Mr. Samuel Clemmons. This is a breezy mystery with engaging characters but rather soggy conclusion.
I always tell people that Clayton "just" runs the business, I am the one who reads the books. We like to travel and no matter where we go, I've got books tucked in every piece of luggage, audio books downloaded on my phone and a batch of books on my Kindle.