Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna by Mario Giordano
Auntie Poldi returns! Oh, how I love this woman. She is a German widow of a Sicilian living in the shadow of Mt. Etna and trying not to drink herself to death in view of sea. Once she straightens her wig, puts down her glass of wine and straddles her Vespa, there is no stopping 60 year old Polidi. Not her Sicilian sister-in-laws, not her German want-to-be author nephew, and certainly not her handsome lover, Chief Inspector Montanta!
What does a poisoned dog and the deaths of a fortune teller and a well-known attorney have in common? Could it be the Mafia? Fast-paced, sexy and smart, Giordano transports the reader to sunny Sicily. If you are anything like this 60 year old reader, you will soon be reaching for your laptop to search for Sicilian vacation rentals with a view of ocean. Pub. Date March 2019
Death in Paris by Emilia Bernhard
When American Rachael Levis learns that her ex-boyfriend has died face down in a bowl of soup, she is surprised that a bottle of rosé was on the table as well. Edgar detested rosé. It’s been years since she was with him and she is happily married to another man but Edgar had been her first mature relationship when Rachael first moved to Paris. It seems that he had not forgotten her either, putting her in his will and requesting that she catalogue his huge library. With a legitimate reason to snoop around, Rachael and her best friend Magda take it upon themselves to discover who murdered Edgar Bowen. This is an entertaining read with a fun amateur sleuth duo and no shortage of Parisian atmosphere! Pub. Date October 2018
Killer Thriller by Lee Goldberg
Ian Ludlow, former television script writer and best-selling author writes books that get the attention of the CIA, mostly because they tend to come too close to the truth. Doing research in Hong Kong, it doesn’t take long for Ian and his assistant, Margo French, to become a target for the Chinese government who believe that his relationship with the CIA makes him a high profile spy.
As in the first Ian Ludlow book, the hapless author finds himself in bizarre situations that have terrifying global consequences. Suspenseful, exciting chases, unique characters and an absolutely pleasurable way to pass an evening. Or, well into the night because you won’t be able to put it down. Pub. Date February 2018
In the Galway Silence by Ken Bruen
Jack Tayor is a former Irish cop who is far from perfect. He drinks too much, pops stimulants, his relationships have been rocky and he talks too much. Things have been looking up lately but that is all about to change. He gets drawn into a strange murder, his ex-wife shows up with a daughter he didn’t know he had, his girlfriend’s son is kidnapped and then there is the serial killer…
I am pretty good at sticking to the plot of a story and this one was difficult but worth it. This is Bruen’s 14th Jack Taylor mystery but my first. Dark, circuitous, complex and witty. Yes, Taylor is a deeply flawed and tormented character but he’s also someone who grows on you. I shall definitely catch up on the 13 other books! Pub. Date November 2018
Shadowed by Death by Mary Adler
Oliver Wright has returned home from the Pacific minus a leg. The Marine is trying to settle back into his pre-war job as a homicide detective in San Francisco but unrelenting pain, haunting memories and his superior’s apprehension about his disability, makes it difficult. Aided by his wartime companion, Harley, a German shepherd, Oliver is determined to do the job that he loves. The discovery of a mysterious woman beaten almost to death and dumped on the grounds of the Presidio coupled with a frightened little girl, a beautiful Polish resistance fighter who has left her children behind, a grandmotherly Italian restaurateur and a community of Jewish chicken farmers lead Oliver to fear that the evil tentacles of the war in Europe has reached California.
Facing his own demons, Oliver is actually one of the more sensitive detective characters I’ve come across. His relationship with his dog Harley is one of the best parts of the novel. It’s only 1944 and the war in Europe is not over. There are a lot of questions left unanswered so we can assume that Oliver and Harley will be back. There were some disjointed bits along the way but it is clear that Adler has done her research and I enjoyed reading about wartime San Francisco. Pub. Date September 2018