Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category
Having previously read other books in the Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbo, why wouldn’t I want to read the first book of the series introducing the main character, Harry? These books have been translated and available in English, but not in the order they were written or in the series.
Harry Holy is a disgraced Norwegian investigator. Being in an accident has left him battered, bandaged, and carrying feeling of guilt about the death of a fellow officer. Yes, he is an outstanding investigator and a member of the Oslo Crime Squad. His superiors have covered up the fact the Harry was intoxicated as he was driving the vehicle. Now, what do they do with him?
The Bat explains Harry’s past and the decision by his superiors to send him to Australia to assist in the death of a Norwegian female. Harry is to assist and not to cause any trouble, in any way. Inger Holter hosted a children’s television program for a few years making her a celebrity in her homeland. She was brutally strangled by what is appearing to be a serial killer. There is definitely a pattern to this death. Read the rest of this entry »
Most of us think of archaeologists as people who are outside digging in the dirt searching for ancient ruins. That is not a complete picture of these historians. Frequently they are hired in the uncatalogued files of museum archives looking for that special document or picture that will give instantaneous notoriety.
Faye Longchamp Mantooth has been hired to discover proof of spirituality in the small community of Rosebower, New York. This town is proud of its numerous practitioners conducting seances communicating with the spirits of those departed and those special relationships with Tarot cards and crystal balls to predict the future with fortune telling . Realistically, Faye does not believe in the occult and is wondering how the museum owner will react en she fails to discover any evidence. Fortunately, she is able to hire an assistant and finds that this is perfect for her recently adopted seventeen-year-old daughter, Amande. This could be an opportunity for them to work more together and get to know each other better. Unfortunately, this also separates her from her husband and two-year old son. Read the rest of this entry »
It appears as though Ace Atkins has introduced a new character, Quinn Colson, who will be appearing in future stories as the sheriff of Tibbehah County, Alabama. If you have never read any of Atkins’ work, this would be a good one to start with. Some of his writing seems to drag at times but overall his books are very good and will hold your interest to the end.
Quinn Colson, an Army Ranger, is on leave and has gone back to his northern Alabama home to do some checking out. Seems as though his family like many country families in that area has kind of come apart. His uncle, Hampton, was the sheriff of the county until he recently passed away. Supposedly all evidence points to suicide but Quinn does not believe that. Quinn was practically raised by Hampton after Quinn’s father left for brighter lights as a Hollywood stuntman. Quinn’s mother who had been very friendly with her brother-in-law over the years had recently told Quinn that she was not at all friendly with Hampton anymore and didn’t want him around at all. She has enough problems of her own with an unwed daughter who has left her child with Quinn’s mother to raise. And she feels Hampton was into a lot of questionable acts. Read the rest of this entry »
A very interesting novel that involves some crime, some murder, some chases, and a lot of action to keep the reader’s thoughts all the way to the end. That ending is a little different also although part of it could be pretty well guessed as the reader moves along. Some of it is quite different however based on the character’s attitude change.
Brynn McKenzie is a deputy police officer in a northern section of Wisconsin and she is a dedicated to the end officer. After returning home one night from her regular shift Brynn is asked by her supervisor if she would investigate a somewhat strange 911 call that came from Lake Mondae to her north. It appears that the caller was starting to say something that started with “this…” but then the call ended. It was traced to a vacation area up at the lake which was pretty well deserted at this time of the year. Read the rest of this entry »
Goldy Schulz’s catering company, Goldilocks’ Catering, has a busy weekend ahead. First, she is in charge of the food for the joint birthday party for her son Arch and Drew Ingleby, her friend Holly’s son. Then there is the dinner at the church following the “Plan Your Own Funeral” seminar. And finally there is the surprise twenty-first birthday party for Ophelia Unger. Goldy and her assistant Julian had everything planned down to the last detail, so even with the busy schedule, the weekend events should come off without a hitch. But things started to go wrong before the first guest arrived for the first event. Goldy discovers that a woman who slightly resembles her has set up a catering business, named it Goldilocks’ Catering and is trying to poach Goldy’s customers by offering ridiculously cheap prices. Then the father hosting the surprise party shows up and hovers in the kitchen complaining Goldy’s computer has spread a virus. Read the rest of this entry »
Henrietta Hargrove Harrell had driven the dirt roads of DeWitt County for her entire eighty-five years. Professor Thomas Harrison of San Antonio had been told about Henrietta and on his trip to Yorktown he knocked on Henrietta’s door and introduced himself. The Professor asked Henrietta to drive him to the Hargrove Family Cemetery. He told her that seeing the graveyard would fit into some historical research of his. Henrietta, known as Great Aunt Hettie to the Hargrove, clan agreed. But just in case some problem might crop up, Henrietta brought along Dolnny Harrell, her thirty-three year old grandson, as well as a Colt 45 in her purse.
None of the three in Henrietta’s vehicle noticed the little grey car following along behind. When Henrietta pulled up at the cemetery the grey car parked in some brush to hide. The Professor stated that he wanted to see some of the graves in the older section of the cemetery, specifically Thomas Watson Hargrove and his wife, Elizabeth Dennison, early settlers to the area. Read the rest of this entry »
Vish Puri considers himself the best Private Detective in all of India, but of late he has been in a bit of a slump. After solving some extremely interesting and difficult cases such as recovering a kidnapped dog and assisting a client in hacking computers, he is at loose ends with no other case on his desk. Though he is not looking forward to the pilgrimage his wife and mother have planned, he figures there is no escaping the trip. At the last minute, “Facecream” one of Vish’s operatives whose real name we discover is Laxmi, calls Vish asking for his help. Laxmi moonlights as a Love Commando, an organization of people who are determined to help lovers from across caste lines marry. After Laxmi helped the bride run away to meet her husband to be, they found instead a trashed house with no sign of the groom. Worse, they discovered the body of the groom’s mother.
Hall writes his mysteries with a very light-hearted tone. From the ridiculous names he’s given his associates such as “Facecream” and “Headlight” to the silliness of his squabbles with his mother (with whom his wife often sides) to the often mentioned Indian dishes he consumes, the tone of the books in this series is one filled with interesting characters and a good bit of humor. But beneath all of this, behind the distractions of the interfering mother and huge plates of fine food, Hall has chosen to take readers into the culture of everyday India-the areas not in the guide books. A couple of books ago, the mystery was set around a Laughing Club in The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing. Until now, that was my favorite book of the series. This time, Hall takes on a more serious subject, that of the caste system which defines life for Indian citizens. He uses the Love Commandos, a real group of people determined to undermine the caste system by encouraging people to choose their mates based on love instead of arranged marriages which are still very common in India. While the set up for the case is nearly slapstick in its description of ladders and getaways on motor bikes, the subject is serious. Later in the book, a research lab figures into the plot showing another angle of the fight to bring down the caste walls. This book with its subject matter, is a step up for the series. Read the rest of this entry »
Lee Child has written eighteen books following Jack Reacher around the country as he rights injustices wherever he goes. Readers have grown accustomed to Reacher’s moral compass and his personality quirks and so, for fans of the series, a new Reacher book is truly like visiting an old friend. For the most part, Never Go Back meets the expectations, though the set up is a bit different. Usually, Reacher blows into town and finds a damsel in distress and spends the remainder of the book righting the wrong and then leaves to drift on the next stop. In Never Go Back, Reacher is on a mission that is a continuation for the previous book. He had spoken to the current commander of his former unit several times while taking care of business in South Dakota and by the end of A Wanted Man (2012), Reacher was headed to Virginia to meet Susan Turner, the voice on the other end of the phone.
As Never Go Back opens, Reacher has arrived at his former unit’s headquarters to visit Turner only to discover that she is being held on suspicion of accepting a bride and furthermore he is wanted for questioning in two cases dating back to his days in the service. So Reacher being Reacher, he stops, breathes in, breathes out and sets about to investigate the cases against not only himself but the bribery case against Turner as well. Read the rest of this entry »
Jen Stevens, event planner extraordinaire, has everything for the party honoring Bess Brantwood planned down to the last detail-everything that is except the star of the evening who is a no show for her own party. Among the Yummy Channel’s viewers, Bess Brantwood is queen. Not only does she consistently draw huge audiences for her show, the cupcakes she developes and sells in her bakery are truly divine. Unfortunately, she is not so divine to work with and so, when she turns up dead in the alley behind the bakery, there aren’t too many of her coworkers grieving.
As set ups go for an amateur sleuth to become involved in a police case, this is probably one of the more plausible ones I’ve run across. Jen worked for the victim, planned the event, knows all the key persons involved and last, but certainly not least, used to date one of the “persons of interest” that has gone AWOL since the murder. It is quite logical that she would be questioned and later re-interviewed for follow up details. Are there some things that happen that no way would really happen? Certainly, but as far as a reason for the protagonist to become involved in the investigation in the first place, this one is fairly plausible. Read the rest of this entry »
It would seem that someone with a title and 35th in line to the throne would have an easy life. But unfortunately, as a woman she has no inherited property and even if she did, the family castle is all that there is in the estate-the money being long gone. So Lady Georgiana Rannoch is left at the mercy of her brother and others for her support.
Lady Georgiana thought her housing whoas were at least temporarily solved when her mother invited her to Chelsea to help write her memoirs. As the project got underway, her mother quickly realized her life had too many scandals to actually put in print so the project was abandoned. At the last possible minute before the rent on the Chelsea apartment was up, Georgie manages to get herself invited to visit Edwina, Duchess of Eynsford. It seems an heir to the family’s fortune has been located. Her younger son apparently married and sired a child in Australia before his death. That grandson, Jack, is soon to arrive in England and Georgie has been invited to help educate the young man in the traditions and customs of his title. It soon became apparent after Jack’s arrival that he’ll need plenty of help. Life on a sheep station in the wilds of Australia is a far cry from the life he will be expected to live in England. Read the rest of this entry »