My Rating: 5 Stars
I absolutely love and admire Miss Phyrne Fisher. A woman wise beyond her years with modern vision and temperament; what is there not to love?
The story starts as a murder mystery always starts: a death. A sweet, innocent fairy-story writer/illustrator is found dead. This time, Miss Fisher will jump into the world of magazine publishing and investigate deeply to find the truth. As the staff isn’t at all helpful, she works together with the police to see the matter solved and justice done. However, she is also involved in a second case, of a more personal nature. Her lover Lin Chung travelled to China a few weeks before and no one has heard from him since. In a family ruled by secrets and dark intents, will Miss Fisher be able to rescue her lover before it’s too late?
This was a deep and complex novel, just how I like them. There are two different plots in the story: the writer’s murder and the disappearance of Phyrne’s lover in China. The author did a great job in developing these two different cases in one story without them getting mixed up together or leaving loose endings. The first plot is steady-paced, very “according to the law” procedure (suspect interviews, taking evidence, analyzing patterns); but the second plot is where the juicy things happen. The tempo is a lot quicker, full of suspense and action. In addition, since it’s a more personal case, Miss Fisher works alone which makes things a lot more interesting.
The characters are memorable. I really enjoy Miss Phyrne Fisher as the main character, she is a force to be reckoned with. She has the determination of iron, she will do everything to protect the people she loves and lives by her own rules. She is a strong woman with a matching temper, not afraid to make her opinions known, to call out injustice and of breaking the rules every now and then. She is the opposite of what a woman should be back in 1928. Dot is a great companion and a lovely character too. Lin Chung is, as I imagine him, very handsome and sweet but at the same time, he hides a few secrets of his own. He’s daring and interesting which is why I enjoyed the chemistry between Phyrne and him so much.
A great read that I recommend to fans of strong female protagonists and of a great murder mystery!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Poisoned Pen Press, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
One of the best mystery thrillers I’ve read this year! I’m a fan of Caine’s work on The Great Library series and it was a pleasant surprise to read something so far from the fantasy world!
Gina Royal had it all: the house, the husband and her two children, completely unaware of the deadly secrets hidden behind a perfect family picture. When a car accident brings to light that her husband is a serial killer, Gina becomes Gwen Proctor, a woman on the run from accusations and internet stalkers that find her guilty of helping her husband. In desperate need to settle down, Gwen moves to the remote house of Stillhouse Lake where she thinks her children and herself will finally have some peace. That is until the body of a woman is found floating in the lake, killed with the same method Gwen’s husband used.
It’s a horrific, thrilling and suspenseful novel that had me glued to its pages, right from the first chapter. The style of writing and the very well thought plot made this novel very addictive and compelling. The feeling of paranoia is always present and the characters will share that feeling with the reader. The atmosphere builds up perfectly and every event just adds to a great climax. The novel works perfectly on the dangers of the internet and how “internet is forever”. The author describes very well the social dilemma of how the family of a criminal is easily put in the same bag even though they had nothing to do with the acts committed by that individual. People tend to forget that there is a chance they might be victims too. Also, beware: if your husband doesn’t show you his garage, maybe it’s not just his workshop after all…
The characters are well developed and very well described. Gwen is a great main character and a warrior; I was proud to read about her deeds and the demonstration of her courage. Her first priority is always her children and if she has to break the rules and moral codes to do it, so be it. It takes a lot of courage and a strong spirit to be able to do what she does in the novel. Overall, the relationships in the novel are solid, especially between Gwen and her children and Gwen and her neighbour.
A great psychological thriller that I recommend to all the fans of these genres.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Thomas & Mercer. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
This was my first time reading a book from Leigh Russell and consequently the thrilling adventures of Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel. I’ll definitely take a look at the previous novels though because this was one amazing and memorable read.
Geraldine is going through hard times. When she finally had her feet on the ground, her twin sister Helena enters her life and proves that the relationship between siblings can be very complicated. As if that wasn’t enough, the Detective Inspector has to find the responsible for the murder of a young woman found in a trash bin before he strikes again. Will she be able to manage her professional and personal life without losing her career and her life?
Even though I didn’t read the previous novels, I still got a good grip of the story and the characters, so I can say that it can be read as a stand-alone.
The story-line of the novel is very solid and very well developed. The murder story is very well structured and it builds up very nicely. One of the things I love the most in this type of story is how in the end everything comes together, like a puzzle. It’s very satisfactory!
The combination between the personal life of Geraldine and the murder investigation was the “cherry on the cake”: the two realities give depth to her character and it’s impossible not to sympathise with her, her internal conflicts and the way she tries to deal with her problematic sister. The effort she puts into coordinate everything is both tiring and admirable and it serves as a reminder that members of the criminal justice system have their own problems and sometimes difficult choices to make.
I will definitely be reading more of Leigh Russell and I’m very curious to see what comes next in the life of Geraldine Steel.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher No Exit Press, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Just as good as the first volume, From Whom the Bread Rolls is the sequel of The Crepes of Wrath by Sarah Fox. I want to thank Random House Alibi for reaching out and allowing me to read this great sequel.
Life is good for Marley McKinney as she settles in Wildwood Cove, a small coastal town, managing the pancake restaurant her cousin left her. Everything is running smoothly, including the relationship wither boyfriend Brett. But calm times are not meant to last. Soon Marley has her world turned upside down when her old employee and nemesis comes back to cause problems. Marley is sure that Ida Winkler is responsible for the damage made to her restaurant, but no proof is found of the fact. Things get more complicated when later, Ida is found dead and Marley is considered the prime suspect. Fearing the ruin of her business, Marley jumps in the murder mystery and soon begins to realise that several people from the small town have a motive to get rid of Ida. Can she clear her name and find out who wants to frame her?
The setting of this novel always gets to me. I’ve lived almost all my life near the ocean and something about small towns near water give me a cosy feeling and a sense of nostalgia. The writing style is still great and it was impossible not to grow addicted to the story right from the beginning. The descriptions of the food and the recipes are still just as tempting as in the first novel. They made me hungry and with the will to actually try to make them!
The story line is great. Easy to follow and a few twists made it a bit more difficult to discover the identity of the killer.
The characters are gaining depth and growing compared to the first novel. I got the feeling that Marley has grown and I could feel her acceptance of her new responsibility but at the same time struggling to believe that all that belongs to her. She’s very real and I absolutely love the way she is. Ida was a good character in the sense of that rivalry and need for revenge. I could have pictured her being around for a bit longer to cause trouble, she brought spice to the story. The secondary characters are very nice and even if the restaurant in itself already brings a lot of colour to the novel, the characters make the light shine through.
A great, addictive cosy-mystery that will leave you hungry for more, literally! Can’t wait to see that comes next for Marley and The Flip Side!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Penguin Random House and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Wow! Never judge a book by its cover, especially not this out-of-box novel! This was my first time reading a Tarot Mystery novel and I definitely want to read the previous novels and what comes next!
Imagine that instead of a clean-record type of characters, you have a family of successful con-artists. After the death of their mother, Alanis and her half-sister Clarise try to keep a straight life by running the occult shop left by their mother, The White Magic Five and Dime shop. Things run smoothly until Biddle, the sisters father figure, comes back after years and shows up at their shop. The thing is he also came with a scheme that can get them into a hell of trouble. In a roller-coaster of emotions, Alanis is lost in what to do, until a client’s dead body is found. Let the adventure begin, including a crazy lady, old lovers and a small town.
I really enjoyed this steady-paced cosy-mystery. Completely new and refreshing to have a main female character that actually doesn’t fit the usual box of “the good girl”. The characters are great, they have depth and it was very easy to connect with them. The writing also helped in connecting to the storyline and the characters. The description of the emotions and the line reasoning of Alanis only made her more likeable to me and it made me rot for her all the way. The humorous lines and witty counter-backs add colour and spice to the story, they were a delight to read!
The illustration of the tarot cards and their meaning were amazingly used, even if some of those meanings weren’t completely accurate. Even so, I can’t describe my satisfaction in seeing a deeper use of the tarot cards and how they influence the story. Absolutely loved it!
I can say that this book has a bit of everything: drama, humour and mystery. I definitely recommend this novel to all the fans of cosy-mysteries with a twist!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Midnight Ink, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Lyndsay Faye is absolutely perfect in capturing the essence of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This novel is perfect and it fills the gaps between the original stories very well. I’m very happy that I got to read an advanced copy!
The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of short stories written by Dr Watson about his dear friend and world-famous detective Sherlock Holmes. The novel is divided into three parts: “Before Baker Street”, “The Early Years” and “The Return and Years Later”, giving a glimpse of the past of this extraordinary mind and the years until his death at the Reichenbach Falls.
I loved every minute of this reading, couldn’t put it down, couldn’t stop feeling astonished of the depth and pure brilliance of the author. I could hear the voice of Jeremy Brett, the great Sherlock of 1984 to 1994. Faye captures all that defines Doyle and Sherlock, from the immaculate Victorian style of writing, the characters, the complexity of the plots and the perfect power of deduction that are so known in the stories of Sherlock Holmes. I couldn’t possibly pick one or two favourite stories, every single one of them in particular, unique and addictive. Other famous characters also join the plots, like Mycroft Holmes and Inspector Lestrade.
I really enjoyed reading the growth of Dr Watson in the stories, from the newbie side-kick to an essential part of the mystery-solving business. I always enjoyed reading his perspective of Sherlock and how he tries to define him, ending up being surprised by the others actions or words that remind him of his friend’s humanity.
I can say with all heart that Lyndsay Faye did a spectacular job in continuing the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, filling in the gaps with information that all Sherlock fans will appreciate. I highly recommend this novel to all the fans of Mr Holmes!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Mysterious Press. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Complex, thrilling, brilliant novel! I’ve had a few issues with putting thoughts and opinions on paper in a way that makes sense, so much to say!
Welcome to Glendaig, a little town in the Scottish Highlands. A peaceful place until the remains of a person wearing a German watch are discovered in a beach nearby. Young Neil Strachan, a career cop with a background in History is given the task to solve the mystery. When the young policeman gets in touch with a German novel historian specialist called Matthias Fuchs, they soon discover that, not only they have a murder case that dates back seventy years on their hands, but also the revelation of something that could have changed history.
It was a long and intense read, one that I will remember for a long time. Allan’s style of writing is absolutely incredible and along with his great descriptions, the deep knowledge in historical events, police procedures and the way everything comes together is breathtaking. The clues are analysed in a great way and the psychological details make this novel unique and for me one of the best mysteries I’ve read so far. I actually had my heart on my throat from trepidation in wanting to know what came next. A real page-turner, filled with twists and turns, just how I like them.
The author organised the story in a hasty manner, connecting the present and the past in flashbacks of the life and activities inside a submarine in 1941, so it gives the perfect balance between the historical events with the present modern investigation and interpretation of what happened back then. The different sets of characters are very well thought and very well represented in my opinion and their depth made them more than just simple characters. I managed not to lose track of who is who in the novel, the idea of a genealogical tree in the beginning was a great idea, I definitely consulted it a few times. Neil is a great protagonist and the details of his personal life make him more than a mere policeman.
I really enjoyed the setting of the story. Like I mentioned before, the descriptions in general are great, but those of Scotland are memorable and I definitely got the urge to visit.
A great read that I highly recommend to the fans of the mystery, thriller, suspense, historical genres.
I want to thank the author Clive Allan for reaching out and sending me the digital version of The Drumbeater.
My Rating: 3 Stars
A fun cosy-mystery, good for a quick read. This was the first volume I’ve read from “An Auction Block Mystery” and I want to take a look at the previous novels of the collection to see what I’ve missed. I must say that having a character named Death is peculiar and actually compliments the story very nicely.
The mystery starts with the beginning of an investigation. Apparently, a drunken old man stole a horse and dressed in a cavalry uniform got into a fatal accident in the forest when he hit his head against a branch. When the results of the lab come in, it’s revealed that the uniform in saturated with decomposing body fluid, meaning the uniform belonged to someone that has been dead for quite a while. Meanwhile, Death is asked to look into a homicide. The son of Tyler Jones, head of a radical church group, is found dead in the back of the car of Anthony Dozier, an army vet recovering from the horrors of the war in Afghanistan. The motive? Earlier that day, Jones and his group invaded the funeral of Dozier’s Muslim wife. Death’s job is to prove that Dozier committed the murder while suffering from PTSD. At the same time, Wren is helping out on preparing a house for auction when strange noises and events start happening all around her.
The style of writing is great, very engaging and witty. The descriptions are brief but they hold enough detail to be able to picture the settings and the environment.
It’s the type of story I couldn’t guess what would happen next. Information and details are revealed in a steady pace and at the beginning I couldn’t see the relation between them. It all worked out perfectly in the end though. Since I didn’t read the previous books, I felt like I was missing something, more in the relationships between the characters than anything else. The characters are good, but I was a bit disappointed not to have some more depth to them, to know more about them, especially Randy. Death is a great character and I loved to see the interactions with his brother Randy. I think they’re really different from each other but even so I could see they had each other’s backs.
A cosy-mystery perfect for an after-work evening!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Midnight Ink. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
One word for this novel: Intense! I absolutely love the type of story where the main character gets involved with something, falling into it blindly. It just adds spice to the story!
A novel starts out with private investigator Moses Winter is working on a cheating-husband case. Things start to get complicated when the cheated wife discovers that her husband has been with a Bosnian immigrant. When a fight breaks out, the husband ends up being stabbed, and when the police finally arrives on scene, Rakic, the agent from the homicide department, recognises the mistress as his cousin. While trying to protect his cousin, Rakic realises that finding the truth will more come complicated than he was expecting. When Moses feels there’s something amiss with the story, he investigates and ends up finding out the shocking truth, something that runs a lot deeper than a mere cheating investigation.
It gives me great satisfaction to see all the story lines come together perfectly in the end with no stings left hanging. The story line is great and the style of writing made it very easy to follow the different perspectives and the development of the case. The description of the global problem of human trafficking served as reminder of the level of desperation people have to reach to undergo such conditions, just to have a chance at life. I think Sparks addresses the problem in a very good way and it definitely puts this novel in a whole other level.
The characters are well developed, especially Moses, a likeable character with a great level of determination and curiosity.
Unfortunately the romantic part didn’t do much for me. His connection with Majka, a suspect, and the fact that he uses her didn’t sit well for me. I so admire the determination of Rakic and his family loyalty. The references to smoking came too often, in my opinion. I’m not a smoker but I think it was too much detail for an addiction.
Overall, it’s a fast-paced detective story that I enjoyed immensely.
I want to thank the author Francis Sparks for reaching out and sending me his book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 3 Stars
I’ve always been a big fan of Agatha Christie, but I must say I didn’t feel this novel as much as I would with Poirot or Miss Marple. The plot is very nice and the murder is complex and has some turns that left me without certainties of anything.
The book starts with the introduction of the main character, Luke Fitzgerald, a retired policeman travelling by train to London. Sitting in his cabinet is an elderly woman, Lavinia Pinkerton that confides in him about several murders that have been happening and how the murderer would kill again. Dismissing the worries of lady, imagine the surprise of Mr Fitzgerald when he reads about the ladies's death in the newspaper the following day. What follows is the introduction of the suspects, including Miss Bridget Conway, the lady that captures Luke’s heart. But who is the murder? Why does he kill? And more importantly, who will be the next victim?
Like I wrote before, the murder plot is complex and with some twists, something that I enjoy greatly. The murderer is truly the last person one would expect and it took me by surprise. The evidences are all there, but I was unable to connect the dots until the very end. The vintage setting, a small village where nothing ever happens and suddenly a murder occurs, is something that I’m still able to enjoy no matter how many books I read with the same setting.
My only problem was connecting with the characters. I’m not a fan of romance and I think that Luke and Bridget’s story was cute but rushed with all the “love at first sight” thing. Still, I liked reading their interactions and conversations since Miss Conway is the smartest woman in the story.
Overall, a nice read, but not one of my favourites from Agatha Christie!
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.
Disclaim: All the images used serve for illustration purposes only, I don't own them. All the reviews and opinions are my own.