The Ellsworth Case by Diana Xarissa This series of novella length non-murder mysteries are like candy for me. In The Ellsworth Case, the fast moving plot centered around counterfeit bills being passed around town and two suspicious couples staying at The Doveby House. I loved all the red herrings, the on-going mysteries of the treasures the sisters find in the house, and all the trouble that seems to arrive on their doorstep. The Ellsworth Case is a delightful quick read perfect for an afternoon by the pool or to curl up with on a rainy day. The Ellsworth Case is … Continue reading Review: The Ellsworth Case
The Secret Poisoner: The Victorian Age of Poisoning by Linda Stratmann What a great book! Very well organized and thoroughly researched, the book neatly lays out the progression of forensic toxicology in the 1800s, encompassing some truly outrageous poisonings in England, France and even in the United States. I don’t know what surprised me more, how many people got away with it, or how many people were found guilty of their crimes. Forensic toxicology was in its infancy during the nineteenth century and some of the techniques used to find poisons in the body after death were ingenious. Equally amazing … Continue reading Review: The Secret Poisoner
The Madness of Mercury by Connie Di Marco Cute cozy mystery with a great premise, suspenseful plot and great characters and an action packed ending. Julia, an astrologer, becomes a target of harassment from a religious group called The Prophet’s Temple. After doing a reading for a client’s elderly aunt, she learns that the other aunt is being wooed into joining the cult. Much bad mojo ensues, throwing everyone into danger. I liked the premise of an astrologer doing the investigating. I mean, who would be any better chart out instances where evil could cross your sign, or even portents … Continue reading Review: The Madness of Mercury
Ordeal by Jørn Lier Horst Jørn Lier Horst never fails to impress me, his William Wisting series draws you in with their intense and thrilling plots. A former police detective in Norway, his experience shows with how well crafted and realistic the story’s investigation plays out. In Ordeal, the cold case of a taxi driver missing for over 6 months has Wisting stumped, that is until a close friend tells him about a strange customer at her cafe who makes several comments that could be clues to the case. That starts Wisting on a journey encompassing illicit activities going back … Continue reading Review: Jørn Lier Horst – Ordeal
The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss I’ve been looking forward to curling up with this book for awhile; with a cute premise (a paranormal museum? Sign me up!) an interesting plot and a beautiful northern California setting, I just wanted to sink right in to it. And it was pretty good, there was a lot to like about it: a twisty plot that kept me guessing, a likeable main character, a historical mystery subplot and a way cool paranormal museum (did I mention what an awesome idea I think this is?) Unfortunately, a few things bogged it down. … Continue reading Review: The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum
Missing: A Gripping Crime Thriller by Ed James Thrilling, compelling and gritty, Missing delves into the difficult subject of of child sexual abuse and its impact; not only for the victim, but also the family and the police officers assigned to investigate the case. This will definitely be high on my favorite books of the year list, the finely woven plot unwound bit by bit, with lots of plot twists and red herrings that kept me guessing as the book raced towards the shocking finale. The main character, Craig Hunter is a likeable guy. I mean, who wouldn’t love a … Continue reading Review: Missing by Ed James
Charms & Witchdemeanors by Amanda M. Lee This series is hit or miss for me. Most of the books are so fantastic that I read them in one sitting, unable to put them down. This isn’t one of them. In fact, the first 1/3 of the book was so inane, I considered abandoning it (and the series) altogether. The immature griping and sniping between Bay, Clove and Thistle is just annoying. They’re all in their late 20s and having meltdowns because one of them moved in with her boyfriend. And she’s not moving to China, she’s moving a mile down the … Continue reading Review: Charms & Witchdemeanors
Divining Murder by GM Cameron
A woman is found murdered in a ritualistic way, and the police have very information to go on. The victim, a middle aged woman who left her husband to start a mysterious new life is found in an alley in Glasgow with multiple stab wounds. Shortly after the murder, Andromeda (Annie to her friends) spies a man at a Glasgow train station whose aura is clearly evil. After leaving an anonymous tip for the police, they trace the tip back to her, and with no other information to go on, begin to investigate what she saw. It soon becomes apparent that Annie is the key to unraveling the mystery and stopping a man bent on evil.
I’m a sucker for paranormal mysteries, and I’m a sucker for Scottish mysteries, so I had pretty high expectations just from reading the blurb. And it was (for the most part) an excellent mystery, with a taut plot, great characters and lots of magic.
The plot was really well done; a great premise that grew and spiraled as the book went on, wth an action packed ending. I liked that there were actually 3 teams working on the mystery separately, it was a great way to integrate new information. So there was Annie and her friends, the victim’s ex-husband, friend and her sister (who is a nun) plus the police. And – you won’t believe this – every time the amateurs found out new information they – get ready for this – called the police and told them of their findings! Amazing, right?
I really enjoyed all the characters, from bohemian Annie to angsty punker Doll to soft-hearted thug Mick, they were a likable crew. I have to say, out of all the characters, the cops were the most confusing to me. I lost track of who was who, outside of Angela and Donnelly.
What kept me from rating this 5 stars (because it really was a great book) was a couple of things. For one, it was predictable. I knew what was going to happen at the end before I was a third of the way through the book. I kept reading, hoping I was wrong but no, it’s like I’m psychic or something. Also, this book went on way too long, a little editing would’ve tightened up the story and made it a lean, mean, mystery machine.
Overall, a great mystery and perfect for anyone who loves Tartan Noir or witches or magic.
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Peril in the Park by Barbara Venkataraman Peril in the Park, the third in the Jamie Quinn series has Jamie’s boyfriend Kip, the director of the city parks, trying to figure out who is behind a recent vandalism spree and under pressure from the city council (and a developer) to okay a new skyscraper to be built on wetlands. After being threatened by email and the murder of a PI connected to the threats, Kip goes missing. Jamie rushes to solve the mystery before Kip is the next to die. This book had a great plot; there were several aspects … Continue reading Review: Peril in the Park