The Crepes of Wrath by Sarah Fox

28439218  I received a free ebook of The Crepes of Wrath from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.

This is the first in a new series by Sarah Fox.  Marley has come to a small coastal Washington State town from Seattle to look after her cousin Jimmy’s business, The Flip Side Pancake House, while he recovers in the hospital.  Jimmy  is found murdered and Marley finds herself surrounded by suspects and suspicious goings on. Is Jimmy’s death tied to a string of local burglaries?  Is it related to the contents of his will?  It it due to a dispute with a real estate developer neighbor?  How about the ex-girlfriend and her shady son?  There are many possible motives and suspects to keep the reader guessing and reading.

Marley needs to solve the mystery partly to find her cousin’s murderer, but also to clear his name and protect herself.   Then, she will have decisions to make about her future and  Jimmy’s cat, Flapjack’s.   Charming setting, a well plotted mystery, and an interesting protagonist make for a good new cozy mystery read!

The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund

27068665  This was a recommendation for me from Goodreads and so I ordered it from the library without really knowing too much about it, other than it was  Nordic Noir fiction.  I was a little shocked when I went to pick it up and found out it weighed in at almost 800 pages.  I almost put it back because the opportunity cost of reading a longer book like this, that I knew nothing about, might be too much, but I didn’t.

This was originally published as three books and has been combined into one volume, that explains the length. It is also an extremely complex tale and it needed the length to tell the whole story.  There isn’t any filler here.  Fast paced with short chapters that change time, perspective and thread of the plot.  This makes it seem like you are flying through the book.  The story begins with two women, one Sophie, a psychiatrist working with  disturbed patients in the legal system and the other Jeannette, a family legacy police officer, who starts out the tale with a case of a mummified, castrated boy.  From there, the story spreads out to encompass family members, co-workers, victims, witnesses, perpetrators and others swept along in its wake.

The storylines bob and weave occasionally crossing over before they converge.  There is very disturbing content here regarding mental illness (DID in particular), pedophilia, incest, child grooming, organized child sex trafficking, child soldiers in Sierra Leone, torture, scat references and general brutal mayhem.  Definitely not a book for the faint hearted.  The sheer number of victims is overwhelming here.

With the multiple storylines and the switching of time frames, it can be easy to get lost at points.  Adding to this is the fact that you have at least one unreliable narrator.  I can’t really say much else with out spoiling one or more of the twists, turns and red herrings.

I would recommend this for fans of dark nordic noir, who don’t mind  their thrillers landing heavily  on the gruesome side of things.  I enjoyed it and read it straight through, but I will definitely choose something lighter to read after this.

Mum on the Run & And Justice There is None

I spent a lovely evening reading these two, different but both very good reads.

Mum on the Run I bought after reading another book by Fiona Gibson that I really enjoyed, The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane.    The catalyst for this story is the Mum’s Run at a child’s school day.  Laura has a disappointing, to put it mildly, result.  This makes her reevaluate her life and her fitness level.  It doesn’t help that her husband seems to be a little too cozy with a co-worker.  The story follows Laura and Jed, her husband, and this rocky patch in their lives.  It turns out that neither is totally the good guy or the bad guy, just like in real life.  Nice developed characters and story line in this engaging quick read!

And Justice There is None, is Book 8 in the Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series.  Well written mystery with lots of shady characters and twists and turns.  Some switching back and forth from past to present to make the all the connections between the crimes and the killer(s).  The plot is very well done and it was not until close to the end that I solved it for sure.  The romantic/family life of Duncan and Gemma takes several steps forward during this book and is a well developed subplot.  It becomes intertwined with the mystery but still has a life of its own.  I am really enjoying watching Duncan and Gemma come together over the course of several books and I look forward to reading more!