The Unquiet Dead

22545465  I have no idea why I ordered this from the library, I have no memory of doing so and the book rings no bells. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anyway I am glad that I did because it was a very good mystery read and a very meaty story overall.  A man is killed who may or may not have been who he seemed.  Esa Khattak who works for a community policing organization to deal with culturally sensitive cases is assigned and he brings along his partner, Detective Rachel Getty.  The death is bound up in history, specifically war crimes arising from the murder, rape and torture of Muslims in the Srebrenica massacre.  I am admittedly not entirely clear on the history of the region and other than knowing of the attempted genocide I don’t really know much else.

The historical details are woven in elegantly, it is not heavy-handed at all.  There is no “brain dump” of facts to bring the reader up to speed, instead there are flashbacks to the events at the time.  There are side plots involving the “victim” and his fiancée and her two daughters and Detective Getty and her dysfunctional family.  Really a fascinating read, I did feel that one part of Esa’s story was a little far-fetched, however I see that it was needed to bring about healing with him and his former best friend.

Overall a very well written mystery with an unfamiliar (to me) context and fascinating characters.  Highly recommended!

Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House

278557  This is number 14 in the delightful Agatha Raisin series.  I am continuing to fill in books that I missed from the series.  In this outing, Agatha and her new neighbor Paul, begin by investigating a house haunting. After putting aside the case as hoax, they end up finding themselves with a murder to investigate instead.  I am more and more charmed by Agatha as this series progresses.  Her vulnerability and desire to be liked is so human and relatable.  The scenes where she dithers about getting ready to go out feel particularly real.  Her new neighbor (and love interest) is as usual undeserving of Agatha and their interactions are humorous and engaging.  Lovely cozy read in a great series.

More Summer Reading…

 

Getting ready for Season 2 of Agatha Raisin on AcornTV, I am filling in some gaps that I have in the series.  I originally read many of these out-of-order which I regret, as Agatha’s personal life is a continuing storyline from one book to the next.  Agatha Raisin and the Case of the Curious Curate picks up with Agatha in a rather low place due to the end of her marriage with James. She has a new neighbor, who enthusiastically joins in as Agatha’s sleuthing partner when the new curate is murdered and the Vicar is suspected of killing him out of jealousy.  Great story, great characters and wonderful village setting with all the attendant residents to fill in the cast.

The Pick, The Spade and The Crow was this month’s read at the Kindle English  Mystery Club on Goodreads.  This follows the story of SI Joanne Stuart new to the Behavioral Sciences Unit of a National Crime investigation agency.  Jo is caught up in an investigation that has far-reaching implications and links to numerous missing men over a period of years.  The Masons (not the stoneworkers) organization  is explored as  a part of the case. The first part of the book was slow and somewhat heavy-handed with all the introductions to the team members.  The book did pick up steam in the second half and it ended well.  The character of Jo was a strength of the book, as was the plot line.  I was unclear as the “team” because they really didn’t seem to function as one.  There is good here and it definitely improved as the book went on.

Playing for the Ashes by Elizabeth George is book 7 in the Lynley series.  This is a series that gets better as it moves along.  This book had great characterizations and managed to make even unlikable characters sympathetic.  There were no winners here as the twisting and turning events came to a rather sad conclusion, much like one would expect in real life.  I would caution readers that there are discussions of animal cruelty, which I find difficult to read and they are central to one character’s storyline.  Overall, a really good read in a series that continues to improve, with more complex plots and in-depth character development.

I’ve had A Fatal Twist of Lemon on my Kindle for quite some time and hadn’t read it.  I think I just wondered if it would be too much like Laura Child’s series, which I’ve read quite a few of and really enjoyed.  I finally started it the other night and read it straight through.  It is a delightful cozy mystery. with a strong female lead in Ellen, the proprietor of the Wisteria Tea Room.  There is also a great love interest, Detective Tony Aragon, who has a couple of chips the size of boulders on his shoulder.  I enjoyed the interactions between them.  I ended up finishing this book and immediately ordering the second in the series,  A Sprig of Blossomed Thorn, right away which was equally as engaging and fun to read.   The series does address some sensitive topics in terms of bigotry and relationship between the non-hispanic and hispanic residents of Sante Fe.  Well done, I will be reading more in this series.