A Ghost in the Machine

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This is the last in the Chief Inspector Barnaby Mystery books, which the TV show Midsomer Murders is based on.  It was a really good mystery with many threads and stories that needed to be connected together.  You have Mallory and Kate with their horrid daughter Polly,  Bennie, the faithful companion and then the neighbors, the psychic connection, the accounting firm, and of course Barnaby, Troy and Cully.  There is a great deal going on here to keep the reader guessing.  A much more in-depth story line than usually appears on the shows.  I am a big fan of the TV show, but I will say that I liked this book, in particular, in the series  more.  There is more examination of the character’s inner lives and motivations which drive their actions.  Themes of greed, honesty, and family are all well represented.  Great final book in the series.

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As the Pig Turns & Death of Yesterday

Two more M.C. Beaton books as I work my way through books left in both the Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin series.

As the Pig Turns sees the death of a police officer in a particularly gruesome (for Agatha books) style.  The entire book has a somewhat darker turn than other Agatha Raisin books.  I really enjoyed it and thought perhaps it reflects Agatha’s aging and maturation after everything she has been through in the first 20 or so books. The police officer’s death and life leads Agatha on a twisting, turning race through a multitude of suspects.  Leading for a little bit to a jaunt to Las Vegas for Toni and Agatha.  This book also sees the return of Simon, along with the other regularly recurring characters, such as Charles Fraith, Roy Silver, and Mrs. Bloxby.  Very good, although darker, installment in the Agatha Raisin series.

Death of Yesterday sees Hamish investigating a murder and then complicating his life by attempting to date the relative of a suspect, all in the vain desire to forget about the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe.  The first victim is a bit of a drama queen, who saw something she shouldn’t and then there is a flurry of murderous activity to cover up crimes.  Mistaken identity, blackmail, and greed drive a great story line in this book in the series.  Hamish is also reconnected with another love interest, the reporter, Elspeth Grant.  A quick, good read with lots going on in it.  From the crimes themselves, to Hamish’s ongoing fight to save his beloved police station from attacks by Blair, and his complicated love interests, there is plenty here to entertain the reader.