Harbour Street by Ann Cleeves

18743339  Another excellent installment in the Vera Stanhope series.  Harbour Street is the main setting of the book and it comes through strongly as the voices of the long-term inhabitants and the descriptions of the place immerse the reader.  A woman is murdered on a train, a train which Joe and his daughter were on returning from a day out.  Her death leads Vera, Joe, and the rest of the investigative team back to Harbour Street.  It’s Christmas time and it seems to have made Vera particularly ill at ease, especially combined with memories of Hector, her father, which keep popping up in this area that he had taken Vera to as a child.   An absorbing read with great characters and atmosphere.

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Blackout & Death of a Nurse

Blackout is the third in the Dark Iceland series.  In this installment, a visitor finds a worker from the tunnel building project beaten to death near a local pool.  Initially, the investigation paints the victim Elias as a “nice guy” character, but with the addition of a reporter, Isrun, working on the case this image begins to fall apart.  There are quite a few plot lines occurring here, the murder of Elias, Ari Thor’s love life with Kristin, Isrun’s flashbacks to the area before the murder, Elias’s past, the young immigrant woman waiting to be saved, and the dark secret from a fellow officer, Hlynur’s, past.  The book resolves the murder but ends on a bit of cliff hanger as far as Ari Thor’s romantic life is concerned.  Well written mystery with dark themes of human trafficking and abuse.

Death of a Nurse is number 31 in the Hamish Macbeth series.  In this case, Hamish sees the tarty new nurse in the village and is quite taken by her.  Taken enough to ask her out to dinner, when she stands him up, it is not long before her body is found.  Hamish investigates with the help of Charlie and the hinderance of Blair.  Most of the regular cast make at least passing appearances, the Currie sisters, Dick and Anka, Priscilla, Jimmie, Blair, and Daviot.  The first murder leads to others as Hamish investigates in this well-written mystery.