Sanctuary & The Bright Silver Star

Sanctuary is book 7 in the Jack Taylor series.  Jack is suffering greatly from all his excesses, from currently falling off the wagon,  and the beatings he has taken over the years.  On top of this he starts receiving mail from a killer, communicating with him about the victims.  Jack fueled by rage induced by the memories of Serena’s Death tracks the killer down to deliver his form of justice and save another child’s life.

This book connects very strongly to the events at the end of Book 4 and continuing forward.  I think it would be difficult to appreciate Jack’s mind set and his relationships without having read them.  I enjoyed this more for the ongoing story line of Serena than for the mystery in this particular installment, although that was good as well.

The Bright Silver Star is the 3rd installment in the Berger & Mitry series.  Hollywood in the form of a starlet and her leading man husband has invaded quiet Dorset.  Bringing the paparazzi and drama, especially since Berger panned the husband, Tito’s, latest film.  A body found at the bottom of the falls brings down a full scale investigation amidst all the media scrutiny.  I really love the characters of Des and Mitch and the development of their relationship.  The other characters are detailed and interesting and there is a strong sense of place here.  The pacing is good and keeps moving steadily throughout the novel.  I am really enjoying this series as much for the characters as for the mystery.

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The Tomb in Turkey

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In this, book 16, of the Fethering Series, Jude and Carole leave Fethering and strike out on holiday to a villa in Turkey.  Their trip gets off to rocky start with rumors about the death of their host’s first wife, threats written on the villa’s walls, and threats made at knife point.  Jude and Carole investigate in this unfamiliar territory coming across some interesting characters as they do.  Carole shows some real growth in this installment as she steps far outside of her comfort zone!   A fun cozy read in a delightful series.

Garden of Lamentations

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Garden of Lamentations is installment 17 in the Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series.  This book focuses on continuing the case Duncan was involved in from the previous book involving the death of an undercover officer and his relationship with his supervisor.  For Gemma, the book concerns the murder of a nanny in a literally closed in community,  houses sharing a walled garden.  Gemma is initially involved not as an officer but through community relationships and then gets put on the case.  The subplots involve Gemma and Duncan’s family life including their children and pets, friends and Duncan’s parents.  I felt this was one of the better ones in the series of the recent books and I am really looking forward to the next one A Bitter Feast, which is due out on October 8th.

A Deadly Thaw & The Gourmet Detective

 

A Deadly Thaw is the second in the DC Connie Childs series. This installment opens with the discovery of a body, unfortunately the victim is discovered to be a man who was supposed to be dead over ten years.  His wife. Lena, had pled guilty to his murder and served her sentence.  The team assembles and has to discover the identity of the first victim, who had been cremated,  and determine why Lena lied about who he was and what happened.

While the team is working on the case, Kat, Lena’s sister also investigates as a strange figure keeps leaving her clues to Lena’s past, pushing her to uncover the truth from Lena’s perspective.  A well plotted mystery with interesting characters and good pacing, I definitely want to read more in this series.

The Gourmet Detective is the first in a series with the character of the same name.  A former chef who now is a food detective who spends time tracking down obscure ingredients, finding sources for supplies, and finding the origins or ingredients in dishes.  He finds himself in over his head when there is a murder and now maybe he is a real detective.  A culinary cozy with very detailed food, wine and music combinations.  I enjoyed this a great deal.  I will say that the book was published in 1996 and some references are representative of that time.

When the Devil Drives & In the Dark

When the Devil Drives is the 2nd in the series with PI Jasmine Sharp and DS Catherine McLeod.  In this installment, Jasmine as accepted Sharp Investigations as her own upon the death of Jim and is being kept quite busy with referrals.  A walk in client leads her to investigate a 30 year old missing person case.  It soon becomes evident that there are forces at work that definitely don’t want Jasmine working on the case.  Meanwhile DS McLeod is investigating a shooting death which may have been professional sniper or a stray bullet from poachers.  She digs into her case with the same tenacity that Jasmine works on hers, parallel cases in which the reader keeps waiting for them to meet.

Excellent read, well written with an intriguing mystery plot.  I found in this, as in the first in the series, that the Jasmine story line is more compelling but overall I enjoyed the book in its entirety.  Recommended read, but I’d definitely start with the first in the series, Where the Bodies are Buried, which by the way, is a read this month over at the English Kindle Mystery Club!

In the Dark by Cara Hunter was on my TBR because I had read the first in this series with DI Fawley as the protagonist.  To be honest, I don’t really remember much about the first book, Close to Home, so I think it is safe to say  you can read this without having read it.

In this case builders working on a semi-detached accidentally knock down a wall into the neighbors basement and find a barely alive young woman and a child imprisoned there.  Fawley is called in and the investigation begins.   So. many. twists. and turns.  Really cleverly laid out plot and so engaging.  I read this in one sitting, because I had to know the truth about what was going on in this book.  I don’t want to give anything away, but definitely a good read for people who like twisty turny thrillers (and don’t mind rats).

 

The Hot Pink Farmhouse & Darkside

The Hot Pink Farmhouse is the second in the Berger and Mitry Mystery series, a new to me series, which I am really enjoying.  The unlikely pairing of a sometimes schlubby film critic who is most at home sitting in a darkened theater and the West Point grad high achiever works really well.  In this installment, a murder that may or may not be mistaken identity occurs and Mitry finds herself dealing with it while the whole community is in a political uproar over the change and the future.  Meanwhile, Berger has met and made friends with a renowned artist, who is involved in Mitry’s case.  Very good read in a good series.

Darkside is the second in Belinda Bauer’s Exmoor Trilogy.  I really liked the first in this set.  Stephen, the main character from the first book is mentioned briefly in this second book, but you could get away with reading this without reading the other.  In this installment, Jonas is the community policeman, who finds himself pushed to the side as a team is brought in to investigate the murders occurring in his community.  The head of the team seems to be enjoying humiliating Jonas and just in general excluding him from the case.  Jonas has other issues to deal with as well.  Meanwhile, bodies are piling up at a disconcerting rate.  This is a psychological read, like Blacklands, and it was a good read, but I thought Blacklands was much better.

Natural Causes & The Girl Most Likely

Natural Causes is another book from my long suffering TBR.  A  good blend of police procedural and the supernatural (in the form of demons).  DI McLean is recently promoted and not the most liked of all DIs due to his inability to play nicely with others which may stem from his traumatic childhood or perhaps from the fact that he can sense demons around him.  There are plenty of murders to investigate here and a lot going on in the  book in general.  An engaging read with some interesting characters, probably good for fans of TV show Lucifer.

Girl Most Likely follows Krista, who is not the Girl Most Likely of the title, but still has her own notable achievement as the youngest female Police Chief in the country.  At the time of her High School reunion, her recent promotion, her father’s confession of suicidal ideations in the wake of the death of her mother, and the trending #metoo movement Krista finds herself  caught up in a murderous crime wave.  The book alternates sections between the current events and the killer’s perspective.  This was an okay read.