The Sweet Golden Parachute, The Devil, and Spiced to Death

The Sweet Golden Parachute is book 5 in the Berger and Mitry series and finds them once again in the town of Dorset and on Big Sister Island dealing with the many quirky residents that make their homes there.  An aging Poochie being one of them, eccentric, wealthy and having lead a colorful life, she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and caught between her two children who want very different things for her and from her.  As Mitry waffles over the proposal Berger gave her at the end of the last book, she also works on solving the murder case.  Berger finds himself in an entanglement involving an unpublished book that could spark a media frenzy.  They work on their  individual predicaments and their relationship throughout the book until everything comes together in the finale.  Very good read in a fun series with interesting and real-feeling characters.

The Devil is the 8th book in the Jack Taylor series and goes in a completely different direction, the supernatural, than the other books.  The Devil of the title is the actual devil, whom Jack Taylor goes head to head with in a battle where Jack, alcoholic, drug addicted, half deaf and lame,  represents hope (a horrifying concept in and of itself) and the devil is, well the devil.  The writing, the prose itself, is as always hauntingly beautiful.  I am just not so sure how I feel about this change of course in the series.  I will have to read the next one and see.

Spiced to Death is the second in the Gourmet Detective series.  I really enjoyed the first one simply titled, The Gourmet Detective, but for some reason this fell flat for me.  There were tons of characters as our hero travels to New York to authenticate a shipment of a recently rediscovered spice.  I actually put this down a couple of times and moved on to other books before finally picking it up and finishing it.

Library Haul Reading…



Just some short notes about each one, I am having some horrible dizziness and nausea so looking a screens is not my friend.  I suspect an inner ear infection is the source.

The Body on the Shore is the second in a series in which to be honest, I don’t remember much about the first.  This was a really fast paced action thriller with something (bad) happening every minute.  Explores immigration, adoption, family and revenge.  4 stars

Long Way Home is the first in a new-to-me series.  I am not so certain I like DS Ferreira, she seems to walk around with a chip on her shoulder, but I do like the lead DI Zigic.  These two work in a special hate crimes unit, so whenever a victim appears to be a target due to their background, their unit is involved.  In the opening case a migrant worker is burnt to death where he was squatting, which happened to be in a young white couple’s garden shed.  Zigic and Ferreira investigate and discover the case might not be what it appears to be.  Has a “ripped from the headlines” feel due to the recent exposed cases of the exploitation of migrant laborers.  4 stars

Past Reason Hated is book 5 in the Inspector Banks series.  I started this series on the recommendation of Tina at Novel Meals here on wordpress and I am really enjoying it.  I am way behind but I don’t want to read too many of them back to back.  This installment has a Christmas setting, so I am a little out of sync for Christmas in July.  A woman is murdered and it seems that even though she lived with a partner, was involved in the community, and had living relatives, no one really knows very much about her.  Her past is shrouded in secrecy and Banks is convinced that the key to solving her murder is hidden there.  Excellent read in a great series, I think this may have been one of my favorites so far in this series.

In the Presence of the Enemy is book 8 in the Lynley series.  I will admit to having read some of this series out of order so I have some foreknowledge of what happens to some of the characters.  This book involves the kidnapping of children and a murder of one of them.  The mother and to some extent the father involved are thoroughly unlikable and I would say criminal in their callous disregard for the daughter’s safety.  Rather tragic story all the way through.  This was not my favorite in the series and doesn’t show some of the recurring characters at their best.

The New Mrs. Clifton is a book I read a blurb about and then ordered from the library on impulse.  Set in the period directly after WW II and involves a man, his sisters, and the bride he brings back after the war.  Secrets and hostility abound as his sisters and their friend, the finance he left behind when he went to war, struggle to accept this incomer.  A fine women’s fiction read, I felt it dragged a little, but that may just be me because this is not my typical type of book.  3 stars

Death of a Dreamer is book 21 in the Hamish Macbeth series.  I will admit that I have not done this series justice because I have read it drastically out of order, but nevertheless I enjoy everyone of them I read.  Here Hamish has more trouble brought to his doorstep by a new transplant from the South, Effie.  Effie has a little difficulty with telling the truth and the difference between fantasy and reality and soon her problems result in murder.  Wonderful character and setting, just a really enjoyable read.  4 stars.




The Burnt Orange Sunrise


The Burnt Orange Sunrise is book 4 in the Berger and Mitry Mystery series.  This installment takes place in the dead of winter and the weather creates a Christie-esque locked room, in this case a locked B & B.  Des and Mitch find themselves trapped along with other guests by the weather, downed trees and a power outage.  Soon it becomes evident that one of their companions is  a murderer.  This was another good installment in the series with a side plot that is left as a cliff hanger.  Very enjoyable mystery read!

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.

The Tomb in Turkey


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


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.