Book review: Daughter of Mine by Megan Miranda

Saturday, April 20, 2024 Permalink

Daughter of Mine by Megan Miranda was a pleasant surprise. I confess I didn’t want to put it down, though planned poorly so had to stop halfway through… taking two nights to read this addictive tale.

It’s a common theme in the world of crime fiction and thrillers – old disappearances, murders or mysteries come back to haunt those in the present. It’s very much the case here, though with a little twist.

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four-stars

Book review: Earth by John Boyne

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 Permalink

Earth by John Boyne is the second in the loosely linked series. I read Water in late 2023 and it was a tumultuous read. I didn’t realise how much I enjoyed it but cried when closing the book on discovering that another in the series was coming.

Earth didn’t have quite the same impact but Boyne again manages to unfurl a complex and tragic backstory as shocking events unfold in the present. Here, the focus is Evan – who we briefly meet in Water – which ends as he’s escaping the small Irish island that was his home.

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four-stars

Book review: One for Sorrow by Joanne Tracey

Saturday, April 13, 2024 Permalink

I mentioned on Facebook when One for Sorrow by Joanne Tracey was released that it was kinda bittersweet as Jo and I were going to co-write this series. Though at the time it was going to be themed and titled around astrology with the murder or murderer each time reflecting a zodiac sign*. It didn’t pan out for a myriad of reasons, but mainly because Jo’s an excellent and prolific writer, whereas I’m lucky to keep up with reviews on this website. 

The fact that this book is dedicated to me (I know!!!) AND I’m mentioned in the acknowledgements will probably mean you’ll assume this review will be very biased. You’d be wrong but given reviewing (how we respond to / perceive anything) is subjective it doesn’t matter… but I bloody loved this book. It’s easily my favourite of Jo’s books. Some of that MAY be because I felt a kindredness with Clementine Carter (I was there for her birth, after all) but also because I liked the cast of characters surrounding her and the ‘mystery’ at the heart of this book was just the perfect mix of clue-following-and-secret-discovering. 

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four-half-stars

Book review: Shock Waves by Fleur McDonald

Thursday, April 4, 2024 Permalink

Shock Waves by Fleur McDonald is the latest book in the ‘young’ Detective Dave Burrows series. He also features as a second character in a present day series and I suspect this one must be getting close to catching up to that as I note he first appeared in 2009.

Here his mentor and boss Bob has been undergoing cancer treatment and is off work. Despite that (and because Bob is bored) Dave involves him on a work trip checking stock but enroute they get waylaid after hearing about an explosion at council offices.

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three-half-stars

Book review: It Takes a Town by Aoife Clifford

Monday, April 1, 2024 Permalink

It Takes a Town by Aoife Clifford is the fourth book I’ve read by the Aussie author who I had the pleasure of meeting in person at a crime-writers festival in 2019. Her latest is a little slow to get started but ultimately offers up multiple twists and some perplexing moral dilemmas, but also (most importantly) poses a question that I reflected on in another review recently. Whether the actions of those involved actually made things worse or result in some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.  Not specifically resulting from the death of a local celebrity here, but rather the subsequent disappearance of a young woman and resulting fall-out.

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four-stars

Book review: Death Holds the Key by Alexander Thorpe

Saturday, March 30, 2024 Permalink

Death Holds the Key by Alexander Thorpe is the second in the series featuring a mendicant monk. Although I don’t read historical fiction I do make an exception for crime fiction of that golden era – including everything by my first love, the queen herself, Agatha Christie.

I confess I had to google what a mendicant monk was so now know it means a monk who ‘begs’. I’d originally assumed the detective (Detective Hartley) to be the main character but given he quickly tells us of his lack of experience and potential ineptitude, I was glad someone else was on hand.

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three-half-stars

Book review: How to Solve Your Own Murder by Kristen Perrin

Wednesday, March 27, 2024 Permalink

The title of How to Solve Your Own Murder by Kristen Perrin is a tad misleading because the victim of the aforementioned murder actually tasks her potential benefactors with unmasking her killer.

We kick off in 1965 when 17 yr old Frances hears her fortune… discovering that she will one day be murdered. She’d probably laugh it off but there are elements of the fortune that have already made an appearance, including threatening letters.

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three-half-stars

Book review: A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci

Sunday, March 24, 2024 Permalink

It’s a terrible thing to admit but I’ve little interest in history (or real life in general – hence my hatred of non-fiction), so avoid books set… anytime before the 1960s basically. A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci is however set in the late 1960s. Around the time I was born in fact. Thankfully I enjoyed the ‘mystery’ on offer (not to mention the unfolding plot) because as a non-American I know very little of the time and events referenced here. It didn’t impinge of my enjoyment of the book, but I’m fairly sure I skimmed bits about politics and legislation that would be known by, or of interest to, Americans.*

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four-stars

TV series review: Catch Me A Killer

Sunday, March 17, 2024 Permalink

I much prefer television to movies. I suspect it’s because you get to stay with characters a bit longer. Develop relationships. Know them. Understand them. And I’m a self-confessed TV series binger from way back.

I only have a couple of streaming services (Netflix and Prime) at the moment so miss out on a stack of stuff, but I tend to find myself watching shows from other countries or in other languages, many gems I discover on SBS here in Australia.

The latest, that I’ve just finished watching, is Catch Me A Killer. Like reading, while I won’t read non-fiction, I don’t watch documentaries. But weirdly I don’t mind fictionalised versions of true stories.

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