Book review: Philly Barker Investigates by Joanne Tracey

Sunday, September 25, 2022 Permalink

I was weirdly nervous on going into this book. Almost reluctant even. Firstly because Jo Tracey is a friend of mine. We met online and now meet in person fairly regularly and she feels like my most kindred spirit in a writing / creative way. And then there’s the fact that I’ve had a sneak peek at this book already. Which meant this was a re-read and even though it was many months ago, I worried I’d struggle to re-read it so soon.

I needn’t have stressed though because I surprised myself by becoming incredibly absorbed in Philly’s world – reading most of it in a sitting, despite not planning to do so… and only putting it aside as it was getting late and I really needed to rescue my dinner from the oven.

four-stars

Book review: The Paris Mystery by Kirsty Manning

Thursday, September 22, 2022 Permalink

I’m not shy in sharing my antipathy towards historical fiction. If I read a synopsis and the book is set before 1960(ish) I put it aside.* Worse still novels about events from centuries ago. Perhaps that’ll change at some point. I know my taste has changed over the past couple of decades so maybe I’ll become a reader of historical non-fiction or fantasy novels at some point. Or maybe not.

Although I love Agatha Christie I’ve avoided popular series by Kerry Greenwood and Sulari Gentill (and others) because I’ve assumed I’d feel the same about historical crime fiction. However, after seeing some glowing reviews of Kirsty Manning’s latest release The Paris Mystery, I thought I should dive on in… particularly because it’s the first in a series – testing the waters or something.

four-stars

Book review: Marple – Twelve New Mysteries

Wednesday, September 21, 2022 Permalink

It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of Agatha Christie – in particular all-things-Miss Marple who is my favourite Christie crime-solver (followed by Poirot and very distantly by the Beresfords). I’ve written before also about my favourite Miss Marple actress who (despite my usual lack of visual-ness) I ‘picture’ when I think of Miss Marple.

Anyhoo, like everything it seems… everything old is new again and several well-known authors have contributed to an anthology featuring my very favourite female detective.

Book review: Halifax Transgression by Roger Simpson

Sunday, September 18, 2022 Permalink

We’re very much accustomed to books being adapted for television but the opposite – books appearing as a result of popular television shows or movies – is less common. Though we did have the pleasure last year of a Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mystery (in print) following the success of that TV series. And more recently the book Heat 2 has been released, complementing the popular 1995 film (Heat). Here, well-known television producer and screenwriter Roger Simpson has adapted his iconic series Halifax fp, from the small screen onto the page.

three-half-stars

Book review: The Bullet that Missed by Richard Osman

Thursday, September 15, 2022 Permalink

The Bullet that Missed by Richard Osman is the latest in the very popular ‘Thursday Murder Club’ series, featuring the elderly residents of Coopers Chase. It’s tremendously good fun. Mostly cosy crime with a few mobsters and murders thrown in. This latest is probably a little more far-fetched than its predecessors, but the series is pure escapism so I try not to think too much about the feasibility of 70 or 80-somethings gadding about after armed and well-connected criminals.

four-stars

Book review: Desperation in Death by JD Robb

Wednesday, September 7, 2022 Permalink

I’d dropped off a new release email listing so missed the 54th book in JD Robb’s In Death series. It’s the only one I’ve not read so far, as the series is a no-brainer must-read for me. I plan – on retirement (or similar) – to sit down and re-read one book after the other. I’ve mentioned before (many times) that Robb (ie. Nora Roberts) sets the books over a short amount of time and almost no time passes in and between books.

So, even though I’d missed one book in the series I assumed I hadn’t missed any big events which seemed to be the case. Though I gather the theme of the previous book and this one – are both a little close to home for Lieutenant Eve Dallas given her wretched beginnings.

four-stars

Book review: The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson

Sunday, September 4, 2022 Permalink

The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson is the second in the series featuring Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley.

We pick up where we left off after The Jigsaw Man and Henley and her colleagues are still grappling with their lives being put at risk and a killer potentially on the run. We’re straight into the action however as the team picks up the case of a murdered pastor who had no shortage of enemies.

three-half-stars

Book review: The Liars by Petronella McGovern

Tuesday, August 30, 2022 Permalink

The Liars by Petronella McGovern is the third book I’ve read by the Australian author and my favourite so far, which is probably more to do with the fact that the first two focused more around the parenting of young children whereas this felt like more of a ‘whodunnit’ and appealed more to my age bracket as I could relate to reflecting back on my younger self, thinking of my school days and the dreams I had. Roads taken or not… etcetera. Of course here there’s the added juxtaposition of the next generation on the cusp of similar life experiences and ready to make decisions about their futures.

four-stars

Book review: Dark Rooms by Lynda LaPlante

Tuesday, August 16, 2022 Permalink

Dark Rooms by Lynda LaPlante is the eighth in the series featuring ‘young’ Jane Tennison, although we’ve slowing been working our way from na├»ve constable to the kinda scary Detective Chief Inspector readers (and viewers) meet in Prime Suspect.

In fact here – even though she’s been prickly and standoffish in the past – I felt she’s more authoritarian. Still kind hearted, but perhaps more judgmental perhaps and contrary.

four-stars