Book review: A Stranger in the Family by Jane Casey

Thursday, March 14, 2024 Permalink

A Stranger in the Family (by Jane Casey) is the eleventh book in the Maeve Kerrigan / Josh Derwent series. I requested it as there’s not been much about lately and am extremely relieved I did as I loved it. It was a huge surprise. According to Goodreads I’ve read the first four books in the series and missed out on reading any since.

Kerrigan and Derwent have come a long way since then and I was surprised to see there’d been a flirtation and perhaps some feelings on one or both sides. And though the will they / won’t they was part of the novel and an element I certainly enjoyed, it doesn’t overshadow the investigation at hand.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill

Sunday, March 10, 2024 Permalink

The Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill is a new standalone by the talented writer. I’ve not read her Rowland Sinclair series but love her ‘writerly’ standalones (After She Wrote Him and The Woman in the Library). I’m sure being immersed in the world of writing and publishing helps inspire Gentill as she certainly writes what she knows.

Because I adored her two other standalones my expectations were higher than they should have been and I was a bit disappointed with this book. I liked the first half or even the first two-thirds, but the way this book pans out really didn’t seem feasible and frustrated me a lot.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Murder Inn by James Patterson and Candice Fox

Saturday, February 24, 2024 Permalink

The Murder Inn by James Patterson and Candice Fox is a sequel to the 2019 collaboration, The Inn. I really enjoyed that book and loved the characters in particular. It was slated as a standalone but I said I hoped there were more and…. ask and you shall receive. Though not always obvs.

And I loved this sequel just as much. I literally lapped it up, having returned home from a several-day work trip, I ran a bath and dove right in. To the book, not the bath (into which I stepped carefully).

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four-stars

Book review: Body of Lies by Sarah Bailey

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 Permalink

Just when we thought Gemma Woodstock’s story was over, she’s back in Body of Lies. Well that’s to say Sarah Bailey gave Gemma a well-earned rest while she wrote The Housemate, which was published in 2021. But she’s back. In Smithson with Mac her babydaddy, her new baby Scarlett and son Ben. She’s on maternity leave though and grappling with a decision about when and whether to return to her job – in Smithson or elsewhere. She knows she’s uprooted Mac and feels guilty about that. And now he’s distracted and Gemma fears the worst.

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four-stars

Book review: What Happened to Nina by Dervla McTiernan

Sunday, February 11, 2024 Permalink

We start What Happened to Nina? by Dervla McTiernan in Nina’s head so very much hope that nothing bad happens to her. Yet it does – obviously… or there would be no book. Cos “Nothing Happened to Nina” wouldn’t be very appealing as a novel of suspense or crime fiction.

McTiernan shows us her hand quite early. I was initially disappointed because there’s so much more of the novel to go. It’s only in retrospect that I realise this book was as much about the response or fallout as it was the murder or the investigation.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Glenrock by Lee Christine

Friday, February 2, 2024 Permalink

I was initially disappointed that Glenrock by Lee Christine wasn’t going to feature some of the characters from her earlier work but very much enjoyed those she introduced here and now hope to see / meet them again. She introduces a few plot linesĀ  – something that sometimes frustrates me if they ultimately connect in a very nebulous way, but that’s not the case here. She offers two or three distinct storylines that are all connected and merge in a way that isn’t contrived or coincidental. Rather there’s an obvious causal relationship that effortlessly (and tragically) plays out.

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four-stars

Book review: Tipping Point by Dinuka McKenzie

Thursday, February 1, 2024 Permalink

Detective Kate Miles is back in Tipping Point by Dinuka McKenzie, the third book in the series featuring the likeable detective balancing her job and life with her husband, two kids and various relatives who seem to come to the attention of police far more than she’d like.

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four-stars

Book review: Foul Play by Fiona McIntosh

Sunday, January 14, 2024 Permalink

It has to be said that soccer (aka football) fans are gonna love Foul Play by Fiona McIntosh. I’m very much enjoying this series headed up by the charismatic Jack Hawksworth, appreciating that, even though it’s set in England, McIntosh imbues Aussie flavour into each book in the series. Here via an Aussie-raised soccer player doing great things in his fictional UK club, supported by the club’s Australian (mining magnate) owner.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Alibi by Lynda LaPlante

Sunday, January 7, 2024 Permalink

Alibi by Lynda LaPlante was originally published in 1998 as Trial & Retribution II and I initially wondered if it’d been revised as there’s mention of someone using a mobile phone. I dug into the recesses of my mind to recall if mobile phones were around back then and think they were…. but only just. And given there’s hefty use of home answering machines I decided it is safe to say it hasn’t been updated but remains firmly set in the late 1990s.

It’s listed as the second in the Trial and Retribution series which was inspired by the TV show of the same name and a reminder what a force LaPlante was in TV-land back then and how ground-breaking her work was!

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four-stars