31.5.15

THE WINTER QUEEN, by Boris Akunin

1/series set in Russia. Translated from the Russian, this marvelous mystery/adventure stars the inimitable Erast Fandorin, once-wealthy scion of a Russian military noble. After his father's loss of everything (including his life), Erast now toils in a lowly position in the state police department. After a well-dressed young student shoots himself in the head before a young noblewoman and her chaperone, Fandorin's prompted to understand why a man with his whole wonderful life before him should play American Roulette. Click below for more...

LITTLE ELVISES, by Timothy Hallinan

2/series starring Junior Bender, burglar to the stars. Funny, complex, tough, tender, wild, no-holds-barred action, weird characters...Hallinan is the best. Set in LA, Junior(his real name) not only burgles but solves problems that fellow edge-of-the-law characters need solving. Stuff one can't go to the cops for, because the cops are looking for them. But in this case, a cop is actually the instigator: Paulie Degaudio, who will pin a murder on Junior if he doesn't help out a distant cousin. Click below for more...

26.5.15

KILLING ME SOFTLY, by Nicci French

If you've got a lot on your to-do list this weekend, do not start this book. It is mesmerizing, unsettling, terrifying. I'm not one to sit and bite my nails while reading, but this one did it. Subtle, powerful. Alice and Jake live together in London, their lives orderly, even predictable. They have good friends, good jobs, a good life. Walking to work one morning, Alice locks eyes with a male - all male, blatantly male - and he is similarly stricken. Tall, rugged-looking, he is not one of the hurrying suits. And he's waiting for her when she leaves. Click below for more no-spoiler review.

22.5.15

PLUM LOVIN', by Janet Evanovich


A "between the numbers" novella, expressly designed to keep Stephanie Plum enthusiasts slavering for more. Fast-paced, letting readers get to know more about the mysterious-but-sexy Diesel (no last name) and further adding mystery to the on-going question: who the hell is he and what's he doing here? Diesel, like all the sexy men in her life, can walk through Stephanie's locked door, and always has a suggestive comeback. Click below for more...

A NAIL THROUGH THE HEART, by Timothy Hallinan

1/Poke Rafferty series. Hang on to your hair, my friend, for you're in for a wild, rough ride in this first-of-a-series tale. Settling down in contemporary Bangkok, "rough travel" writer Poke Rafferty's trying to attain a normal life. He has a girlfriend he's trying to marry: ex-Patpong stripper Rose, whose Thai sensibilities are a million miles from Rafferty's California vibe. And he's trying to adopt former street child Miao, an eight year-going-on-forty year old prodigy.  Click below for more...

18.5.15

GREEN-EYED LADY, by Chuck Greaves

2/series. LA Lawyer Jack MacTaggart is swept into the convoluted world of American politics as he represents a wealthy, photogenic, married, womanizing candidate for Congress (Are these the sole requirements for the office these days? Wealthy, photogenic, married and womanizing?) who is caught naked, in a total stranger's bedroom whose prize art work - a million-dollar Berthe Morrisot oil - has been stolen. Three weeks before election day. Click below for more no-spoiler review...

A LITTLE LEARNING, by E. L. Gregson

6/series with DI Percy Peach and the delectable DS Lucy Blake. Claptrap Carter, widely-despised head of the new University of East Lancashire, is discovered shot in the head by two students who have plotted the Perfect Crime. Sadly, their midnight plans did not include a dead body. Detective Inspector Percy Peach wrings the two young fools out and gets on with discovering who amongst Claptrap's many enemies and detractors did the deed. Click below for more... 

11.5.15

SISTERS OF TREASON, by Elizabeth Fremantle

2/series. A brilliant Elizabethan-era novel starring the surviving sisters of the manipulated and doomed Lady Jane Grey. With telling simplicity, you see the nine-day Queen face her execution with serenity, as close friends witness the beheading. The young Queen leaves behind two sisters to suffer the suspicion and hostility of the new Tudor Queens: Mary and then Elizabeth. The sisters are a study in contrasts: bright, beautiful, lively Katherine, who lives for pleasure and seeks love; and small, smart, malformed Mary who becomes a pet of Queen Mary, and a closely-watched companion of sorts to Elizabeth. Click below for more...

4.5.15

GOOD MAN FRIDAY, by Barbara Hambly

12/series chronicling the life of former slave and now physician and piano player Benjamin January. The complications of an American bank collapse have ruined many New Orleans planters, and Benjamin's always-on-the-edge finances are worse than ever. He has not only a wife but a new son, plus two young relatives to care for. The musicale employment that was the backbone of his income is gone. In desperation, he accepts a commission to search for a vanished English mathematician in America's capital, where slave pens and auctions exist within steps of the capitol and segregation is as severe as New Orleans but, with slave hunters, even more dangerous. Click below for more...

CRIMSON ANGEL, by Barbara Hambly

13/series, starring Benjamin January, a free man of color trying to survive in 1838. First in New Orleans, where his wife Rose and their son Baby John live an edge-of-disaster life. Rose's brother visits from America, he's trying to find family treasure supposedly buried in ancient family holdings in Haiti. The former French colony, scene of inhuman treatment of slaves that had led to full-scale rebellion, looks upon visitors as threats to be summarily removed. Benjamin and Rose both decline to join the treasure hunt, but when her brother is murdered, Click below for more...