30.10.15

RADIANT ANGEL, by Nelson DeMille

7/series starring John Corey. I've been hooked on Corey since Plum Island, the first in the series. He only gets stronger, and the stories do, too. Corey, invited to leave the FBI for less restrictive pastures, has wound up in the Diplomatic Surveillance Group, a sad, quiet end for the adrenalin junkie. On a quiet weekend afternoon, Corey and his sidekick Tess Farraday are on watch for Russian diplomat Vasily Petrov, of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. Diplomats are restricted to twenty five mile radius from Manhattan, but Petrov and his two companions go to an oligarch's estate at the end of Long Island, where a vodka-soaked party is in progress. Click below for more...

21.10.15

DEADLEY ELECTION, by Lindsey Davis

3/Flavia Albia novels, set in ancient Rome, 89AD. Building on the fabulous success of the Marcus Didius Falco novels (all 20 of them), the once-orphaned street urchin rescued from the filth and danger of Londinium is a marvelous character. Following in the socially dubious footsteps of her adopted father, Flavia Albia is an informer, a private eye. The family business, however, is auctions, and the Callisti family needs funds. It's election season and they've put out too many bribes that didn't pay off. Part of their belongings is an old strongbox, large and heavy, iron banded. And in it is a corpse. Click below for more...

DEAD AND BURIED, by Barbara Hambly

9/Benjamin January series set in pre-Civil War New Orleans. As this series progresses, it only gets better. It also gets more graphic about slavery and the American attitudes toward it; "passing" for white is a central theme here. In this story, a pallbearer slips, a coffin crashes into a brick tomb, and the corpse is revealed as a white man, not as the free man of color it's supposed to be. Hannibal Sefton, January's close but usually-not-sober friend, recognizes the victim, and so begins a hair-raising race to save the life of a young man willing to be hung rather than tell the truth. Click below for more...

19.10.15

DEAD WATER, by Barbara Hambly

8/Benjamin January stories set in the pre-Civil War American south. Underscoring the disastrous situation a free man of color can get himself into on the Mississippi, Benjamin January (6'3", very black son of a field hand) is hired to find the man who may have absconded with a New Orleans bank's gold . . . including January's irreplaceable house payment. The villain is supposed to be taking his loot on board the small paddlewheel steamer Silver Moon, bound to Natchez and points north. January recruits his white friend Hannibal Sefton to act as his owner Click below for more... 

16.10.15

KATE'S PROGRESS, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Contemporary suspense with a fair amount of romance in it doesn't get a lot more beguiling than this one. Kate, tired of London and her high-pressure life and dearth of suitable men, gets an early inheritance and sinks it in a wrecked cottage deep in the English countryside. After fixing the place herself, she'll sell it for a profit. Her first visitor is a handsome, abrasive man on horseback who is sure she's squatting on the property. Kate's quickly swept into the local village life and particularly the family living in The Hall, where the Blackmore brothers and their spendthrift stepmother live a very uncongenial existence. Kate, inherently kind and optimistic, is instantly at odds with the handsome, broody, workaholic older brother Ed, and is romanced by the younger, flirty, work-averse Jack. But something's rotten at The Hall and when Ed's over-confident old flame sweeps in things get very nerve-wracking. A fun read for a weekend, it's a 4.
Find the author at www.cynthiaharrodeagles.com
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7.10.15

THE CAIRO DIARY, by Maxim Chattam

 Translated from the French by Susan Dyson. In Cairo, in 1928, a series of atrocious murders of young children took place. The diary of the investigation follows the trail of the author and principal investigator, English Police Detective Jeremy Matheson. But the diary is lost, and is only unearthed when, on Mont-St-Michel in 2005, a woman being hidden by the French Secret Service finds it in a pile of discarded books. Marion, who worked in Paris' morgue, had seen something she shouldn't have seen, and her life is threatened. Until she can testify in a current murder case, she has been spirited away to live among a monastic community. Click below for more...

CITY OF SHADOWS, by Ariana Franklin

I adore books that have a big surprise on the next-to-last page. It takes such careful plotting to pull it off, and that's one of Franklin's strengths. This is a mesmerizing, chilling, stand-alone book set in Berlin in the 20s and 30s. Packed with refugees, Berlin was decadent, its nightlife turbulent and catering to every interest, no matter how socially unacceptable. Esther Solomonova, a Russian  Jew scarred from a pogrom, is multi-lingual secretary to cabaret-owner and wheeler-dealer "Prince" Nick, who hears of a woman in an insane asylum claiming to be one of the murdered Russian princesses. Click below for more...

4.10.15

THE BAT, by Jo Nesbo

A tasty prequel to the noir Harry Hole series find our self-destructive but sexy detective from the Oslo Crime Squad sent to Sydney, Australia to observe investigation into the murder of a young Norwegian woman, Inger Holter. Upon arrival, a local detective, aboriginal Andrew Kensington, takes him to his hotel, later to the police offices where he's told by the captain to lay low and enjoy his vacation. But Harry has never done that, he's by instinct a detective.  Click below for more...

HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Contemporary romance doesn't get a whole lot better than this bright, funny, and suspensful novel by award-winning author Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Annie Hewitt returns to her childhood vacation spot, Peregrine Island, in the dead of a Maine winter. The terms of her flamboyant late mother's will insist she stay for 60 days. Broke and dispirited, that's okay with Annie, as she has a legacy to find that could change her life. Almost at once, she bumps into an old nemesis, Theo Harp, who in their teens not only teased her but almost got her killed. Now an author famous for his grisly, graphic novel, at first sight the now-hostile Theo is dressed in 19thC clothes and carries a dueling pistol. Click below for more...

1.10.15

MURDER AS A FINE ART, by David Morrell

London, 1854, filled with swirling, noxious fog and populated by easily-upset crowds of hard-drinking, impoverished workers. A grisly multiple murder brings a renowned author, Thomas deQuincy and his forthright daughter Emily to the notice of Scotland Yard. The murders appear to be patterned after the sensational Ratcliff murders of decades before, and it is claimed "encouraged" by de Quincy's incendiary essay on Murder as a Fine Art. Click below for more...