Germany, 1917. A mesmerizing story of flying aces, feisty heroines, and death in the sky over war-torn Germany. When a British flying ace crash-lands his stolen plane near a German farm, American Ellenor Jantz, beekeeper on the farm, shoots first and asks questions later. She ought to turn the handsome pilot in, but something about Alec Corbin-Dawes instead makes her hide him in the farm's stables.
Alec is on a personal mission: to save his sister, who lives in Metz, which is scheduled to be hit by a massive air-raid in four days. He talks Ellenor into helping to start the plane he plans to steal from the German squadron based on the farm. In the pre-dawn process, as the plane taxis across the field, everything goes terribly wrong.
As usual, you'll get no spoilers here. It's a fun beach read, with a plethora of arcane facts about bees, "crates" as the pilots called their flying machines, and the intricacies of mid-air dogfights. There's also a charming but deadly villain, an underground anti-war cell, and a nice war-time love story.
It's a 4. A fun read with some interesting historical tidbits and a fascinating in-depth look at the original fighter planes. Unsurprisingly, the author is a beekeeper.
London policeman Walter Day is confronted by a sly, cunning murderer...or is it more than one? Could it be a copycat of Jack the Ripper, still at large?
A carefully arranged prison break frees four notorious killers. In theory, the four were supposed to be delivered into the hands of a vigilante group. In practice, the wily criminals are at large. Along with a fifth that nobody ever dreamed would again be on the loose.
Walter Day and colleague Nevil Hammersmith pursue clues and find gory bits of victims as the killers lead them on a chase through London streets and sewers. Hammersmith seems impervious to danger...with the resulting injuries.
While the police sleuth, a far-seeing doctor establishes a morgue to analyze murder victims, and (with typical Victorian disregard) has his teenaged daughter sketch the results. Meanwhule, Day's family is at risk, and while he's away the threat literally comes homes.
Complex, chilling, the perfect read for lovers of detailed and graphic mystery. It's another 5. Read the series in order if you can.
Find the author at https://alexgrecian.com
Here, Slider and his very pregnant girlfriend Joanne try to find time to tie the knot before their baby is born. In typical incautious style, Jim Atherton gets tangled up with a victim's journalist daughter as they investigate the murder of a noted BBC correspondent. With friends in high places, the victim has influence from the grave.
Complicating matters are the threats Slider receives from an escaped criminal out for the ultimate revenge. For the Detective Inspector, the notion that a game is over when a felon goes to prison is not true. Now, under chilling conditions, he's got to figure out how to stop this personal threat as he investigates corruption in high places. And find time to marry Joanna, of course.
The series is compelling and best read in order. The author combines crime and police procedural with a full array of personal problems and foibles into a marvelous mix of can't-put-down tales. To date, there are 26 books. Think of the binge! It's another 5 from this prolific writer.
Find the author at www.cynthiaharrodeagles.com
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Historian and professor Jaya Jones receives a package from an old boyfriend and discovers a lovely piece of what she first thinks is costume jewelry: a heavy gold ankle bracelet with a large red stone in it. She quickly learns that the boyfriend, Rupert, has died in a car crash in Scotland. And that the anklet isn't costume jewelry, it's real and part of a lost cache of Mughal-era jewelry lost for centuries. It may in fact have once belonged to Nur Mahal, wife of the famous Jahangir who built the Taj Mahal.
When Jaya's Merkely apartment is burgled, she decides answers to the threat are in Scotland. Accompanied by Lane **, atractive and blond and mysterious, she goes to London. She is followed from the British Library, where they research history of the Raj. In Scotland, the plot thickens as bogus summons to London and Lane's arrest on faked theft charges that put them out of action. But only until Jaya figures out the solution.
Filled with the lore of the Highlands and the history of the British Empire, Jaya and Lane are a great team with just enough romance to muddy the waters.
This prize-winning book and its subsequent series are a fascinating meld of history, mystery, danger, action, and just enough romance. It's a 5.
As the procession slowly wends its way south through France, from castle to monastery, Adelia must keep the princess safe, her own tiny daughter unscathed, everyone healthy, and hope that Excalibur, cleverly hidden, will safely arrive at its destination. But there is a murderer traveling with them, and Adelia must find him before he finds her. It's a 5, as are the other books in this compelling series.
The author does not have a website.
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Little escapes the notice of the ever-vigilant Homeland Police, an enormous and dominating agency with seemingly unlimited power. When it looks as if Raleigh will actually mount a defence for the accused, a series of events begins that will give chills to many readers.
The most startling aspect of the story is Blingbling's memoir. Narrated in turns by Blingbling and Raleigh, the fascinating, entertaining, horrid tale unfolds. Blingbling, while he cannot talk clearly, is self-educated, and a man of keen observation, dry wit and gently scathing observation. Impossible not to care for him. And for the self-indulgent but calculating Raleigh as well, although they are very different characters.
Many times, after each bizarre turn, I could only think, "This could easily happen."
It's a 5. It will sadden many, perhaps infuriate others. Do not skip to the last pages and read the ending. Part of the power of the book is its gradual slide from gray to black. Every page counts, there are few wasted words here. It ought to be a best-seller.
The farther east she goes, the more atmospheric and wild the country. She arrives at Castle Dragulescu at day's end and her old friend Cosmina is delighted to welcome her. The elderly, ailing Countess Dragulescu, Cosmina's guardian, introduces her to her arrestingly handsome son Andrei, Count Dragulescu. Theodora is instantly attracted to the enigmatic man who, she quickly discovers, Cosmina is afraid of. The count knows every ploy in the seducer's arsenal and finds the lovely visitor susceptible.
Local lore and the peasants on the count's land believe in strigoi - vampires - and Theodora finds persuasive evidence they may actuaslly exist. As she and Alexei grow closer, his behavior seems more and more odd. A midnight exorcism involving chants and holy water and wooden stakes in the castle crypt - suitably horrific - ups the ante. Why does Alexei's long-deceased father looks so fresh and lively? Who killed the serving girl, whose lifeless body has two puncture wounds on her bosom? Should she believe Alexei's cool claims of indifference?
Matters come to a head in an unexpected moment which, in my zeal to do no spoilers, you will have to discover for yourself in the book.
Very readable, with a feisty heroine and a suitably surprising villain. Very Gothic. Five stars. Raybourn is a great writer of romantic suspense.