My Blog List

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp by Leonie Swann

It took me a while to get my head and mind into this read. The theme was serious two, then three murders but the characters were whimsical.It also brought it very close to home that Icould very well turn into one of those eccentric old ladies give it a few years. A body has been discovered next door. Being neighbours the police come calling. This makes the group agitated, nervous and jittery because their murdered companion lies in their own house. The Police are happily for them unaware of the fact. Lillith was shot after a joint decision taken, including Lillith so the bunch are quite ok with the outcome! The plan is to find who murdered the neighbour so that Lillith's murder could be pinned on the same person and voila they all can clear their minds over the little matter of Lillith's death. This seeking of truth leads to various escapadeswhich in their rather fragile state of health is tricky. A miracle that no one died in the process of investigations. This was quirky, different and refreshing. Sent by Soho Press for an unbiased view, courtesy of Netgalley

Friday, June 23, 2023

The Measure of Silence by Elizabeth Langston

A family death always leaves untied ends. In this case two sisters areleft with three boxes of memorablia, with instructions how to proceed. What they did not anticipate was decades oldsecrets which were shocking, unexpected and had ramifications for tge future. Left with so much documentary evidence, Jessica and Raine try to put together pieces of their grandmother's past, why she kept so much secret and how they should handle the future, given the complications in their own lives. A very good story of a family crossing three generations, a closely knit family who now have to forgive and move forward. Very well written. Sent byLake Union Publishing for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Murder in Manhattan by Verity Bright

Number 14 in the series. Still very chirpy, different, slightly eccentric and definitely not in the common way. This is a murder mystery and always Lady Eleanor gets roped in, dropped in call it what you may in unusual circumstances, very often not of her seeking. The characters are all out of the ordinary. From her butler Clifford, to her dog Gladstone whom she takes to all events, even her household staff are full of character. It all adds to the liveliness of the story which takes it from the gruesome viciousness of modern murder stories, though murder is murder of course. This one with the backdrop of Manhattan, gangs, upper class speak easies as well as all the machinations behind high finance and high society in Manhattan. Murders too and the detective work to solve them. Very easy Reading. Sent by Bookouture for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

The Horror of Haglin House by M R C Kasasian

Lady Violet has retired to a quiet town with two servants and her adventuress Ruby, to get over and to understand why her partner jilted her. There she is approached by a lady who needs her services to find out why her friend who was deeply attached to her is no longer receiving her calls. She feels she is a prisoner in her home. The problem is acute because the suspect here has an impeccable reputation and is popular the local doctor. when one death after another follows with no connection at all, both the police and lady Violet are confused but Violet is decided that it is in some strange way connected to Haglin House and the doctor. Unravelling the story was complicated particularly because the comments - some not at all helpful or relevant comefrom voices speaking to Violet. A tad confusing that. Nevertheless an interesting take on detective stories. Sent by Canelo for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Bats in the Belfry by E C R Lorac

Set in the 1930s this was an intricate story, with many characters coming in and going out which could get confusing, if you tried to figure who was doing what. A man goes missing, his suitcase and passport fiund in a derelict building, a very indifferent wife who does not turn a hair when confronted with the gruesome details of her husbands death, her lover who becomes the primary suspect, when the first suspect is found drowned. It was an interesting story particularly for me as I like this era and settings. The detective work was comprehensive and much slower than a modern story setting. it did not detract from the story. This was a purchase from Amazon.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Murder at Midnight by Katherine Schellman

I like this series especially Lily Adler. Spending time inHertfordshire is just what she is looking forward to. Meeting her old friend Jack is a bonus. A good friend of her hers he has spent years away at sea and has now returned. Anticipating a relaxing evening at a neighbours Christmas festivities, the party gets snowbound and what they think is an overnight stay gets extended when they find a body in the snow brutally murdered. To add to the mystery the young man found murdered is the same man linked to the gossip around Amelia, Jacks own sister. When (in Lily's opinion) the wrong man is locked up, it is upto her sleuthing skills to get to the bottom of this death in this country house where each person including the host has plenty of secrets to hide. The setting, the period and the varied characters all added depth to the story. Sent by Crooked Lane Books foran unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley. We have heard of climate changes and in Colombo we are in the middle of a heat zone. Monsoon rains have broken elsewhere, not in the capital city. It has never been this hot.

Monday, June 12, 2023

The Puzzle of Blackstone Lodge by Martin Edwards

Nell Fagan is a brash journalist on the trail of two disappearances - centuries apart. The men literally disappeared into thin air, never sighted again, but rumours are rife. The Lodge is nota welcoming space neither are the owners popular amongst the locals. To add to the mystery, a psychiatric facility run by the Sambrook family is also in this village, and the family's aloofness addsto the mystery about the patients. When Nell meets with one attempt to kill her which was unsuccessful, she does not heed the warning that her prying into events even though 300 years old, obviously is upsetting a few people. Meeting an untimely end, Rachel Savernake now embarks on her own lines of enquiry typing up a death in London, with the multiple deaths now happening in this remote village, and uncovering old family disputes and secrets. The characters are so varied, the rector and the doctors, the wanna be lord of the manor all hiding behind a facade of secrets they dont want uncovered. The detective work progresses slowly but this vintage classic crime and it is very good. Sent by Poisoned Pen Press for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

The Bereaved by Julia Park Tracey

1859 was a bleak time if you were a woman with no money and responsibilities. Widowed very young, with four children Martha's life was tough but when her father in law who was their guardian died and left Martha and her young family to the guardianship of the lecherous lawyer Montgomery, Martha knew she had to run away. New York City was another world - poverty, the incessant noise, the animosity of neighbours, the environment were foreign but they all gritted their teeth and tried to survive. When things began to threaten their lives Martha took the bold step of handing first her eldest two to the Friends of Society and then the youngest two. She did not realise that she was legally giving them up. The story of heartbreak with plenty of determination to get her children back against immense odds is beautifully told. Martha never gave up hope for a reconciliation and she was successful with the exception of Homer who did not know his biological mother at all. At the end of the story there was a chapter giving details of how the children's lives evolved after they reconciled including Homer who had links with the author of this story. This added a great human touch to the story and it was good to see how far they all came to lead happy settled lives. Thank you to Sibbyline Press for sending this to me, courtesy of Netgalley.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Murder At The Elms by Alyssa Maxwell

Emma and Derrick just married and Emma is trying hard to live life "differently" aware of Derrick's elevated social position, though despite it being 1901 with very Victorian ideas that people in general have about women in society, Derrick has startlingly modern views. Covering a rather newsworthy event, a strike by domestic staff at the Berwinds bungalow unheard at the time and put down drastically by the family by summarily dismissing all the errant staff brought Emma into direct contact with the family. an invitation to view the house with all its mod cons was the opening Emma needed to find out more about the repercussions of the strike but it ended with the discovery of a maids body (one of those who didnt strike) and the loss of an invaluable necklace. Detective Jesse calls on Emma and Derrick to provide the inside information on this high society party because he will never be privy to its machinations and cover ups and it is this that for me was very good reading. How this society was blind to its own defects and swept everything under the table to protect their own because the deaths were mere poorer people who worked for them, mere nobodies. The story unravelled slowly but it was a fascinating read - the murder, the clues, the position of a newspaper reporter at the time, hypocricy of society all added to the variety of the read. Sent by Kensington Books for an unbiased read courtesy of Netgalley.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

A Perfect Vintage by Chelsea Fagan

There is a lot of money, lots of beautiful men (all ages), women too all ages, A explosive mix. Lea is a consultant and in this case she is converting an old chateau into a very high class boutique hotel. No detail is too minute for Lea who wants to be hands on, on every aspect till the hand over. She knows this project can make or break her career. She did not expect her cousin and daughter to want to tag along. Stephanie is just beginning a divorce proceeding and her ex husband is as difficult as they come. Lea also did not expect the antagonism and put downs of the boss's son. At every turn being critical unjustly, and very quietly insinuating vituperative stuff to his father about Lea. The dynamics get further complicated by romance which do not go down well with the family further complicating matters. The story of the stages of a hotel renovation, especially the descriptions added variety to a story although it was one which was mainly about relationships in a close knit family, especially when "outsiders" come on the scene with all its cross cultural effects. Sent by Orsay Press LLC for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

A Blind Eye by Marion Todd

Detective Claire Mackay is in her seventh of the series and there is no let up.Not just the actual story, but the human interest stories of the Detectives and those involved in the behind the crime scene are also very much part of the story. Harry Richards does not fit the picture of crime. A solicitor handling mainly property conveyancy, his world is removed from the circumstances of his death. Found with his throat cut, Detectives have to sift through seemingly innocuous business matters to find his connectio n to crime. When the wife of his junior solicitor is found dead in a horrific car crash, detectives are skeptical that the two are linked. But in detective work there is no room for coincidences, and when common links begin to start becoming apparent, the local force realise that they have a very well organized, smooth operation to deal with. Fast paced, varied characters, a really tangled storyline which started unravelling once the pieces were in place, all added to the story's interest. Sent by Canelo for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.