Category Archives: Crime

The Late Mrs. Willoughby – Claudia Gray

The Late Mrs Willoughby – Claudia Gray

I was given this book for mothers day. I have already read the first novel The Murder of Mr. Wickham. I was keen to read this one and I see there is also a third one.

Here’s the blurb …

The suspenseful sequel to The Murder of Mr. Wickham, which sees Jonathan Darcy and Juliet Tilney reunited, and with another mystery to solve: the dreadful poisoning of the scoundrel Willoughby’s new wife.

“An absolute page-turner full of well-plotted mystery and hints of simmering romance. . . . More of the Jane Austen characters we love (as well as those we love to hate).” —Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic and Adobo

Catherine and Henry Tilney of Northanger Abbey are not entirely pleased to be sending their eligible young daughter Juliet out into the world again: the last house party she attended, at the home of the Knightleys, involved a murder—which Juliet helped solve. Particularly concerning is that she intends to visit her new friend Marianne Brandon, who’s returned home to Devonshire shrouded in fresh scandal—made more potent by the news that her former suitor, the rakish Mr. Willoughby, intends to take up residence at his local estate with his new bride.

Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley are thrilled that their eldest son, Jonathan—who, like his father, has not always been the most socially adept—has been invited to stay with his former schoolmate, John Willoughby. Jonathan himself is decidedly less taken with the notion of having to spend extended time under the roof of his old bully, but that all changes when he finds himself reunited with his fellow amateur sleuth, the radiant Miss Tilney. And when shortly thereafter, Willoughby’s new wife—whom he married for her fortune—dies horribly at the party meant to welcome her to town.

With rumors flying and Marianne—known to be both unstable and previously jilted by the dead woman’s newly made widower—under increased suspicion, Jonathan and Juliet must team up once more to uncover the murderer. But as they collect clues and close in on suspects, eerie incidents suggest that the killer may strike again, and that the pair are in far graver danger than they or their families could imagine.

This is a fun crime novel set amongst the characters of Jane Austen novels with a bit of Jane Austen style in the writing. I think if you’re a fan of Jane Austen and/or crime, then you will enjoy this novel.

Willoughby was suitably caddish, Mrs. Jennings enthusiastic, but kind, Colonel Brandon thoughtful, and Lady Middleton thoughtless. The characters are how you think they should be.

A review.

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Filed under 4, Crime, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Paper, Romance

My Name is Red – Orhan Pamuk

My Name is Red – Orhan Pamuk

My book club’s theme of the month is red, and I have wanted to red this for a long time, so it was the perfect pairing.

Here’s the blurb …

At once a fiendishly devious mystery, a beguiling love story, and a brilliant symposium on the power of art, My Name Is Red is a transporting tale set amid the splendor and religious intrigue of sixteenth-century Istanbul, from one of the most prominent contemporary Turkish writers.

The Sultan has commissioned a cadre of the most acclaimed artists in the land to create a great book celebrating the glories of his realm. Their task: to illuminate the work in the European style. But because figurative art can be deemed an affront to Islam, this commission is a dangerous proposition indeed. The ruling elite therefore mustn’t know the full scope or nature of the project, and panic erupts when one of the chosen miniaturists disappears. The only clue to the mystery–or crime? –lies in the half-finished illuminations themselves. Part fantasy and part philosophical puzzle, My Name is Red is a kaleidoscopic journey to the intersection of art, religion, love, sex and power.

I enjoyed the Istanbul setting, the cultural and social history, and I found some of the stories told by non-human characters (the colour red, picture of a dog) to be funny and interesting. It has an interesting structure, chapters from different perspectives, a dead man, the murderer, etc. However, I found this to be very long and often very repetitive (I suspect there were subtle details in the retelling which would have revealed more, but they passed my by).

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Filed under 3, Crime, Digital, Historical Fiction

The Murder Rule – Dervla McTiernan

The Murder Rule – Dervla McTiernan

I listened to a short story by Dervla McTiernan while driving to a holiday spot. So when this one popped up on Borrowbox I thought why not?

Here’s the blurb …

For fans of the compulsive psychological suspense of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a mother daughter story—one running from a horrible truth, and the other fighting to reveal it—that twists and turns in shocking ways, from the internationally bestselling author of The Scholar and The Ruin.

First Rule: Make them like you.

Second Rule: Make them need you.

Third Rule: Make them pay.

They think I’m a young, idealistic law student, that I’m passionate about reforming a corrupt and brutal system.

They think I’m working hard to impress them.

They think I’m here to save an innocent man on death row.

They’re wrong. I’m going to bury him.

I listened to this one as well. It was good and unexpected (which is what I want in a crime novel). The characters were well-rounded and sympathetic (the ones that should be sympathetic). It had a nice structure with diary entries from Laura (from the past) and chapters from Hannah’s perspective.

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Filed under 4, Audio, Crime

Spook Street – Mick Herron

Spook Street – Mick Herron

I listened to this one in preparation for the next TV series.

Here’s the blurb …

What happens when an old spook loses his mind? Does the Service have a retirement home for those who know too many secrets but don’t remember they’re secret? Or does someone take care of the senile spy for good? These are the questions River Cartwright must ask when his grandfather, a Cold War–era operative, starts to forget to wear pants and begins to suspect everyone in his life has been sent by the Service to watch him.

But River has other things to worry about. A bomb goes off in the middle of a busy shopping center and kills forty innocent civilians. The agents of Slough House have to figure out who is behind this act of terror before the situation escalates

Something happens very early in the novel, which made me think I might be done with the Slow Horses novels, but I pushed on, and it was fine. High body count, but would you expect anything else?

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Filed under 4, Audio, Crime, Fiction, Spy, Thriller

Days of Innocence and Wonder – Lucy Treloar

Days of Innocence and Wonder – Lucy Treloar

This was a Christmas present. I have read Ms Treloar’s previous works – Salt Creek and Wolfe Island, both of which i enjoyed. Very different to each other and this one is different again.

Here’s the blurb …

When someone is taken away, what is left behind?

All her life, Till has lived in the shadow of the abduction of a childhood friend and her tormented wondering about whether she could have stopped it.

When Till, now twenty-three, senses danger approaching again, she flees her past and the hovering presence of her fearful parents. In Wirowie, a town on its knees, she stops and slowly begins creating a new life and home. But there is something menacing here too. Till must decide whether she can finally face down, even pursue, the darkness – or whether she’ll flee once more and never stop running.

Both a reckoning with fear and loss, and a recognition of the power of belonging, Days of Innocence and Wonder is a richly textured, deeply felt new novel from one of Australia’s finest writers.

It is beautifully written, sometimes we read for a plot (a gripping story) and sometimes it’s to read lovely sentences and marvel at how someone has put the words together. For me this book was the latter, which is not to say that there is no plot – in fact it gets quite tense, but it is a joy to read such lovely, well-constructed sentences.

A review.

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Filed under 4, Crime, Fiction

The Roommate – Dervla McTiernan

The Roommate – Dervla McTiernan

This is a short novella to which I listened while driving to a beach holiday.

Here’s the blurb …

Twenty-two year old Niamh Turley thought she had problems, dealing with the obnoxious principal of the school she’s teaching in as well as the anxious parents of her little charges, but when she wakes one morning to a missing roommate and a garda knocking on her door, her life spirals out of control fast…

I really enjoyed it. I think it would make an exciting film.

As I do read a bit of crime, I will read more of Dervla McTiernan’s work.

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Filed under 4, Crime, Fiction, Recommended

Exiles – Jane Harper

Exiles – Jane Harper

I have read all of Jane Harper’s novels and this one might be my favourite one yet. I have a paper copy, but in the end I listened to the audio book from Borrowbox.

Here’s the blurb …

At a busy festival site on a warm spring night, a baby lies alone in her pram, her mother vanishing into the crowds.

A year on, Kim Gillespie’s absence casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather deep in the heart of South Australian wine country to welcome a new addition to the family.

Joining the celebrations is federal investigator Aaron Falk. But as he soaks up life in the lush valley, he begins to suspect this tight-knit group may be more fractured than it seems.

Between Falk’s closest friend, a missing mother, and a woman he’s drawn to, dark questions linger as long-ago truths begin to emerge.

This was similar to The Dry in that it is set in a small town, and some people are returning home for a visit. All though this town seemed much nicer than the one in The Dry. Because it’s a crime novel, we can assume Kim didn’t kill herself, so where is she? Is she alive? What happened on the first night party all of those year’s ago? And who killed Josh’s dad in the hit and run accident? Are the two incidents linked?

At various points in the story, I thought different characters were the murderer. It all comes together very nicely in the end.

I was beginning to think Aaron Falk is a bit like Miss Marple, you don’t want him turning up in your town because someone is going to die, but, actually, he turns up after the murder takes place.

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Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone – Benjamin Stevenson

Everyone in my Family has Tried to Kill Someone – Benjamin Stevenson

I needed a new audible book, so I scrolled through my husband’s audible account and selected this one. My new way of selecting is to choose the first thing that appeals to me. The audible book is narrated by Barton Welch.

Here’s the blurb …

Everyone in my family has killed someone. Some of us, the high achievers, have killed more than once. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but it is the truth. Some of us are good, others are bad, and some just unfortunate.

I’m Ernest Cunningham. Call me Ern or Ernie. I wish I’d killed whoever decided our family reunion should be at a ski resort, but it’s a little more complicated than that.

Have I killed someone? Yes. I have.

Who was it?

Let’s get started.

EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY HAS KILLED SOMEONE

My brother

My stepsister

My wife

My father

My mother

My sister-in-law

My uncle

My stepfather

My aunt

Me

I had seen this book in various book stores, but for some reason had been a bit dismissive. That was a mistake, I really enjoyed this novel. And, the ending, which I won’t spoil, was unexpected. This novel has a lovely chatty style, with a classic Poirot type reveal at the end. The audible narration is fabulous.

If you like crime or detective stories, then I think you will enjoy this novel.

A review

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Filed under 4, Crime, Fiction, Recommended

The Curfew – T M Logan

The Curfew T M Logan

I heard about this on Jen Campbell’s booktube – in particular the audio version read by Richard Armitage. Surprisingly, it was available on Borrowbox.

Here’s the blurb …

Your son said he was home. WHY DID HE LIE?

It’s time to preorder the brand new up-all-night thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Richard and Judy pick The Holiday, now a major TV Drama.

I should have known something was wrong. I should have sensed it. Felt it in the air, like the build-up of pressure before a thunderstorm, that heavy, loaded calm.

The curfew
Andy and Laura are good parents. They tell their son Connor that he can go out with friends to celebrate completing his exams, but he must be home by midnight.

The lie
When Connor misses his curfew, it sets off a series of events that will change the lives of five families forever.

The truth?
Because five teenagers went into the woods that night, but only four came out. And telling the truth might mean losing everything…

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

First, T M Logan writes excellently about teenagers and being a parent of teenagers and how things change over time. Secondly, Richard Armitage is a fabulous narrator.

The plot is a little bit predictable, but how it all gets discovered is not. It’s quite the page turner – some of Andy’s actions (he’s the dad) annoyed me (quite a few of the things he did just made things worse).

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Filed under 3, Crime, Fiction

The Man Who Died Twice – Richard Osman

The Man Who Died Twice – Richard Osman

I enjoyed the first one, so was keen to read this (even so it languished on the tbr for a while). I think these novels should be made into a TV series, it would be great.

Here’s the blurb…

It’s the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can The Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?

I am sure I will be reading the third one as well. This one was witty, well-written, with laugh out loud moments. I particularly enjoy Joyce’s diary.

A review.

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Filed under 4, Crime, Fiction, Miscellaneous, Recommended