The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths

The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths

When Peggy Smith, a 90-year-old woman, is found dead, no one believes foul play had a role in her death….that is no one but her Ukrainian carer, Natalka. Peggy was a murder consultant, thinking up unique ways for characters to die for popular authors, I do wish we had gotten to know Peggy a bit more, she sounded like an amazing character. Natalka teams up with Edwin, an 80-year-old former TV producer, and Benedict a former monk now coffee shop owner to investigate Peggy’s death. And she takes her story to the police, bringing Detective Harbinder Kaur into the group. This is a character-driven mystery. Natalka, Edwin, and Benedict are fully developed and each truly likable, and they work together so well. The investigation and friendships change all their lives, in good ways. It's an eccentric group of characters, and each has their own viewpoint and reasons for joining the inquiry. I love Harbinder and how she both befriends and accepts...
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The Monks Hood Murders by Karen Baugh Menuhin

The Monks Hood Murders by Karen Baugh Menuhin

In the Monks Hood Murders, Lennox and Swift go to the aid of an Abbott who is the husband of Lady Maitland (she was introduced in the previous book). The Monks have inherited a medical Codex that is now missing and the Abbott want Lennox and Swift to locate it. Lennox and Swift along with Lennox's butler, Greggs, his dog, Mr. Fogg, and his cat, Mr. Tubbs head to York. While this one does work as a stand-alone, I think it would be better to read the series in order. Several characters are introduced in early installments and have an impact here even if they aren't actually in York. Of course, in addition to a missing book, Lennox and Swift end up with a couple of murders to solve. The clues were well done and the "how" rather clever, though the murderer was perhaps a bit obvious. I enjoy the characters in this series. Lennox is a good lead. Smart, observant, but...
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Crossing the Line by Isabella Muir

Crossing the Line by Isabella Muir

Retired detective Guiseppe Bianchi is visiting with family on the Southern coast of England, when a local child is found dead, probably not an accident. Guiseppe can't stop himself from thinking about the case. He teams up with his niece, reporter Christina Rossi, to do their own investigating, sharing information with the police as they go. It's the 1960s, at a time when ‘stranger danger’ was becoming part of the national consciousness, and that fear is woven into the story. Guiseppe is charming, but sad. This open-ended vacation may be good for him. Christina is smart, but has a lot on her plate and lacks confidence in her own skills. They make a good team. I listened to the audio and thought the narrator did a fine job. The characters were well-distinguished and his tone fit the seriousness of the crime. The plot was put together well. It's not a quick moving mystery, but I enjoyed the pace. The characters...
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Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie

Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie

Jane Wilkinson a beautiful actress is married to Lord Edgware. She approaches Poirot, asking him to help her obtain a divorce. However, when Poirot and Hastings, go to see Lord Edgware, he seems to have no issue with divorcing her. Jane Wilkinson will have her freedom after all. Then, Lord Edgware is found dead, leaving Jane a widow, free to marry the Duke she has her eyes on. Jane Wilkinson has no motive now, no many how many times she may have threatened to "get rid of" her husband, and a solid alibi. So who did it? We have a fair number of suspects, including a nephew in need of money, a daughter who disliked him, and another actress adept at impersonations. Each chapter brings us a new revelation, a dead suspect, a clue, a red herring. Poirot seems a bit unsure some of the time. Just when he thinks he has the solution, something happens that shows him he's...
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An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

An Elderly Woman Is Up to No Good is charming and funny and a reminder not to underestimate elderly women. Maude is an 88-year-old Swedish woman with no family or friends, and she's quite happy that way. Maude enjoys doing things on her own, including traveling and solving problems. Maude kills people, annoying neighbors, an antiques dealer, people who present potential disturbances to her peace. She's cunning and intelligent and not vain. She's perfectly willing to use the disguises and tools old age provides; pretending to be confused at times or hard of hearing, neither of which she is; using a cane or walker, neither of which she needs. They make her appear less capable - and dangerous - than she is. Maude is quite a likable character though, in spite of it all. Just don't become one of the "problems." ...
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Transient Desires by Donna Leon

Transient Desires by Donna Leon

Leon's Commissario Brunetti series is an easy one to jump in and out of. Each book stands alone well. Yes, reading them in order would probably give you a fuller picture of how the characters change, or don't change, over time, and let you meet new characters when they're introduced. I don't feel like I've missed much by skipping around. As always, Transient Desires take place in Venice. The city is almost a character in and of itself. The city is full of both beautiful, old architecture and dark, dangerous alleys. It relies on tourism, but Venetians are contemptuous of the tourists. The picture of Venice is very vivid, which is a part of this series that I always enjoy. This time, the mystery starts with two young American women left severely injured outside a hospital. Finding out who the men were that dropped them off is easy enough, but leads to a much bigger situation, one that requires...
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