Peril at the Exposition by Nev March

Peril at the Exposition by Nev March

One of the strengths of Murder in Old Bombay, the first in the series, was the setting, 1890s India. In Peril at the Exposition, Chicago and the World's Fair are richly drawn and vividly described, but didn't have quite the same draw for me. It made sense for Diana and Jim to emigrate to America, but it lost some of the charm of the first. This book, told mostly from Diana's point of view, does give us her memories of places and people in India, but at times they feel forced. Jim, now working as a private investigator, is missing in Chicago. Diana heads off to find him. Diana is determined and strong in her own way, but definitely in over her head. She can be melodramatic and puts herself and others in dangerous situations. As Diana digs deeper into the case Jim was working on, she realizes there's a plot involving anarchists, labor union disputes, and maybe a bomb. There...
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The Paper Caper by Kate Carlisle

The Paper Caper by Kate Carlisle

I assumed I would enjoy The Paper Caper. The main character, Brooklyn, restores books and does paper art and the story is set during a Mark Twain festival. This is the first I've read in the series and maybe that's the problem, maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I knew the characters better. I love that Brooklyn restores books but I couldn't quite get a hold of her character. This is #16, so presumably she's helped solve at least sixteen murders. But she seems really young and her husband seems to humor her more than take her thoughts on the case seriously. I'm assuming she's seen several dead bodies, but watching a video of a car crash is almost too much for her to handle? The whodunnit was a bit obvious and therefore disappointing. The twist I was assuming there would be regarding who the killer was just never happened. Overall, it was just a little too silly. Some...
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Lost and Found by Helena Marchmont

Lost and Found by Helena Marchmont

Like all the Bunburry books, Lost and Found is light and cozy. This time around, Alfie meets his half-sister and his niece. Both are warm, charming women, but the niece has a problem Alfie is determined to help her solve. I should have figured out the answer to the main mystery, it's a short novella and there are only so many characters. I can't say I loved the mystery itself, but I read these more to spend time with the characters than for the plot. Alfie and his friends (and now family) are a delightful, colorful bunch. ...
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The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

For me, The Woman in the Library cared a bit too much about its concept than its characters or plot. I'm not a giant fan of metafiction and didn't realize from the blurb what I was getting into. That being said, even though it's not exactly up my aisle, I do think the author did a decent job with it. I guess there are three stories here. Australian author Hannah is writing a murder mystery feature Winifred, the woman in the library from the blurb who becomes embroiled in a murder mystery. Winifred is also writing a book inspired by the three people she meets in the library. Hannah's beta reader is Leo and most of the book alternates between Hannah's chapters featuring Winifred and Leo's e-mail responses. Once you get into the rhythm, it works well, but the structure did keep me off balance and at a distance from any of the characters. We've got two plots here. (Winifred's...
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All the Queen’s Men by S. J. Bennett

All the Queen’s Men by S. J. Bennett

The Queen is disconcerted to see one of her favorite paintings at an exhibition of maritime art in Portsmouth. The painting, given to her by the artist, is of the retired Britannia yacht and once hung outside her bedroom. She enlists Rozie to discover when it left her collection and why it has never been returned, a task that turns out to be not as easy as it sounds. Then, a housekeeper is found beside the Palace swimming pool and it turns out several of the staff, including the dead woman, had received nasty, threatening anonymous letters. The mystery is a bit convoluted. The clues and cases all tie together, but it meanders a bit getting to the conclusion. I do enjoy the characters though. They give the book its charm. The Queen is sharp and charming. Rozie is super competent and we get to see a bit more of the personal side of her life. Prince Philip steals every...
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In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood has been on my to-read list for a while. Honestly, I'm not sure why I put it off. I enjoy both true crime and crime novels and since this is one of the classics in the genre, chances were pretty good I'd enjoy it, which of course I did. Well, as much as you can "enjoy" the story of a horrible murder, of the men who committed it, and the law enforcement trying to track them down. On November 15, 1959, Richard "Dick" Hickock and Perry Smith, on a tip from another inmate, went to the Clutter household in Holcomb, Kansas expecting to find a safe or $10,000 cash in the home. There was neither money nor a safe, but they had agreed to leave no witnesses, so the four family members in the house were killed. Due to the relentless work of the Kansas Bureau of Investigations led by Alvin Dewey, Hickock and Smith were eventually...
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