The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie is historical fiction, imagining what may have happened when Agatha Christie "disappeared" in early December 1926. The facts are there, the car, the letters, the search, but around this Benedict wraps a fictional story of the Christies' first meeting through their married life. The majority of the book alternates between a manuscript Agatha wrote chronicling their lives together and the events around the disappearance, starting with the discovery of her empty car. The problem is no one is likable. Archie is a jerk. Agatha is too desperate to please him and right until the end too gutless to stand up for herself. I couldn't even really care about the daughter, Rosalind, who when she showed up in the tale, was too calm and pulled together. The grand reveal at the end wasn't really grand or much of a reveal. It did redeem the rest of the book a bit, making you look a little differently at...
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Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March

Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March

I have a soft sport for historical mysteries, which is what drew me to Murder in Old Bombay. Overall it was an enjoyable novel, but at the same time I felt like it just kept dragging on. Strengths: Captain Jim Agnihotri is a good character. He's part-English/part-Indian, has left the army for medical reasons, and loves Sherlock Holmes stories. He is intent on discovering the truth, regardless of the danger involved.India in the 1890s is brought to life. The descriptions are vivid. The cultural, religious, and political tensions can be felt.The characters are believable and you care about them. Weaknesses: The mystery is a bit convoluted and Jim always seems to guess right. It may not be easy to find or talk to who he wants to, but he never seems to just be wrong. Way too much emphasis on the romance. And too much melodrama.It seemed longer than it was. The middle section especially was slow. If I had run into it as...
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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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