Thin Air by Richard K. Morgan

Thin Air by Richard K. Morgan

I tend to say I don't read a lot of sci-fi. That's probably not true. This is my 7th sci-fi book this year, which compared to the number of mysteries I've read is small but compared to the amount of sci-fi the average person reads is probably a lot. I do think when you're reviewing genre fiction it does matter how much you read. It affects your expectations, your familiarity with structures, how original the work seems, your enjoyment of the book. I guess that makes me a casual sci-fi reader. But Thin Air is not solely sci-fi. I'dsay its more noir with a sci-fi backdrop. Veil is our "detective," an outsider with an attitude who takes the job both because he needs the money and because his honest cop friend wants him to. We've got lots of violence and several sex scenes. We've got the dark underbelly of the city where everyone lives in shades of grey, where corruption runs...
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The Corfe Castle Murders by Rachel McLean

The Corfe Castle Murders by Rachel McLean

DCI Lesley Clarke has been transferred to Dorset for six months to slow down and recuperate after a recent case. Of course, the day before she officially starts her new position, an archaeologist is found murdered at a dig site and Lesley jumps right into the investigation. Lesley is a bit of a fish out of water. Several of her new team are not thrilled with having her in charge - she's a woman, she cusses, she's a bit prickly, but I think they are starting to gel by the end of the book. She may not be what they're used to, but she's intelligent, competent, and able to make compromises to benefit the team. The mystery itself was well-done. The clues are there, but so are the red herrings. There are plenty of suspects, a mistress, the wife, the wife's boyfriend, fellow archaeologists, and they all feel like real people, not cardboard cutouts. Every character in the case, whether they...
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A Racing Murder by Frances Evesham

A Racing Murder by Frances Evesham

This is the second of the Ham Hill mysteries and, while it works as a stand-alone, you will definitely get to know the characters better by reading them in order. Adam is a pub owner and retired police officer and Imogene owns the local hotel. They are the main investigators, although this time around they have the help of a couple of friends, Steph, a reporter, and Dan, a painter. All four are competent and intelligent and each adds their own skills. Belinda is the main suspect in the death, and her desperate mother asks for Adam's help. The local authorities deem the death an accident due to lack of evidence, but the local chief inspector asks Adam to continue looking into the case, not convinced it wasn't murder. It turns out there are actually plenty of suspects, although no one has a really good motive. There are the investors who own the horse that Belinda rode. There are the grooms and...
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Magical Midlife Dating by K.F. Breene

Magical Midlife Dating by K.F. Breene

I loved the first book in the series and picked up Magical Midlife Dating, #2, almost immediately following. Jessie has decided to stay in Ivy House and take up all the magic powers that includes. She's decided to settle into her new life and apparently dating is part of that. Granted, it makes for some funny moments, but I'm really not sure that's where her focus should be. And, really, we know who she should be dating. Learning new powers is not as easy as it sounds, and although I love Ivy's House's guardians, they are not always the best at helping. Jessie accidentally ends up summoning others for help, but she has no idea who will show up until they get there. These new folks, and another who shows up later in the book, are a good mix, some I liked, at least one was rather sleazy. Magical Midlife Dating had me smiling and laughing and rooting for Jessie. ...
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Magical Midlife Madness by K. F. Breene

Magical Midlife Madness by K. F. Breene

Why have I never read anything by Breene before? Magical Midlife Madness is funny and cute and I loved it. Alright, maybe Jessie being in her 40s helped too, even though I question 40s being middle-aged, I certainly don't feel middle-aged, but Jessie does seem to have more creaky joints than I do. But 40 is definitely not too old to start a new adventure and I love that Jessie goes for it. I also adore that her "team" is older too. Recently divorced and in need of a do-over, Jessie accepts a position as caretaker of Ivy House, an old mansion she visited as a teen. Between the strange butler, groundskeeper, and talkative next-door neighbor, things seem more than a little crazy. We've got plenty of paranormal characters, shifters, gargoyles, a vampire, an alicorn, and who knows what else. We've got a touch of romance that I assume will progress as the series continues. Best of all, we've got a...
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High Rising by Angela Thirkell

High Rising by Angela Thirkell

I loved High Rising. Laura Morland is a fabulous character. I appreciate how she looks at the world. She's an author of popular novels set in the fashion world, which she chose because she knew women would enjoy reading about it. She has a pretty clear understanding of the people in her life, both their strengths and weaknesses. Other characters include train-obsessed children, loyal but opinionated servants, devoted secretaries with their own agendas, an unflappable schoolmaster's wife, the village doctor, and several potential couples. We get to see the ins and outs of the characters' relationships, the scheming (in a good way), and the helping each other out. It's just charming and witty. The dialogue is wonderful. The characters have fun talking to each other, if you know what I mean. They enjoy the conversations, they don't just have them. High Rising is a slice of life in this fictional corner of the world. People are ridiculous and silly and...
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