Journey Under the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino

Journey Under the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino

Journey Under the Midnight Sun is compelling and clever and not a typical mystery. A pawnbroker is found murdered in an abandoned building in Osaka in 1973. Detective Sasagaki is assigned to the case. He uncovers a lot of clues and possible suspects but is never able to charge anyone with the crime. The case reaches a dead end and Sasagaki is forced to give up his investigation. However, he continues to keep tabs on the two pre-teens involved in the case the daughter of Fumiyo Nishimoto: Yukiho, the daughter of a woman suspected of having an affair with the pawnbroker, and Ryo Kirihara, the dead man's son. We see how the crime affects their lives through the next 20 years. The story is told from multiple points of view, mostly minor characters', letting us learn about the events and Yukiho and Ryo from various perspectives, but never from their viewpoint. A lot of characters get introduced, some of...
Read More
Murder Your Employer by Rupert Holmes

Murder Your Employer by Rupert Holmes

It's not often that I pick audiobooks based on the narrator, but Simon Vance and Neil Patrick Harris, and the title is Murder Your Employer - I was sold. The McMasters Conservatory for the Applied Arts is an exclusive institution of higher education for aspiring murderers, referred to by the school as deletists. The classes cover a large range of subjects from "Herbicide" to forgery to croquet (mallets can be deadly weapons). Murder Your Employer details the experiences of three students from the graduating class – aeronautics engineer Cliff Iverson (whose anonymous sponsor remains a mystery revealed at the end of the story), hospital employee Gemma Lindley, and Dulcie Mown (alias for Hollywood diva Doria Maye) - each of whom wants to kill their respective employer/boss. We follow all three candidates through their orientation, training, and ultimately their “thesis” or how well they apply what they learn and execute their plan. The 1950s setting gave it a nostalgic air and the campus...
Read More
Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung

Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung

I can't remember what I was reading that mentioned Raffles, but clearly something put him on my to-read list. Raffles is a gentleman and a good cricket player. He's also a charming jewel thief. His exploits are written up by, Bunny, his partner in crime who is never quite all in the know. These are a fun collection of interrelated stories. Raffles is unrepentant but has a lack of seriousness that lets you root for him. The thefts are sometimes clever and Scotland Yard is mostly incompetent, of course. ...
Read More
Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke

Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke

Heaven, My Home is the follow-up to Bluebird, Bluebird and I really think they need to be read in order. Heaven, My Home has Texas Ranger Darren Matthews investigating a new case, a missing boy with connections to a white supremacist group, the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT). But events from the first are still hanging over his head, threatening his career and marriage. In Jefferson, a 9-year-old boy, Levi King, was out at night in a ramshackle boat on Lake Caddo, but never makes it home. Levi is far from being a perfect child or even a nice child and his father is the head of the ABT, currently serving time in prison. An apparently reformed Bill is worried about Levi's disappearance, and Darren's boss sees the situation as a way to gain more information on the ABT. Locke sets the novel in the immediate aftermath of Trump's election and a Texas in which the repercussions are being felt in the...
Read More
Diamond Geezer by Gillian Godden

Diamond Geezer by Gillian Godden

It took me several chapters to become invested in Diamond Geezer. It's a gangland novel and there are no characters to really like, which makes sense, they're almost all up to their necks in drugs and the crime world. That being said, it turned out to be an engrossing story. Nick is living a double life. He's a successful lawyer with all the privileges and tokens of upper-class life. At the same time, he's deeply involved in the Glasgow crime world. The book is mostly set on an estate in Glasgow, where Nick's grandma lives. The estate is more or less ruled by a mysterious character known as “The Undertaker,” who provides drugs, food, jobs. The people of the estate, most of whom are living in poverty and addicted to one thing or another, rely on him, even if they don't know who he is. It's interesting, though. They have to look out for themselves, but there is also a...
Read More
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." ...
Read More