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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Murder by the Book edited by Cynthia Manson

Murder by the Book edited by Cynthia Manson

Like a lot of anthologies, Murder by the Book is a mixed batch. All the stories have some literary connection, whether it be books, or a character or is a writer or whatever, and most have a crime that needs solved. Several authors I've read before and was not surprised that their stories were good like Dorothy L. Sayers (even though I don't think I'll ever be a Wimsey fan), Edward D. Hoch, Margaret Maron, Bill Pronzini, and Lawrence Block. I really enjoyed the "Jane Austen Murder" mostly because the main character was a hoot. I will be on the lookout for more by Knowlden. In "A Women's Voice," Hansen did a great job of letting us get to know the characters, even though it's a short story, and surprising me with the whodunnit. I didn't care for "In the Bluebell Wood" or "Body Language." Overall, though, I enjoyed the collection. I think I need to pick up a Halloween...
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The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes published by Dover Publications

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes published by Dover Publications

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of 16 classic detective stories from the late 19th through the early 20th centuries. The detectives are not so much rivals of Holmes as contemporaries. The collection is centered around when the stories were written, but they come from a variety of regions. I've read a few of the authors before and a couple of the stories, but several were to me. There were even a couple of female detectives, unusual for the era. As with most anthologies, I enjoyed some of the stories more than others. The book starts off with "The Great Ruby Robbery" by Grant Allen which was clever and funny, a good combination and a good way to open. "Cinderella's Slipper" by Hugh C. Weir and his Miss Madelyn Mack also stood out for me. I met Max Carrados in "The Coin of Dionysius" by Ernest Braman. He's a blind detective, which is unique. Another, this one from America,...
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A Rumpole Christmas by John Mortimer

A Rumpole Christmas by John Mortimer

I have some books that come out every year with the Christmas decorations. Some I've read multiple times, like A Christmas Carol, and some I haven't gotten around to yet. This year I finally picked up A Rumpole Christmas from the stack and thoroughly enjoyed the stories. I'm familiar with Rumpole of the Bailey and "She Who Must Be Obeyed." I feel like I must have seen some episodes back when it was on PBS Mystery! which we used to watch almost weekly. Barrister Horace Rumpole, defender of the criminal class, loves his work. Fortunately, work finds him even during the Christmas holidays, whether it be spending Christmas at a health farm when a murder occurs, meeting former clients under interesting circumstances, or being booked into the same hotel as a judge. Rumpole character is funny, wry, and insightful, and some of his comments about terrorists and the Church could have been made now. He honestly enjoys defending his...
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Father Brown: Selected Stories by G. K. Chesterton

Father Brown: Selected Stories by G. K. Chesterton

I finally got around to reading the only Father Brown book I have on my shelf. It's a selection of stories from each of the collections. Father Brown is easy to underestimate. In the first story of the collection, a police detective sees him as rather stupid and bumbling, which is the impression he gives most people at first meeting. "There was ... a very short Roman Catholic priest going up from a small Essex village... The little priest was so much the essence of those Eastern flats; he had a face as round and dull as a Norfolk dumpling; he had eyes as empty as the North Sea; he had several brown-paper parcels, which he was quite incapable of collecting... He had a large, shabby umbrella, which constantly fell on the floor. He did not seem to know which was the right end of his return ticket. He explained with a moon-calf simplicity to everybody in the carriage that he had...
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The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Mr. Quin is a collection of short mystery stories, by they're a slight departure from Christie's norm. Mr. Satterthwaite, is upper class, single, a man who loves his comforts and is rich enough to afford them. He enjoys life's dramas, watching rather than participating. Satterthwaite is both the main character and the sidekick. It's his reasoning and actions that solve the mysteries, but it's Harley Quin who mysteriously show up at just the right time, asks just the right questions. Mr. Quin is a touch supernatural, he seems to intercede on the behalf of the dead, those whose mysteries still need solved. These stories are not typical Christie. They're more romantic, with love often triumphing. They're a little dreamy, the plots don't have the precision of Poirot, but the conclusions do seem logical. It's a good collection, but not necessarily what I'm looking for when I'm picking up a Christie. And I have to say I like this Harley Quin better...
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