A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas

A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas

This is the second Lady Sherlock book, and Miss Charlotte Holmes has set herself up as the supposed sister of an invalid brother, Sherlock, who is brilliant at solving baffling mysteries. Charlotte is still living with Mrs. Watson, who I just adore, and they really have the whole thing set up well. Only a few people know that Sherlock does not exist, including Charlotte’s sister Livia, Inspector Treadles, and Lord Ingram Ashburton, Ash, Charlotte’s closest friend since childhood. This book takes over just after the first, and really, although it could be read as a stand-alone, I would encourage you to read A Study in Scarlet Women first. Charlotte receives a note requesting an appointment from a Mrs. Finch, but Charlotte immediately recognizes the notepaper and realizes that the letter comes from Lady Ingram Ashburton. The situation is rather tricky, as Ash and his wife are not a happy couple. Moreover, Ash and Charlotte are secretly in love with one...
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Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths

Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths

Smoke and Mirrors, the second book in Elly Griffiths series featuring DI Stephens, and actor/magician Max Mephisto, is set in Brighton about a year after the events in the Zig Zag Girl, during the winter of 1951. Max and the Great Diablo are performing in a pantomime in town. These type of pantomimes seem to be a very British thing. It's a theater play that involves music, topical jokes, and slapstick comedy, and in this case magic, and is based on a fairy tale or nursery story. They are usually produced around Christmas, I'm not sure why. When two young children go missing, and are later found dead in a snowbank surrounded by candies, DI Edgar Stephens, and his officers, Emma Holmes and Bob Willis, are tasked to investigate. With a frightened community demanding that the killer be found, and little evidence to go on, Stephens turns to his old friend Max for information after drawing a possible link to...
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Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon

Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon

I finished Doctored Evidence about a week ago- I'm a little behind on posting. The thing is, when I sat down to think about it, I remembered how unlikeable the victim was and really how good it was for the neighbor to come forward with her evidence that the maid, now dead too, was not guilty. What is took me a while to remember though was the killer's identity. I liked the basic plot - Brunetti sets out to clear the Romanian maid's name and find the real killer. It's the kind of thing he would do. I like Venice, the food and the characters as usual. I didn't care for the seven deadly sins conversations and obviously the mystery itself was not memorable. It had a lot to do with money and blackmail. Eh, maybe I've just read too many of hers lately. ...
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The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camilleri

The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camilleri

The Montalbano series is not one I read/listen to in order. When I'm between books and one is available at the library I pick it up, which is how I ended up listening to The Overnight Kidnapper. It's pretty typical for the series. We have some random, brief kidnappings that Montalbano is looking into, along with an arson, but, in true mystery book style, it's all connected and much more serious than it seems at first, when it turns into a murder investigation. Montalbano is his usual self, amusing and charming in his own way. I think the narrator does a good job with him. We've got the usual sidekicks and I love the way his housekeeper/cook, Adelina, deals with a break-in without losing track of her pasta. I guess I just like the feel of these books, the characters, the setting, the food. The actual mystery in this one was fine, if a little odd. Who kidnaps a woman for just an...
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Willful Behavior by Donna Leon

Willful Behavior by Donna Leon

I don't read the Commissario Guido Brunetti series in order. I jump around depending on what's available at the library. The series is currently at 28, so Willful Behavior is toward the middle. Paola, Guido's wife, brings the case to his attention. One of her students has a question about receiving a pardon for her dead grandfather. She doesn't provide many clues, just enough to make Brunetti curious. And then she ends up dead, killed. This time the mystery involves events from World War II and Guido talks to his father-in-law and some friends about their experiences during the war and stories they've heard. The most interesting part of the story for me was the history of Italy during World War II. I honestly don't know much about Italy during that time period. World War II tends to come up in European mysteries much more than American ones, for obvious reason, but I still find it rather fascinating. Mussolini led Italy...
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Something Fresh by P. G. Wodehouse

Something Fresh by P. G. Wodehouse

I've read several of Wodehouse's Jeeves and Bertie books, but Something Fresh is the first of his Blandings Castle series I've picked up. It was funny and light-hearted and just a nice break. Lord Emsworth, owner of Blandings Castle, accidentally stole a valuable scarab from his son's fiancée's father, a millionaire American. Our two main characters, Ashe Marson and Joan Valentine, are headed to Blandings Castle for a house party, both trying to retrieve the scarab and receive the reward. They both are impersonating servants, so we see a lot of what is happening downstairs. Ashe and Joan have a lot in common even though they have only recently met; they are both writers, both live in the same building, both could use a new direction, something fresh. In the meantime, Lord Emsworth son may or may not be a spot of trouble over a former crush. Now that he is engaged, those letters he wrote to another woman may cost...
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