The Twelve Deaths Of Christmas by Marian Babson

The Twelve Deaths Of Christmas by Marian Babson

It's twelve days until Christmas and all of the lodgers in Maude's rooming house are getting ready for the holiday - shopping, decorating, expecting guests. Outside of their door, there's a killer loose in London. The police are clueless, the victims seem random and a different method is used each time. The writing was clever. We have scenes from the boarding house, scenes with the police and their investigation, which are in the third person. Interspersed among them are chapters from the killer's first-person point of view, showing what they are feeling and thinking, but without giving away their identity. I didn't love The Twelve Deaths of Christmas, the senselessness of the crimes that kept the police from catching the killer was also what kept me from really enjoying it. The end tied things together alright, but I tend to enjoy traditional puzzle mysteries and cozies more than serial killers, even when it's Christmas. ...
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The Christmas Night Murder by Lee Harris

The Christmas Night Murder by Lee Harris

It's Christmas and Christine, a former nun, is visiting the convent she lived in until she married. A priest she studied under is coming for a visit from his new parish in Wyoming and everyone is looking forward to seeing him again. The priest never arrives and Christine is brought in to search for him. The book touches on convent life, which I found interesting. It's an insulated community where secrets can be kept. It also deals with abuse in the Catholic Church, but the way it was approached seemed surprisingly outdated. Yes, this book takes place in the early 90s but still. Christine is a good character. She's persistent and honest and loyal. Her husband, Jack, a police sergeant, gives her some help, but she does most of the investigating on her own. I'm not quite sure how she manages to get all the answers and access she does, but people always seem to talk to amateur detectives. I listened to...
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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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