The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict

The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict

I am a sucker for a country house Christmas murder mystery. Lily and her cousins have come to Endhouse for the annual Christmas game, but this time the grand prize is Endhouse itself. But Lily is there to find out the truth about what happened to her mom years ago. The Christmas Murder is a fun book. The riddles are given in the form of sonnets and they are rather clever. Of course, the group is snowed in and when the first person is killed, they can't reach the police by phone (the lines are down), by care (there is a tree down across the driveway), or by cellphone (they were confiscated at the beginning of the game so no one could cheat). It's a claustrophobic atmosphere where you can't trust anyone. Yes, the premise is a bit unrealistic and the killer obvious, but it kept me entertained throughout. It would make a good seasonal read. ...
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Murder by the Book edited by Martin Edwards

Murder by the Book edited by Martin Edwards

This collection of stories is tied together by books. There are crime novelists, collectors, and so forth, or sometimes it’s a case of some important information hiding within the pages of a book. It's a good batch, some familiar authors, some not so familiar, at least to me. We have traditional detective stories and others told through the eyes of the bad guy. I enjoyed the whole thing. There wasn't a real stand out to me, but there also weren't any that I disliked. And here's the list, in case you're interested. A Lesson in Crime - George Douglas Howard Cole and Margaret ColeTrent and the Ministering Angel - E. C. BentleyA Slice of Bad Luck - Nicholas BlakeThe Strange Case of the Megatherium Thefts - S. C. RobertsMalice Domestic - Philip MacDonaldA Savage Game - A. A. MilneThe Clue in the Book - Julian SymonsThe Manuscript - Gladys MitchellA Man and His Mother-in-Law - Roy VickersGrey's Ghost - Michael InnesDear Mr....
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Till Death Do Us Part by John Dickson Carr

Till Death Do Us Part by John Dickson Carr

John Dickson Carr is considered a master of the locked room mystery and Till Death Do Us Part is a good example of that. This is the first Gideon Fell book I think I've read, but it worked fine as a standalone. Dick Markham with his fiancee, Lesley Grant, arrive late to the village fair. Events lead to Lesley accidentally shooting the fortune teller, renowned criminologist Sir Harvey Gilman. Later Markham hears from Gilman the story of Lesley's life as a serial poisoner. Soon Superintendent Hadley and Dr. Gideon Fell become involved when a murder occurs in the village. It's an enjoyable mystery. The characters are the usual odd lot that lives in fictional small towns, with assorted secrets and jealousies. There is plenty of misdirection, lots of red herrings, and several people who aren't who we think. I did not guess who the killer was or how they managed to pull it off. It's a quick read, but I think...
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The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

For me, The Woman in the Library cared a bit too much about its concept than its characters or plot. I'm not a giant fan of metafiction and didn't realize from the blurb what I was getting into. That being said, even though it's not exactly up my aisle, I do think the author did a decent job with it. I guess there are three stories here. Australian author Hannah is writing a murder mystery feature Winifred, the woman in the library from the blurb who becomes embroiled in a murder mystery. Winifred is also writing a book inspired by the three people she meets in the library. Hannah's beta reader is Leo and most of the book alternates between Hannah's chapters featuring Winifred and Leo's e-mail responses. Once you get into the rhythm, it works well, but the structure did keep me off balance and at a distance from any of the characters. We've got two plots here. (Winifred's...
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Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

I've enjoyed a couple of the Miss Fisher mysteries, so of course, I wanted to read the books. For once, I'm starting a series at the beginning, which I think was a good choice. Cocaine Blues is a wonderful introduction to Phryne Fisher and her world. Phryne Fisher is part of the English upper classes and has no desire to marry any time soon despite the best wishes of her parents and their friends. Phryne has the adventurous spirit of a modern woman. An aristocratic friend of the family happens to mention to Phryne that their daughter, Lydia, is having difficulties in Australia, marital problems with the inference that she might be being poisoned. They suggest that Phryne go to Australis to check on her. Phryne, currently at loose ends, take them up on the suggestion. in Australia, along with checking on Lydia, she takes in a desperate young woman as her maid, teams with a pair of cab drivers who...
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A Scandal in Belgravia by Robert Barnard

A Scandal in Belgravia by Robert Barnard

I picked A Scandal in Belgravia up at a library book sale. I had never heard of Barnard before, but the title grabbed my eye because of the Sherlock episode. After i read the blurb on the back it sounded like one I'd enjoy and I think it was like 50¢. I have to say I'm really pleased I picked it up. Peter Proctor, a former politician, is writing his memoirs. Or at least trying to. But his mind keeps going back to the murder of his friend, Timothy Wycliffe, some 30 years ago. I liked the pace of this mystery. It's an old murder. The police think they knew who did it and the killer is safely out of the country. There's no rush; no one's in danger; there's nothing to be gained by solving the case aside for peace of mind - and maybe a book that will sell better than his memoirs. Peter can go around talking to people,...
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