Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

Murder at the Vicarage was a reread for me, but I didn't actually remember anything about it. This is the first book featuring Miss Marple and is set entirely in St Mary Mead, a small town where not much happens, and the ladies of the town know everyone's business and routinely gossip about it. Leonard Clement, the vicar, returns to his home one evening to find the body of Colonel Protheroe in the study. Protheroe was not well-liked in town and there are several people who may have wanted him dead. Clement is our narrator. We have a police detective who is a bit, not bumbling but oversure of himself. And we have Miss Marple who sees a lot and has a good sense of human nature. It's Miss Marple of course who solves the case, along with help from the vicar. The mystery itself was good. We've got plenty of suspects, fair clues, and decent red herrings. The villagers are...
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Nemesis by Agatha Christie

Nemesis by Agatha Christie

Miss Marple is shrewd, observant, and calculating, but she uses her identity as an older woman as a disguise, allowing herself to appear confused, fragile, doddering. In this outing, an acquaintance, wealthy financier Mr. Rafiel, has sent her on a mission after his death. She is to bring justice, but to whom or why, he doesn't give her any clues. I like that the focus here is on Miss Marple, she is doing the investigating, not playing back-up to someone else. Love is the theme here. All kinds of love: family, romantic, deadly. Miss Marple talks to everyone, first to figure out what exactly the mystery is and then to solve it. She does a good job pulling out information and putting it all together. She's a character I appreciate more now than I did when I first started reading Christie's books as a teenager. She's not flashy, but she is sly and convincing. This is not the strongest of Christie's...
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Mystery at the Masquerade by Josh Lanyon

Mystery at the Masquerade by Josh Lanyon

Mystery at the Masquerade is the third in this engaging cozy mystery series. I have to say reading them in order really is best to give you a full picture of the characters and the town of Pirates Cove. This quick, entertaining read finds our amateur sleuth, bookshop owner Ellery Page, dragged into another murder investigation. This time the murder occurs in the middle of the Marauder’s Masquerade, the town's most highly anticipated social event of the year, and, again, Ellery is there when the body is discovered. For once, he's not the main suspect but a new friend is. I thought the mystery was well-done. Honestly, this is the best in the series so far. Yes, maybe it was a bit easy to figure out the culprit, but it is a cozy, the characters and relationships are as important as the plot. We get to know more about Jack in this one and I like how the relationship between Ellery...
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Secret at Skull House by Josh Lanyon

Secret at Skull House by Josh Lanyon

Secret at Skull House is #2 in the Secrets and Scrabble series. It could work as a stand-alone but as with so many series it's best to read Murder at Pirate's Cove first to get a better feel for the characters and setting, Things are starting to settle down for Ellery. That is until the news that a famous author of supernatural mysteries – Brandon Abbott – has purchased Skull House, a large, dilapidated house outside of town. Well, almost everyone is excited. Nora, Ellery's assistant, had hoped the place would be the new home of the local historical society. Ellery is also not thrilled. He and Brandon had been in a relationship several years earlier that didn't end well. Ellery doesn't want to see him again, but it's a small town and that's impossible. It only gets worse when Brandon is found dead on the rocks below the house. Once again, Ellery is the main suspect and starts asking...
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Murder at Pirate’s Cove by Josh Lanyon

Murder at Pirate’s Cove by Josh Lanyon

Ellery Page moves to Pirate Cove after inheriting a book store and a huge house from his great great great aunt Eudora, whom he had never actually met. It's actually a great time for Ellery to start a new life, after his ex cheated on him and his screenwriting career is not going great. But of course, it's not smooth sailing. The house is in need of endless repairs and the bookshop is in the red. Ellery is facing pressure from Trevor Maples, a mayoral candidate to sell, but he doesn't want to. And then Trevor ends up dead, murdered, laying in a pool of blood in the bookstore. And, of course, Ellery is the main suspect and as in any good cozy mystery starts investigating on his own. I like Ellery. He's charming and funny and sweet and I love his dog. Police Chief Carson I'm not sure about yet. He's a good guy, steady and honest, and the...
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Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks

I don't really have much to say about Consider Phlebas. It's fun and the plot keeps moving forward. At the same time, the story is rather small for the length of the book, Yeah, there are sidequests that fill out time and give interesting peeks into the world, but the basic race to find the Mind is a lot of lead up to a bit of a letdown. The characters are morally grey, a bit of good and bad and a lot of violence. But don't get too attached to any of them. I guess I want a happy ending, even in my space operas, and this didn't provide one. I guess the Culture novels each pretty much work as stand alones. I'll probably read The Player of Games, #2, but I don't know that Banks will become a favorite author. ...
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