Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a true crime classic and I don't know why it's taken me so long to read it. I will say it reads more like a novel than non-fiction, in part because the author inserts a fictionalized version of himself meeting the people of Savannah long before he actually arrived in town. He gives us a front-row seat to the characters and events leading up to the day Jim Williams shoots Danny Hansford and what follows. The first third or so of the book is meandering in a good way. We meet some of the people of the city, from the old money folks to the "upstarts," from pianists to drag queens. Some characters are so over the top that knowing they were true is fun. We also learn some of the history of the place and the historical figures associated with it. After the death (murder?) of Hansford, we see how old rivalries,...
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Murder at Ravenswood House by Louise Marley

Murder at Ravenswood House by Louise Marley

We first met Milla Graham and DI Ben Taylor in Murder a Raven's Edge and saw the beginnings of their rather complicated relationship. So we're not surprised that at the beginning of Murder at Ravenswood House, Milla is meeting a friend/ex-boyfriend, rockstar Lorcan Black, in the evening at his house without letting Ben know. And when she runs into a problem, it's not Ben she turns to but rather PI Kieran Drake to help clean up the mess. But when a woman's headless body is found in the pond and Lorcan is discovered asleep on a crypt covered in blood, it will be tough to keep anything secret. This time around Ben's family and history are at the forefront. Ben has tried for years to distance himself from his rather notorious family, but this case is bringing them all back together. I love the characters, Ben, of course, is dealing with his own past while trying to figure out what's going...
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The Devil’s Flute Murders by Seishi Yokomizo

The Devil’s Flute Murders by Seishi Yokomizo

The Devil’s Flute Murders is set in 1947, as Japan continues its slow recovery from WWII. A young woman, Mineko, asks Kindaichi for help. Mineko's father, Viscount Tsubaki, was found dead, apparently of suicide, but it seems that his ghost is haunting their family, especially her mother Akiko. It turns into a complex case with multiple murders, questions of ghostly visitation, a family history that must be explored, and many family members, friends, and servants living on the estate grounds. It's an atmospheric mystery, with the potential ghost, spooky music, even bad weather all playing into the feeling. The book is also full of period detail. Following the war, Japan is dealing with a lot, including planned blackouts, crowded trains with hard to obtain tickets, food shortages, and bombed and lost homes, some of which contribute to the plot. I listened to the audio. The narrator did a good job with the pronunciations and accents, as far as I could tell, and...
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Murder at Raven’s Edge by Louise Marley

Murder at Raven’s Edge by Louise Marley

I truly enjoyed Murder at Raven's Edge. Milla Graham has returned to her childhood home for reasons of her own. At the same time, Inspector Ben Graham has a case which may be linked to the death of Milla's mother, Rosemary, 18 years ago. But is Milla really Milla Graham? Milla was presumed to have died in a fire the same night her mother was killed. Things get more complicated when Ben realizes he ight be falling in love with Milla, who lies as easily as breathing but is so likeable. She's a member of a wealthy family but feels very much alone. Ben is a divorced cop who doesn't always play by the rules, but is also uncomfortable straying too far from them. He's also very competent at his job and has learned when to trust his instincts. The setting was interesting. It's a quirky, small English town, but this one leans into its witchy history. The book just worked really...
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The Widening Stain by W. Bolingbroke Johnson

The Widening Stain by W. Bolingbroke Johnson

The Widening Stain is a quirky, funny and humorous mystery from 1942. It's set at a university and the cast are professors and staff. When Mademoiselle Coindreau, the French assistant professor, is found dead in the library, apparently having fallen off a ladder, the police assume it's an accident. Gilda Gorham, the Chief Catalogurer, is suspicious, however. Too many things just don't make sense, so she begins a discrete investigation. The mystery was fine. We have several suspects including professors and the chief librarian, but Gilda maybe spends more time thinking about who the killer is than actually trying to solve the case. The book shines in its setting and dialogue. The author knows academia well and pokes fun at it just enough. The characters are entertaining and don't see how funny they are. The word play is fabulous, including more limericks than I've ever come across in one book before. I listened to the audio, which worked well for me....
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May Cloak and Dagger Link-Up

May Cloak and Dagger Link-Up

Happy May!! In case you're interested, May 22 is Sherlock Holmes Day. It's celebrated on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday. Do you have any favorite Holmes stories. Or favorite retellings? What are your reading plans this month? Link your reviews below. And any April reviews you didn't post before the linky closed. (Sorry about that.) You are invited to the Inlinkz link party! Click here to enter ...
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