Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver

Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver

We know the facts in Anatomy of a Murder from early in the book. The defendant's wife, Laura, was raped by the local innkeeper and the defendant, army lieutenant Frederic Manion, took a gun, went to the bar, and shot and killed the rapist. He reported that he had done so and was taken into custody. It becomes Biegler's duty to try to get him off. The defense? Irresistable impulse, a type of temporary insanity. The story was broken into two parts: the investigation and the trial. The investigation is not a whodunnit , obviously, it was looking at all the players in the story, finding out all the ins and outs, who knew what when, what the people involved were like. The trial was fascinating. The back and forth between the lawyers, the interjections from the judge, the witnesses' statements, and jury reactions all kept me involved in the story. Our defense attorney and the narrator of the story,...
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Magical Midlife Madness by K. F. Breene

Magical Midlife Madness by K. F. Breene

Why have I never read anything by Breene before? Magical Midlife Madness is funny and cute and I loved it. Alright, maybe Jessie being in her 40s helped too, even though I question 40s being middle-aged, I certainly don't feel middle-aged, but Jessie does seem to have more creaky joints than I do. But 40 is definitely not too old to start a new adventure and I love that Jessie goes for it. I also adore that her "team" is older too. Recently divorced and in need of a do-over, Jessie accepts a position as caretaker of Ivy House, an old mansion she visited as a teen. Between the strange butler, groundskeeper, and talkative next-door neighbor, things seem more than a little crazy. We've got plenty of paranormal characters, shifters, gargoyles, a vampire, an alicorn, and who knows what else. We've got a touch of romance that I assume will progress as the series continues. Best of all, we've got a...
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Murder, She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran

Murder, She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran

I enjoyed Killing in a Koi Pond once I got through the first few chapters. Jessica arrives in South Carolina and is immediately surrounded by not so great people, aside from her friend Dolores who is a nice lady. Everyone else, including Dolores' husband, is a bully, or mean, or rude. And then Willis is killed that night. It was just too quick an introduction to the suspects and the murder happened too soon. Once I got settled in though, the story was fun. Jessica is the Jessica we've known for years, nosey, friendly, talkative. The other characters are fleshed out well, and several have reasons to want Willis dead, but you may guess who the killer is before Jessica's reveal. There were several twists, but to be honest, I enjoyed the characters more than the actual plot, but I think that's okay for a Murder, She Wrote book. ...
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After the Storm by Isabella Muir

After the Storm by Isabella Muir

After the Storm is the second mystery starring Giuseppe Bianchi and his niece, Christina Rossi. Giuseppe has been in England visiting his cousin for several months now. He has been in England for several months, when a new friend, Edward Swain, dies during a storm. Edward owned a large rambling house. He lived in part and rented parts to two young adults. The lodging house is in poor condition, and the storm strikes down a tree that lands on and destroys a summer house in the back yard that lands on his Edward, killing him. Locals believe the death to be the result of a tragic accident, but Giuseppe thinks his friend was lured to the summer house, leading to his death. Giuseppe and Christina, a reporter, talk to Edward's tenants and look into their backgrounds. look into the backgrounds of Edward’s house guests. The mystery itself was fine, but the characters carried the book. We also get...
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High Rising by Angela Thirkell

High Rising by Angela Thirkell

I loved High Rising. Laura Morland is a fabulous character. I appreciate how she looks at the world. She's an author of popular novels set in the fashion world, which she chose because she knew women would enjoy reading about it. She has a pretty clear understanding of the people in her life, both their strengths and weaknesses. Other characters include train-obsessed children, loyal but opinionated servants, devoted secretaries with their own agendas, an unflappable schoolmaster's wife, the village doctor, and several potential couples. We get to see the ins and outs of the characters' relationships, the scheming (in a good way), and the helping each other out. It's just charming and witty. The dialogue is wonderful. The characters have fun talking to each other, if you know what I mean. They enjoy the conversations, they don't just have them. High Rising is a slice of life in this fictional corner of the world. People are ridiculous and silly and...
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A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

I never appreciated Miss Marple when I was younger. Poirot is flashier, Tommy and Tuppence are funner, Miss Marple is calm and quiet. She's also a brilliant observer and is more than capable of telling the detective on a case everything he is missing and who the killer is. This time around, Miss Marple enter the case because a young maid she trained, Gladys Martin, had been found strangled in the garden of the house where she worked. A couple other members of the household have also been killed, Rex Fortescue and his wife. Thankfully, Inspector Neele knows of Miss Marple's reputation and is willing to accept her help with the case, even if he does sometimes think she might be batty. Rex Fortescue is a ruthless business man with questionable practices. We've got a household full of suspects, several red herrings, and plenty of misdirection. Miss Marple sees through it all though. The plot was well-done, as usual with Christie,...
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