An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

An Elderly Woman Is Up to No Good is charming and funny and a reminder not to underestimate elderly women. Maude is an 88-year-old Swedish woman with no family or friends, and she's quite happy that way. Maude enjoys doing things on her own, including traveling and solving problems. Maude kills people, annoying neighbors, an antiques dealer, people who present potential disturbances to her peace. She's cunning and intelligent and not vain. She's perfectly willing to use the disguises and tools old age provides; pretending to be confused at times or hard of hearing, neither of which she is; using a cane or walker, neither of which she needs. They make her appear less capable - and dangerous - than she is. Maude is quite a likable character though, in spite of it all. Just don't become one of the "problems." ...
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Rosewater by Tade Thompson

Rosewater by Tade Thompson

Set in the near future in Nigeria, Rosewater shows us a world where not much has changed. There are still the rough edges, violence, greed, poverty and prejudices. There are also aliens. Well, an alien. In 2012, a giant alien lifeform, known as “Wormwood,” landed in London and began moving through the Earth’s crust. America went "dark”, and in Nigeria a giant alien biodome popped up in 2055. It occasionally radiates healing rays that are also capable of raising the dead. A city, Rosewater, has grown up around the dome. The story unfolds in three separate timelines that can get a bit confusing. It's told throughout in the first person by Kaaro. He's a psychic, a former thief who now works for a secret arm of the government. He can read minds, replay past events, and even manipulate people. Kaaro and few others like him can connect to the xenosphere - a psychic link to what appears to be the...
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Broken Places by Tracy Clark

Broken Places by Tracy Clark

Cass is angry. Angry that Father Ray, Pop, is dead. Angry that an incompetent detective has caught the case and is ready to dismiss it as a murder/suicide, which Cass knows is not true. Cass is determined to get to the truth, no matter how many favors she has to call in. She's also got some friends who are ready to back her up no matter what. Broken Places is a riveting story full of action, but Cass isn't the loner she may seem to be. Yes, she's tough and willing to do things on her own, but she's got some loyal friends, both in the police force and on the other side of the law. She's brave and stubborn, but also vulnerable at times. She cares about people, her friends, the homeless man she meets, her former partner. I'm hoping though that she gets a little more time to be a person in the next entry in the series. This...
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Hollywood Ending by Kellye Garrett

Hollywood Ending by Kellye Garrett

Hollywood Ending is a fun sequel to Hollywood Homocide, but I think would work as a stand-alone too. Dayna Anderson, used to be an actress and is now working on becoming a private investigator. The story is told from her point of view. “You’d probably cast me in a group of black friends getting together for a fun vacation movie. I’d play the cute, annoyingly sweet girl currently dating the object of the main character’s affections.” It's award season in Hollywood and Dayna's boyfriend, Omari, is up for one of the biggest awards for television, the Silver Sphere Award. When Omari narrowly misses being the victim of a fatal mugging after a pre-party, Dayna is drawn into the case, hoping for the reward money. Turns out the publicist who was killed was also secretly Anani Miss, a celebrity gossip columnist who has spilled plenty of secrets. Dayna seems pretty casual, but she's determined and clever. The book is filled with...
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Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett

Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett

Dayna, an out of work actress, is in desperate need of money- not just so she can eat, but because her parents need her help. When she witnesses a hit and run, and discovers there is a sizeable reward for information leading to an arrest- Dayna turns amateur detective in hopes of claiming the reward money. She soon discovers the case could be connected to a recent spate of crimes in Hollywood- which sends her on a madcap mission to find a murderer. It’s a grand adventure until Dayna becomes a target. I actually really liked that Dayna was just out for the reward money, it gives her a good reason for investigating. This was a good mystery and funny. There were many laugh-out-loud moments. The celebrity-obsessed culture of Hollywood is used to great effect and Dayna’s observations about it are humorous and effective. It’s also a nice touch that Dayna isn’t just pointing and mocking. She is part of that...
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Parker Pyne Investigates by Agatha Christie

Parker Pyne Investigates by Agatha Christie

Parker Pyne is a bit unusual for a Christie detective. He is not a conventional detective, but a person who provides "happiness"; his ad in the paper says: "Are you happy? If not, consult Mr. Parker Pyne." He's understands human behaviour, a bit like Miss Marple but with more statistics. With his acquired knowledge, he sets out to sell ‘happiness’ to people, in rather smart and surprising ways. He uses a mixture of fantasy, crime-solving, and psychology to resolve his clients' unhappiness. The stories are initially set in England. The later ones are set in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Iran where Parker Pyne while on holiday keeps finding new clients. I can't say I didn't enjoy Parker Pyne. Some of the stories are quite clever. I didn't love it however. ...
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