Murder at Hartigan House by Lee Strauss

Murder at Hartigan House by Lee Strauss

Murder at Hartigan House picks up where Murder on the S.S. Rosa left off. Ginger has just arrived back at Hartigan House in London where she grew up, to take care of her deceased father's estate and decide what she wants to do with the house. The house has been shut up for the past 10 years and has just been readied for her return. There is some distressing news, however. Pippins, the family's long-time butler, has discovered the body of a woman. When circumstances and evidence begin to point towards her father, Ginger decides to investigate and once again finds herself "assisting" Chief Inspector Basil Reed. If I'm ever involved in a murder, remind me not to go the "party" where all the people who were at the event when the person was killed get together again. It never turns out well. Either somebody else gets killed, like in this story, or I'd end up getting accused of murder. The mystery...
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Murder on the SS Rosa by Lee Strauss

Murder on the SS Rosa by Lee Strauss

It's the Roaring 20's and Ginger Gold is sailing on the SS Rosa to settle her father's estate in England when the captain is murdered. There are several suspects among the passengers and crew. Ginger used to work for the secret service in some form or other and is more than capable of helping solve the case. This novella is a fun introduction to Ginger and her dog Boss, her American friend Haley, and the handsome Chief Inspector Basil Reed. It's a charming mystery and I have to admit to loving all of the 1920s touches. Ginger is fun and observant. She's a member of upper society but after the war society is changing and she's fine with that. The dialogue is witty and it kept me guessing. It's also short, which is nice sometimes. ...
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Invitation to a Killer by G.M. Malliet

Invitation to a Killer by G.M. Malliet

Our amateur sleuth in Invitation to a Killer is Augusta Hawke, who doesn't seem to actually do much writing. I guess she isn't quite an amateur, she got her PI license after helping solve the case in the first book, which I didn't read. This time around she's at a party hosted by a lobbyist's wife when a celebrated doctor dies. At first, the death is written off as a heart attack, but of course, we're not surprised when it turns out he was murdered. Someone at the party killed him. Was it one of the CIA couple, the lobbyist or his wife, the book publisher, the image consultant, the congressman or his wife? It could even have been the cook or the butler. Augusta decides the police aren't treating the death as the murder it clearly was, so starts investigating on her own. Augusta is kind of a bland character, but hearing the story (I listened to the audiobook) from...
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Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Seven years ago a ship, the  Atargatis, sailed to the Mariana Trench looking for mermaids. Imagine Network planned to make a huge amount of money off the planned mockumentary. Instead, the entire crew was lost at sea and only raw video footage to show what happened. They had found mermaids - and mermaids are not friendly. Now, the entertainment company is planning a second voyage. A film crew and a large group of diverse scientists are going back to find out what happened and to prove mermaids exist. Diverse in disciplines - marine biologists, cetologists, chemical biologists, cryptid hunters, and diverse in backstories - sexual orientations, disabilities, financial resources, and cultural backgrounds. Some of the scientists have personal reasons for going, like Tory whose sister died on the Atargatis and Dr. Toth whose life's work has been centered on Sirens. Others are approaching it as a cruise where they get to do their own research, not believing in the mermaids. I...
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Lavender House by Lev A.C. Rosen

Lavender House by Lev A.C. Rosen

Lavender House was a satisfying mystery, but the characters and setting made it outstanding. San Francisco, 1952. Andy was a police detective until he was caught in a raid with his pants down at a gay bar. Fired, disgraced, and shunned, he is contemplating throwing himself into the Bay. Then he is approached by Pearl, who asks him to investigate the murder of her wife, Irene Lamontaine, the head of the famous Lamontaine soap empire. Irene was killed at Lavender House, the family estate which is also a haven for the queer Lamontaine family and their staff. The mystery is fairly straightforward, although there are reasons to suspect most of the members of the household. The author does a good job with the historical part of the mystery, really setting it in its time and place, And the characters are fabulous - loving, hopeful, damaged, afraid, confident. I listened to the audiobook and while the narrator was sometimes a little...
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Scoundrel by Sarah Weinman

Scoundrel by Sarah Weinman

I knew nothing about Edgar Smith, or William F. Buckley, Jr. for that matter, before picking up this book. Turns out Smith was a psychopath, a manipulator, an author, and a murderer. Buckley was rich and the founder and editor-in-chief of the conservative National Review. Sophie Wilkins, the third, less-famous, piece of the triangle was a rather gullible editor at Alfred A. Knopf. The story of how Edgar Smith manipulated his friends, the legal system, and the public was interesting, but I don't understand his appeal. I can't see why they believed him, how he eventually got out of prison - only to almost kill again I should add. Weinman took us through his correspondence and conversations - it's a well-researched book. I would have liked a bit more discussion about how his experiences fit in with the larger issues regarding prison reform, race, and politics of the era. ...
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