A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

There are several short stories set in the same world as A Master of Djinn and I do wish I had read them first. A Master of Djinn does a fabulous showing us this Cairo and introducing the character, but the events from at least two of the stories are mentioned and I think reading them would have given me a better background. I may actually go back and read them now - I did love the world. A Master of Djinn is more or less a murder mystery set in a steampunk alternate 1912 Cairo where djinn live and work among mortals. Our investigator is Fatma from the Egyptian Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities. The dead men and woman are members of an Al-Jahiz Secret Brotherhood, all found murdered, their bodies, but not their clothes, burned to a crisp. Turns out an imposter claimant to be Al-Jahiz returned is running around town causing all kinds of havoc. Clark...
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A Distant Voice by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

A Distant Voice by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

I've listened to all of the Mydworth mysteries and thoroughly enjoyed A Distant Voice. It is well-written and fast-paced. I like Kat and Harry. They make a good pair and are both more than competent. We know Bellamy Smythe is a fraud. Alice Wetherby is his target, but the question is why. She clearly has no money. Kat and Harry have been asked by a friend to make sure Smythe isn't out to defraud Alice. Of course, he is but proving it is another matter. They don’t just want Bellamy, either, they want to know how he is getting his information about the townspeople. How, why, and who all need answers. It's an entertaining book. It takes a bit of research, some questioning, and a minor breaking and entering, for Harry and Kat to find the answers. There's a bit of danger involved, as always, but nothing our couple can't handle. ...
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A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn

A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn

A Beautiful Place To Die is a mystery/thriller set in South Africa in 1952 right after the Boer government came to power and instituted laws that restricted relationships between racial groups. Emmanuel Cooper, an English detective, is sent to Jacob's Nest, a small town near the border of Mozambique where the chief of police, Captain Pretorius, has murdered. Cooper is tasked with investigating the crime but runs up against roadblocks galore. First, Pretorius was not just the police chief, he dominated the town. He was a prominent landowner, he and his family owned or controlled most of the businesses, he felt free to do what he wanted. He was also a model Afrikaaner. Then, the Security Branch arrives, determined to find the killer but to be sure that it's a killer that suits their needs, effectively pushing Cooper out of the official investigation. Of course, like any good detective, Cooper continues his search. The mystery itself is well done, with a...
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Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives by Rick Bleiweiss

Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives by Rick Bleiweiss

I expected to thoroughly enjoy Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives. It features a chief police inspector but is at heart a cozy mystery set in a small town in England in 1910. Unfortunately, it didn't really work for me. Scorbion, is a dapper, overly observant detective, à la Poirot. He is a little more aware of other people's feelings and actually has a love interest, but he didn't stand out for me. There are a lot of characters, the folks at the barbershop, the local bookseller, the townspeople involved in the cases. There were too many for any to have more than one or two defining characteristics - this one's short, this one is from France, this one is "modern." I didn't really care about any of them. The mysteries were okay. They're solved through interrogations at the barbershop, with a few behind-the-scenes phone calls from the police station. The flow wasn't great, but there were a couple of interesting twists....
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Secrets on the Côte d’Azur by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

Secrets on the Côte d’Azur by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

Yep, it's another one of the Mydworth mysteries. Secrets on the Côte d'Azur might be my favorite so far. Harry and Kat are on a work/pleasure trip to the French Riviera. Harry has to do a bit of government work and then they can enjoy themselves. Until Aunt Lavinia introduces them to a friend in need of help. Percy Porter, an English pickle baron, is being blackmailed over his relationship with a younger French cabaret singer. The mystery is good. Harry and Kat do a lot asking questions and tailing people. I appreciated the twist in the whodunnit. The characters in this one were great. Harry and Kat are their usual charming selves, but we meet some new people who are entertaining and add a lot to the story. ...
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The Wrong Man by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

The Wrong Man by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

The Wrong Man is #7 in the Mydworth series. I don't know that it can really stand alone. I think you'd miss too much about Kat and Harry's place in the village, and honestly, they're each short and fun so why not read them all? Actually, I listen to them. They are perfect for car rides, for walking the dog, for doing chores. The Wrong Man is interesting, has some twists and turns, but is light enough that doesn't need your full attention. It is almost Valentine’s day when Kat and Harry are asked to do whatever they can to save Oliver Brown who is set to be hung for murdering his lifelong friend Ben Carter. The problem is the evidence is overwhelming, and the execution is at dawn in just a couple of days. I really wish the wife would have talked to them earlier, but that would have taken away the tension the deadline provides. Ben’s murder was a...
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