Dog Day Afternoon by David Rosenfelt

Dog Day Afternoon by David Rosenfelt

Two reasons I keep coming back to this series - adorable covers and Grover Gardner as the narrator. It doesn't even really matter what the mystery is. Wannabe-retired lawyer Andy Carpenter is called in to defend a dog lover who is accused of a crime they didn't commit. Andy and his team find out who the real bad guy is. Andy's client doesn't end up in jail. This time around it's a young man accused of killing 6 people at his workplace. The plot is a bit complicated, but all of the regulars are back, human and canine, to help sort it out. Andy is his sarcastic, funny, in real life would be obnoxious but works well in fiction, self. As is often the case, the solution is bigger than I really like in my mysteries. I like more personal motives and less organized crime, but it's not out of the ordinary for a Carpenter book and I do enjoy the...
Read More
The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton

The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton

At some point in the future, a fog, probably man-made, covers the whole globe. The fog is filled with tiny insects that devour any living thing they come in contact with, including humans. The only safe place is an island protected by a some kind of shield where 122 villagers and three scientists/elders live. It's a peaceful place where everyone has their jobs and knows their place. Until one of the scientists is murdered causing the shield to go down. If the murder isn't solved and the killer executed within 92 hours, the fog will engulf the island. The narrator is Abi, the artificial intelligence who knows everything that goes on on the island and controls most of it. She is also the one who wiped everyone's memory. The thing about Abi is that she has a job, she has commands she must follow. So even though she knows all and sees all, she doesn't share everything with the reader or...
Read More
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...
Read More
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....
Read More
Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies by Catherine Mack

Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies by Catherine Mack

Every time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies is a great title and the setting is fabulous. Bestselling author Eleanor Dash is on a book tour in Italy with several other authors, her ex-lover, and about 20 contest-winning fans. A fictionalized version of the ex-, Connor, is one of the main characters in Eleanor's mystery series, and he has been using that to his advantage for years. Now, however, Connor is convinced someone is trying to kill him. Of course, Eleanor does want him dead, but only the fictional version of course. This book was fun enough. We've got murder, lies, gorgeous scenery, and even a touch of romance. Eleanor is a good character. She's writing the story that we're hearing. (I listened to the audiobook.) She breaks the fourth on a regular basis, either pointing something out to the reader or reassuring us. She also includes a lot of footnotes, but on the audio, they just blended in to the...
Read More
Off the Air by Christina Estes

Off the Air by Christina Estes

Off the Air features Phoenix television reporter, Jolene Garcia, who is covering the murder of a local conservative radio talk show host. Jolene is always on the lookout for the next big story, so she jumps right into this one, trying to get exclusive interviews, information on the air before any of the competitors, and the best leads. I will say I didn't always like Jolene. She is determined, but totally willing to hurt people along the way, but I could feel her frustration when she had info she couldn't share or when someone "stole" her interview. I'm also a little tired of backstories lately. Jolene was in the foster system for years before being adopted by her grandmother more out of responsibility than love. She was attacked by a dog when she was a child, causing a fear of dogs that of course comes into play. She also made an inaccurate report at her previous job that affects how...
Read More