This is the first book of German author, Nele Neuhaus, to be translated into English. She's a bestselling author in Europe, and destined to be bestselling in USA also, if this book is any indication of her story telling ability. All the things that make for the best mysteries are within this one book, plus many more intricacies and red herrings that make this a superior mystery!
In a small German town, a young man returns home after serving his ten year sentence for murdering two girls, whose bodies were never found. The townspeople want nothing more than to have him leave again as soon as possible. They have already ruined his parent's business and his parents have separated. Thankfully, a wealthy businessman and a woman who made it big in acting, have believed in him and helped him and his family to scrape by. But shortly after his return home, bones are found in an old oil tank in a military base, sending police to report that one girls bones have been found. Things go from bad to worse.
What makes this police procedural so terrific is the interaction of the personal lives of the police team with the intricately involved lives of long time families within the small town of the murdered girls. Nothing is as it seems at first, second or fifth glance. One of the big city policewomen comes to believe that the wrong person may very well have been convicted of these crimes, but no one within her police devision or in the small town are buying her doubts.
I read lots of mysteries and usually enjoy them greatly even though I can usually figure them out way before the 'revelation' scenes. One of the best parts of this book is that the 'reveals' happened over and over again because they were all so convincing, but were all so wrong. There were thrilling scenes upon thrilling scenes. The interactions between the townspeople combined with the personal interactions of the police personnel and their families made for great characterizations much above the normal mystery. A wonderful new find for the English speaking audience!! If I spoke German, I would order all her books from Germany NOW, and not be waiting anxiously for the next translated Nele Neuhaus book!!!
Clare Cosi of the NY Village Blend coffeehouse is back into detecting murder. This time she, her famed mother-in-law, and another of her employees are caught in a fire bomb at another coffeehouse. Their good friend and artist ends up in a coma and the fire investigator is not convinced that a firebomb started the fire. But when one of the firefighters looses his life in a second coffeehouse fire, the search begins for this serial arsonist.
This series is always exciting and informative. This book is dedicated to firefighters and their families everywhere, but especially to all those men and women who fought the blazes after the 9/11 tragedy. The authors do a great job humanizing these firefighters--one of which is the fictional brazen cousin of Clare's policeman boyfriend. These cousins' relationship has been less than friendly in the past. We learn about their history in this mystery.
I highly recommend this series. It's also filled with delicious recepies. I've been listening to the audio version of these books, and have found the reader adds a great deal to my enjoyment.
Ellison starts a new series with a take-off character from another series. Dr. Samantha Owens is a Forensic Pathologist in Nashville, Tennessee. She's been devoted to her job until tragedy struck her. Her husband and two children are dead and she lives with self imposed guilt daily. When the mother of her old lover, Donovan,calls and asks for help, Samantha reluctantly agrees.
Donavan's body has been found shot in his car. The Washington,DC police are calling it a car jacking, but his mom believes there was more to his death. After the autopsy, Samantha also believes this ex-Ranger's death was a more complicated murder. Samantha investigates with a couple of interesting policeman, delving into a long held secret of friendly fire and more from the Ranger's service in Afghanistan. Tensions are taught as Samantha must also work with Donovan's wife, who knows of Samantha's and Donovan's past affair.
This book is psychological, revealing the mind set of everyone involved. It also becomes fast passed as Samantha finds answers and finds herself in great danger too. Good start to a new series. Relationships are set up to continue a few of these characters in this series, which should be exciting reading.
Clare Cosi's and all the other characters from the Village Blend Coffee shop are back for a Christmas themed mystery. Clare is hosting a party with her friends to decide on some new Christmas blend coffees. But as always, things never go smoothly, and this time one of Clare's good friends, a charity Santa Clause, I'd found shot dead in a back alley. The police believe it's a mugging, but Clare is sure that more is going on there.
This mystery centers around the photographers and gossip columnists who chase after the rich and famous. It also melds into Dicken's a CHRISTMAS CAROL's idea of just doing good for others. There is explosive action between Clare and her new love, Detective Mike Quinn as his ex wife causes issues of her own.
This continues to be a great series, though for me, the topics of following the rich and famous wasn't as interesting as most of the other bases for these mysteries. Though the holiday coffee blends definitely got my digestive juices going. The authors also suggested a couple of Christmas charities that are definitely worthwhile too. I have been listening to the audio version of these books, and find the reader adds exponentially to my enjoyment of these books. Hope this series goes on and on forever!
I'm a Beatrix Potter fanatic, with a house full of her books, china figurines, and stuffed animals. Susan Wittig Albert has taken the history of Potter and the charming style of talking animals to create a beautiful series of mysteries featuring Beatrix in her home in The Lake District of England, with historical characters and her animal friends.
In this book, in 1911-12, a "flying bird" --the hydroplane-- is disturbing the tranquility of everyone in the district. Beatrix, and her fiancé, Will Heelis, are deciding how to tell their plans to her parents, who are bound and determined to keep Beatrix single so she can care for them in their old age. Then, threatening letters are scaring Beatrix's friend who is planing to marry the new vicar.
In the animal arena, a surprise birthday party is in the mix, a Jack Russell Terrier saves a man's life, and a dragon searches out the "flying bird" with an owl. Lots of fun with dialogue reminiscent of Potter's actual children's books. Great fun read!
Clare and Matteo co-run the Village Coffee Shop in Manhattan. They also parent 20 something daughter, Joy. They have been divorced, friends, and bantering back and forth for six books now. Finally, in book seven, Matteo has become engaged to the less than kind and friendly editor, Breanne Summour, of the top fashion magazine, "Trend".
But Clare's detecting skills are called upon when someone seems to have decided that Breanne should not make it to the alter. After Matteo's bachelor party, the young Breanne look-alike dancer was shot and killed while walking along with Matteo and Clare. Convincing the snarky local policeman that Breanne was the actual target took lots of convincing. Clare's new love interest, NY Police Detective Mike, believes them, and suggests that Clare stick with Breanne and do some investigating herself.
This series just gets better and better with every installment. Every book tells a bit more about the coffee industry and places around Manhatten. The fashion world plays a big part in this book. Sometimes facts seem unnecessary and padding for cozies. In this series, they are a much valued interesting must have for telling a terrific mystery.
THE ICE PRINCESS is the first of a series written by Scandinavian author, Camilla. Lackberg. She definitely gets the flavor of secrets too long hidden in a small fishing town. When author, Erica returns to her hometown to deal with her old home after her parents death, she finds a lot more than she had bargained for. First of all, her wife beating brother in law is forcing the sale of their family home which Erica loves but she can't afford to buy out her sister's 1/2 share. Then she decides to visit a childhood best girlfriend, Alex, that she hasn't seen in years and finds her in a tub of frozen water with her wrists slashed.
Erica has been asked to write a short article about her friend's life. She begins research by meeting with an old childhood sweetheart, Patrick, who is now a policeman. Together, they determine that Alex's death was not a suicide but was murder. As they work together, getting all the local gossip, they rekindle their love and find more hidden secrets from the town's past. Secrets that kept hidden, caused more grief and sorrow for the town's residents than one could imagine.
I really enjoyed this book, but found the huge cast of characters a bit daunting to begin with. This is definitely one of those book where you need to sit down for a couple of long reading periods rather than reading in short bursts. The story line kept me intrigued, and though I kind of knew where the story line was taking me, I was fooled in the end. Plan on continuing this series for sure.
The sixth Village Coffeehouse mystery has Clare delving into the world of high class restaurants in Manhatten. She's been engrossed in running the Village Blend Coffeehouse but, Joy, her "20 something" daughter's relationship with an executive chef thirty years her senior, sends Clare out to check on this relationship. Clare's able to use her marketing skills of paring particular excellent coffees with exquisite deserts to talk with the chef. But soon there after one of his line cooks is found dead---then the executive chef himself is murdered. When Joy becomes the chief suspect, Clare goes on the search for the real killer.
Clare's relationship with her sexy detective friend is also warming up. He knows about Clare's skill in finding previous murderers, so he has her volunteer herself as bait for the killers. Perhaps this is the only way to save her daughter, so Clare is up for this trickery.
This series is always top notch excitement mixed with lots of thrilling information about coffee, and in this book, inside information about the restaurant business. Romantic relationships cause a bit of confusion between the characters, but some of these pairings are heating up nicely. This series never fails to be enjoyable!
Best of southern feminine fiction comes alive in this story of a twelve year old girl blossoming in Savannah, Georgia. Cee Cee was in a sad state while living in Ohio. Her out if place, mentally ill, Southern Bell mother was run over by an ice cream, and her father was barely at home anymore. So her Great-Aunt Tootie drive up in her luxury car to take Cee Cee home with her to Savannah.
Cee Cee's life suddenly went from loneliness and neglect to a whirlwind of new friends and an exuberant life with Oletta---Tootie's black housekeeper, and all of Tootie's numerous flamboyant neighbors. Cee Cee's "life book" became filled with many new found experiences, including racism, elaborate southern traditions, and great new friends. She learned to forgive others and accept the "perfectness" of who she could be.
Characters were well developed and wonderfully interesting. Messages were deep, but couched in loads of charm and humor. Difficult situations were eluded to, but we're not dealt with in a heavy handed manner. Terrific read!!
Lawyer, Jake Brigance from a TIME TO KILL, is back again in a complicated trial in Mississippi. Again the issues invoke all kinds of emotions and racial prejudices. This time a crotchety loner has committed suicide after a long loosing battle with lung cancer. Probably, no one would have much cared about his decision except for the millions he has left behind in his new hand written will. Explicitly excluding his own children and grandchildren, he's left 90% of his millions to his black housekeeper of the last three years. Of course, lawyers abound, representing separate children and grandchildren, to contest this new will. The handling of the trial case becomes the focus of this book. But the "why" is what makes the book compelling.
I found this book especially enjoyable because of all the maneuvering amongst the many varied lawyers and the judge. Seemed very realistic to this non-lawyer reader. One line especially struck me as true: "Trials are not about fairness, trials are about winning." The emotional issues were once again heart wrenching. The characters were so well drawn and became very real to me.
Interestingly enough, I just recently read the most recent book by another favorite author, Muchael Connelly, whose Mickey Haller lawyer antics seemed very similar to Beigance. It is definitely the emotional bases of these Grisham books that raise the level of his Brigance books above the average lawyer stories. Definitely made me think about history and the real people who have lived through these times and issues. Thoroughly enjoyed this book!
Octogenarian, Myrtle Clover fills her yard with her favorite garden gnomes as a sign of her displeasure with her across the street neighbor, Red, who is also her son and their small North Carolina's town police chief. He thinks she should live safely in an assisted living facility, and she thinks she should take advantage of the town gossip and her roll as a newspaper reporter, to help solve problems in her town. Unfortunately, someone has decided that one of her gnomes was a good murder weapon, and there's a dead body in her back yard.
This time, the dead body was a scoundrel, who is a distant cousin of her friend and fellow sleuth, Miles. And Myrtle's busybody neighbor announces that Miles must be the murderer. So, once again Myrtle insinuates herself into Red's murder investigation. She's also helped by Red's wife who has taken up photography as her new hobby.
This fun series never fails to amuse me while providing clues to the murder mystery. Wonder which will last longer, Myrtle--now approaching 90, or this mystery series. I'm rooting for both!
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