"Will turned his back to her, looking at the painting over the mantel. It was a triptych , three canvases hinged together to
make one image when it was open, another image when it was closed. He had always assumed she liked the duplicity of the piece. It was just like Angie, one thing inside, another out. Just like Michael Ormewood, come to think of it. What a perfect pair." (p. 306- TRIPTYCH by Karen Slaughter)
In TRIPTYCH , Karin Slaughter creates a psychological mystery where nobody is who they seem to be at first glance. Outside Atlanta, Georgia, a black prostitute is brutally murdered and missing her tongue. Will and Michael are assigned to find her killer. They are aided by undercover cop, Angie, who works amongst the prostitutes.
Thirty -six year old John Shelley, has just been patrolled after serving twenty years for brutally murdering a fifteen year old girl and biting out her tongue. John is just trying to stay under the radar of any law officer, but he is looking really good as a repeat murderer. Interestingly though, someone has stolen John's identity while he was in jail. But instead of taking everything from John, his portfolio now consists of lots of money, and a home in Tennessee.
Slaughter deftly confuses everyone because no one wants to be who they are. They have been damaged and changed by their pasts. Who are the bad guys? How can the truth be discovered without causing more harm to themselves and others?
This TRIPTYCH of a mystery delves into the deep inner workings of the minds of all the main characters. Even when the reader thinks they know the answers, something else confuses the situation. This book introduces us intimately to Special Agent Will Trent who has just returned in Slaughter's new book, CRIMINAL, and I'm ready to start reading it NOW!!
It's very difficult for me to pin point why I enjoy Koontz's writing so much, but I thoroughly enjoy every book of his that I have read. It's the way he turns a phrase, and seven words are actually better than one word in his writing. He takes simple thoughts and makes them sound profound. He makes me think with just the simplest statements. For example, in THE CITY, he says numerous times, "no matter what happens, everything will be all right in the end.". For most people's belief systems, this is very true, but I never thought of it in such a straight forward way.
THE CITY is basically the coming of age story of a young African American boy, Jonah Kirk, born in the late 40's. He tells his life story around the events of the day. He's a musical prodigy from a musical family. Though his father had left the family when Jonah was very young, circumstances happen where his father's actions actually have a profound affect on Jonah's life.
It's difficult to say any more about this story without giving spoilers, so I'll just say that Koontz still remains one of my favorite authors and I think that it's definitely worth any serious reader's time to enjoy the style and stories of Koontz. I listened to this on Audible which I believe enhanced this story because it seemed as though Jonah was actually talking about his own life.
Small town newspaper office manager, Hayley Powell, finds a little extra income by taking over her newspaper's food recipe column. She's in competition with the town's larger newspaper's foodie columnist. When they both come out with the same recipe for clam chowder tongues wag. Worse still, when Hayley goes to confront her competitor, she finds her dead on the floor with her spilled chowder. Being the main murder suspect sends Hayley on a dangerous path to prove her innocence.
This start to a new cozy series has potential, but needs to improve to win me over. Hayley's parenting skills have a lot to be desired. Though my biggest issue was that the murderer really wasn't discussed enough in the book to give the reader a chance to discover who they were. The recipe columns were perhaps the best part of the book. Will give the next in the series a try before deciding to continue with this series or not.
In 1845 New York, the city is full of contention because of all the Irish immigrants coming to America to escape the potato famine. Everything is blamed on Catholicism, with numerous tracts written laying every ill at their feet. There are some who want to help the poor and downtrodden and those who push for conversion to Protestantism before help will be given. But life goes on anyway possible. The houses of prostitution and the political party meetings are gathering places for the powerful and poor alike. Within all this is the beginning of the New York "coppers"-- policeman who try to keep order within the city.
Timothy Wilde was a barman until a tremendous fire burned a large part of the city. His politically minded, fireman, older brother got him a job as a "copper". When a ten year old girl, covered in blood, comes running and hollering down the street--"they're going to tear him to pieces", Timothy begins an adventure that also starts the beginning of a detective force that will investigate crimes rather than just try to keep the peace. An adventure that will test everything within him.
Religious, political, and other tensions are played out very well in this mystery . Chapters are headed by quotes from the times. The life styles of the people is very different but earlier similar to today in some places. The characters drew me into the story immediately. Though I suspected the culprits, I was still spellbound with the story. Definitely good historical atmosphere written into a compelling mystery. I listened to the audio version, which added a lot to my enjoyment of this book!
MURDER AT EBBETTS FIELD by Troy Soos--Second mystery outing for Mickey Rawlings. Now he's with the New York Giants and is hoping to play in the World Series. But being a utility player, he is asked to do numerous things just to stay part of the team. When a movie producer asks for a Giant player to be in his movie with starlet, Florence Hampton, Rawlings is picked, because being in a movie is not a good thing for a ball player.
After the glitzy after movie opening party, Florence is found necked and dead by the beach. The thing is, Florence hated the water. So was it an accident , suicide, or murder. Rawlings' newspaper friend from the first book, asks Mickey to find out what really happened to her. Since Rawlings did so well solving an earlier murder, he agreed. It also didn't hurt that another starlet encouraged Mickey and agreed to help him, because Florence was her best friend.
Lots of fun information kept me intrigued with this book, but there was perhaps a bit too much movie info for someone wanting a summer baseball read. But the mystery was great and I didn't know what happened until Mickey figured it out. Soos' books remind a bit of Agatha Christie's Poirot, in that the story takes many twists and turns, then the murderer is names with the complete explanation to follow at the end.
I am learning lots about the times with these baseball books, so I plan to continue with the series. I listened to this on audio which added to my enjoyment.
This is the second book built around shattered, unhappy, and needy lives. Emma Yoder Miller was a widow who found her wonderful new husband in the last quilting class. Now she continues to run six week quilting classes, with her husband, for the people that God sends her. A strange group of people have found themselves beginning classes whether they want to or not.
Anna is 18 and wants to experience life outside of her Amish community, but her mother has signed her up for this class in hope of keeping her from the Englishers. Selma was gifted with these classes by a neighbor who finds her abrasive attitudes in need of attention. Terry is a blue collar guy who sees a pretty girl in the class and decides to join in hopes of getting a date. Blain just lost a fishing bet and grudgingly goes to class as a looser. Carmen has her own secret motive, and Cheryl just wants her favorite grandmother's quilt mended and stays around for the class.
This book takes this rag muffin group into the perfect place for them to learn that God is watching out for all his people, and has a plan for everyone to find joy in his presence within their own different and varied lives. Emma is the catalyst, and quilting is the means for great lessons and conversations about life, love, family and God. I really enjoy this series and hope it continues with more books.
Clare Cosi and all the crew at New York's legendary Village Coffeehouse are back in the latest adventures in this series. Finally out in Audible, which is my guilty pleasure for this favorite cozy series of mine .
A young billionaire Internet genius, Eric, has been making daily visits to Clare's coffeehouse, drilling all her baristas on differing coffee drinks. Clare suspects he's planning to filch her best ones, but before she can question him about this, a car bomb explodes outside of the shop, killing his driver and injuring people in the coffeehouse. Injured Eric was aided by Clare, and now he seems bent on giving her present upon present. Clare gets involved with the bomb squad to investigate who wants to kill Eric.
As always, this coffeehouse mystery if full of coffee facts, and compellingly interesting information on the subjects of this mystery--bomb squad of New York, billionaire's lifestyles, foodie events, and internet apt development. The best part is that all this information is integral to the mystery and adds so much to the fun of these books. The Audible narrator is excellent, accents and all. Of corse , we also delve more into Clare's love life with her New York cop, and Clare's daughter and ex husband's adventures too . Love love love this series. Recommend it to all cozy lovers whether your a coffee fan or not!!
Charlie Harris is a part time collage librarian in Mississippi. He's a recent widower with a pet Maine Coon Cat named, Diesel, who walks on a leash everywhere with Charlie. Charlie also boards a couple of students from the college.
When a former classmate, Godfrey Priest, comes to town to promote his latest bestselling book, not everyone is pleased with his visit. Godfrey is a bit of an arrogant bastard who has hurt and angered a number of people. He's also coming to claim a son who is rooming with Charlie. But someone has killed Godfrey in his hotel before he can give his talk. Now Charlie finds himself researching more than old college documents so he can help find the killer before his friends become the prime suspects.
This story revolves a great deal around the cat, who seems a bit like a recovery service cat. Diesel seemed to always know when someone needed extra attention and love. This aspect of the story was very subtle and well done, which I really liked. On the other hand, I found it a bit difficult to believer that everyone, and all places, appreciated having a cat around, especially food places. That being said, this story was captivating and intriguing. The well developed characters and theme of book writing made this a fun mystery.
The narration was well done, but since the story was written in a first person male voice, I might have preferred a male narration. Though I liked this audio version well enough that I definitely plan to listen to the next book in this fun series too.
MURDER AT FENWAY PARK --Troy Soos--As a baseball lover and mystery lover, I found this book to be a fun beginning to a baseball mystery series. In 1912, a young baseball player, Mickey Rawlings, has just gotten his call to play in the big leagues with the Boston Red Socks. He's come into the brand new Fenway Park to check in and immediately finds the body of one of his team mates. Red Corriden's head is bash up badly, but the police and team owner just seem to want everything hushed up. Would've want any bad publicity for the new stadium. But there's much more to it than that, and Mickey finds he has to discover the murderer before someone kills him too.
I found this book to be a real winner. The mystery was interesting, and was filled with numerous fun facts about real historical players and team owners of that time period. It was also interesting living the life of a ball player of that time. Surely different from today's players. Lots of big names came into play, Ty Cobb and Cy Young amongst them. Troy Soos managed to be factual about the real people and maintain a fictional story as well. Great reading for mystery lovers during baseball season!!
ALL FUDGED UP is a book that would be great to take along to read on a vacation, or to read for a vicarious vacation in your own back yard flower garden. The setting is the tourist town on Mackinac Island in Michigan, which has hosted tourists for over a hundred years. Allie McMurphy has spent all her summers on Island, working with her grandparents in their McMurphy Hotel. Now, after graduating from culinary school and developing "adult" alcoholic fudge recipes for their famous fudge shop, Allie is returning to run the hotel since both grandparents are gone with the recent death of her grandfather.
Trouble comes when Allie begins some much needed renovations and finds the dead body of one of her grandfather's old friends in a closet. Since the hotel had been locked up, Allie becomes the main suspect. On this small island, everyone takes sides--green ribbons for Allie's innocence, purple ribbons for her guilt. Yep, lots of folks consider her a "fudggie" or a newcomer. So what can Allie do to prove her innocence and become one of the Islanders so her family's hotel will become a success under her ownership?
One of the best mysteries within a cozy that I've read recently. The "sides" taken by the characters seems very real. Allie is very personable, as is her new puppy, Mal ( marshmallow), who is one of the best dog characters ever! Histories develop within the town and the hotel, with secrets galore. The fudge recipes are definitely "adult" and come throughout the book. Excellent start to a new series. I listened to this on Audible, which added a lot to my enjoyment.
Every town has their local town gossip and holder of all information about everything and everyone that has done something less than stellar. But not everyone is asked to bake their first cake for their new business, just to find that the customer is that town's gossip, and Daphne's cake delivery finds her dead on her own couch. This is what happens to Daphne when she moves back to her hometown planning to start her cake baking business there. Rumor has it that Daphne's cake poisoned her customer. Finding connections to Daphne's families less than perfect past doesn't help either. She can either find the real murderer or say good bye to her yummy cakes. She does just that with the help of, Ben, the town's newspaper editor and Daphne's old "sweet treat".
This is an intriguing mystery with lots of fun additions. Family relations are perfectly portrayed with feelings or love, jealously, family togetherness, and a checkered pasts. Cakes are described so deliciously that I had to take cupcake breaks throughout the book. But best of all, the relationships between the town characters was priceless. Would I want to live in that town? I probable do if I knew all of my town's secrets. Great fun to read this start of the Daphne Martin Cake Mysteries. I listened to this on audio and really enjoyed the narration too.
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