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!!!
Scotland Yard seems like no big deal these days, but in 1889 London, after a reign of terror by Jack The Ripper, something needed to be done about the increased publics panic with murderers in this huge city. The murder Squad was started with twelve men who were in charge of solving all the murders in London. Unfortunately, the next big case involves the murder of one of these particular policeman. His body was found stuffed in a trunk, with few clues evident to how he got there.
Inspector Day is relatively new to the force, but his powers of observation and detecting instincts cause him to be put in charge of this case. He's befriended and helped by Dr Kingsley, who becomes the force's first forensic pathologist. Most of Dr Kingsley's ideas are revolutionary--like dusting for people's fingerprints. Though everyone isn't completely convinced of the uniqueness of these lines and swirls on people's fingers, his idea proves to be useful. Children, the homeless, chimney sweeps, and workhouses also come into play in this wonderfully involved story of the early Murder Squad.
The characters and story line are uniquely blended to create tension and suspense in this first of the Murder Squad Mysteries. I really enjoyed the writing style of these mixed mysteries too, as information was given close to a solution before it created more questions. Wonderfully done book!
It's been a while since Wyoming Game Warden, Joe Picket, returned to service as a game warden, but he's gotten his job back because Governor Rulon likes Joe's determined skills at finding criminals. Now the Governor has a new job for Joe. In an little outpost of Wyoming, there is a new man in town. He seems to be building an empire but where is his money coming from. The Governor suspects foul play and "commands" Joe to go there to check things out.
At home, Joe's family has a couple of problems of their own. Adopted daughter, Alice, is sullen and obstinate. She has a new boyfriend that her parents are none to pleased with. But worse still, their eldest daughter and dorm RA, Sheridan, is extremely concerned with a darkly dressed and secretive male student on her floor. But Joe must fly off to check out the Governor's concerns. He soon finds that there is a whole community that seems to be under the orders of one man-- Wolfgang Templeton. He's rich, threatening, seemingly owns the local law, and has the services of "stone cold" killers. But Joe realizes that one of these men is his friend, Nate.
Once again, CJ Box has written a fast passed and thought provoking thriller. Box has become my favorite author, as his books are always winners! His characters are blends of good and evil. Decisions are never easy for these characters as justice almost always comes with a price. Though this book could be read as a stand alone, this book is best read as a series since the characters grown with every book.
Clementine Cooper is a committed vegan chef who was born and raised on her parents organic farm. She's had great experiences with different vegan restaurants until she got sabotaged by a jealous co-worker who snuck the dreaded " butter" into Clem's dish for a food critic. Immediately fired and blackballed from other restaurants, Clem starters her own vegan cooking classes--Skinny Bitch Cooking School.
Clem's plans to own her own vegan restaurant across the street from her apartment, but she wakes up one morning with a huge steer head right outside her window. Millionaire restauranteur, Zach is opening a steakhouse in her space--ugh!!! But Zach is cute, smart and available. So the conflicts and possible romances start.
I found this book surprisingly cute and fun. The vegan concoctions made my mouth water. The characters were as yummy as the food descriptions. My only complaint was the excessive use of swear words which didn't feel all that necessary to the story, but also did not ruin the story for me, thankfully. I listened to this on audio and found the narrator added a great deal to the joy of this book for me. So, I'll overlook the offending words and will definitely read more---but taking off a star because of this.
First in the Haunted Yarn Shop mysteries, this book introduces us to Blue Plum, Tennessee and The Weaver's Cat yarn shop, and the many and varied characters in the town. Kath has just come back to town after the death of her beloved grandmother, Ivy McClellen, to discover herself locked out of her grandmother's house. Since she inherited all of Ivy's things, this comes as a shocking surprise, especially when she's told that her grandmother had sold her home and was just renting. Not only that, but the owners expect the house emptied out within the week for the new owners. When a dead body is found, real trouble ensues!
Kath calls upon the knitting and fiber group from Ivy's shop, TGIFs--Thank Goodness It's Fiber--to help her find out what has happened. She also gets a little "help" from an unlikely source, an emotionally charged ghost from the past.
This is a fun cozy with a great deal of potential. Though I really enjoyed the story, it felt a little bit unfinished--like more of an introduction for future books. The ghost was a bit annoying also as she was more of a whiner than a fun addition to the story. Though she moves from an empty house into the yarn shop eventually, and I think her presence there may be intriguing in the future. So, this book interested me enough to give the next book a try.
Denmark's Department Q, cold case squad, is back on another case. A message in a bottle from 14 years ago has been found sitting around in someone's office. When Carl and his two "assistants", Assad and Rose, finally get it, they find a note written in blood and greatly faded by time. Deciphering the note is a project in itself, but it eventually leads them on the trail of a sadistic serial murderer, who has been kidnapping children from strange closed religious sects and living off the ransom money. He's extremely cleaver and has many names and exit strategies from every situation. Catching him before he murders more children sends Carl and Assad around the country.
This is the third book in the Department Q series and reads well alone, but the main characters have a background that is best enjoyed if you start from book one--THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES. The mystery is very sadistic and evil. The comic relief comes from the relationships of the three continuing characters, which is endearing and just plain hysterical at times. I listened to the audio version of this book and highly recommend it. The readers does an excellent job with accents. The audio also added to the sense of foreboding.
It's 1893, and the Chicago World's Fair is hugely popular. While much of the rest of the country is facing bank shutdowns and lost mortgages, everything new and extravagant is happening at the Fair. North Carolina farmer, Cullen McNamara, is highly allergic to his cotton fields but he's also a talented inventor. He's created an automatic sprinkler system for putting out fires. His father gambles his farm on Cullen's ability to sell his product at the fair.
Della Wentworth is a teacher for deaf children. The whole school has been transported to the Fair for exhibiting the children learning to lip read. When Cullen's increasing hearing loss gets in the way of speaking to customers, he hires Della to teach him to lip read. Though they both see this as only a business relationship, they find each other to be increasingly great company.
The relationship between the characters is wonderfully portrayed, but the descriptions of the Fair and specific events from real history, puts this book over for top for an excellent read. The exhibits are fascinating and descriptions of an actual fire from the Fair, is expertly portrayed. I really grew attached to the characters. The discussion about signing versus lip reading, and the actual school for these children evoked great emotions. Lovely book. First I've read by this author but it definitely won't be the last one.
Truly the best cozy series around! I especially love the audio versions of these books as the narrator adds so much to an already terrific story. In this book, 40 something NY Village Blend Coffee shop manager, Clare Cozy has invested in a the newest big fad --a food truck. Fortunately, or maybe not, Matt, her ex and co-manager of the Village Blend, has just returned from Brazil where he purchased a new exotic, and very expensive, coffee bean. While they are discussing each other's new enterprises with a friend of theirs, a van runs down and seriously injures the friend. But who was the real intended victim?
Food truck competition, artistic expression, imported contraband, Chinatown, and the continuing love lives of the characters of the Village Blend continue to regale my mind with mystery, foodie fun, interesting facts, and a terrific story. I love the idea of destiny that happens in this book too. Two more books before I catch up with the authors. Please write faster!!
The first in the Detective Emmanuel Cooper Mysteries, A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO DIE is set in 1950's apartheid South Africa. Cooper is sent to investigate the murder of the local Afrikaner Police Captain --the father of the town's powerful Pretiorus family. He is aided by the town's only black Zulu police officer and a Jewish doctor transplant from WW2. Cooper is having to work secretly and carefully because of the politically powerful Security Branch, which is determined to ring a confession from a "black Communist" who was actually a man who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Racial tensions dominate the investigation and the addition of the Immorality Laws (forbidding sex between the races) and a Peeping Tom case confuse everything. Then there is also Cooper's haunting by his old WW2 Scottish Sergeant Major. Secrets, forbidden photographs, twisted religion, and mixed race people confuse an already difficult case. Power, greed, and brutality are all too common as Cooper tries to stay away from the vengeance and muscles of those who have determined their own outcome choices.
It's hard to say that I enjoyed this book. I can say it rang very true of the times. The injustices and sheer evil of the situations and laws made for difficult reading at times, but perhaps that is what actually made this an excellent book. Excellent narration!
This is the first book in the PI Jade De John, South African Mysteries. Daughter of the past murdered police commissioner, she is returning to the city of Johannesburg after being gone for ten years. She's returned to kill the paroled man who was convicted of her father's murder before she left. She also reconnects with Superintendent David Patel who used to be her father's assistant, and now wants her help with a present case. Though apartheid has ended, Patel's half Indian lineage still causes him problems. They also have a romantic history which makes things interesting and complicated too.
The case involves a car jacking in a gated community. A woman is killed when she goes to open her gate. Are there other cases similar to this? Why is there a rash of these incidents? Is there someone in the police department who is helping the criminals? How does this relate to Jade's father's death from ten years ago?
Mackenzie has developed a compelling mystery with a psychological basis that rings true. Her character development is exceptional, as it drives the mystery. The criminal's logic is so reasonable but so evil. Great start for this series.
I adore Julie Hyzy's White House Chef Mysteries, then I saw that she has her first in a new series out in Audio books, so I gave it a try. This series is just as interesting and was fun to listen to also!
Grace is a new assistant curator at (fictional) Marshfield Manor. Her family is from this area and she had spent many happy days here as a child. Unfortunately, a disturbed guest causing a huge scene and then a murder, causes Grace to have to start off her job with much more involvement than she had anticipated. Her gossipy nosey assistant, Frances, seems to know everything about everybody, but she's obviously no fan of Grace. But the hunky gardener , Jack, is considerably nicer. She's helped in stepping in to help protect the rich owner from danger by her two roommates in the beautiful but decaying mansion that her grandmother has left to her.
This mystery has lots of interesting details involving curating in an old mansion. All the different rooms and secrets are especially fascinating --I love old houses and secret rooms. The characters are intensely created with great flaws and creative personalities--some you love and some you love to hate. Hyzy has created another fun cozy series for sure. The narrator for the audio book is wonderful--creating voices distinct for every character. Definite winner!
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