REVIEW: Mary Russell’s War by Laurie R. King (Mary Russell #14. 5)

Series: Mary Russell

Book Number: Short Story Collection; Not Chronological

Read this book for: more back story on Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmes pastiche, period mysteries, WWI historical fiction

Quick Review: A lovely collection for Russell fans, including some previously released and some brand new stories.

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Laurie R. King illuminates the hidden corners of her beloved Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series in this dynamic short story collection.

In nine previously published short stories and one brand new, never-before-seen Sherlock Holmes mystery—available together for the first time—Laurie R. King blends her long-running brand of crime fiction with historical treats and narrative sleight of hand. At the heart of the collection is a prequel novella that begins with England’s declaration of war in 1914. As told in Mary Russell’s teenage diaries, the whip-smart girl investigates familial mysteries, tracks German spies through San Francisco, and generally delights with her extraordinary mind—until an unimaginable tragedy strikes.

Here too is the case of a professor killed by a swarm of bees; Mrs. Hudson’s investigation of a string of disappearing household items—and a lifelong secret; a revealing anecdote about a character integral to The God of the Hive; the story of Mary’s beloved Uncle Jake and a monumental hand of cards; and a series of postcards in which Mary searches for her missing husband, Sherlock Holmes.

Last but not least, fans will be especially thrilled by Mary’s account of her decision, at age ninety-two, to publish her memoirs—and how she concluded that Ms. King should be the one to introduce her voice to the world. Continue reading →

REVIEW: The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: author self-insert, reality/fiction blend, UK mystery, amateur detective, consulting detective, unique format

Quick Review: A unique and well-crafted mystery; a must read, especially for fans of Horowitz’s work!

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One bright spring morning in London, Diana Cowper – the wealthy mother of a famous actor – enters a funeral parlor. She is there to plan her own service.

Six hours later she is found dead, strangled with a curtain cord in her own home.

Enter disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne, a brilliant, eccentric investigator who’s as quick with an insult as he is to crack a case. Hawthorne needs a ghost writer to document his life; a Watson to his Holmes. He chooses Anthony Horowitz.

Drawn in against his will, Horowitz soon finds himself a the center of a story he cannot control. Hawthorne is brusque, temperamental and annoying but even so his latest case with its many twists and turns proves irresistible. The writer and the detective form an unusual partnership. At the same time, it soon becomes clear that Hawthorne is hiding some dark secrets of his own. Continue reading →

REVIEW: I’ll Keep You Safe by Peter May

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: atmosphere, UK novels, strong setting, character-driven stories, amateur detectives, police investigation

Quick Review: A novel that’s all about character stories and atmosphere; this deeply immersive is impossible to put down.

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WHATEVER HAPPENS

Niamh and Ruairidh Macfarlane co-own the Hebridean company Ranish Tweed. On a business trip to Paris to promote their luxury brand, Niamh learns of Ruairidh’s affair, and then looks on as he and his lover are killed by a car bomb. She returns home to Lewis, bereft.

I’LL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU

Niamh begins to look back on her life with Ruairidh, desperate to identify anyone who may have held a grudge against him. The French police, meanwhile, have ruled out terrorism, and ruled in murder – and sent Detective Sylvie Braque to shadow their prime suspect: Niamh.

I’LL KEEP YOU SAFE, NO MATTER WHAT

As one woman works back through her memories, and the other moves forward with her investigation, the two draw ever closer to a deadly enemy with their own, murderous, designs. Continue reading →

REVIEW: The Fire Pit by Chris Ould (Jan Reyna (Faroes Novels) #3)

Series: Jan Reyna (Faroes Novels)

Book Number: 3

Read this book for: Nordic noir, British mystery, international mysteries, now it’s personal, dark pasts, detective backstories, multiple investigations

Quick Review: A perfect end to a brilliant trilogy, and another Nordic noir must-read.

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In the wake of a dying man’s apparent suicide, the skeleton of a young woman is discovered on a windswept hillside. Detective Hjalti Hentze suspects that it is the body of a Norwegian woman reported missing forty years earlier, while a commune occupied the land, and whose death may be linked to the abduction and rape of a local Faroese girl.

Meanwhile British DI Jan Reyna is pursuing his investigation into his mother’s suicide. But as he learns more about her final days, links between the two cases start to appear: a conspiracy of murder and abuse spanning four decades. And as Hentze puts the same pieces together, he realizes that Reyna is willing to go further than ever before to learn the truth…

Continue reading →

REVIEW: These Violent Delights by Victoria Namkung

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: non-murder investigation, journalist investigators, women banding together, US investigation, LA mystery, bringing known perpetrator to justice

Quick Review: A very readable novel about justice finally coming to a sexual predator — timely and relevant.

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At Windemere School for Girls, one of America’s elite private schools, Dr. Gregory Copeland is the beloved chair of the English Department. A married father with a penchant for romantic poetry—and impressionable teenage girls—he operates in plain sight for years, until one of his former students goes public with allegations of inappropriate conduct. With the help of an investigative journalist, and two additional Windemere alumnae who had relationships with Copeland as students, the unlikely quartet unites to take him down.

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REVIEW: Mystery Tour (CWA Anthology) edited by Martin Edwards

Series: CWA Anthologies
Book Number: N/A
Read this book for: short stories, multiple locations, mysteries and murder
Quick Review: A wonderful world tour of intriguing puzzles and entertaining mysteries — a great holiday read that’s light, easy and enjoyable.
 
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Crime spreads across the globe in this new collection of short stories from the Crime Writer’s Association, as a conspiracy of prominent crime authors take you on a world mystery tour. Highlights of the trip include a treacherous cruise to French Polynesia, a horrifying trek in South Africa, a murderous train-ride across Ukraine and a vengeful killing in Mumbai. But back home in the UK, life isn’t so easy either. Dead bodies turn up on the backstreets of Glasgow, crime writers turn words into deeds at literary events, and Lady Luck seems to guide the fate of a Twickenham hood. Showcasing the range, breadth and vitality of the contemporary crime-fiction genre, these twenty-eight chilling and unputdownable stories will take you on a trip you’ll never forget.

Continue reading →

Q&A: Paul Gitsham on the CWA Anthology – Mystery Tour

The Crime Review got the chance to chat with one of the authors who had their work included in the Crime Writers Association’s (CWA) latest anthology of short stories, MYSTERY TOUR. Paul Gitsham is the author of the DCI Warren Jones series of novels, and was generous enough to answer our questions! Continue reading →