Series: Matthew Shardlake
Book Number: 1
Read this book for: historical mystery, medieval mystery, whodunnit
Quick Review: While not always surprising, this was an interesting blend of history (religious and political) and the elements of a Christie-style whodunnit.
Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer working for Thomas Cromwell under the reign of King Henry VIII, is sent to a remote monastery to investigate the grisly death of one of his fellow Commissioners. Can he find out who is responsible for what rapidly becomes a series of deaths, before he becomes the next victim?
Continue reading REVIEW: Dissolution by CJ Sansom (Matthew Shardlake #1)
Series: Hercule Poirot
Book Number: 3
Read this book for: quick reads, classic mystery, quintessential detective, classic whodunnit puzzles
Quick Review: A quick and simple read with a lovely selection of classic Christie puzzles, although not essential canon Poirot reading.
A series of short cases solved by the brilliant deductive powers of Hercule Poirot: from the mystery of the absurdly cheap flat to a locked room murder, a pharaoh’s curse to a mysterious robbery at sea, and even the abduction of a prime minister. See Poirot at work as he tests his mind against these fascinating puzzles.
Continue reading REVIEW: Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #3)
Series: Dark Iceland (Ari Thor)
Book Number: 2
Read this book for: realistic police procedure, contemporary mystery, minimalist writing, traditional whodunnit, Scandanavian/Nordic Noir
Quick Review: Beautiful, tight read – an addition to my most recommended list. The whodunnit nature of Christie written with the haunting minimalism of the best of Nordic noir.
When his immediate superior – and the only other officer in Siglufjordur – is shot on duty, officer Ari Thor is pulled off his sick leave to find the attacker. In a close-knit community, more secrets lie under the surface than he could imagine, and he and his former boss set about unraveling them in order to find the killer and keep their community from falling apart. Continue reading REVIEW: Nightblind by Ragnar Jonasson (Dark Iceland #2)
Series: Jan Reyna (Faroes Novels)
Book Number: 1
Read this book for: enjoyable characters, procedural accuracy, atmospheric writing, realistic mystery, Scandanavian/Nordic Noir
Quick Review: Absolutely must read. From the bleak atmosphere to the realistic characters and procedure to the perfect slow increase of tension across the piece, THE BLOOD STRAND abandons the usual overblown nature of a thriller to create an incredibly satisfying, subtle read.
To Be Released: February 16, 2016
Having left his home in the Faroe Islands as a very young child, Jan Reyna considers himself mainly a British detective. When he returns to the Faroes for the first time in many years to visit his estranged father who has just suffered a major stroke, he discovers a suspicious set of circumstances surrounding the man. Combined with a newly-discovered body and having been asked for input by local detective Hjalti Hentze, he finds himself learning more about his long-lost family’s secrets than he may have ever wanted to know. Continue reading REVIEW: The Blood Strand by Chris Ould (Jan Reyna (Faroes Novels) #1)
Series: Harry Hole
Book Number: 1
Read this book for: dysfunctional detective, romantic subplot, interesting characters, in-your-face action, Scandanavian/Nordic Noir
Quick Review: While unsubtle and taking more after the style of an American TV thriller than it’s Nordic Noir cousins, THE BAT is a quick, readable and diverting thriller that ticks all the boxes of its genre.
Harry Hole is a Norwegian detective out of his element in Australia, investigating the death of a Norwegian national. Although he isn’t really supposed to be involved, he discovers a string of linked murders, and ends up the de facto leader of an investigation into a serial killer whose identity is almost impossible to pin down. Hole has to try to fight his own demons off long enough to catch the murderer, forever changing his own life in the process.
Continue reading REVIEW: The Bat by Jo Nesbo (Harry Hole #1)
Book Number: N/A
Read this book for: a unique killer, tight and realistic procedural details, interesting concept, beautiful slice-of-life realism
Quick Review: Absolutely read this book; it’s a non-standard mystery that is a beautifully-rendered, realistic portrait of life as much as an interesting, twisted story.
Lonely police analyst Annabel discovers a decomposing body in the house next door to hers, prompting her to start an investigation of her own into a spike in the number of similar bodies being found in their town. Convinced that there is something sinister in the jump in numbers, she fights to get the police interested before she becomes a victim herself. Continue reading REVIEW: Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes
Series: Jack Caffery
Book Number: 1
Read this book for: extra-creepy serial killers, solid police procedure, detectives with a troubled personal life
Quick Review: Mo Hayder writes a tight, fast-paced page-turner of a thriller, but this one is not a book for everyone – be prepared for a lot of very dark, very shocking topics.
DI Jack Caffery has a home life that is falling apart – he has a girlfriend who he is becoming more disconnected from and an obsession with the neighbour who backs his property. He’s assigned to a case involving five young women that have been brutally murdered and dumped near London’s Millennium Dome, which not only brings back shadows of his past that haunt him, but throws him into a race to stop the next murder before it happens. Continue reading REVIEW: Birdman by Mo Hayder (Jack Caffery #1)