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Damaskcat (UK)
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No Place to Die (DI Mike Lockyer series Book 2)
No Place to Die (DI Mike Lockyer series Book 2)
Price: £3.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Place to Die, 31 Mar. 2015
Detective Sergeant Jane Bennett finds herself dealing with a murder investigation and the disappearance of a retired former colleague and a boss who seems as though he is only there in body and not in spirit. In addition she is relying heavily on her mother to look after her autistic son, Peter. There are several suspects for the murder and Jane is fast coming to the conclusion that she needs to treat Mark's disappearance as a potential murder.

I found Jane's boss, Mike Lockyer, a rather annoying character and that to a certain extent spoiled my enjoyment of the story. It seemed he was suffering from the after effects of the previous case he had investigated and I think I probably should have read the first book in this series before reading this one and then I would have had a better understanding of his problems.

The author builds up the tension really well throughout the book and there is a nail biting finish. I did feel a little cheated by the revelation of the murderer. It read to me as though the author had changed her mind at the last minute about who and why but this could be just my perception. I did like the writing and I liked Jane as a character. Lockyer did improve during the book and I could probably get to like him. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review.


Murder in Piccadilly (British Library Crime Classics Book 12)
Murder in Piccadilly (British Library Crime Classics Book 12)
Price: £5.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder in Piccadilly, 30 Mar. 2015
Bobbie Cheldon has fallen in love with someone his snobbish Uncle Massy considers completely unsuitable. She is a dancer in a seedy Soho nightclub. Bobbie is a bit naïve and has been very spoilt by his mother, Ruby, and he has grown up in the knowledge that he is his uncle's heir so he doesn't need to work for a living. His uncle has different ideas. Bobbie thinks that if only his uncle would die soon and then he would be able to afford to marry Nancy.

The reader knows that Massy Cheldon has been killed as the result of a conspiracy but doesn't know at first who exactly the murderer was so we can follow Chief Inspector Wake's investigation as he uncovers the facts. A dislikeable corpse and an incredibly naïve and innocent prime suspect - represented by Bobbie - not to speak of a group of singularly dislikeable characters from the seedy side of London nightclub life in the 1930s make this an interesting and entertaining read.

I liked the humour in this book and I thought the author did an excellent job of portraying Bobbie as an innocent abroad. If you like 1930s crime novels then you might want to try this one.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 31, 2015 7:41 AM BST


Wish You Were Here
Wish You Were Here
Price: £6.64

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish You Were Here, 28 Mar. 2015
This is an interesting and thought provoking story of what is probably a fairly typical middle class family. Flora and James have been married for nearly twenty years and have two teenage daughters. Maybe their marriage is in a bit of a doldrums but mainly they rub along pretty well together. An act of kindness results in James being offered the use of a luxurious villa in Provence for a month in August. What seems like incredible luck turns out to be something of a poisoned chalice when the whole of their extended family - James's father and two sisters, Flora's mother plus one and a good friend of her own all turn up to join them.

Soon there is a seething cauldron of emotions and long buried secrets look like coming to the surface. For Flora things start to get uncomfortable when she realises that James's sister, Sally has brought Max with her. Flora herself was engaged to Max before she met James and her feelings at seeing him again are to say the least somewhat mixed. I liked the way Flora - the narrator acknowledges her own erratic behaviour but given the information she had I would have been seeing conspiracy wherever I looked too!

I think this is a well written story of family life and the way secrets can fester away in the background. The author expertly weaves the various strands together to make a satisfying whole. As well as being about secrets it is about seizing chances when you're presented with them and not settling for second best. None of the people at the house party will escape unchanged from the holiday. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review.


The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman
The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman
Price: £6.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman, 26 Mar. 2015
Atticus Craftsman is sent to Spain to close down a literary magazine called 'Librarte' which is not making any money for the family publishing firm. Atticus is an interesting character who never travels anywhere without his supply of Earl Grey Tea and his five favourite books of erotica. But is he anything like a match for the five Spanish women who run the magazine and do not want to lose their jobs? No one at home hears for Atticus for several months and his father, Marlow, decided to contact the police. Inspector Manchego is soon on the case but does not appear to make much progress.

This is an amusing and entertaining story with plenty of literary references, both Spanish and English and a search to find some forgotten poems by Lorca which could provide fame and fortune to someone. Can Atticus survive his many and varied experiences in Spain? Will he ever be restored to his family? Can the five women who are the magazine save their jobs?

Often humour doesn't translate from one language to another but in this case it does. The story is perhaps improbably but charming nonetheless and if you enjoy something out of the ordinary then try this. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.


The Ghost Fields (Ruth Galloway)
The Ghost Fields (Ruth Galloway)
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ghost Fields, 26 Mar. 2015
Ruth Galloway is called in to investigate the discovery of a crashed World War II plane buried in a field with the pilot still inside. But Ruth doesn't believe the body has been there since the plane crashed and thinks it has been buried somewhere else and moved to the plane recently. The plane and the body are discovered at the start of a controversial building development of luxury holiday homes. Ruth's investigation brings her into contact once again with DI Harry Nelson.

This is a fascinating story and the tension builds right from the start of the book as gradually the connections of past and present are revealed. Ruth is brought into contact again with Frank, the American historian whom she met in a previous book in the series. Do they have the makings of a relationship? Or is Ruth always going to love the father of her five year old daughter, Kate? It was good to see more of the police characters - Judy who is just about to go on maternity leave; Clough, the same as ever and Tim who transferred from Blackpool having worked on a previous case with Nelson.

The characters are well-drawn and likeable. I have a particular soft spot for the occasionally spiky Ruth who is gradually developing more self-confidence and for Cathbad, the Druid who is now the family man living with Judy and their son Michael. This is an absorbing mystery with plenty of interesting historical and archaeological background to it. It can be read as a standalone novel but is probably best read as part of the series as the web of relationships between the series characters is quite complex. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.


April Lady
April Lady
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars April Lady, 25 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: April Lady (Kindle Edition)
I first read 'April Lady' more than forty years ago and it wasn't one of my favourite Heyer novels. However I don't think it was the right book for me at the time because I have just re-read it and found it charming and the final chapter must be one of the most amusing of all the Heyer novels. Lady Helen (Nell) Cardross is very much in love with her husband Giles but her mother has brainwashed her into thinking that the marriage was one of convenience.

Nell has a problem with sticking within the limits of her very generous allowance and Giles is constantly having to pay her bills for her. Unfortunately Nell can never resist her spendthrift brother, Dysart's requests for money to pay his gambling debts even though Giles has forbidden her to help him anymore. The lengths Nell goes to in order to avoid telling Giles that she has a mantua maker's bill which she has somehow overlooked when she was giving him all her outstanding bills make for entertaining reading.

There are some of Heyer's most memorable characters in this book - Nell herself, Letty - her headstrong sister-in-law, Felix Hetehrsett - a friend of her husband's and Dysart and his wayward cronies. I thoroughly enjoyed alternately listening to the audio version of this book and then picking up where I left off in the e-book. Perhaps if you have found this book a little dull in the past you might want to give it another chance as I did.


Murder Underground (British Library Crime Classics)
Murder Underground (British Library Crime Classics)
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder Underground, 24 Mar. 2015
An elderly spinster, Miss Pongleton, is found dead on the stairs at Belsize Park Underground station on her way to a dental appointment. She lives at the Frampton private hotel and many of her fellow residents as well as her own nearest and dearest come under suspicion, especially her niece and nephew who both stand to benefit from her will which she changes frequently according to which one of them is in favour at that moment.

This is a case where, as one of the police characters says, they could really do without some of the information with which they are bombarded. All the clues seem to contradict each other and lead in different directions. Really the only definite facts they know are that the victim was murdered - strangled with her own dog's leash and that there is a footprint - which could either me a man's or a woman's beside the body.

I found this an entertaining read and while I did think I'd worked out who the murderer was I couldn't decide what the motive was. The characters are well drawn and interesting and the book is well written. It has stood the test of time well and is an entertaining read for twenty first century reader who like their crime stories in the classic mould.


The Spook Who Spoke Again: A Flavia Albia Short Story (Kindle Single): A Short Story by Lindsey Davis
The Spook Who Spoke Again: A Flavia Albia Short Story (Kindle Single): A Short Story by Lindsey Davis
Price: £1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Spook Who Spoke Again, 24 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a charming short story narrated by Marcus Didius Alexander Postumus who is a small boy of twelve - or maybe eleven - no one is quite sure. He has two mothers and several possible fathers but mainly lives with Helena Justina and Marcus Didius Falco and their other children. At the start of this story he is staying with his biological mother, Thalia who is an animal trainer and entertainer.

Postumus is not the most popular boy in Rome and some find him sinister. He is however intelligent and interested in the world around him and he doesn't mind doing things like mucking out animal cages which makes him useful to Thalia. His short visit does not get off to a good start when his pet Ferret disappears and Postumus suspects the python, Jason of eating him but decided to investigate the case just how his father and sister would do. In the process he causes all sorts of havoc.

The title of the story comes from the play written by Falco called 'The Spook Who Spoke'. This story is not really about Falco or about Flavia Albia, his daughter and also an investigator and I don't think it will mean much to anyone who hasn't read the author's Falco series or her books featuring Flavia Albia. That said I'm sure Lindsey Davis's many fans will enjoy the story - as I did.


Antidote to Venom (British LIbrary Crime Classics)
Antidote to Venom (British LIbrary Crime Classics)
Price: £5.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Antidote to Venom, 22 Mar. 2015
This is an intriguing study of a crime and what led up to it. The reader knows from the start who was involved in the murder and why it was carried out but it is still interesting to read about how circumstances seem to conspire to lead otherwise law abiding people into crime. What is equally fascinating is the way Inspector French - coming to the case late and at first reluctantly - reasons that there was something strange about the death.

George Sturridge has what for him is the perfect job. He is the director of a provincial zoo, which is something he has wanted to do since he first saw a zoo as a child. Unfortunately, his wife Clarissa, is not terribly happy to be living anywhere but London and George doesn't earn quite as much as she would like him to earn so his home life isn't as tranquil as it could be. George takes refuge, as many before him have done in gambling and the arms of another woman.

I found this a well written crime story which has stood the test of time. The murder is ingenious and almost fool-proof and it proves that most of us have no idea how our actions and demeanour will be viewed by other people. If you like older crime stories then this one is well worth reading and I shall definitely be reading more by this author.


No Name Lane
No Name Lane
Price: £3.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Name Lane, 21 Mar. 2015
This review is from: No Name Lane (Kindle Edition)
This book started off really well and I thought it was going to be a tense thriller with the police racing against time to find the latest young girl to disappear. It turned into something rather different and at times I was wondering whether I was reading tragedy or comedy. The police characters were a mixture of the good, the bad and the utterly indefensible. At least two of them shouldn't have been in even a fictional police force because of the way they treated suspects which was condoned by their superiors.

The reason why I have given it four stars is because there were parts of it which were really good. The ending was tense and well written and I definitely didn't work out who the killer was. DC Ian Bradshaw, who is the main police character, seems to make so many mistakes and is almost ostracized by most of his colleagues. I did feel quite sorry for him but at other times I just wanted to reach into the book and shake him and tell him to pull himself together and get on with the job. His strained relationship with his former work colleague who had been seriously injured before the start of the book was well done I thought.

The two journalists involved in the modern story and the corpse discovered on the building site were well written and they actually did a better job of investigating all of the cases - the latest young girl to disappear, the previous four whose bodies had been found and the sixty year old crime.

I felt there was a really good book in there somewhere but it seemed to disappear under the weight of too many 'main' characters and several different plots. I also wasn't keen on the prevalence of swearing and the number of violent characters. I think this author will write many better books and this had some very strong elements in it and some good writing. In spite of my criticisms I did enjoy reading it. I received a free copy of the book from NetGalley.


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