Storm of Secrets by Loretta Marion

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Storm of Secrets (Haunted Bluffs Mystery #2) - Loretta Marion

A storm is closing in the Cape Cod and the small town of Whale Rock and everybody is preparing for this natural disaster. But just before the storm hits the land,a small time drugs dealer is found dead in a dumpster and a toddler has gone missing. So the local police force and Daniel Benjamin a retired FBI agent(and groom to be)have their work cut out for them. Meanwhile Cassie Mitchell,a bride whose wedding has been postponed due to the stormy weather,welcomes several local residents and visitors ,whose houses are in a danger zone ,in her house “The Bluffs” where the ghosts of her great-grandparents have taken up residence . There is another story of another boy whose body washed up on the shore,some 20 years ago, but who was never identified. It is clear that this story still attracts some attention. There is a mysterious woman who visits his grave,a local writer trying to make a book out of this tragic story and a visitor who also has some keen interest in the unknown boy. There is yet another storyline going back to the sixties,eighties and present day, about an immigrant Italian family and their tribulations in the US. The mystery side of the story is not bad but there are so many sidelines and so many things going on …paternity quests,diaries,ghosts,paintings,pregnancies,illness,beach houses,party guests,lost(or forgotten)lovers,drugs,lost boys both from the past and the present,damaged young men…it is just too much. Of course,it didn’t help that I couldn’t connect with the amateur sleuth,Cassie. She is opinionated,judgemental, nosy(ok,that’s normal for a sleuth…),not very discreet and even rude sometimes. But the setting is great,a small town of the Cape Cod coast,flooded by merry vacationers in the summer and pretty restful in the winter. And that is a great start full of promises.

 

The Body on the Beach by Anna Johannson

The Body on the Beach (An Island Mystery #1) - Anna Johannsen, Lisa Reinhardt

The body  of Hein Bohlen,a social educator and the director of a local children’s home,is found dead in a beach chair on Amrum, a small island of the coast of North Germany. At first sight it looks as if the man has died of a heart attack,but his wife has doubts and demands a post mortem where poison is suspected but not confirmed. DI Lena Lorenzen and sergeant Johann Grassman are sent to this beautiful island to investigate this death. They both realise that not everything is as it should be and that the alleged victim and other inhabitants have some very disturbing secrets indeed…

This is a very pleasant mystery situated on the gorgeous island of Amrum but perhaps the end was a bit too predictable.

Still,this is the first in the series,in English at least, and I will definitely try another one.

 

Death at Beacon Cottage by Betty Rowlands

Death at Beacon Farm - Betty Rowlands

Sukey Reynolds, a civil scene of crime photographer who is working for the police,is called to Bussell Manor to investigate a break in and the theft of several expensive pieces of art. Apparently burglaries in expensive,”arty “houses are a bit of an epidemic in the Cotswolds. The main suspect however seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth while his two partners in crime are found murdered. And then there is also the case of mistaken identity which puts Sukey’s life in danger, This is a cross between a “cosy”and a classic mystery and it works up to a point. But then international criminal gangs,dark mafiosi style characters,hitmen…. make their appearance and it loses some of its charm and credibility (e.g. DI Jim Castle,Sukey’s boyfriend freely discusses the case with Sukey(a civilian)in front of her son Fergus,there is somewhere a Miami Vice environment …). It didn’t feel right. I have another Sukey Reynolds book on my TBR list and perhaps there is a little bit less incongruence…

 

Appointment with Death by Agatha Christie

Appointment with Death (Masterpiece Edition Poirot) - Agatha Christie

There is not much point in repeating the storyline of this book as every Christie reader knows the story of a horrendous, cruel,terrorising (step)mother and her dysfunctional family. And as this is a Christie, murder must follow . Enter Hercule Poirot, who decides to give Colonel Carbury(a friend of Colonel Race) a helping hand and solve this crime.

I remember reading it as a young creature and thinking,Petra,wow,it seemed so far away,both in distance as in atmosphere. When years later,I finally visited Petra I was, apart from being mightily impressed, overcome by an acute attack of Christie nostalgia.

How fabulous it must have been,travelling in a small group,sleeping in a cave,having diner overlooking those red,orange and of course, pink cliffs and gazing upon this historical and mythical wonder in the sunset.

This was written in 1938 and it is still highly readable(of course our attitude towards”servants” and the original inhabitants has changed, although not all that much…) but notwithstanding this,and a very soppy epilogue, it is always such good fun reading Agatha Christie.