Dark Waters by Mary-Jane Riley

Dark waters - Mary-Jane Riley

Two men are found dead on a little cruiser moored in the Norfolk broads(small waterways surrounded by marshes,meadows and woodland).
At first sight it looks like a suicide pact,although a strange one as both men don’t seem to have a lot in common. Alex Devlin,a not so very successful journalist,is intrigued by the setup and starts digging….the past has an ugly habit to emerge when you don’t expect it…
What makes this a fabulous read,apart from a very good storyline that keeps you guessing,is the personality of the main character. Yes,she is a nosy journalist,but she is not a monster,she feels guilt,empathy,compassion. It is a welcome change to all the detectives,inspectors,reporters,amateur sleuths who are arrogant, so sure of themselves, rude or absolutely obnoxious…I really liked it !

Broken Bones by Angela Marsons

Broken Bones - Angela Marsons

D.I.Kim Stone is a rather well known character(especially to crime (book)lovers) and this is the seventh in the series. The book consist of several storylines that do relate (more or less)to each other. There is a serial killer targeting sex workers, an abandoned baby,a frozen unknown man, illegal workers and a missing young girl. And although it works,it is also the main problem.Four policepeople (including D.I.Stone)take on this whole load of misery.

It just doesn’t feel right. There is just too much going on.

Mind you, the outcome of one of the cases is surprising and very interesting.

 

The Gate Keeper by Charles Todd

The Gate Keeper - Charles Todd

Set in the early twenties,this book just breathes golden age with a very modern twist. A very perturbed inspector, suffering from post-war trauma, finds himself involved in a mysterious murder(a man stops a car in the middle of the night and shoots the chauffeur ). Not only does he needs to solve the case,he is also confronted with a certain animosity from the villagers and the local constabulary. This is a perfect read for lovers of the British detective story (villages,gentry, murder…)but this is definitely not a soppy read. Good story,right atmosphere and good characterisation. Very good.

 

Lament for a Maker by Michael Innes

A Scottish castle,an isolated village,quirky villagers and an eccentric Lord. All the right ingredients for a classic mystery. The story is made up of different parts told by different characters. And it works were it not for the first character who writes as he speaks with plenty of Scottish words and expressions. Not always evident…Still the storyline is good and the outcome of the mystery is not obvious. 3,5 stars

A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee

A Necessary Evil - Abir Mukherjee

Calcutta, 1920.India is going trough an agitated period. The Congress Party is having more and more supporters and even non-followers believe that the British Rule is past its use by date.In these confusing times,Prince Adhir,crown prince of Sambalpore is murdered after an official ceremony with the Viceroy. Soon after this,the killer takes his own life. Captain Wyndham and his Indian sergeant Surendranath(a Harrow and Cambridge man no less and a friend of the murdered prince)find that all tracks lead to Sambalpore, a small kingdom with the added benefit of fabulous diamond mines.There is definitely no lack of suspects,reasons or intrigues and the investigation is not as obvious as expected.

The outcome is surprising and interesting. But what makes this an absolute wonderful book is the atmosphere. The colonial house of the British Resident,of course the palace of the Maharaja,the temples,the religious festivals,the lifestyle of this royal family,eunuchs and the zenana, the monsoon period,a golden locomotive loaded with bottles of champagne that runs the length of the dinner table,the gossip and the decline of both the British Raj and these small kingdoms. A wonderful Indian mystery story!

 

Murder has a Motive by Francis Duncan

Murder Has A Motive - Francis Duncan

A classic setting,an enchanting English village with well defined residents and of course murder! Luckily Mordecai Tremaine is visiting some friends in this village and as an amateur sleuth he is more than willing to lend a helping hand to inspector Boyce. It is a nice classic detective story but perhaps a bit long winded (and some clues were not very hard to miss!!)

 

Dig Two Graves by Keith Nixon

Dig Two Graves: A Gripping Crime Thriller (The Detective Solomon Gray Series Book 1) - Keith,  Terry NIXON,  Allison STONES,  BUSBY

10 years ago, sergeant Gary’s six year old son disappeared at a fun fair. Needless to say that this tragedy had a deep impact on Solomon Gray and his family. Now he is investigating the suicide/murder of a sixteen year old boy and the murder of a priest(who was well known to his wife).The thing is, I just couldn’t connect with Solomon Gray. He is aggressive, keeps vital information to himself, lies,is arrogant, self centered…He is just thoroughly unpleasant(in any normal police station he would have been put on indeterminate leave a long time ago). That said,his character is extremely well elaborated while the other characters are cardboard figures, pastiches perhaps. One has the impression that the story is not so important, that it comes second to the development of the character of Solomon Gray…

 

Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Seek by Anthony O’Neill

Dr Jekyll and Mr Seek - Anthony O'Neill

7 years after the death of Mr.Hyde and the mysterious disappearance of Dr.Jekyll,the doctor reappears in London and lays claim on all of Dr.Jekyll ‘s assets. Mr.Utterson, chief beneficiary of the doctor’s estate, knows that this Dr.Jekyll is a fraud. He,and only he, read the confession of Dr.Jekyll. Unfortunately, he kept everything to himself so not to sully the good doctor’s name. The impostor (is he?)wriggles his way back into society. His esteemed friends are all convinced that he is the real Dr.Jekyll. Only Mr.Utterson remains more than sceptical. And then accidents, deathly accidents, start to happen. Mr.Utterson is more than ever determined to unmask this fiend. But will he succeed…?

This is a very well written (short)novel,it keeps the reader’s attention, there is an increasing tension and the return of Dr.Jekyll is not to be dismissed lightly.

 

Death Comes by Amphora by Roger Hudson

 

Death Comes By Amphora - Roger Hudson

Athens,461 BC. A young man comes to Athens only to find that his uncle has died under mysterious circumstances. Pretty soon it is clear that murder is the keyword and the hunt for the culprit(s) starts in earnest. Athens is in turmoil, two factions,the radicals,with Pericles as a leading figure(who believe in a distribution of power among the entire population, except slaves(!)…)and the aristocrats,heads of military families and so on..(who believe that only a very few, and very well connected, are entitled to lead,to take decisions…)are at daggers drawn. History,of course,tells us which faction did eventuality win and consequently led to Athens Golden Age and to something called democracy.

The historical aspect of the story is very well researched. But,because it is such a dominant part of the story,the mystery story tends to be put aside. After a while one is no longer sure there is a mystery at all and it becomes a tad long winded. A firmer editing might have been a good idea.

The Coven by Graham Masterton

The Coven (Beatrice Scarlet) - Graham Masterton

1758,London.Beatrice Scarlet,a widow, works in a refuge for “fallen”women. But then some of these young girls (who,after a rehabilitation period,are sent out to factories )disappear.

Although the title implies witches and witchcraft (so does the cover by the way),this is more of a mystery story with some dark/horror undercurrents. But after a rather slow start it is definitely a thrilling read and mostly well written.This also happens to be the second book in this new series.

Only comment,perhaps certain scenes (rape scenes mainly)might have been a little less graphic.