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Ghost or Hallucination?

Forgotten Bones Book Cover Forgotten Bones
Dead Remaining Book 1
Vivian Barz
Fiction. Mystery, Suspense, Murder, Female Sleuths, Ghosts
Thomas & Mercer
July 23, 2019
302

An unlikely pair teams up to investigate a brutal murder in a haunting thriller that walks the line between reality and impossibility. When small-town police officers discover the grave of a young boy, they're quick to pin the crime on a convicted criminal who lives nearby. But when it comes to murder, Officer Susan Marlan never trusts a simple explanation, so she's just getting started. Meanwhile, college professor Eric Evans hallucinates a young boy in overalls: a symptom of his schizophrenia--or so he thinks. But when more bodies turn up, Eric has more visions, and they mirror details of the murder case. As the investigation continues, the police stick with their original conclusion, but Susan's instincts tell her something is off. The higher-ups keep stonewalling her, and the FBI's closing in. Desperate for answers, Susan goes rogue and turns to Eric for help. Together they take an unorthodox approach to the case as the evidence keeps getting stranger. With Eric's hallucinations intensifying and the body count rising, can the pair separate truth from illusion long enough to catch a monster?

Is this a ghost story or a murder mystery? It is up to the reader to decide but it encompasses both. We have a ghost – a very persistent and quite forceful ghost; but we also have a murder and mystery. Who is the ghost? And what happened to him? He was murdered, but how and by who, and where? Set in small town USA with a very small policeforce and not much money, we have female police officer with stickability and persistence and curiosity. All of which gets her into serious trouble as she tries to find out about the ghost boy. As she delves into his case, the FBI find a graveyard and that is where things begin to get strange for our heroine – and a professor (college lecturer) with his own mental issues that having a ghost visit doesn’t help I thought the suspense was well carried and it isn’t until the final stages of the last chapter that it all comes to be resolved and the final pieces of the puzzle fit together. The issues with schizophrenia were well narrated and explored and it was refreshing to find a character with these flaws who wasn’t a psychology expert as so many books seem to write them up as. The story is a little short and we should really have found out more about the other children –  the live ones as well as the dead ones. It would have helped fill out the story – perhaps someone could have list of lost children, ages, sexes; surely the FBI would be involved before the graves came to light?  What about the FBI officers? Could we know about them? This novel seems rather like a preliminary / prequel tale for a series that is  longer and more involved. It is good – as far as it goes. This is the first in a new series with our female detective and I look forward to reading further books.

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Let’s gossip…

The Darkest Hour Book Cover The Darkest Hour
(Poppy McGuire Mysteries Book 4)
Anina Collins
crime fiction, mystery, thriller,
2016
kindle

Poppy and Alex come up against their toughest case yet, and they may never be the same again.

When someone close to both Poppy and Alex is found brutally murdered, all the clues point to Alex as the killer. But Poppy knows in her heart that her partner could never commit such a heinous crime. As the evidence begins to mount against him, Poppy must race against the clock to prove that the man she trusts with her very life isn’t the murderer, even as everyone around her is convinced of his guilt.

But if Alex isn’t the killer, who is? As the mystery unravels, the past and present finally meet in Sunset Ridge.

A nice cosy mystery story with a female sleuth who is nosy but not confident in herself.

This is Poppy’s first attempt at solving a crime and she uses her sleuthing skills from her work as a columnist on the local paper to help her.

Small town USA comes again. Where there are no secrets – someone always knows something – and sometimes they use this knowledge in nefarious ways.

Light and easy reading with a surprise villain.

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Books/book review/law enforcement/crime fiction
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Look after your precious

Keep Her Close Book Cover Keep Her Close
MJ Ford
crime fiction, police procedurals, female sleuths
Avon Books
March 7th 2019

When a young woman goes missing from Jesus College, Oxford, DS Josie Masters is plunged into a world of panic as fear grips the city. Along with Thames Valley Police’s newest recruit, the handsome DS Pryce, Josie must act fast – and when two more students disappear from Oriel and Somerville colleges, she realises the killer is sending her a deadly message in a cruel game of cat and mouse. This time, the case is personal – but who is the perpetrator?

In a desperate race against the clock, Josie hunts for the kidnapper, and soon discovers he could be a lot closer to home than she’d ever thought…

A British police procedural set in Oxford and its dreaming spires. The previous book explains why the lead female detective has PTSD but this one can be read as a stand-alone as enough of the back story is given. I have not read the previous book.

I found the story interesting and compelling reading and the characters involved were complex enough that I never guessed who the villain was, let alone why, although the clues were there.

A good tone of voice by the author made this reading easy enough to follow and to be interested in the characters. I enjoyed this book.

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On the Lam (B)

Baby Daddy Mystery Book Cover Baby Daddy Mystery
Shady Hoosier Mystery #2
Daisy Pettles
mystery, murder, humour, detective
Hot Pants Press, LLC (30 Nov. 2018)
December 15, 2018

It's spring in Pawpaw County, Indiana. Everyone has a bad case of hanky-panky pants. Senior sleuths Ruby Jane (RJ) Waskom and Veenie Goens are on the run, chasing down cheating heart jezebels and shaking child support out of deadbeat baby daddies. Love takes a peculiar turn when a prominent local dentist turns up dead, dressed like a scarecrow, on the porch of his father's mistress’s home in Hound Holler. When a gigged body floats up at the White River Boat and Gun Club, Sassy Smith, senior cougar, is arrested for the murder. RJ bemoans that no one in Pawpaw County can keep their pants on or their skirts down as her grown daughter, Joyce, begs for help chasing down her philandering husband. The romantic mysteries come to a surprise head as the senior sleuths outrun shotgun showers to close in on the answers at the Moon Glo Motor Lodge, the Original Home of Hillbilly Hanky Panky. Veenie and RJ have to buy an extra case of Bengay and a buttload of BBs just to keep up with the romantic misadventures in this humorous crime classic.

I found the language in this story really interesting – and very funny. Very idiomatic of these rural US areas.

The story was full of all sorts interesting phrases and sayings and one of my favourite was about Children and Genetics:

God is blind and baking a cake with whatever is left over in the larder – the ingredients are OK but proportions are off. This explained a lot about this town and its surroundings.

Too much nooky and who knew the father of any child was – they didn’t like to travel far for their entertainment and thus some very mixed genes – which often led to some seriously weird people and behaviours.

An enjoyable romp through rural Indiana. And loved having ‘grandmas’ as the best detectives around – usaully through gossip.

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Books/book review/Fantasy/Sci-Fi/humour
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Books are so precious…

The Mortal World Book Cover The Mortal World
The Invisible Library #5
Genevieve Cogman
Fiction, Alternate History, Sword and Sorcery, Fantasy, Female Sleuth
Pan
November 27, 2018
368

A corrupt countess. A spy in danger. And an assassin at large. The fifth title in Genevieve Cogman's witty and wonderful Invisible Library series, The Mortal Word is a sparkling bookish adventure. Peace talks are always tricky . . . especially when a key diplomat gets stabbed. This murder rudely interrupts a top-secret summit between the warring dragons and Fae, so Librarian-spy Irene is summoned to investigate. In a version of 1890s Paris, Irene and her detective friend Vale must track down the killer - before either the peace negotiations or the city go up in flames. Accusations fly thick and fast. Irene soon finds herself in the seedy depths of the Parisian underworld on the trail of a notoriously warlike Fae, the Blood Countess. However, the evidence against the Countess is circumstantial. Could the assassin - or assassins - be closer than anyone suspects?

Just when you think you know who did what and why, the author throws in another twist and off we go again.

Irene manages to logically deduce all from the minutest of inklings and fails to get herself killed, several times, by the skin of her teeth – usually as she uses them to help her pronounce The Language.

This universe and world building gets ever more complicated in its political scheming and skulduggery, and fast pace action follows.

A very satisfying read with much philosophy about truth and reality to contemplate and ponder.

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