Don’t read – it’s gone

Read and Gone Book Cover Read and Gone
Haunted Library
Allison Brook
female sleuths, mystery, crime fiction
Crooked Lane Books
(27 Sept. 2018)

Twenty million dollars’ worth of missing gems bring Carrie Singleton’s long-lost and larcenous dad back into her life and it’s up to Carrie to clear his name.

A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a twenty-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.

Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin.

Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier? The second charming Haunted Library mystery by Allison Brook, Read and Gone will be a delight for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Leslie Meier.

I thought that this book lacked both humour and pace.

I had hoped from the mention of a Haunted Library that it would be more ghostly and not less – this ghost was very tame – as were all the characters. I should have realised what ‘charming’ meant in the book’s description…

A book too cosy for me as I only managed 26% and got bored. Sorry Alison.

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Who is who?

Bring Me Back Book Cover Bring Me Back
BA Paris
Crime, Thriller & Mystery, female sleuths
Harlequin, HQ
Mar 2018

The Disappearance
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.

The Fear
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried…

Once upon a time here were 2 girls – Ellen the elder and Layla the younger. They had a hard life as their father was a bully and abused them physically.

Layla had a talent that she used within the family but hid from everyone else and in the end it was that very special talent, that she hid even from her closest friends and boyfriends that took her into danger.

B.A.Paris writes a very good psychological thriller with lots of twists and turns that leave you wondering just which storyline is the truth.

A really good book for those who like a psychological suspenseful thriller with lots of potential answers.

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A Perfect Death – but for whom?

Perfect Death Book Cover Perfect Death
DI Luc Callanach
Helen Fields
Crime, Thriller & Mystery, female sleuths
Avon Books
January 22, 2018
448

'Without doubt, this is one of the best detective series I have read.' Woman's Way Magazine Your new addiction starts here: get hooked on the #1 bestselling series. Perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and M.J. Arlidge. There's no easy way to die... Unknown to DI Luc Callanach and the newly promoted DCI Ava Turner, a serial killer has Edinburgh firmly in his grip. The killer is taking his victims in the coldest, most calculating way possible - engineering slow and painful deaths by poison, with his victims entirely unaware of the drugs flooding their bloodstream until it's too late. But how do you catch a killer who hides in the shadows? A killer whose pleasure comes from watching pain from afar? Faced with their most difficult case yet, Callanach and Turner soon realise they face a seemingly impossible task...

A spooky and sinister tale about a murderer who is very individualistic. He is looking to provide the Perfect Death for his victims and each attempt brings him closer to his aim. And each victim is chosen for very specific reasons that make sense to him but not necessarily – at least in the beginning – to the police targetted with his capture.

The setting, Edinburgh, adds to the atmosphere as we start on Arthur’s Mount – which is credited with a lot of spooky happenings.

I  thought the portrayal of the police especially Callanach were good and having read Helen Fields before, I was not disappointed.

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How well do you see?

A different female detective. One not racked – completely – with angst. Thankfully.

And she comes from an ethnic background and is local to her policing area.

This story is set in an area of London I know quite well. I know of the cultural inheritances and the issues that came as new cultures came in and the local and new clashed – from the time of the Huguenots and before! See the Roman Road… Immigration to the UK has often come through the Docks and this affects the architecture as well as the culture.

I did think that the problem of distinguishing between forced and arranged marriages was portrayed well and the tip-toeing around not to tread on toes that is so common that it actually lets illegal activities occur rather than disturb certain elements of the community. As there is often a wall of silence and united front before outsiders this doesn’t help discover the truth.

I thought the author dealt quite well with the issues of inequality as I have seen this area transform – patchily – from nearly slums to desirable residences.

Overall a solid first book in this  new series.

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Find your way out?

A Map of the Dark Book Cover A Map of the Dark
The Searchers #1
Karen Ellis
crime, detectives, mystery, thrillers, female sleuths
Mulholland Books
11 Jan. 2018)

A girl missing
A woman, searching
A killer, planning...


FBI Agent Elsa Myers finds missing people.
She knows how it feels to be lost...

Though her father lies dying in a hospital north of New York City, Elsa cannot refuse a call for help. A teenage girl has gone missing from Forest Hills, Queens, and during the critical first hours of the case, a series of false leads hides the fact that she did not go willingly.

With each passing hour, as the hunt for Ruby deepens into a search for a man who may have been killing for years, the case starts to get underneath Elsa's skin. Everything she has buried - her fraught relationship with her sister and niece, her self-destructive past, her mother's death - threatens to resurface, with devastating consequences.

In order to save the missing girl, she may have to lose herself...and return to the darkness she's been hiding from for years.

Whilst I did quite enjoy this book especially the characters of some of the teenagers – the girl with creative mind and tattoos of her little creatures that kept her sane and operative under very dire circumstances. However, I found the other teenagers a bit wooden.

What irritated me though, is the current fad for this genre of having the female detectives to be very angst driven and this story takes this to the extreme. Whilst use of the angst is made in the story I am sure this was not the only way it could be written. This downgrades this book to a 4 star.

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