03 November 2019

Big Sky; Kate Atkinson

Big SkyBig Sky by Kate Atkinson
My rating: =5 of 5 stars

I've missed Jackson and the convoluted mysteries that he gets tangled up in. He's retired (ish - aren't all retired detectives always "ishly" retired?), trying to get his life a little more on track, missing his ex-partner and suddenly he's taking care of her son and dog and trying to untangle what's happening in his quiet new town. There are return appearances by friends and enemies, but if you haven'r read the earlier books either at all or recently it won't be a problem. Here's hoping that we don't have to wait another nine years for the next one.

02 November 2019

Kissing Ezra Holtz; Brianna R. Shrum

Kissing Ezra Holtz (and Other Things I Did for Science)Kissing Ezra Holtz by Brianna R. Shrum
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For fans of Sarah Dessen and Stephanie Perkins, with a dose of science and Judaism thrown in (some of the questions Amelia and Ezra ask their rabbi are pretty funny).

London Rules; Mick Herron

London Rules (Slough House, #5)London Rules by Mick Herron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'd read a great review of this book and on a whim picked it up - I'm glad I did. Yes, it's the fifth in the series, so there's some catching up to do, but overall the characters and the plot were pretty easy to follow. There's political intrigue, terrorism and a stumbling bunch of cast-offs from the Secret Services in the UK - what's not to enjoy and want more of? The other thing that's sold me on continuing: a colleague with whom I share reading ideas randomly asked if I'd ever read this series and was delighted that I had. So... on to more!

01 November 2019

Rules for Vanishing; Kate Alice Marshall

Rules for VanishingRules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It seems like every small town has its mysteries and legends (I grew up near a psychiatric hospital for criminals... you can imagine what stories got told). Here we have a town with a local ghost, Lucy Gallows, who appears once a year to lure people into the woods into which she disappeared years before. Sara is determined to figure out what happened to her sister Becca with or without her former friends. Of course it ends up being "with" and of course they will need to bond together to save themselves - and possibly Becca (and/or Lucy).

Knife; Jo Nesbo

Knife (Harry Hole, #12)Knife by Jo Nesbø
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another entry in one of the best Nordic Noir series, one that reunites Harry with his past and his drinking, his relationships (with friends and Rakel). At times he's difficult to read about - imagine if this were a real person, how coping with that personality and those "quirks" would feel! But by the end we're ready to see what happens next and where Harry ends up.

31 October 2019

Bellevue Square; Michael Redhill

Bellevue SquareBellevue Square by Michael Redhill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Talk about unreliable narrators! Jean Mason is searching for her doppelganger, a woman who apparently lives close to the bookstore Jean owns. But then curiosity turns to obsession, and to essentially living in the square trying to find this other woman, making friends with some of the regulars. But when Jean's husband starts to worry about what's going on with her... no spoilers! It's a short read, and one well worth spending time on.

Cold is the Grave; Peter Robinson

Cold is the Grave (Inspector Banks, #11)Cold is the Grave by Peter Robinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

DCI Banks has friends within the department, and some enemies. The problem in this entry in the series is that he has to help his enemies because the case involves runaway girls and London, and for some reason his particular skills mean he'll be able to find the girl in question (and solve mysteries, etc.). It's always enjoyable reading his mental fidgeting about this, listening to his music and sipping his Scotch while he muses about his life and that of others. At times, thought, Banks has a bit of the sad sack around him and that's growing to be his default. It'd be nice if we saw a slightly different Banks in future.

30 October 2019

The Evil that Boys Do; T.C. Van Adler

The Evil That Boys DoThe Evil That Boys Do by T.C. Van Adler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Years ago the owner of the Mystery Ink bookshop recommended St Agatha's Breast and I enjoyed it. Apparently the author has written a sequel, and now I've read it. I liked it, but not as much as I'd remembered - could be memory, could be writing style. The mystery was semi-locked room (most of this takes place in a prison) but once again we have a lost Old Master painting that Father Brocard is trying to locate. What bothered me most was Zinka's portrayal, with the constant repetitions about her gender, her hands, her size, etc.. Still, if there's ever another, I'll read it!

The Last True Poets of the Sea; Julia Drake

The Last True Poets of the SeaThe Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A supposed wild child (wild due to family issues and misunderstandings) gets sent to her uncle's house in Maine to apparently get her act together. Did I mention the misunderstandings? There's a potential love triangle, discovering what's really important and working through problems - including mysterious family history. This will probably appeal to teens who can't get enough of this type of book, but it won't draw others in.

ARC provided by publisher.

29 October 2019

Dead to Her; Sarah Pinborough

Dead to HerDead to Her by Sarah Pinborough
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This almost got a two star review for being so predictable but then... the ending. There's a twist I definitely didn't see coming and that redeemed most of the rest of this old money Southern society breached by "not quite our type" outsiders.

ARC provided by publisher.