What are we reading 2022?
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I am reading The Fingerprint by Patricia Wentworth. I'm nearly to the end of my multi-year chronological read of this series (this is 30 of 32 books).
What British & Irish crime fiction are you reading this year?
I just finished - and really enjoyed Midnight Fugue by Reginald Hill
A story that takes place all in one day at a time when Dalziel is about to return to work following his convalescence when he was blown up by a terrorist bomb (in a previous book). Still a bit muddle-headed, he was visiting a church to confirm that it is Sunday and enjoying a Bach Fugue when he is approached by a woman. The music reference crops up often in the story and Dalziel's knowledge of Bach surprises and annoys the supercilious Pascoe. Maybe Pascoe thought Andy was on the scrap heap and he was in charge, only to have his ambition thwarted again. Hill has created a mystery with a clever plot combining musical allusion and humour. I've never been a fan of Pascoe, but Dalziel, even with his earthy language, is one of my favourite fictional characters.
Sailor, Cass, (native Shetlander) and partner Gavin (Highlander, now a police detective in Lerwick, Shetland) become embroiled in a tale of mischievous trows (the local ‘little people’), inter-family hatreds, demo’s/sabotage against wind farms, and murder. Also featuring Cat and Kitten, their family pets.
I’ll be happy to read more from this author.
Set in 1400, Bro Rodric Chandler is a spy for the House of Lancaster, now working for his liege lord, Thomas Swynford, step-brother of Henry IV. Henry has just usurped Richard II from his throne, and Chandler finds himself in the unfortunate position of sympathising with the former king, while still having to pretend allegiance to Henry.
This is a murder mystery; Chandler is tasked with finding the murderer.
I’ve also read one of Clark’s Abbess of Meaux mysteries. I’m happy to continue reading both series.
I have really enjoyed this series, and this was another solid entry, even if the premise of a man who collects famous (and otherwise) fingerprints seemed a bit farfetched. Although, I guess there's no accounting for what people of the early 20th century took a fancy to. :-)
I found the writing style a bit ponderous for this 1949 offering, but I’ve requested my library to buy another of the ebooks of this series. If they do buy it, I’ll give Mordecai another chance to grow on me.
‘The Green Pen Mystery’ was written in 1934, a mid-length standalone; the four ‘Other Stories’ were penned in the 1970s and featured Able Kane, a rather unconventional solicitor.
The operator of a small airline has been hired to fly twelve cases of champagne to a hotel in Nicosia, Cyprus. On arrival he finds the hotel in receivership and not only is there no payment but he is roped into helping out as chef and manager to try and keep the business afloat. He is aided by his partner who is fresh out of a two-year stretch in an Israeli jail. When an important guest requests champagne, well, the twelve cases still on the 'plane are the obvious source, until one box is opened and found to contain arms. Complicating matters even further, the champagne drinker is an archaeologist who claims to have discovered an artifact of fabulous historical importance. This is an exciting thriller if not very serious and I enjoyed that there was plenty of authentic aviation details including a dicey flight to Israel that has the reader hanging on by their fingernails. Lyall gave a very accurate portrayal of the area just after the Cyprus Emergency in the fifties when terrorist attacks were still common. Published in 1975 this an excellent example of thriller novels of the time. This was only my second Lyall book but I'll be looking for more.
A murder mystery set on the rugged west coast of Scotland. I’ve read a few books in this series and have added the rest to my tbr.
1963, it is known that there is a plot in place to assassinate Gen. Charles de Gaulle; will the French authorities, and Commissaire Lebel of the Police Judiciare in particular, be able to hunt down the Englishman, code named ‘Jackal’, in time to stop him?
1966 - Murder in a nunnery, case solved by DI Sloan and new sidekick, DC Crosby. First book in a series.
The Valley of Fear - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 4.5★s.
An ex-SAS Col. goes undercover as a released Gitmo-imprisoned Afghan Taliban fighter to foil a terrorist plot against a G8 summit being held on an oceangoing liner.
I’ve only recently stumbled across this author - one of many, many that I look upon with glee when I uncover a ‘new’ name…
Wherever middle aged actor Charles turns up to work, he seems to stumble across a murder - and can’t resist investigating (while falling for some pretty, young woman).
The Darkest Hour is set in a 1946 London where Germany has won the war. Widower and war hero John Rossett is a police Sgt attached to the SS, working for the Office of Jewish Affairs, leading the ‘clearances’, unaware (and uncaring) of the final destination of those people - until his conscience is pricked by a 7 year old boy. 4★s.
A British mountaineer dies in Yugoslavia. Discovering that an official at the British Embassy in Prague thinks this wasn’t an accidental death, the deceased’s step-daughter, a university friend of policeman’s son Dominic Felse, wants to know more. 4★s
The Lizard’s Bite 4.5★s:
Nic Costa, his partner Gianni Peroni, and their boss Insp Leo Falcone, are exiled to Venice from Rome as punishment for some misdemeanour 8m ago. Just about to take some leave with their visiting girlfriends, their plans are hijacked when the local commissario wants them to investigate a fire and 2 deaths at a family glassworks. It’s supposed to be a cut and dried case, easily put to bed (just as the locals want it, for reasons of their own), but the Romans aren’t so willing to toe the line… Good job the girlfriends are an ex-FBI agent and a pathologist!
I’m looking for more books in this series. I’m hooked!
Widowed Thea Osborne earns money by house-sitting in the picturesque villages of the Cotswolds. Unfortunately, it seems that wherever she turns up, so does a dead body…
This book is the fourth in the series.
38-year-old Sam discovers the mother he believed drowned 25 years before may still be alive and that some very bad men are looking for her. He determines to go to the US to search for her himself.
Not my cup of tea, sad to say.
* The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths (set in Norfolk). I love this series featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway.
* Amongst Our Weapons by Ben Aaronovitch is the latest in the Rivers of London paranormal police procedural series.
* The Appeal by Janice Hallett (set in a fictional English village) was a recommendation from a friend. It's an epistolary novel, told entirely through emails, texts and letters, as a barrister tasks his clerks with reviewing the written material from a recent murder trial to look for grounds for an appeal.
* The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (set in a fictional English retirement village) is a cozy mystery featuring a quartet of octogenarian sleuths and a lot of comedy one-liners. I liked it well enough to continue with the series.
Lovesey has resurrected a popular sport of the Victorian era and created an entertaining mystery novel. Six day "Go As You Please" contests - or "Wobbles" were instituted by Sir John Astley in 1878 and became very popular on both sides of the Atlantic. The contestants may choose to walk or run with brief rests for six days on a track. Lovesey's race takes place in the vast Agricultural Hall in Islington in 1879 with a first prize of £500, lower amounts for second and third places. With so much money at stake, to say nothing of the bets placed with bookies, there are bound to be shenanigans. In this case one contestant died of a massive dose of strychnine, commonly administered in minute amounts by his trainer as a stimulant. Then the trainer died too. And that wasn’t the only strange method trainers used. Combining the mystery with a sport I've never heard of before was a lot of fun. Dashing around Victorian London in hansom cabs and thick fog was wonderful.
A series that I’m dipping into, in no particular order. This one is book 20 in the series featuring Chief Superintendent George Gently.
I shall look for more in this cop series.
This one is a standalone novel - a Buchanesque chase through the fells of the Lake District in Cumbria, after businessman Harry Bentink is wrongfully suspected of rape/murder. 4★s.
Widowed Ellen Curtis, who runs her own decluttering business, finds a body amidst the clutter on one of her jobs.
This was written and set in the 1980s. I kept wanting it to be set in the 50s - it somehow felt wrong in the 80s…
I won’t be seeking any more from this author.
First book in the Mrs Bradley series. A Country Manor murder mystery.
London, 1669, the Thames is frozen; young architect, Christopher Redmayne, and his friends are visiting the Frost Fair when one of the party find a body in the ice…
I ration myself with the Rebus series, it’s a thing I do with all my favourite authors or series, as I hate coming to the end with nothing left to look forward to… 🙂. So I’m only up to book 15 for Rebus, still a fair way for me to go.
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