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Tag Archive for ‘murder mystery’

Uncovering corruption at Scotland Yard

Garden of Lamentations (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James #17), by Deborah Crombie @@@@ (4 out of 5) Let me see if I’ve got this straight. There are lots of cops in Deborah Crombie’s latest detective novel, Garden of Lamentations. Six of them, for starters. Co-protagonists Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Detective Inspector Gemma James are married. They’ve… Read More ›

“The godmother of modern Norwegian crime fiction”

Blind Goddess (Hanne Wilhelmsen #1), by Anne Holt @@ (2 out of 5) Blind Goddess is the first of nine entries to date in Anne Holt’s series of detective novels featuring Oslo Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen. I don’t plan to read any of the rest of them. When Jo Nesbø proclaimed Holt “the godmother of… Read More ›

An entertaining mystery about a Mayan curse

Curses! (Gideon Oliver #5), by Aaron Elkins @@@@ (4 out of 5) Now 41 years of age and happily married for two years, Gideon Oliver is a tenured professor of physical anthropology at a university near Seattle. He is known far and wide as “the Skeleton Doctor” for his work in forensic anthropology with the… Read More ›

Everybody’s favorite African-American detective

Charcoal  Joe (Easy Rawlins #14), by Walter Mosley @@@ (3 out of 5) Walter Mosley’s hard-boiled detective Easy Rawlins roamed the streets of Watts from the 1940s through the 1960s. If there was someone of note in the region unknown to Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, he could turn to a wide range of friends and acquaintances,… Read More ›

A clever murder mystery revolving around amnesia

Upon a Dark Night (Peter Diamond #5), by Peter Lovesey @@@@ (4 out of 5) A young woman turns up at a private hospital with total amnesia of the incident that left her in a coma — and of everything that came before. She remembers nothing of her life, not even her name. Social Services… Read More ›

The 1960s: sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll

The Big Fix (Moses Wine #1), by Roger L. Simon @@@ (3 out of 5) It should not have been such a surprise. A murder mystery I’d found hilarious shortly after its publication in 1973 left me cold in 2016. The Big Fix was the first of seven novels in Roger L. Simon‘s series featuring… Read More ›

A sophisticated thriller from Canada

Seven Days Dead (Storm Murders Trilogy #2), by John Farrow @@@ (3 out of 5) Seven Days Dead is the second of three novels by the Canadian novelist John Farrow featuring retired Detective-Sergeant Emile Cinq-Mars of the Montreal city police. The common thread that ran through the first book, The Storm Murders, was that each… Read More ›

Koreans, Chinese, and Mongolians clash in a murder mystery

A Drop of Chinese Blood (Inspector O #5), by James Church @@ (2 out of 5) Get this: the principal characters are named Bing, Ding, Jang, Wu, Hu, and O. Perhaps Chinese speakers can keep all these names straight, but I sure couldn’t. Of course, I might have found it easier if the plot were… Read More ›

A great example of Swedish noir

A review of The Preacher (Fjällbacka #2), by Camilla Läckberg @@@@@ (5 out of 5) It’s a sweltering summer on the coast of Sweden, and Erica Falck is suffering mightily under the weight and anxiety of eight months of pregnancy. Her partner, Detective Patrik Lindstrom, has taken a vacation in hopes of supporting her as… Read More ›

A fascinating Chinese detective novel

A review of The Chinese Maze Murders (Judge Dee #1), by Robert van Gulik @@@@ (4 out of 5) Robert van Gulik’s series of 16 Judge Dee mysteries are set in China sometime during the era of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). They’re grounded in his intensive scholarly study of ancient Chinese detective stories, some of… Read More ›