by Chantal W. In mysteries, the frame or the context is often what lures readers. Mysteries can be set in some many different locales and time periods. The details and context enrich the tale and make the mystery stand out. The setting and the protagonist become inextricably intertwined. Elizabeth Peters set her cozies in Egypt, … Continue reading Crime scene
Set in the Italian alps, Flowers Over the Inferno, is fast-paced and chilling. Tuti comes from that region and she brings the fictional town of Traveni, a picturesque village that wants to protect its dark secrets, to life. Beneath the town's picturesque exterior there are dark forces--an evil doctor and a nefarious school conducting dark … Continue reading Flowers Over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti [Book Review]
Like most of St. James's novels, The Sun Down Motel invokes the supernatural. Strange events have been occurring at the Sun Down Motel since the eighties Carly, who just lost her mother to cancer, decides to find answers to questions her family have been dodging for years--what really happened to her Aunt Viv. The Sun … Continue reading Book Review: The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James.
Years after a horrific crime, Tessie, the only survivor in the "Black-eyed Susan" murders steps forward. She is beginning to doubt that the right person has been convicted for the heinous crime. Tessie was nearly killed and blinded by a "monster." After the horrific attack, Tessie suffers memory loss and psychological blindess--a conversion disorder. Heaberlin … Continue reading Book Review: Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin.
Two women, one of whom is just sixteen, form an unlikely bond as they try to understand why numerous women have disappeared in Atlantic City. Ava, who goes by Clara Voyant, is a teenaged psychic who tries to solve the missing cases with the help of Lily Louten, an aspiring art gallery owner. Ava who … Continue reading Book Review: Please See Us by by Caitlin Mullen
DCI John Marvel wants to be promoted but he hates the new task his supervisor has given him. Marvel is given the unenviable task of finding his boss' wife's missing poodle. The humor of this scene contrasts with the grim details of two other missing cases--that of a male toddler, Daniel, and an twelve-year-old girl, Edie, … Continue reading Book Review: The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer
Rachel deeply regrets letting her eight-year-old run ahead of her while walking in the woods. Ben Finch disappears, leaving almost no clues except his clothing, which was found near a pond. Britain's CID know this case is serious after a detective finds the child's clothing. Macmillan details the police procedure expertly and poignantly sifts the mother's sorrow. Jim, … Continue reading Book Review: What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan
These Things Hidden is a powerful, complicated story about the ties that bind us to our families. Completely unpredictable, this novel will have readers guessing about what will unfold next. Newly released from prison, Alison tries to contact her family without much success. She was their “golden girl” upon whom everyone placed their hopes. No one … Continue reading Book Review: These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf.
Raven Black by Ann Cleeves Raven Black is the first in the Ann Cleeves's Shetland series. Unique among detective stories, readers know who the killer is near the start of the novel. At least, he gives the appearance of being the murderer. Magnus Tait is an eccentric recluse who lives by himself at Hilhead. Few … Continue reading Book Review: Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
Naomi Cottle's earliest memory is of herself as a ten-year-old running naked in a strawberry field. She runs towards migrant workers who take her to a sheriff. Twenty years later, Naomi is a thirty-year-old private investigator trying to find a child who has disappeared while out on a family trip. Naomi has become a private … Continue reading Book Review: The Child Finder by Rene Denefeld