Archive for the ‘Crime-Detective’ Category
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
Poet’s Cottage Synopsis
Poets had always lived there, the locals claimed. It was as if the house called to its own…
When Sadie inherits Poet’s Cottage in the Tasmanian fishing town of Pencubitt, she sets out to discover all she can about her notorious grandmother, Pearl Tatlow. Pearl was a children’s writer who scandalised 1930s Tasmania with her behaviour. She was also violently murdered in the cellar of Poet’s Cottage and her murderer never found.
Sadie grew up with a loving version of Pearl through her mother, but her aunt Thomasina tells a different story, one of a self-obsessed, abusive and licentious woman. And Pearl’s biographer, Birdie Pinkerton, has more than enough reason to discredit her.
As Sadie and her daughter Betty work to uncover the truth, strange events begin to occur in the cottage. And as the terrible secret in the cellar threads its way into the present day, it reveals a truth more shocking than the decades-long rumours.
Poet’s Cottage is a beautiful and haunting mystery of families, bohemia, truth, creativity, lies, memory and murder. (Booktopia)
Poet’s Cottage by Josephine Pennicott is a gothic mystery novel that contains all the ingredients of a success. It has a complex web narrative across historical time periods, in this case the 1930s and the present day. The story is set in a charming little Tasmanian town exposed to the elements and steeped in history, scandal and murder.
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
Dead Lions Synopsis
London’s Slough House is where the washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their failed careers. The “slow horses,” as they’re called, have all disgraced themselves in some way to get relegated here. Maybe they messed up an op badly and can’t be trusted any more. Maybe they got in the way of an ambitious colleague and had the rug yanked out from under them. Maybe they just got too dependent on the bottle-not unusual in this line of work. One thing they all have in common, though, is they all want to be back in the action. And most of them would do anything to get there — even if it means having to collaborate with one another.
Now the slow horses have a chance at redemption. An old Cold War-era spy is found dead on a bus outside Oxford, far from his usual haunts. The despicable, irascible Jackson Lamb is convinced Dickie Bow was murdered. As the agents dig into their fallen comrade’s circumstances, they uncover a shadowy tangle of ancient Cold War secrets that seem to lead back to a man named Alexander Popov, who is either a Soviet bogeyman or the most dangerous man in the world. How many more people will have to die to keep those secrets buried?
I was an unabashed fan of the British TV series Spooks and will admit to having enjoyed an episode or two of the slightly less cool but charming TV series New Tricks. Add to that my penchant for satire and humour on the darker side, and it seems Mick Herron’s latest novel Dead Lions was made for me.
Saturday, May 11th, 2013
I recently read and enjoyed immensely Emily Winslow’s latest title, The Start of Everything (read my review).
I reviewed this literary crime thriller as part of the promotion of its UK release coming up in June 2013, but it was first released in the US et al in February 2013 with quite different cover art.
I think both covers are eye-catching but they convey different moods for the book.
In my opinion the UK cover has a much more appropriate sense of foreboding and criminality. The US cover, although still looking mysterious, could be mistaken for chick lit with the image of a girl on a bike.
Which cover do you prefer?
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
Dead Lions by Mick Herron is set for release on 7 May 2013 from Soho Press.
This is Herron’s seventh novel, and the second of his titles to feature the ‘slow horses’ in London’s Slough House, a place where the washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their failed careers.
“The Spooks’ Zoo was Berlin, back when the cages had just been unlocked, and frightened thugs were pouring from the woodwork like beetles from an upturned log. At least twice a day, some sweating would-be asset was at the door claiming to have the crown jewels in a cardboard suitcase: defence details, missile capability, toxic secrets — and yet, for all the flurry of activity, the writing was on the newly dismantled Wall: everyone’s past had been blown away, but so had Dickie Bow’s future.”
I was a huge fan of the British TV series Spooks and I love a good spy novel.
Find out more about this book, Dead Lions by Mick Herron ( Amazon | Booktopia | Kobobooks )
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
The Start of Everything Synopsis
In this stunning psychological thriller for readers of Tana French, Kate Atkinson, and Donna Tartt, Emily Winslow has crafted a literary prism told through the eyes of her many intricately drawn characters. Masterly and mesmerizing, “The Start of Everything” will captivate until the very last page.
“If you don’t want to see me again, say so. But it’s not right to say nothing. It’s not right to go silent. You know what to do.”
Cambridge, England: Outside the city, the badly decomposed body of a teenage girl has washed up in the flooded fens. Detective Inspector Chloe Frohmann and her partner, Morris Keene, must work quickly to identify the victim before the press takes off with the salacious story. Across the hallowed paths and storied squares of Cambridge University, the detectives follow scant clues toward the identity of the dead girl. Eventually, their search leads them to Deeping House, an imposing country manor where, over the course of one Christmas holiday, three families, two nannies, and one young writer were snowed in together. Chloe Frohmann begins to unravel a tangled web of passions and secrets, of long-buried crimes and freshly committed horrors. But in order to reveal the truth–about misaddressed letters, a devastating affair, and a murdered teenager — she may have to betray her partner. (The Book Depository)
Emily Winslow opens The Start of Everything through the eyes of an intriguing character, a young woman named Mathilde Oliver. It quickly becomes apparent that Mathilde has some form of autism, given her hypersensitivity to the people and objects around her. This viewpoint is utterly captivating and before you realise it, this book becomes impossible to put down.
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Harlequin’s Costume Synopsis
The year is 1871. Prince von Ahrensburg, Austria’s military attaché to St. Petersburg, has been killed in his own bed. The murder threatens diplomatic consequences for Russia so dire that they could alter the course of history. Leading the investigation into the high-ranking diplomat’s death is Chief Inspector Ivan Putilin, but the Tsar has also called in the notorious Third Department – the much-feared secret police – on the suspicion that the murder is politically motivated. As the clues accumulate, the list of suspects grows longer; there are even rumors of a werewolf at large in the capital. Suspicion falls on the diplomat’s lover and her cuckolded husband, as well as Russian, Polish and Italian revolutionaries, not to mention Turkish spies. True to his maxim that “coincidence and passion are the real conspirators,” Putilin seeks answers inside the diplomatic circus as well, which leads him to struggles with criminals and with the secret police itself. When the mystery is solved, the only person who saw it coming was Putilin.
Harlequin’s Costume is the first volume in a series whose main character is based on the real-life Ivan Putilin, the Tsar’s Chief of Police in St. Petersburg from 1866 to 1892. The entire trilogy, Chief Inspector Putilin, appeared as a mini-series on Russian television in 2007.
Brilliantly translated by Marian Schwartz, Harlequin’s Costume is now for the first time being published in English.
BOOK REVIEW by Tony Ziemek
Successful detective fiction creates a landscape (often an unfamiliar one) into which the reader is drawn and allowed to wander a little. The landscape is often strewn with incidental (or are they?), atmospheric details inviting our gaze, as we hunt for clues alongside the central character. Harlequin’s Costume exquisitely recreates 19th Century St Petersburg and is rich in such details.
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Another Sun Synopsis
The sun-drenched Caribbean island of Guadeloupe is technically part of France, subject to French law and loyal to the French Republic. But in 1980, the scars of colonialism are still fresh, and ethnic tensions and political unrest seethe just below the surface of everyday life.
French-Algerian judge Anne Marie Laveaud relocated to this beautiful Caribbean island confident that she could make it her new home. But her day-to-day life is rife with frustration. Now she is assigned a murder case in which she is sure the chief suspect, an elderly ex-con named Hégésippe Bray, is a political scapegoat. Her superiors are dismissive of her efforts to prove Bray innocent, and to add insult to injury, Bray himself won’t even speak to her because she’s a woman. But she won’t give up, and Anne Marie’s investigations lead her into a complex tangle of injustice, domestic terrorists, broken hearts, and maybe even voodoo. (Amazon)
Another Sun is actually an English translation (by the author himself) of the novel Un Autre Soleil, originally published in French in 2011. It comes after a long hiatus for Timothy Williams who had commercial success with the Commissario Trotti Italian mystery series in the 1980s and 1990s. (more…)