Nelson’s wife, Michelle, is pregnant and he has decided to stay with his wife. Ruth receives a call from an Italian archaeologist (and former lover) requesting her assistance with a Roman skeleton he has uncovered. Needing a vacation, Ruth flies off to Italy with her daughter Kate and her friend Shona and her little boy. From there, the story evolves into two story lines. After an earthquake hits their area, Nelson and Cathbad fly to Italy to be sure Ruth and Kate are okay. Ruth finds the body of a local priest murdered in his own church and then the car she is in is run off the road. The quaint Italian village is full of secrets, dating back to World War II and the Resistance. Back in England, a man Nelson had arrested is released from prison. He had vowed vengeance on Nelson, but claims to be reformed. Has Nelson misread the potential danger of this man and left his family unprotected while he chases after Ruth?
This is the tenth book in this series, and the reader becomes involved in the lives of these so very human characters. Their lives are messy and confused and they are far from perfect, but you care about them. The archaeology is fascinating and even the side characters are well-done. Give this series a try!
Stay Hidden is the ninth in the Mike Bowditch Mysteries and is entirely fresh and captivating. Mike is sent to investigate a hunting incident resulting in the death of a young woman on an isolated island. Was this a careless hunter or was the woman the intended target? Mike has recently become a Warden Investigator and this is his first case. He is sent to investigate what they believe to be an accidental shooting with a state trooper and a crime scene tech. Both of his companions must return to the mainland and he is left alone to investigate the incident which rapidly becomes more complicated, with mistaken identities, neo-Nazis, and a hermit. The descriptions of the area and the people draw you right into their world, and the reader begins to fit the pieces of the puzzle together right along with Mike Bowditch. You can read this as a stand-alone story, but I highly recommend reading the entire series.
Buried in Books is the 12th Bibliophile Mystery and the series continues to be delightful. Brooklynn and Derek are soon to be married and her mother has invited two of her best friends (Sara and Heather) from college to her wedding shower. Unfortunately, Sara had stolen Heather’s boyfriend and the two had been enemies ever since. At the shower, they both gift Brooklynn with a special book, but there’s something unusual about Sara’s gift. I love this series, with Brooklynn’s quirky family and now Derek’s mother fits right in! This is a stand-alone novel, but treat yourself by reading the entire series!
Max Tudor, an Anglican priest married to a Wiccan, is also a former MI5 officer. Settled now in the small town of Monkslip, Max finds himself involved in another investigation into a death in his area. A man and a woman,are apparently the victims of a suicide pact (only half successful…the woman has survived). But everything is not as it seems, and Max listens and observes and is able to not only solve the mystery, but save another life. An interesting mystery set in a quirky English village, this is a lovely cozy mystery series.
I have enjoyed this series and The Otter of Death is a great cozy. Teddy loves her job at the zoo, she loves her liveaboard boat, and she loves Joe, the local sheriff and her fiance. When she finds an otter holding a cellphone with a picture of a dead man on the screen, Joe does not want her becoming involved in the investigation. Of course, Teddy is immediately asking questions and finds herself in danger. This was a well-written mystery with just the right amount of humor, suspense and happy endings. Pick up The Otter of Death, grab your favorite snack, and settle in for a cozy read.
The Crooked Staircase is the third of the Jane Hawk novels and the story is not yet finished. In fact, this book feels incomplete as the reader is left with a cliff-hanger of an ending. This is a dark, dark story with not even a glimpse of hope. Jane seems to be fighting a battle in which she can barely stay alive and save her son, while she endangers everyone close to her. I’m not sure if I will read the next (and hopefully) final book in the series. One thing I do dislike is the current trend for books in a series not to function a stand-alone stories and to leave the reader of the middle books with no true ending. As always, Dean Koontz’s characters are well-done and the story well-written.
The Spook in the Stacks continues a well-written and thoroughly enjoyable series. A great Halloween story, a wealthy former resident is donating his prized history collection to either the Lighthouse Library or a nearby college. Soon a murder occurs at the library and Lucy is pulled into the investigation. Interspersed with ghost stories and mysterious sightings, this is a fun story and a good mystery!
In A Magical Match, Lily is preparing for her wedding to Sailor and helping organize a charity event when someone from her past appears unexpectedly. he demands something be returned that she stole from him, but Lily has no memory of that time. Before he can cause more trouble, he is killed and Sailor is arrested. Lily’s powers have been in a slump, too, making life more difficult for her. What is going on and who can she trust? I enjoyed this story and it is a great continuation of this fun series.
Widow’s Wreath is a departure from the previous Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries. Victoria finds herself the reluctant host to a wedding extravaganza for a young relative. In setting up for the reception, a body is found in Victoria’s cellar. When the groom (who thinks he is marrying a rich heiress) calls off the wedding after finding his fiancé is as broke as he is! And she’s not exactly heartbroken once she learns he has no money, either. The groom is a narcissist and it seems everyone would like to murder him. There is very little of the charm of the previous books in the series and Victoria seems rather overwhelmed most of the time. The groom’s family is all Italian mafia with revenge, family honor, and a disowned son.
Delaney is from Kansas, but now lives in Edinburgh and works at a local bookstore, curating the owner’s hidden and unusual collection. She’s settled in by this third book in the series and has made friends with a few medical students. When one girl is found murdered right outside the bookstore, Delaney becomes involved. What does the girl’s death have to do with the history of Burke and Hare, murderers from the past who killed to provide corpses for the medical college? Always a delightful 0series, this is an enjoyable visit to Edinburgh with a true cozy feel.