Glass Houses is simply Louise Penny’s best book (so far). Beginning with the strange, hooded figure simply standing on the village green of Three Pines, I was captivated. Penny’s writing is lyrical, her characters treated with love and acceptance (flaws and all) and her mystery plot extremely well-done. Once started, I wanted to keep reading straight through, but at the same time, I wanted to savor the writing and the story. Now I have finished it and it did not disappoint. This is a book I will be reading again, while anticipating the next in the series.
I enjoyed this second in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series even more than the first. Gemma, owner of the bookshop on Baker Street, is a real life embodiment of Sherlock Holmes. She can also be as annoying as the great detective was, especially to Detective Louise Estrada. At the last moment, a famous author books an author visit to Gemma’s store to promote her newest book. The author, flamboyant and rather overwhelming, is accompanied by her dowdy, cowed assistant and her publicist. Soon a murder occurs, there are suspects everywhere, and Gemma is in the thick of the investigation, much to the irritation of the police. Vicki Delany has created another fun read and a good mystery, peopled with eccentric characters.
Andy, the lazy lawyer and dog lover, is back on a case again. When a border collie is left at Andy’s animal shelter, the dog is found to be one that disappeared during a child kidnapping a few years before. Questions multiply and Andy gets a retrial for the convicted kidnapper. I love Andy’s character and his interactions with his cast of eccentric friends. The mystery has a great twist at the end, which I did not see coming. If you haven’t read any in this series yet, give them a try today. Very entertaining!
in Killer Party, the latest addition to the Tourist Trap Mystery series, Jill and Greg (her boyfriend and local sheriff) are spending a weekend with his high school friends. Jill is not thrilled with the group, but things go downhill when one fellow is found dead the next morning. Greg can’t investigate due to his friendship with the victim, so Jill finds herself in the unusual position of being encouraged to investigate. A wonderful cozy mystery, wrapped up nicely. What is happening with Jill’s aunt is not so nicely wrapped up, however. We are left hanging until the next book…not something I enjoy.
Sunday (Sunnie) Night is a badly damaged young woman. Raised and abused in a cult where she barely escaped a mass suicide, Sunnie has been booted from the Army, badly injured as a cop, and now lives like a hermit on an island. When her foster father reaches out to her with a cold case involving a bombing and a missing girl, Sunnie is drawn to the case. Sunnie has a short fuse on her temper and no people skills, but somehow, I liked her. She is too stubborn to give up, even on herself. The action and hunt for the bombers and the missing girl, kept me glued to the story.
The Antique House Murders is a fun cozy mystery, crossed with a suspenseful romance. The elderly owner of Mulbridge House recently died and Charley’s friend is running the estate sale. Charley is the owner of a vintage clothing store and her boyfriend is a local police detective. When Charley finds her friend’s body, she can’t stop investigating, much to her boyfriend’s irritation. Charley soon has a list of suspects and motives, with much suspicion falling on the daughter and son of the house’s owner. I liked Charley and her friends and the mystery kept me guessing.
Come Sundown is set on a resort/ranch in Montana, owned by the Bodine family. It begins with a glimpse of the past…Alice Bodine is on her way home after running away, but she is kidnapped and held captive by a crazy man. No one knew she was coming home, so no one looks for her. Fast forward to the present and the family is all together on the ranch (except for Alice). Then a young woman is found murdered and the mystery begins. Is there a connection between this murder and Alice’s disappearance? Once you get into the story, it becomes a real page-turner with a few romances thrown in as well.
Cora and her friend Jane are hosting their second crafting retreat, but Jane’s babysitter, Gracie, is missing! They find out that Gracie and her friends had been playing a Wizard of Oz game on the dark net and Gracie has been receiving weird messages. The women at the retreat are soon caught up in unraveling the mystery and learning more about hackers and the dark net from their youngest member of the group. The retreat continues with wonderful descriptions of crafting using things found in nature around them. I enjoyed this story and have already purchased the first in the series so I can get caught up on the beginning of their story!
My one problem with the book is that Gracie is found to suffer from depression and Jane is upset that she wasn’t told. Jane wouldn’t have hired Gracie as her daughter’s babysitter if she had known. Really? Depression is certainly not a dangerous affliction for a babysitter! I wonder if the author has any idea how many teachers (who are with children daily) also suffer from depression.
Europe is hit by a collapse of the entire power grid. Countries scramble to get power back, but the collapse spreads. The book points out all the ways that loss of power would affect everyone. It’s not just an inconvenience, it is essential to every facet of our lives…water, food, warmth, health, communication…all would be affected. The premise is frightening as the blackout is caused by terrorists. The book did bog down in details, but it was a thought-provoking read nevertheless.
The second Timber Creek K-9 series is a welcome addition to the series. A junior high age girl is missing and Mattie and Robo are called in to help track her. They find her body and the ensuing murder investigation stirs up memories of Mattie’s own abused background. Mattie has become close to Cole and his family, but isn’t sure he doesn’t still have feelings for his ex-wife. When Cole’s youngest daughter goes missing, Mattie and Robo are part of the desperate search for the girl. I love this series and recommend it highly.