31 December 2016

Ringing out the old year

I never get tired of looking at this image.  
How big this bell tower must be to house all these bells.
And who are the people ringing them?
And how secure is the floor with all those bits of timber?

Goodbye 2016

30 December 2016

My best reads for 2016

I've just taken my top 10 titles, but there are plenty more on my list, and plenty of Australian representation here too. (A)
And a number of them I read as E books on my Kindle (E)
See all at
  1. 5.0, THE LAKE HOUSE, Kate Morton (A) (E)
  2. 5.0, A DEADLY THAW, Sarah Ward (E)
  3. 5.0, THE WRONG HAND, Jane Jago (A)
  4. 5.0, CONCLAVE, Robert Harris 
  5. 5.0, THE RULES OF BACKYARD CRICKET, Jock Serong (A) (E)
  6. 4.9, WHAT SHE NEVER TOLD ME, Kate McQuaile (E)
  7. 4.9, ALL THE BIRDS, SINGING, Evie Wyld (A)
  8. 4.9, COFFIN ROAD, Peter May
  9. 4.9, PLAY DEAD, Angela Marsons (E)
  10. 4.9, BLOOD LINES, Angela Marsons (E)

Review: BLOOD LINES, Angela Marsons

  • Format: kindle (Amazon)
  • #5 in the Kim Stone series
  • File Size: 2252 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Bookouture (November 4, 2016)
  • Publication Date: November 4, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English

Synopsis (Amazon)

How do you catch a killer who leaves no trace?

A victim killed with a single, precise stab to the heart appears at first glance to be a robbery gone wrong. A caring, upstanding social worker lost to a senseless act of violence. But for Detective Kim Stone, something doesn’t add up.

When a local drug addict is found murdered with an identical wound, Kim knows instinctively that she is dealing with the same killer. But with nothing to link the two victims except the cold, calculated nature of their death, this could be her most difficult case yet.

Desperate to catch the twisted individual, Kim’s focus on the case is threatened when she receives a chilling letter from Dr Alex Thorne, the sociopath who Kim put behind bars. And this time, Alex is determined to hit where it hurts most, bringing Kim face-to-face with the woman responsible for the death of Kim’s little brother – her own mother.

As the body count increases, Kim and her team unravel a web of dark secrets, bringing them closer to the killer. But one of their own could be in mortal danger. Only this time, Kim might not be strong enough to save them…

A totally gripping thriller that will have you hooked from the very first page to the final, dramatic twist.

My take

This is one of those books that gets you in right from the beginning, but I think I also need to say that the reader will be more engaged if you have read the earlier titles in the series (in order). There are also plot strands that continue from earlier novels (the Alex Thorne one, and Kim's mother). I wasn't conscious of a lot of repetition of material from earlier novels, other than re-affirmation of what I already knew. The canvas of the five novels is very detailed and rich.

This is a police procedural, and the nature of police work, the intuition and inspiration that sometimes cracks cases, the tedium of working through endless lists, following up phone calls without result, the rivalry among members of the investigative team, the frustration of being assigned the most pedestrian jobs, are all well explored. They all bring DI Kim Stone and her team alive. Emphasised too in Kim's own character is the fact that no one works in a vaccuum - Kim is in constant danger of being derailed.

Excellent reading.

My rating: 4.9

I've also read

26 December 2016

Review: CLOSED CASKET, Sophie Hannah

  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 1167 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (September 6, 2016)
  • Publication Date: September 6, 2016
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01BJ12PEM
Synopsis  (Amazon)

Hercule Poirot returns in another brilliant murder mystery that can only be solved by the eponymous Belgian detective and his ‘little grey cells’.

‘What I intend to say to you will come as a shock . . .’

Lady Athelinda Playford has planned a house party at her mansion in Clonakilty, County Cork, but it is no ordinary gathering. As guests arrive, Lady Playford summons her lawyer to make an urgent change to her will – one she intends to announce at dinner that night. She has decided to cut off her two children without a penny and leave her fortune to someone who has only weeks to live . . .

Among Lady Playford’s guests are two men she has never met – the famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Neither knows why he has been invited . . . until Poirot starts to wonder if Lady Playford expects a murderer to strike. But why does she seem so determined to provoke, in the presence of a possible killer?

When the crime is committed in spite of Poirot’s best efforts to stop it, and the victim is not who he expected it to be, will he be able to find the culprit and solve the mystery?

Following the phenomenal global success of The Monogram Murders, which was published to critical acclaim following a co-ordinated international launch in September 2014, international best-selling crime writer Sophie Hannah has been commissioned by Agatha Christie Limited to pen a second fully-authorised Poirot novel. The new book marks the centenary of the creation of Christie’s world-famous detective Hercule Poirot, introduced in her first book The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

My Take

This is the second of Sophie Hannah's Poirot stories. The story is told mainly through the voice of Inspector Edward Catchpool, Poirot's friend from Scotland Yard. They have both been invited to a houseparty in Clonakilty, County Cork. A murder occurs but it isn't the one any of the house party were expecting. The amount of space given to Catchpool's voice is just one of the things distinguishing this novel from a "real" Agatha Christie. For another, Christie herself would have underplayed the gruesomeness of the state of the dead body.

I was willing to be persuaded, but Hannah's Poirot still does not ring true. He seems in some ways younger, more mobile, and a little less fastidious than the original.

And am I just being petty in my objections to the prominence given to the Agatha Christie name on some covers?

My rating: 4.2

I've also reviewed 4.3, THE MONOGRAM MURDERS

25 December 2016

Merry Christmas to all

It will be a hot one this year.
The weather man is promising 40C!

23 December 2016

Review: CONCLAVE, Robert Harris - audio book

  • Narrated by: Roy Mcmillan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins 
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • published 2016
Synopsis (Audible)

The Pope is dead.

Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, 118 cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world's most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals.

Over the next 72 hours, one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.

My Take

I guess one could argue that this novel is at the very edge of crime fiction, but there is certainly mystery, and a plot that kept me listening until the very end.

The narration is excellent, and there is plenty of drama and suspense as the Dean of the College of Cardinals leads 118 cardinals through the process of electing another Pope, making sure that their final choice is worthy of the office.

At the end we are left asking how much influence the former Pope actually had in choosing his successor.

My rating: 5.0

About the author

Robert Harris was born in Nottingham in 1957 and is a graduate of Cambridge University. He has been a reporter on the BBC's Newsnight and Panorama programmes, Political Editor of the Observer, and a columnist on The Sunday Times. He is the author of five non-fiction books in addition to his bestselling fiction. 

22 December 2016

Review: THE BANK MANAGER, Roger Monk

  • first published by the Horizon Publishing Group 2016
  • ISBN 13: 978-1-922234-573
  • 337 pages
  • source: my local library
  • paperback also available from Amazon
Synopsis (Publisher)

Detective Sergeant Brian Shaw is transferred  to a country town.

Just an ordinary, average Australian country town where nothing ever happens — except blackmail, fornication, embezzlement, revenge, avarice, brutality, snobbery, rape … and murder.

Like any other ordinary, average Australian country town.

My Take

We first met DS Brian Shaw in Roger Monk's first crime fiction book, THE BANK INSPECTOR.
I felt his character emerged rather more clearly in THE BANK MANAGER.

The year is 1950. Superintendent Matthews of  the South Australian Police Headquarters decides to try stationing detectives in different regions in the state. This will mean when a serious crime occurs a detective will not have to be sent out from Adelaide, he will already be more or less on the spot.
Brian Shaw's boss Inspector Williams breaks the news to him that he will be reporting to the Midway police station on Yorke Peninsula as officer in charge of all detective functions.

Shaw does not have very long to settle in. The day after he arrives the manager of the Midway branch of the Great Southern Bank disappears on his way back from visiting a local agency. His car mysteriously turns up in his garage overnight but there is no sign of Frank Anderson.

I very much enjoyed this carefully plotted story. There is a good sense of South Australian country life just after World War Two, and some interesting characters.  Brian Shaw is seen by some families as an eligible bachelor, and receives a number of social invitations which gives the reader a good idea of the structure of this country town.

Unfortunately there is no sign of an e-book, but South Australians at least can easily get a copy of both titles through their local library. I look forward to the next in this series.

My rating: 4.8

I've also read 4.8, THE BANK INSPECTOR

19 December 2016

Review: THE CATALYST KILLING, Hans Olav Lahlum

  • first published in Norwegian 2012
  • firts published in UK by Pan Macmillan 2015
  • translated by Kari Dickson
  • 405 pages
  • ISBN 978-0-230-76955-7
  • source: my local library
Synopsis (Pan Macmillan Australia)

1970. Inspector Kolbjørn Kristiansen, known as K2, witnesses a young woman desperately trying to catch a tram only to have the doors close before her face. The next time he sees her, she is dead - her body found between the tram tracks. It seems she has been shot . . .

As K2 begins to investigate, with the inestimable help of his precocious assistant Patricia, he discovers that the whole affair started two years earlier, when a group of politically active young people set out on a walking tour in Valdres. One night, it seems, the charismatic leader Falko Reinhardt vanished. This latest victim was Reinhardt's girlfriend.

It doesn't take K2 long to realise that to solve the present-day murder he must go back in time, perhaps further than 1968. But as he and Patricia begin to unravel the events behind this mystery, the detective fails to notice that his young assistant has her own problems to face. . 

My take

As he did with THE SATELLITE PEOPLE Lahlum has explored a theory about the cause of homicide, i.e. that often a first killing sets off a chain reaction, and is the catalyst for further killings.

The real brains behind investigator K2 is without doubt his young assistant Patricia. She prompts him with questions to ask, lines of enquiry to take, and people to investigate. However the end result of this is that often the reader is also playing catch up, and we do not have the full facts, so it is very hard for us to solve any of the mysteries. I eventually found this quite frustrating. It is a method which involves K2 chasing a number of red herrings, often at great length, only to find that track is a dead end. Patricia meanwhile sits smugly in her wheel chair waiting for K2 to come to the right conclusion.

It is obviously a carefully plotted novel, and the political setting in 1970 would mean a lot more to Norwegian readers.

My rating: 4.4

I've also read

13 December 2016


  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 1005 KB
  • Print Length: 230 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Published by CUSTOM BOOK PUBLICATIONS (April 21, 2015)
  • Publication Date: April 21, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00WH96NX0
Synopsis (Amazon)

Skyla Merrick is always in some kind of trouble …

In disgrace and suspended, the Cornish-born detective witnesses the first of the bizarre deaths while visiting Arthurs Bay, a coastal fishing village with bigger ideas. The director of a local climate change research facility, Edwina Ling, is number one.
Skyla relishes the opportunity to restore her fortunes but false evidence and her personal demons deceive her and she chases the wrong suspect.
Then there is another, and then another death …
Her one-time lover helps resolve her confusion and assists her pursuit of the murderer with renewed clarity. Colleagues quietly follow their own investigations and pursue the money trail. And then there is the confrontation between the developers and conservationists …

When Skyla and local police officer Hugh Fitzpatrick bring their work together, she sees the solution.

But can she catch the killer?

My Take

The setting of this story is the southern coast of Australia, somewhere in Victoria, a fictitious fishing village called Arthurs Bay where a climate change research facility is located. The Southern Institute of Marine Exploration (SIME) is hosting a convention on climate change and a controversial paper which disputes the impact of climate change on local fish stock is to be presented.

On the eve of the presentation of this paper the director of the institute, Edwina Ling, is murdered and suspended detective Skyla Merrick is one of those present at her death. Skyla is reinstated to her rank of detective and is put in charge of the investigation into the murder. Skyla brings with her a whole lot of emotional baggage which impacts on her ability to conduct an investigation.

There are a lot of local issues running in the background, disputes between fishermen and organic vegetable growers, an impending Food Festival, long standing local rivalries, to cite a few. Essentially the fishermen dispute the findings of the research paper, saying that not only are fish stocks dwindling, but that the type of fish now in the area has changed, and that that change is due to the impact of global warming.

Published in 2015, the book focusses on some pretty topical issues, especially in the light of political opinion, both local and international, that climate change is much overrated, and that global warming is unproven.

The novel is carefully plotted, but perhaps an attempt was made to cover too many "issues", and that resulted in quite a number of plot threads, and inevitable red herrings. In the long run, there were just too many strings running off the main plot. and it felt rather as if the author was becoming bogged down in complexity in a desperate attempt to come to a resolution. I also found the number of characters a bit distracting.

Nevertheless an interesting read.

My rating: 3.5

About the author

David Kilner was born in London and grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where he lives with his wife, Pauline, and two Maltese Shih-Tzu crosses. With the help of the dogs, they raised two daughters. Now retired, he spent most of his career in the social welfare sector where he became expert at writing social welfare policy and was awarded a Doctorate for his work on social housing. These days he enjoys volunteering with community organisations and writing local history studies. Many of his non-fiction works have been published, both in social welfare and in history. He began writing crime fiction several years ago and has previously published two short stories with Detective Sergeant Skyla Merrick in the lead.

6 December 2016

Review: DEATH IN AUGUST, Marco Vichi

  • first published in Italian 2002
  • translated into English 2011 by Stephen Sartarelli
  • published by Hodder & Stoughton
  • ISBN 978-1-444-71221-6
  • 207 pages
  • source: my local library
  • #1 in the Inspector Bordelli series
Synopsis  (Italian Mysteries)

Florence, summer 1963.

Inspector Bordelli is one of the few policemen left in the deserted city. He spends his days on routine work, and his nights tormented by the heat and mosquitoes.

Suddenly one night, a telephone call gives him a new sense of purpose: the suspected death of a wealthy Signora. Bordelli rushes to her hilltop villa, and picks the locks. The old woman is lying on her bed - apparently killed by an asthma attack, though her medicine has been left untouched.

With the help of his young protégé, the victim's eccentric brother, and a semi-retired petty thief, the inspector begins a murder investigation. Each suspect has a solid alibi, but there is something that doesn't quite add up . .

My Take

Unencumbered by a wife and family, Inspector Bordelli likes to spend the August holiday season at work, even if it does mean incredible heat, and mosquitoes.

This is almost a Golden Age style mystery: there is no blood and gore, just a dead body and a mystery about how she died.  As Inspector Bordelli tracks down the beneficiaries of the dead woman's will, he and his young assistant settle on the murderer, but the problem is to prove it. He revisits the scene of the death frequently and makes a surprise discovery, and eventually gathers some concrete evidence.

This is to be the first book in the series and the author takes a lot of care in creating the Inspector's persona: he is 53 years old, fought the Nazis in World War Two, and already sees himself as an old man. He has a lot of friends among criminals and ex-soldiers. There is a lovely scene at a dinner party where a number of them tell stories from the war.

I was impressed by the careful plotting and the eventual resolution of the mystery.

My rating: 4.3

About the author
Marco Vichi was born in Florence in 1957. The author of eleven novels and two collections of short stories, he has also written screenplays, music lyrics and for radio, and collaborated on projects for humanitarian causes. His novel Death in Florence won the Scerbanenco, Rieti and Camaiore prizes.

Inspector Bordelli
1. Death in August (2011)
2. Death and the Olive Grove (2012)
3. Death in Sardinia (2012)
4. Death in Florence (2013)
5. Death in the Tuscan Hills (2016)

5 December 2016

Review: SALT CREEK, Lucy Treloar

  • this edition: EasyRead Large Edition
  • published in 2015 in Picador for Pan Macmillan Australia
  • ISBN: 978-1-45876-590-1
  • 569 pages
  • source: my local library
  • author website: http://lucytreloar.com/salt-creek/
Synopsis (Pan Macmillan Australia)


From the winner of the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize (Pacific Region) and the 2013 Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award
"Salt Creek introduces a capacious talent" The Australian

Some things collapse slow, and cannot always be rebuilt, and even if a thing can be remade it will never be as it was.

Salt Creek, 1855, lies at the far reaches of the remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong, in the new province of South Australia. The area, just opened to graziers willing to chance their luck, becomes home to Stanton Finch and his large family, including fifteen-year-old Hester Finch.
Once wealthy political activists, the Finch family has fallen on hard times. Cut adrift from the polite society they were raised to be part of, Hester and her siblings make connections where they can: with the few travellers that pass along the nearby stock route - among them a young artist, Charles - and the Ngarrindjeri people they have dispossessed. Over the years that pass, an Aboriginal boy, Tully, at first a friend, becomes part of the family.
Stanton's attempts to tame the harsh landscape bring ruin to the Ngarrindjeri people's homes and livelihoods, and unleash a chain of events that will tear the family asunder. As Hester witnesses the destruction of the Ngarrindjeri's subtle culture and the ideals that her family once held so close, she begins to wonder what civilization is. Was it for this life and this world that she was educated?

My take

First of all I note that this is NOT crime fiction, although there are mysteries.

A work of fiction, it is loosely based on inherited stories from the author's family, and includes some characters who actually existed, as well as some fictional creations.

It is set in the period 1855-1874. The Finch family who have been in the colony of South Australia for a few years, move from Adelaide to Salt Creek on the Coorong. They are a large family, 6 children initially, but things do not go well. There is a history of "bad blood" between the white settlers and the local aboriginal tribe, including the massacre of the survivors of the wreck of the Brig Maria. Details are left sketchy, but somehow Mr Finch was involved in the punishment meted out.

One of the issues is how the aborigines should be treated: Mr Finch believes in equality, but somehow that does not always come out in his treatment of others. There are references to George Taplin's attempts to civilise them through the mission at Raukkan.

The environment is a harsh one and members of the Finch family die and others go to the Victorian goldfields to seek their fortune. Meanwhile Mr Finch sinks further and further into debt, always balancing one "investment" against the meagre profit from another.

A very good read that seems to me to depict the history of these times with sensitivity and accuracy.

My rating: 4.5

About the author
Lucy Treloar was born in Malaysia and educated in Melbourne, England and Sweden. A graduate of the University of Melbourne and RMIT’s Professional Writing and Editing program, Lucy is a writer, editor, mentor and creative writing teacher and has plied her trades both in Australia and in Cambodia, where she lived for several years.
She was awarded an Asialink Writer’s Residency to Cambodia (2011) to undertake research and to work on her first adult novel, then titled Some Times in Life. Lucy is the winner of the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize (Pacific), the 2012 Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award and a 2013 Varuna Publisher Fellowship. Her short fiction has appeared in Sleepers, Overland, Seizure, and Best Australian Stories 2013, and her non-fiction in a range of publications.
Lucy’s debut novel, Salt Creek (Pan Macmillan) was published in 2015 to critical acclaim. It has won the Dobbie Award, the Matt Richell Award for New Writer, and the Indie Award for Best Debut, and has been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction and the Readings Prize for New Australian Writer.
Lucy is an Artist in Residence at Melbourne’s Arts House – see Creative Spaces. (Here’s the information page.) If anyone’s looking for an office or studio to write in, Creative Spaces is the place to find it.

2 December 2016

Review: A WOMAN MUCH MISSED, Valerio Varesi

  • first published in Italian 2004, 
  • first pubished in Great Britain in 2015
  • translated by Joseph Farrell
  • Commissario Soneri #4
  • ISBN 978-0-85705-345-9
  • 270 pages
Synopsis (Amazon)

A few days before Christmas, with Parma gripped by frost and fog, Ghitta Tagliavini, the elderly owner of a guesthouse in the old town centre, is found murdered in her apartment.

The case is assigned to Commissario Soneri, but the investigation holds a painful, personal element that sends waves of nostalgia sweeping through him. Tagliavini's guesthouse is where Soneri met his late wife Ada, and where the young couple spent unforgettable hours in each other's company.

But the present can embitter even the sweetest memories. An old photograph of Ada with another man sends Soneri into a spiral of despondency, ever more so when he realises her death may be linked to Tagliavina's lucrative sideline as a backstreet abortionist and faith healer.
Though Soneri would like nothing more than to be allowed to drop the case, he doggedly persists, uncovering at last, along with the truth behind Tagliavini's death, rife corruption at Parma's rotten heart and a raft of ghosts from Italy's divisive past.

My Take

This wasn't the easiest book to read.  A murder investigation is tangled with political overtones and Commissario is drawn back to an old stamping ground.  He recognises the dead woman as the landlady of the student house where his now dead wife used to board. In latter years the guesthouse has become a bordello and Soneri comes to wonder if that was its role when his wife lived there.

Complicating things is that Italy's two police forces are constantly trying to score easy points at the other's expense and Commissario Soneri, part of the state police force, feels constantly under threat from the officers of the carabinieri.

I hung in there until everything was resolved and the murder mystery was solved, but I can't say I enjoyed the book.

My rating: 4.2

1 December 2016

What I read in November 2016

November 2016
A pretty "small" month, reading wise. Some books that took me quite a while to read, but a couple of really good ones.
  1. 4.8, THE SOLDIER'S CURSE, Tom & Meg Kenneally
  2. 4.1, ENTANGLEMENT, Zygmunt Miloszewski 
  3. 4.4, PAST TENSE, Margot Kinberg
  5. 4.3, THE MISTLETOE MURDER, P.D.James 
  6. 4.7, MAGPIE MURDERS, Anthony Horowitz
My pick of the month was a new-to-me Australian author:

See what others have chosen this month.

Crime Fiction Pick of the Month November 2016

Crime Fiction Pick of the Month 2016
Many crime fiction bloggers write a summary post at the end of each month listing what they've read, and some, like me, even go as far as naming their pick of the month.

This meme is an attempt to aggregate those summary posts.
It is an invitation to you to write your own summary post for November 2016, identify your crime fiction best read of the month, and add your post's URL to the Mr Linky below.
If Mr Linky does not appear for you, leave the URL in a comment and I will add it myself.

You can list all the books you've read in the past month on your post, even if some of them are not crime fiction, but I'd like you to nominate your crime fiction pick of the month.

That will be what you will list in Mr Linky too -
ROSEANNA, Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo - MiP (or Kerrie)

You are welcome to use the image on your post and it would be great if you could link your post back to this post on MYSTERIES in PARADISE.

26 November 2016

Review: MAGPIE MURDERS, Anthony Horowitz

  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 1819 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (October 6, 2016)
  • Publication Date: October 6, 2016
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01EG5HLR4
  • Text-to-Speech:  
Synopsis (Amazon)

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She's worked with the revered crime writer for years and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It's just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway...

But Conway's latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript there lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.

From Sunday Times bestseller Anthony Horowitz comes Magpie Murders, his deliciously dark take on the cosy crime novel, brought bang- up-to-date with a fiendish modern twist.

My Take

MAGPIE MURDERS is one of those "peeling an onion" books: There are two main stories, one contained inside the other, but at the same time Anthony Horowitz pays tribute to those successful writers of cozies, particularly those who have managed to sustain a credible detective over a number of titles. Here is his take on an Agatha Christie-style book, and the reader can't help but recognise that Atticus Pund has a lot in common with Hercule Poirot.

Both stories have a time of denouement: we eventually find out who was responsible for the murders in Alan Conway's novel, and then the finale of the story in which editor Susan Ryeland in the central character.

So the book also contains some interesting reflections on writing cozies, why readers like them, why the television public can't get enough of murder, and how writers often come to hate their main protagonist, even when killing them off is the equivalent to killing the golden goose. There is even a passage when the editor Susan Ryeland wonders how those protagonists, among them Morse, Rebus, Poirot, Wimsey, Marple, Poirot, felt when they realised their time was coming to an end.

So there was a lot to like about this book, a lot to think about, although I found it slow going at the beginning, and it is quite long.

A warning for Kindle users: on my paper-white kindle, the book that Susan Ryeland is reading, Alan Conway's Magpie Murders, is rendered as a "softer" print, which I found quite hard to read. It is almost as if the Kindle is trying to display it as grey. It wasn't something I noticed when reading on the iPad app, but there various parts of the book were rendered in a different font, indicating a different "voice", a different part of the book.

My rating: 4.7

I've also read

About the author (from Amazon)

Anthony Horowitz's life might have been copied from the pages of Charles Dickens or the Brothers Grimm. Born in 1956 in Stanmore, Middlesex, to a family of wealth and status, Anthony was raised by nannies, surrounded by servants and chauffeurs. His father, a wealthy businessman, was, says Mr. Horowitz, "a fixer for Harold Wilson." What that means exactly is unclear — "My father was a very secretive man," he says— so an aura of suspicion and mystery surrounds both the word and the man. As unlikely as it might seem, Anthony's father, threatened with bankruptcy, withdrew all of his money from Swiss bank accounts in Zurich and deposited it in another account under a false name and then promptly died. His mother searched unsuccessfully for years in attempt to find the money, but it was never found. That too shaped Anthony's view of things. Today he says, "I think the only thing to do with money is spend it." His mother, whom he adored, eccentrically gave him a human skull for his 13th birthday. His grandmother, another Dickensian character, was mean-spirited and malevolent, a destructive force in his life. She was, he says, "a truly evil person", his first and worst arch villain. "My sister and I danced on her grave when she died," he now recalls.

A miserably unhappy and overweight child, Anthony had nowhere to turn for solace. "Family meals," he recalls, "had calories running into the thousands&. I was an astoundingly large, round child&." At the age of eight he was sent off to boarding school, a standard practice of the times and class in which he was raised. While being away from home came as an enormous relief, the school itself, Orley Farm, was a grand guignol horror with a headmaster who flogged the boys till they bled. "Once the headmaster told me to stand up in assembly and in front of the whole school said, 'This boy is so stupid he will not be coming to Christmas games tomorrow.' I have never totally recovered." To relieve his misery and that of the other boys, he not unsurprisingly made up tales of astounding revenge and retribution.

Anthony Horowitz is perhaps the busiest writer in England. He has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age of twenty. He writes in a comfortable shed in his garden for up to ten hours per day. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books, he has also written episodes of several popular TV crime series, including Poirot, Murder in Mind, Midsomer Murders and Murder Most Horrid. He has written a television series Foyle's War, which recently aired in the United States, and he has written the libretto of a Broadway musical adapted from Dr. Seuss's book, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. His film script The Gathering has just finished production. And&oh yes&there are more Alex Rider novels in the works. Anthony has also written the Diamond Brothers series.

17 November 2016

Review: THE MISTLETOE MURDER and Other Stories

  • printed in Australia by Griffin Press
  • published 2016 by Faber & Faber
  • ISBN 978-0-571-33134-5
  • 136 pages
  • source: my local library
Synopsis (Amazon)

Four previously uncollected stories from one of the great mystery writers of our time--swift, cunning murder mysteries (two of which feature the young Adam Dalgliesh) that together, to borrow the author's own word, add up to a delightful "entertainment."

The newly appointed Sgt. Dalgliesh is drawn into a case that is "pure Agatha Christie." . . . A "pedantic, respectable, censorious" clerk's secret taste for pornography is only the first reason he finds for not coming forward as a witness to a murder . . . A best-selling crime novelist describes the crime she herself was involved in fifty years earlier . . . Dalgliesh's godfather implores him to reinvestigate a notorious murder that might ease the godfather's mind about an inheritance, but which will reveal a truth that even the supremely upstanding Adam Dalgliesh will keep to himself. Each of these stories is as playful as it is ingeniously plotted, the author's sly humor as evident as her hallmark narrative elegance and shrewd understanding of some of the most complex--not to say the most damning--aspects of human nature. A treat for P. D. James's legions of fans and anyone who enjoys the pleasures of a masterfully wrought whodunit.

My Take

There are 4 stories in the collection published by P.D. James' Estate with a foreword by Val McDermid and a preface by P.D. James.

The Mistletoe Murder, first published in 1995
A Very Commonplace Murder, first published in 1969
The Boxdale Inheritance, first published 1979
The Twelve Clues of Christmas, first published 1996

The connecting theme is Christmas and "family" murders. By far the best of the lot is The Mistletoe Murder which is also the longest, and most fleshed out. They are quick reads however, so if you feel like a seasonal dabble, these may satisfy your urge. The last two are Dalgliesh stories, when he is still a young man.

My rating: 4.3

14 November 2016


  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 2036 KB
  • Publisher: Text Publishing (August 29, 2016)
  • Publication Date: August 29, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
Synopsis  (Amazon)
It starts in a suburban backyard with Darren Keefe and his older brother, sons of a fierce and gutsy single mother. The endless glow of summer, the bottomless fury of contest. All the love and hatred in two small bodies poured into the rules of a made-up game.

Darren has two big talents: cricket and trouble. No surprise that he becomes an Australian sporting star of the bad-boy variety—one of those men who’s always got away with things and just keeps getting.

Until the day we meet him, middle aged, in the boot of a car. Gagged, cable-tied, a bullet in his knee. Everything pointing towards a shallow grave.

The Rules of Backyard Cricket is a novel of suspense in the tradition of Peter Temple’s Truth. With glorious writing harnessed to a gripping narrative, it observes celebrity, masculinity—humanity—with clear-eyed lyricism and exhilarating narrative drive.

My Take

This is a very cleverly written book,  and will particularly be enjoyed by Australian readers who like to read crime fiction and follow the fortunes of the Australian cricket team.

The main voice is Darren Keefe, middle aged, trussed up in the boot of a car, seemingly on his way to his execution. He's an ex-cricket player, the younger of two famous brothers, the elder of whom reached the pinnacle, the captain of the Australian XI. Darren always considered himself the better player but it was Wally who reached the heights. While Wally was calm and serene and reliable, Darren lived the high life, sometimes dropped from the team for disciplinary reasons, but recalled because he was so incredible on the field.

I kept thinking of cricketing brothers, the Chappells, the Waughs, and others, and cricketing bad boys, whose larrikinism has held us captive. So many incidents in the book tweaked half-remembered things in my brain, and the author has obviously been a keen observer of the sport. Like so many Australian cricketers the Keefe brothers pay a terrible price for their fame, and there is a dramatic twist in the tail when a final mystery is solved.

An excellent read.

My rating: 5.0

About the author
Jock Serong lives and works on the far southwest coast of Victoria. Formerly a lawyer, he is now a features writer, and the editor of Great Ocean Quarterly. His first novel, Quota, won the 2015 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Crime Novel. His most recent novel is The Rules of Backyard Cricket.

10 November 2016

Review: PAST TENSE, Margot Kinberg

  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 4625 KB
  • Print Length: 428 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0997889217
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Grey Cells Press (November 1, 2016)
  • Publication Date: November 1, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • #3 in the Joel Williams series 
Synopsis  (Amazon)

A long-buried set of remains…a decades-old mystery

Past and present meet on the quiet campus of Tilton University when construction workers unearth a set of unidentified bones.
For former police detective-turned-professor Joel Williams, it’s a typical Final Exams week – until a set of bones is discovered on a construction site...

When the remains are linked to a missing person case from 1974, Williams and the Tilton, Pennsylvania police go back to the past. And they uncover some truths that have been kept hidden for a long time.

How much do people really need to know?

It’s 1974, and twenty-year-old Bryan Roades is swept up in the excitement of the decade. He’s a reporter for the Tilton University newspaper, The Real Story, and is determined to have a career as an investigative journalist, just like his idols, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. He plans to start with an exposé article about life on the campus of Tilton University. But does everything need to be exposed? And what are the consequences for people whose lives could be turned upside down if their stories are printed? As it turns out, Bryan’s ambition carries a very high price. And someone is determined not to let the truth out.

My Take

I thoroughly enjoyed this recently published title in Margot Kinberg's Joel Williams series.

The discovery of a skeleton leads to an investigation into the disappearance of a student 40 years earlier. And then one of the people the student was friendly with is murdered. So the police investigation hovers between the cold case and the present case, with the detectives becoming convinced that the two cases are related.

Once a detective, always a detective. Joel Williams can't help himself. Especially when he is the one who discovers the second body. Bringing a slightly different perspective to the investigation, as well as a good knowledge of the Tilton campus, Williams adds to what the police know and leads eventually to the arrest of a murderer.

I liked the characterisation of the detectives, and the empathy with their relationship. The plotting is tight and the plot threads are well carried through.

Highly recommended.
My rating: 4.4

I've also read
4.5, B - VERY FLAT
4.3, IN A WORD: MURDER  (edit)

8 November 2016

Review: ENTANGLEMENT, Zygmunt Miloszewski

  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 770 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press (July 2, 2010)
  • Publication Date: August 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003UESN48
  • translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones 
Synopsis (Amazon)

The morning after a group psychotherapy session in a Warsaw monastery, Henry Talek is found dead, a roasting spit stuck in one eye.

Public prosecutor Teodor Szacki, world-weary, suffering from bureaucratic exhaustion and marital ennui, feels that life has passed him by. But this case changes everything. Because of it he meets Monika Grzelka, a young journalist whose charms prove difficult to resist, and he discovers the frightening power of certain esoteric therapeutic methods. The shocking videos of the sessions lead him to an array of possible scenarios. Could one of the patients have become so absorbed by his therapy role-playing that he murdered Telak? Szacki’s investigation leads him to an earlier murder, before the fall of Communism.

And why is the Secret Police suddenly taking an interest in all this? As Szacki uncovers each piece of the puzzle, facts emerge that he’d be better off not knowing, for his own safety.

My Take

To be quite honest, I found this book rather heavy going. Initially I borrowed it from my local library but found the print a bit small, and so purchased it for my Kindle.

The plot centres around a group therapy weekend, with groups called constellations, in which they undertake role plays. In theory the three people participating in the weekend have had no contact with each other before. However when Henry Talek is found dead, it seems very likely that one of the others has murdered him, and that therefore there is some history connecting at least two of them. Talek's young daughter recently committed suicide and his son is very ill.

Public prosecutor Teodor Szacki consults other "experts" in this sort of therapy and gets pointers about what he should be looking for. He himself is having some sort of mid life crisis and becomes entangled with a young journalist. He learns from her that the secret police are taking an interest in his activities and his research.

Most of the story is told through Szacki's eyes, but there is an unnamed character who pops up occasionally who is having Szacki watched.

While everything got resolved in the end, I felt that, for me, it stretched the bounds of credibility and I struggled.
Perhaps it was just not my sort of book.

My rating: 4.1

About the author
Zygmunt Miloszewski, born in Warsaw in 1975, is an editor currently working for Newsweek. His first novel, The Intercom, was published in 2005 to high acclaim. Entanglement followed in 2007, and the author is now working on screenplays based on The Intercom and Entanglement as well as on a sequel to the latter, also featuring Teodor Szacki. 

7 November 2016

Review: THE SOLDIER'S CURSE, Tom Kenneally & Meg Kenneally - audio book

 Synopsis (Audible.com)

 A fast-paced, witty and gripping historical crime series from Tom Keneally and his eldest daughter, Meg.

In the Port Macquarie penal settlement for second offenders, at the edge of the known world, gentleman convict Hugh Monsarrat hungers for freedom. Originally transported for forging documents passing himself off as a lawyer, he is now the trusted clerk of the settlement's commandant.

His position has certain advantages, such as being able to spend time in the Government House kitchen, being supplied with outstanding cups of tea by housekeeper Hannah Mulrooney, who, despite being illiterate, is his most intelligent companion.

Not long after the commandant heads off in search of a rumoured river, his beautiful wife, Honora, falls ill with a sickness the doctor is unable to identify. When Honora dies, it becomes clear she has been slowly poisoned.

Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney suspect the commandant's second-in-command, Captain Diamond, a cruel man who shares history with Honora. Then Diamond has Mrs Mulrooney arrested for the murder. Knowing his friend will hang if she is tried, Monsarrat knows he must find the real killer. And so begins The Monsarrat Series.

My Take

This tale is fiction, set in an Australian penal settlement north of Sydney in 1825. It is extremely well read and the voice characterisation is excellent. However while it is fiction, the historical facts ring true.

The central character Hugh Monsarrat has known the freedom of being a ticket-of-leave man, but lost his ticket when he was found to have left his designated district. He is a victim of the British class system which excluded him from becoming an accredited lawyer in London. He was transported to Australia for forging documents and for passing himself off as a lawyer.

The characters of Monserrat and the other main characters in the story are convincingly drawn. The story felt a bit slow to begin with but gathered pace as more plot strands were introduced.


My rating: 4.8

2 November 2016

What I read (or rather, blogged) in the last month

Over October I finally caught up with blogging reviews of the books that I read while I was away in August and September.

So this list is rather long because it includes a bit more than I read in October.
My pick of the month though is  THE WRONG HAND by Jane Jago which asks a lot of questions about how we should treat child murderers especially once they have served their initial sentence. It asks whether they really knew what they were doing and whether they are capable of being set on a normal path. How far do we have an obligation to protect them from society?

See what other have picked this month.

1 November 2016

Crime Fiction Pick of the Month October 2016

Crime Fiction Pick of the Month 2016
Many crime fiction bloggers write a summary post at the end of each month listing what they've read, and some, like me, even go as far as naming their pick of the month.

This meme is an attempt to aggregate those summary posts.
It is an invitation to you to write your own summary post for October 2016, identify your crime fiction best read of the month, and add your post's URL to the Mr Linky below.
If Mr Linky does not appear for you, leave the URL in a comment and I will add it myself.

You can list all the books you've read in the past month on your post, even if some of them are not crime fiction, but I'd like you to nominate your crime fiction pick of the month.

That will be what you will list in Mr Linky too -
ROSEANNA, Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo - MiP (or Kerrie)

You are welcome to use the image on your post and it would be great if you could link your post back to this post on MYSTERIES in PARADISE.

30 October 2016

Review, SEE ALSO MURDER, Larry D. Sweazy

  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 723 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Seventh Street Books (May 5, 2015)
  • Publication Date: May 5, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00N6PCPX6
  • #1 in Marjorie  Trumaine series 
  • Author website: www.larrydsweazy.com 
Synopsis (Amazon)

1964—Life on the North Dakota farm hasn’t always been easy for Marjorie Trumaine. She has begun working as a professional indexer to help with the bills—which have only gotten worse since the accident that left her husband, Hank, blind and paralyzed. When her nearest neighbors are murdered in their beds, though, Marjorie suddenly has to deal with new and terrifying problems.

Sheriff Hilo Jenkins brings her a strange amulet, found clutched in the hand of her murdered neighbor, and asks her to quietly find out what it is. Marjorie uses all the skills she has developed as an indexer to research the amulet and look into the murders, but as she closes in on the killer, and people around her continue to die, she realizes that the murderer is also closing in on her.

My take

This novel is a bit like a cozy set in North Dakota, although some truly horrifying murders take place and it really looks like there is a serial killer on the loose.

It probably is important to note the time setting of the book: 1964, and at times I lost sight of that. It does help explain some aspects of the story: the fact that Marjorie's house telephone is a party line, the relative isolation of their farm, the cars they drive, the lack of medical treatment for Hank, and the sort of work Marjorie is doing as an indexer (although I guess there is still work doing that. The author himself is credited with having written indexes for over 800 books).

The thread that binds the plot together and explains the the murders is an interesting one, and I think the author does a good job with local customs and the North Dakota lifestyle.

It kept me reading until the end. One by one the suspects were eliminated, and then at the end there was a good twist which I should have seen coming.

My rating: 4.3

About the author
Larry D. Sweazy (pronounced: Swayzee) is a two-time winner of the WWA (Western Writers of America) Spur award. He won for Best Short Fiction in 2005 for the short story, "The Promotion" and in 2013 for The Coyote Tracker (Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger #5) for Best Original Mass Market Paperback. He was nominated for a SMFS (Short Mystery Fiction Society) Derringer award in 2007. His first novel, The Rattlesnake Season (Josiah Wolfe #1), was a finalist in the Best Books of 2010 Indiana literary competition. His second novel, The Scorpion Trail (Josiah Wolfe #2) won the 2011 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction and the 2011 Best Books of Indiana literary competition in the fiction category. The Scorpion Trail (Josiah Wolfe #2) is the only Western to win the Best Books of Indiana. The Cougar's Prey (Josiah Wolfe #4) won the 2012 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction, making Larry a two-time back-to-back winner of the award. He has published over 60 non-fiction articles and short stories, which have appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine; Boys' Life; Hardboiled; Amazon Shorts, and several other publications and anthologies. Larry is the author of ten novels, including books in the Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series, the Lucas Fume series (Berkley), a standalone thriller, The Devil's Bones (Five Star), and the Marjorie Trumaine Mystery series (Seventh Street Books). He is member of ITW (International Thriller Writers), MWA (Mystery Writers of America), and WWA (Western Writers of America). He lives in Indiana with his wife, Rose. 

27 October 2016

Review: THE GIRL IN GREEN, Derek B. Miller

  • source ARC from Scribe Publications
  • published 2016
  • ISBN 978-1925-106954
  • 372 pages
  • Source: an ARC paperback
Synopsis (Scribe Publications)

From the author of Norwegian By Night comes a new novel about two men on a misbegotten quest to save the girl they failed to save decades before. 

1991. Near Checkpoint Zulu, one hundred miles from the Kuwaiti border, Thomas Benton meets Arwood Hobbes. Benton is a British journalist who reports from war zones, in part to avoid his lacklustre marriage and a daughter he loves but cannot connect with; Hobbes is a midwestern American private who might be an insufferable ignoramus, or might be a brilliant lunatic with a death wish — it’s hard to tell. Operation Desert Storm is over, peace has been declared, but as they argue about whether it makes sense to cross the nearest border in search of an ice cream, they become embroiled in a horrific attack in which a young local girl in a green dress is shot in the back and dies in Hobbes’s arms. The two men walk away into their respective lives. But something has cracked for them both.

Twenty-two years later, in another place, in another war, the two men meet again. Benton and relief worker Märta Ström are persuaded by a much-changed Hobbes to embark on what may be a fool’s errand in a last-chance effort to redeem themselves when the girl in green is found alive and in need of salvation. Or is she?

Set against the war-torn landscape of a shattered Iraq, The Girl in Green is an adventure story told with all the wit, humanity, and insight of Miller’s acclaimed debut.

My Take

I was fortunate enough to be sent a paper copy of this by the publisher some time back, and then a follower of my blog reminded me that I should read it.

Can I say that I wouldn't really classify this as crime fiction, although crimes are certainly committed in their thousands.

One reviewer has described it as a "moral thriller", and given recent efforts to free Mosul from ISIS, it is certainly a topical read. In 1991 Operation Desert Storm was declared a success and peace was thought to have been achieved. But now 25 years later, a whole generation has grown up in a war-torn landscape. 40 years ago I travelled through Iraq before the war began.

THE GIRL IN GREEN puts the story of the last 25 years into human language, when Arwood Hobbes, an American soldier discharged at the end of Operation Desert Storm, and British journalist Thomas Benton, try to go back into the past. Hobbes in particular wants to wreak his own form of justice.

The events of the book demonstrate in particular how difficult it will be to re-establish peace in the Middle East.

My rating: 4.7

I've also read

About the author
Derek B. Miller was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and has lived abroad for over fifteen years in Israel, England, Hungary, Switzerland, and Norway. His interest in fiction began a few years after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College. Currently, Derek is the director of The Policy Lab and a senior fellow with the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. He has a PhD in international relations from the University of Geneva, and an MA in national security studies from Georgetown University, in cooperation with St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford. He lives in Oslo with his wife and children.

20 October 2016

Review: SERPENTS IN EDEN: Countryside Crimes, Martin Edwards (edit)

  • this edition published in 2016 by the British Library
  • A British Library Crime Classic
  • ISBN 978-0-7123-5794-4
  • 302 pages
  • content: 13 Vintage crime fiction short stories 
Synopsis  (Amazon UK)

The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.... Think of the deeds of hellish cruelty, the hidden wickedness which may go on, year in, year out, in such places, and none the wiser. Sherlock Holmes Many of the greatest British crime writers have explored the possibilities of crime in the countryside in lively and ingenious short stories. Serpents in Eden celebrates the rural British mystery by bringing together an eclectic mix of crime stories written over half a century. From a tale of poison-pen letters tearing apart a village community to a macabre mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle, the stories collected here reveal the dark truths hidden in an assortment of rural paradises. Among the writers included here are such major figures as G. K. Chesterton and Margery Allingham, along with a host of lesser-known discoveries whose best stories are among the unsung riches of the golden age of British crime fiction between the two wars.

My Take

These short stories were almost all published prior to 1960, The Black Doctor by Arthur Conan Doyle as early as 1898. The authors are almost all recognised Golden Age crime fiction writers. One or two of the stories have not been easily available until their publication in this anthology. Nearly all of the writers have a connection with the Detection Club.

While some of the stories had very clever plots indeed, I found some of them rather slow and tortuous. Nearly all were "different" to what a modern short story might be like. Each story is preceded by an introduction written by Martin Edwards placing the writer in the history of British crime fiction writing.

The writers: Arthur Conan Doyle, M. McDonnell Bodkin, G.K. Chesterton, E.C. Bentley, Herbert Jenkins, H.C. Bailey, R. Austin Freeman, Margery Allingham, Anthony Berkeley, Leonora Wodehouse, Ethel Lena White, Leo Bruce, and Gladys Mitchell.
My rating: 4.3

18 October 2016

100 Reached!

This week I completed reading my 100th book for the year.

I doubt that I am going to reach the 135 which is my target for the year, expecially as I am about a month behind about where I was when I reached 100 last year.

Each year I wonder why I set myself targets and persuade myself that it gives direction to my reading. In reality I read whatever I want to, and targets have very little influence.

I do keep a summary page of my reading challenges, and the stats make interesting reading.
  • nearly 25% of the books read are by Australian authors
  • nearly 50% have been e-books
  • over 40% have been by British authors
  • 50% have been new-to-me authors
  • over 30% have been borrowed from my local library (none of these are e-books) 
  • over 15 % have been translated from another language into English
  • over 15% have been Vintage books published before 1960
  • only 6% have not been crime fiction
  • 10% have been Nordic crime fiction
All the books I have read in 2016 are listed here.
Here are the top of the list: I do attempt some sort of order but in reality there is probably not a lot of difference between 5.0 and 4.7
  1. 5.0, THE LAKE HOUSE, Kate Morton
  2. 5.0, A DEADLY THAW, Sarah Ward 
  3. 5.0, THE WRONG HAND, Jane Jago 
  4. 4.9, WHAT SHE NEVER TOLD ME, Kate McQuaile 
  5. 4.9, ALL THE BIRDS, SINGING, Evie Wyld
  6. 4.9, COFFIN ROAD, Peter May
  7. 4.9, PLAY DEAD, Angela Marsons
  8. 4.8, AN ISOLATED INCIDENT, Emily Maguire 
  9. 4.8, THE BLOOD STRAND, Chris Ould 
  10. 4.8, THE WATERS OF ETERNAL YOUTH, Donna Leon
  11. 4.8, TWISTER, Jane Woodham
  12. 4.8, THE WIDOW, Fiona Barton
  13. 4.7, THE DRY, Jane Harper 
  14. 4.7, THE WOMAN IN BLUE, Elly Griffiths 
  15. 4.7, EVEN THE DEAD, Benjamin Black
  16. 4.7, A DEATH IN THE FAMILY, Michael Stanley
  17. 4.7, THE CHOSEN, Kristina Ohlsson
  18. 4.7, THE TRAP, Melanie Raabe
  19. 4.7, DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN, Peter Lovesey 
  20. 4.7, THE STONE WIFE, Peter Lovesey
  21. 4.7, ENOUGH ROPE, Barbara Nadel
  22. 4.7, LOST GIRLS, Angela Marsons


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