Mystery Memo # 112


Mystery Memo # 112

Until I get more caught up with publishing my Mystery Memos on the MBTB blog, I'll be posting some highlights from each one (down below) and making the entire Mystery Memo available to Download here

This Mystery Memo has 4 Perfect Reads:
Tana French: Faithful Place (2010)
Peter James: Dead Like You (2010)
Stuart MacBride: Shatter the Bones (2011)
C.J. Sansom: Heartstone (2010)

* * *

Charles Finch: A Stranger in Mayfair (2010) ****
Historical, set in London, England in Victorian times.
Book # 4 with Charles Lenox, consulting detective, Victorian gentleman and new Member of Parliament.

Charles is newly married to his next-door neighbour, Lady Jane.
A fellow parliamentarian asks for help in solving the murder of his footman. Charles suspects someone in the family or the household is likely to blame. Lots of personal detail, as Charles struggles with his new duties as Member of Parliament and husband. Nicely done. Very readable.

First book: A Beautiful Blue Death

Barbara Fradkin: Beautiful Lie the Dead (2010) ****
Canadian police procedural.
Book # 8 with Michael Green, Ottawa police inspector

A young doctor reports his fiancé missing during a blizzard. In the police investigation, they discover the woman made a secret trip to Montreal. The publisher calls this an “intensely dramatic psychological thriller”.
I like this series for the police procedural aspect, but I also like the main character Michael Green and his family.

First book: Do or Die

Tana French: Faithful Place (2010) *****

All her books feature police detectives on the murder squad in Dublin, Ireland, not a series really, but loosely connected. This one features Frank Mackey, a senior undercover cop.

Frank returns to his boyhood home in a poor section of Dublin after a suitcase is found in an abandoned house nearby. He recognizes the suitcase as the one belonging to his his girlfriend from 20 years ago who he was planning to run away with. She never showed up and disappeared that very night. He hasn’t been home since. After looking through the suitcase’s contents, he believes that someone from the neighbourhood, if not from his family, is responsible for her disappearance. It sucked me in. Not the standard police procedural.

First book: In The Woods

## Related post: MBTB review of The Likeness

Peter James: Dead Like You (2010) **** ½
British police procedural

Book # 6 with D.S. Roy Grace in Sussex, England

A man known as the shoe rapist has apparently re-appeared after an absence of 12 years. We see several of the crimes from the “inside” – which I skimmed. But the police work was well described and I like the character of Roy Grace, still dealing with the mysterious disappearance of his wife several years before.

First book: Dead Simple

Stuart MacBride: Shatter the Bones (2011) **** ½
British police procedural

Book # 7 with Logan “Lazarus” McRaie, DS, in Aberdeen, Scotland

The case: a young mother and daughter singing sensation from a competition TV show have been kidnapped for ransom and the police have very little to go on. There is a breakneck pace to the policing and McRaie’s personal life that makes the book hard to put down.
First book: Cold Granite

## Related posts:
MBTB full review of Cold Granite # 1
MBTB review of Dark Blood # 6

C.J. Sansom: Heartstone (2010) *****
Historical, set in England in 1545

Book # 5 with lawyer Matthew Shardlake

King Henry VIII is now married to Catherine Parr. The Queen asks Matthew to secretly help her. Her loyal servant wants someone to look into her son’s death. To investigate this, Matthew travels to an estate near Portsmouth. He is close to the action when the English fleet gathers to repell the expected French naval attack near there.
Great stuff: complex plot, great characters and the writing makes the era come alive.

First book: Dissolution

## Related post: MBTB review of Sovereign # 3

posted by Sharon

Silent Voices
by Ann Cleeves

British police procedural

Book # 4 with Vera Stanhope, a detective inspector in East Yorkshire, England

Description: When DI Vera Stanhope finds the body of a woman in the sauna room of her local gym, she wonders, briefly, if it’s a simple death from natural causes. But a closer inspection reveals ligature marks around the victim’s throat - death is never that simple...

First book: The Crow Trap

Read a Eurocrime review of Silent Voices


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