Random (but not really)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Books of 2018: Mystery

The Verity Kent series by Anna Lee Huber

This Side of Murder (2017)(8/10), Treacherous Is the Night (2018)(8/10)

I’ve read quite a few books this year set after The Great War, and it really is a fascinating time period. Although the war changed the world, people were still trying to pretend that everything could go back to normal. There were also tremendous technological advances as the world changed at a pace that would have been more startling if people weren’t really still in shock over the horror of the war. ?

Verity Kent married right before her husband went off to the front, and they had only a couple of long leaves before he was killed. Her work for the war department kept her busy–especially since she occasionally acted as a courier as well as an analyst–but now the war is over she doesn’t know what to do with herself, and is unsure she wants to attend a house party thrown by her late husband’s friends.

And then it gets complicated.

I really like the post WWI setting.


The Lady Darby series by Anna Lee Huber

A Study in Death (2015)(9/10), As Death Draws Near (2016)(8/10)

Lady Darby is the widow of an anatomist who married her only because of her artistic skills–he forced her to watch his dissections and draw what he showed her, and after his death, when her work came out, she was shunned by society (even though women at the time had no recourse as to how they were treated by their husbands).

Her knowledge of anatomy has led her become involved in attempting to solve several murders, and eventually she married she Inquiry agent Sebastian Gage, and is slowly returning to society.

The mysteries are very good, and this historical period, the 1830s, is also fascinating to me. (OK, I admit it, I tend to be fascinated by historical mysteries in any period.)


Gilded Deceit (2017) Tracy Grant (8/10) [Malcom & Suzanne Rannoch]

Another historical mystery series that is amazingly complicated. Luckily there is a cast of characters to help you keep everyone straight.

Suzanne was a spy for Spain, and during the war, at the encouragement of her handler and lover, met and married Malcolm, an English spy and attache. Who had known Malcolm since childhood.

And it gets far more complicated from there.

Some of the later novellas I don’t like nearly as well as the earlier books, but they’re all fascinating, and I love the way the family lives of the characters are part of the story.


Lady Helena Investigates (2018) Jane Steen (8/10)

Lady Helena Whitcombe survived the death of her first love, and now she must get past the accidental death of her husband. Except that her husband’s doctor doesn’t think the drowning was an accident, but a murder.

This is a lovely story of a woman coming into herself after the death of her husband. It’s sweet and I very much enjoyed it.


The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories (2015) Ian Rankin (8/10) [Inspector Rebus]

Rebus is an Inspector in Edinburgh, but having been in the Special Forces, never quite integrated well into society. He’s divorced, troublesome, and a heavy drinker.

He’s also a brilliant detective, which is why they put up with him, but it’s frequently a close call, and he regularly gets in trouble.

One of the things I particularly like about this series is the Rebus ages with the books, and is eventually forced into mandatory retirement. Also, his drinking isn’t a quirk, but a struggle that he sometimes wins and sometimes loses.

The books tend to be very dark, but the stories in this collection are a little lighter, and a good introduction to the character.


Why Kill the Innocent (2018) C.S. Harris (8/10) [Sebastian St. Cyr]

I’ve been reading this series since I came across the first book, and I really love it.

Sebastian St Cry was a third son, and as such went off to fight in the Napleanic war, but after he accidentally becomes the heir, he is forced to come home and pretend to act the part.

Unfortunately, what he saw and did in the war still troubles him, and he spends most of his time carousing. At least until he is accused of murder.

Sebastian is complicated, and as more and more of his past comes to light over the course of the series, he gets all the more fascinating. He’s changed slowly but significantly over the course of the series, and that’s one of the best parts of the series, although the mysteries are also excellent.


The Books of 2018

Powered by WordPress

books main pictures cats e-mail