Posts Tagged ‘Mystery’


COPP FOR HIRE by Don Pendleton is 275pages in length in paperback form. This is #1 in Joe Copp series.

 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION:

CRIME. VIOLENCE. CORRUPTION. DIRTY TRICKS. NASTY SECRETS…ALL IN A DAY’S WORK.

Joe Copp’s heard all the jokes about his name. He’s heard and seen a lot of things. Things you wouldn’t believe. Things they edit out of the late night news.

Joe walks the hard side. By choice. Joe’s a tough guy. Not mean…tough. Has to be in his line of work. Especially now.

A pretty young thing came to him too late to save her life. Then her roommate. A cruel, ugly death.

Now Joe’s got a case and no client, digging up answers and stepping over corpses–from night-time L.A. to the sex bars of Honolulu–in league with a Chinese vice lord, in love with a beautiful, dangerous woman, in dutch with some sadistic cops and a kinky politician, and in line for a morgue slab of his own.

The hard side. It’s murder.

MY REVIEW:

I enjoyed getting to know Joe Copp.  He is gritty and seems to be in places where he shouldn’t be, but always comes out on top.  There is really no mystery to this, because you know what is going on from the start almost.  However, it is an interesting book and takes you from Los Angeles to Hawaii.

Definitely dated in that it appears to take place in the 60′s or 70′s.  There is some action, but not a lot, so if you are looking for the regular guns and blow-ups from the Executioner series, you would be disappointed.

I am giving this 3.5 out of 5.  I did not have to pick it right back up after I would stop for the day.  It was okay, but not great.  If I find the 2nd one in the series, I would give it another try as I did like Joe Copp, I just didn’t like the case he was on.

NO WIND OF BLAME by Georgette Heyer is 266 pages in paperback form. This is #5 in Inspectors Hannasyde and Hemingway Series.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION:

PROFIT AND LOSS

Tragedy befalls the Carter family following an eventful visit from a Russian prince Alexis Varasashvil and a scandalous blackmail letter. When Wally Carter was killed, the superlatively analytical Inspector Hemingway is confronted by a murder that seems impossible — no one was near the murder weapon at the time the shot was fired. Everyone on the scene seems to have a motive, not to mention the wherewithal to commit murder, and alibis that simply don’t hold up.

No one cared that Wally Carter was dead. Pity. But someone had cared enough to shoot him through the chest. Who the devil could it be? The inspector is sorely tried by a wide variety of suspects, including the neglected widow, Ermyntrude Carter, the neighbor who’s in love with her, her resentful daughter, and a patently phony Russian prince preying on the widow’s emotional vulnerability and social aspirations. And then there’s the blackmail plot that may — or may not — be at the heart of the case… The inspector reveals his unnerving talent for solving a fiendish problem.

MY REVIEW:

I enjoyed this book and it was very interesting.  The language was dated and I was amazed at some of the words that were used to describe someone talking.  But when looking them up in the dictionary, I found that it was in most cases the first definition.  I had never read anything like this one before.  I don’t normally read a book out of sequence, but I don’t think this would matter as the story could have been about anyone.  It was almost like a stand alone.

It is classed as romantic suspense, but I felt it was more like a cozy mystery along the lines of Agatha Christie.  There was definitely a lot of drama from the people that were involved.  I had figured out who had committed the crime, just now how it was done.  There were interesting names as well as very interesting and dramatic people.

I am giving this 4 out of 5 stars as it was a nice change of pace and would probably read more by Ms. Heyer if I can find them.

 

LIGHT OF THE WORLD by James Lee Burke is 548 pages in hardcover format. This is #20 in the Dave Robicheaux Series.

Brief Description:

Louisiana Sherriff’s Detective Dave Robicheaux and his longtime friend and partner Clete Purcel are vacationing in Montana’s spectacular Big Sky country when a series of suspicious events leads them to believe their lives–and the lives of their families–are in danger. In contrast to the tranquil beauty of Flathead Lake and the colorful summertime larch and fir unspooling across unblemished ranchland, a venomous presence lurks in the caves and hills, intent on destroying innocent lives. First, Alafair Robicheaux is nearly killed by an arrow while hiking alone on a trail. Then Clete’s daughter, Gretchen Horowitz, whom readers met in Burke’s previous bestseller Creole Belle, runs afoul of a local cop, with dire consequences. Next, Alafair thinks she sees a familiar face following her around town–but how could convicted sadist and serial killer Asa Surette be loose on the streets of Montana? Surrette committed a string of heinous murders while capital punishment was outlawed in his home state of Kansas. Years ago, Alafair, a lawyer and novelist, interviewed Surette in prison, aiming to prove him guilty of other crimes and eligible for the death penalty. Recently, a prison transport van carrying Surette crashed and he is believed dead, but Alafair isn’t so sure.

My Review:

I love these books about Dave Robicheaux,  Alafair, Clete and the new addition of Gretchen Horowitz.  I love the Rambo feel that Gretchen brings to the mix.  She seems to have no fear and if someone is in need of help she steps up to the plate regardless of the peril that might be involved.  She is definitely looking out for the little guy or the person who cannot defend themselves.

It appears Clete and Dave are becoming older and need the new blood to make the books more interesting.  I am not sure if Surrette was the most evil of characters, but he certainly wasn’t a pansy either.  To be able to write with such clarity about evil really makes me wonder about the author.  Even though these books are about good versus evil in some of the worst forms ever, there is always some levity to make you laugh.  Some of the things that Clete does just make you laugh out loud.  Even some of the things that come from his mouth are humorous.

I am just sad that I don’t have another one to read until the next one is written, because I do enjoy visiting the world of Dave and Clete.  I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars.  The evil is there, the characters are so well portrayed, it is humorous in spots and above all there is a message about what evil can do.  I believe that James Lee Burke is one of the best writers that I have ever read.  If you have not read him, I would give him a try.  Sometimes a dictionary is needed, but that is okay too because that just helps to expand your horizons.

 

CREOLE BELLE by James Lee Burke is 528 pages in hardcover format. This is #19 in a Dave Robicheaux Novel.

Brief Description:

Languishing in a recovery unit on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, Dave Robicheaux is fighting an enemy more insidious than the one who put a bullet in his back a month earlier in a shootout on Bayou Teche. The morphine meant to dull his pain is steadily gnawing away at his resolve, playing tricks on his mind, and luring him back into the addict mentality that once threatened to destroy his life and family.

With the soporific Indian summer air wafting through the louvered shutters of his hospital room, and the demons fighting for space in his head, Dave can’t be sure whether his latest visitor is flesh and blood or a spectral reminder of his Louisiana youth. Tee Jolie Melton, a young woman with a troubled past, glides to his bedside and leaves him with an iPod that plays the old country blues song “My Creole Belle.”

What Dave doesn’t know is that Tee Jolie disappeared weeks ago, and no one believes she reappeared to comfort an old man with a bullet wound. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the vivid memory of Tee Jolie, and when he learns that her sister has turned up dead inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf, he believes that putting the evils of the past to rest is more urgent than ever before.

Meanwhile, an oil spill in the Gulf brings back intense feelings for Dave of losing his father to a rig explosion years ago. As the oil companies continue to risk human lives in pursuit of wealth and power, Dave begins to see links to the Melton sisters, even when no one else shares his suspicions. Dave’s expartner Clete Purcel helps him search for Tee Jolie, though Clete fears for his friend’s mental health and safety. But Clete has his own troubles, too; he’s discovered an illegitimate daughter who may be working as a contract killer — and may have set her sights on someone he loves.

Creole Belle is a resurrection story for the ages, with James Lee Burke at the peak of his masterful career and Dave Robicheaux facing his most intense and personal battle yet, against the known and unknown forces that corrupt and destroy even the best of men.

My Review:

James Lee Burke does not disappoint you with his books.  They are so dark in some aspects, but then humorous in others.  There are many characters in this book and the majority of them are evil people.  In fact they seem to be so evil you would like to harm them yourself, just so they can’t hurt another individual.

I certainly like Gretchen being introduced.  She is definitely a chip off the old block.  She may not be bright and shiny like Alafair, but she does have feelings that are deep and she would defend the good from bad, just like Clete.  She seems to have no fear and I don’t know if that is a good thing or not, we will have to wait and see how it plays out in the future books.

The last 2 chapters of the book were so intense it was hard to read.  I wanted to read with my eyes closed as the pictures were not good ones.  But I think this makes for an excellent story because you could feel the emotions of both Clete and Dave and what they had been through in their lives.

I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars because it was so good I didn’t want to stop reading.  I felt real emotion for the characters and hated the bad guys.

 

 

THE GLASS RAINBOW by James Lee Burke is 560 pages in paperback form. This is #18 in The David Robicheaux Series.

Brief Description:

The brutal murders of seven young women in a neighboring parish pull Robicheaux from his New Iberia home into a case with all the telltale signs of a serial killer. Except that one of the victims, a high school honors student, doesn’t fit. Investigating with his friend Clete Purcel, Robicheaux confronts Herman Stanga, a notorious pimp and crack dealer — but shocking violence sends the already blood-soaked case spiraling out of control. And with his daughter, Alafair, in love with a man with dangerous ties to a once prominent Louisiana family, every dark fear Robicheaux harbors for himself and his daughter is on the precipice of becoming reality.

My Review:

I love the literary feel to these books.  You sometimes need a dictionary to see figure out the meaning of some of the words, but that doesn’t bother me at all.  Some of the writing is very poetic too.  This one had his daughter in it too throughout the book.  It gives you the sense of what a real family is about and how each family member deals with the other.  How sometimes a parent only want the best for their child and will do anything to keep them safe even though the child doesn’t think they need that.

These books are definitely about good and evil and how the evil is sometimes very hard to understand and why or how they have become so evil.  I like this aspect of the book and wish more authors would do this.

After finishing this one, I had to start the next one as James Lee Burke really left you hanging at the end.  I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars.  It was well written as always and I do so enjoy all the conversations Dave has with Helen and others.

 

 

THE 7TH VICTIM by Alan Jacobson is 415 pages in length and is the first in the Karen Vail Series.

Brief Description:
The Dead Eyes Killer lurks in the backyard of the famed FBI Profiling Unit. His brutal murders, unlike any others previously seen, confound the local task force, despite the gifted profiling skills of Special Agent Karen Vail. But along with Vail’s insight and expertise comes considerable personal and professional baggage.
On leave pending a review of her assault on her abusive ex-husband, Vail must battle forces determined to bring her down, as she fights to find Dead Eyes before he murders more young women. But the seventh victim is the key to all that stirs this killer…the key that will unlock secrets perhaps too painful for Vail to bear. These are secrets that threaten to destroy her, secrets that will bring down her storied and promising career. For Karen Vail, the truth rests at the heart of a lie. And uncovering it could get her killed…
With material meticulously researched during seven years of study with the Bureau’s vaunted profiling unit, Alan Jacobson brings refreshing realism and unprecedented accuracy to his pages, as he takes readers behind the scenes of the FBI Academy, where he worked with the actual profilers who have studied and interviewed twenty years’ worth of serial killers.

My Review:

When I first started to read this book, I thought I wasn’t going to like it, because it had another hot shot woman police officer at a bank robbery. I am glad I read more than the first two chapters and came to realize that was not the case. This book was an interesting perspective of what an FBI profiler does and how they make certain assumptions. I did enjoy this book, but thought the ending seemed a bit rushed. Like we came to the conclusion and everything had to be done quickly. In some books that makes sense, but I didn’t feel in this book it did. Or perhaps more information during the hunt for the serial killer would have made the ending better.

Still I found this author to be one that I would read the next book in the series. It was very interesting and I did enjoy it for the most part. 4 out of 5 stars on this one from me.

 

I am currently reading HOSTAGE by Robert Crais. This is a non-series book.

Brief Description:
Three young men gunning for action rob a minimart in a sleepy suburb north of Los Angeles. When things get out of control, and with the police on their tail, they flee the scene and invade a home in an exclusive gated community, taking a panicked family hostage.

Police chief Jeff Talley finds an all-too-familiar scene in front of the house where the criminals are holed up with a father and his two children. A former hostage negotiator with the LAPD’s SWAT unit, Talley is quickly thrown back into the high-pressure world that he has so desperately tried to leave behind. But Talley’s nightmare has barely begun, because this isn’t just any house; it holds the dirty secrets of L.A.’s biggest crime lord. And the people inside aren’t the only ones held hostage….

SPIDER BONES by Kathy Reichs is 306 pages in hardcover form. This is #13 in Dr. Temperance Brennan Series.

Brief Description:

One man, two deaths — four decades apart. A stunning story of deceit and murder can’t stay buried forever.

When Tempe Brennan is called to the scene of a Quebec drowning, shocking discoveries await: the victim — identified as one John Lowery — was engaged in a bizarre sexual practice when he died; and the same John Lowery was an American soldier declared dead in 1968, after a Huey crash in Vietnam. Who then, Tempe sets off to find out, is buried in the vet’s North Carolina grave? Exhuming the remains and having them analyzed at a military compound in Hawaii gets complicated when Tempe’s ex, Detective Andrew Ryan, appears . . . and when a Honolulu ME consults with her on who or what lethally attacked a young victim — a shark, or a more sinister predator? And when Lowery’s dog tags turn up linked to yet another corpse, Tempe must deconstruct a twisting tale of death that spans years, continents, and too many tragic losses.

My Review:

Every time I read one of the Temperance Brennan books, I learn something new.  I was not aware that if you are bitten by a shark an expert could tell what kind of shark it was.  That is simply amazing!  There is only one thing I don’t like about the books and that is they are filled with acronyms.  I wish there were generic names used or some other descriptor.

This was a very fast paced book and involved Detective Ryan and her daughter.  I certainly like the interaction between Tempe and Detective Ryan.  The eye rolls, the cute nicknames.  It makes Tempe more of a normal person.

I definitely enjoy the books more than the TV show and don’t really see that the show is about the books at all.  I see a forensic anthropologist but it ends there.  The books are filled with a lot more detail and facts as well as the human aspect.

I am giving this book 4 out of 5 stars, as I did get lost in the acronyms at times and I kept getting confused about who was who.  I think that was the intent, but I found it to be off putting.

THE MAN FROM ST. PETERSBURG by Ken Follett is 305 pages in length in Hardback form. It would be classed as historical fiction with a little mystery thrown in.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION:

In 1914, Germany arms for war and the allies are preparing their defences. Both sides need Russia. The Earl of Walden and Winston Churchill plan a secret Russian alliance, but a man steals into England, intent on leaving his mark on history. Fate catches up with a beautiful woman, a young girl and a star-crossed lover, while the police close in on the man who might bring England to her knees.

MY REVIEW:

I loved this book.  It is very well written and makes you want to keep reading the next page.  This is my second book by Mr. Follett and I want to read everything he has written, as the history lessons are wonderful.  This concerned the time just before WWI was started.  There was a slight mention of Churchill throughout the book.  You didn’t really get to know him in this book, but he was talked about and did make some statements throughout the book.

The characters whether they were good or bad were very likeable.  In a way you could understand their point of view even though it might be radical in nature.  It was also interesting to hear about the Suffragettes and Mrs. Pankhurst the leader of the movement.

I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars as it was very well written.  I enjoyed learning all about the treaty that was made between Russia and England before the start of WWI.  The give and take on both sides to come to the agreement and how people were out to stop that alliance.

 

 

THE TURTLE MOUND MURDER by Mary Clay is #1 in a Daffodils Mystery. Daffodils stands for divorced and Finally Free of Deceitful, Insensitive, Licentious Scum.

Brief Description:

IS THERE LIFE AFTER DIVORCE? YOU BET Meet the DAFFODILS* (*Divorced And Finally Free Of Deceitful, Insensitive, Licentious Scum) ***TV/Movie Rights Optioned*** Rebecca Leigh Stratton is divorced, depressed, and thoroughly disgusted. Thanks to her two-timing, asset-hiding, lawyer husband, Leigh faces the prospect of starting over at forty-six. Fortunately, her sassy, Southern sorority sisters, Penny Sue Parker and Ruthie Nichols, are old hands at divorce. The three single-again ladies take off for New Smyrna Beach, their college-days haunt. What they don’t bargain for are old flames, fist fights, and gunfire. And, that’s just the first day!

My Review:

This was an interesting read and reminded me of the Southern Sisters Mysteries that were written by Anne George.  The reason this was so interesting is because it is set in New Smyrna Beach and is all about the area.  So places that were discussed were familiar.

The editing could have been a little better, but the story was good and I enjoyed it.  The story moved along and the people were interesting.  I would try the next one when I find it.  I really like the Southern side of it, because it is pretty believable.  I have experienced some of these Southern friendships and it brings fond memories of those.

I am giving this book 3 out of 5 stars, as I would have liked the story to have moved along a little faster, and there seemed to be a few too many characters to try and keep track of.  I enjoyed it and hope to find the 2nd in the series.