The Body In The Library by Agatha Christie

Body In The LibraryAnd we’re back…

Gossington Hall, home of Dolly and Colonel Arthur Bantry, is disturbed one morning when the body of a young, platinum blonde girl is discovered in, yes, the library. No apparent connection is made between the location and the body and nobody recognises her. Luckily Dolly’s old friend, Jane Marple, has a few ideas…

Soon a second body is discovered and the focus of the investigation becomes the Majestic Hotel in Danemouth, and a tale of adopted young women and a possibly lost inheritance. But how on earth –and why – did that body end up in the library?

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Posted in Agatha Christie, Miss Marple | 18 Comments

The Sins Of The Fathers by Lawrence Block

Sins Of The FathersMatt Scudder used to be a policeman until a tragic accident drove him out of the police force and in the direction of the nearest bottle. Now he survives as an unofficial private eye, doing “favours” for friends.

Wendy Hanniford was murdered by the boy she shared her apartment with. It’s an open and shut case, especially when the boy commits suicide in prison. But Wendy’s estranged father wants to know the truth about her life – how she came to the point of sleeping with men for money and how she came to be murdered. As Scudder looks into the case, it seems the truth could be not as clear cut as it seems.

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Posted in Lawrence Block, Matt Scudder | 11 Comments

Doc On The Box – Jonathan Creek Series 5

And lo, there was much rejoicing, on this blog at least, as it was announced that there would be a new series of Jonathan Creek. One of the criticisms of the recent specials – The Grinning Man, The Judas Tree and The Clue Of The Savant’s Thumb – was that they were too long, so there was much hope for the return to the c. 60 minute episodes.

Jonathan Creek 5

And then the first episode was screened and the internet lit up with some extremely negative comments – the twitter stream for #JonathanCreek was negative to say the least. I’d planned to post episode by episode reviews as I did for Sherlock, but there was a lot to think about and I didn’t want to make a knee-jerk reaction. Well, now I’ve thought about it – here goes…

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Posted in Film and TV, Jonathan Creek | 12 Comments

Candle Flame by Paul Doherty

Candle FlameSouthwark, February 1381. Very precise with the date there, as people with a good knowledge of medieval history will know that this is the year when the Peasants’ Revolt is on the verge of breakout across England and London in particular. The Upright Men, the leaders of the Great Community, are making plans, and their footsoldiers are attacking the servants of John of Gaunt, the Regent of the realm.

At the Candle-Flame tavern, on the banks of the Thames in Southwark, Edmund Marsen, one of Gaunt’s primary tax-collectors, is staying in the fortress-like Barbican. On the morning of the 14th of February, the alarm is raised as two guards are found outside, murdered at their posts. The Barbican itself is locked from the inside, but when the doors are broken down, seven more bodies lie inside – and Marsen’s treasure chest lies open and empty. Is this the work of the Upright Men, or Beowulf, the assassin who seemingly shares their beliefs? Or the spy who seems to be staying in the tavern? Or someone with a different reason to hate Marsen? For as the truth begins to form, it seems that Marsen had a lot of enemies – and some of them were very close to him that night…

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Posted in Brother Athelstan, Historical Mysteries, Locked Rooms and Impossible Murders, Paul Doherty | 5 Comments

Sorrow Bound by David Mark

Sorrow BoundHull and time to visit DS Aector McAvoy again, lead character in (The) Dark Winter and Original Skin. Things are about to get pretty grim(mer) for our hero and his friends and family.

McAvoy is a troubled man, the main light in his life being his wife, Roisin. But he has a secret that he’s been hiding from her since they met – a secret that could destroy their happy life together. Not to be outdone, Roisin is about to make a dreadful mistake, drawing the attention of a very dangerous enemy.

Meanwhile McAvoy and his colleagues are on the trail of a savage murderer. A local mother, without any real enemies in the world, is murdered – her chest being completely caved in. What could she have done to deserve such brutality? As the killings increase, McAvoy begins to see a pattern – it seems that no good deed goes unpunished after all…

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Posted in Aector McEvoy, David Mark | 3 Comments

They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie

They Do It With MirrorsWhen Miss Marple meets with her old friend Ruth, she is persuaded to look in on Ruth’s sister, Carrie Louise. Currently living in a mansion with her extended family at Stonygates, which has been converted into a home for delinquent youths, run by her husband, Lewis Serrocold. Ruth is convinced, in that old detective fiction way, that something is undefinably wrong at the house. When Miss Marple arrives, she too senses… something. But not before tragedy strikes.

Carrie Louise’s stepson arrives with suspicions as well – someone is trying to kill her. But before he can clarify his suspicions, he is shot dead on a night full of incident. As the police arrive and enlist Miss Marple’s help, it seems that the killer is becoming more determined to carry out their plan. And all the time, Miss Marple’s thoughts keep returning to magicians – hence the title…

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Posted in Agatha Christie, Miss Marple | 13 Comments

The Shining Skull by Kate Ellis

Shining SkullIn 1976, Marcus Falbrook was kidnapped from his family. Ransom notes were sent were Marcus was never seen again. Until the day he returns to his family with little memory of what happened to him. At the same time, Leah Wakefield, a local teen pop sensation is kidnapped. It seems to be simply a bizarre coincidence until the ransom notes for Leah arrive – written on the same paper and in the same style as the notes for Marcus. Has the same kidnapper returned after more than forty years?

In the meantime, DI Wesley Peterson and his team are busy hunting for the Barber – a dangerous man who impersonates taxi drivers in order to attack women and cut off their hair. Meanwhile, Wesley’s archaeologist friend Neil Watson finds a coffin in a churchyard with two bodies in it. His investigations lead to a local religious cult from the Georgian era. As the various investigations continue, things start to dovetail together – but how does a Georgian cult possibly link to a pop star kidnapping?

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Posted in Kate Ellis, Wesley Peterson | 3 Comments