Newest Crime Reviews

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Review of

The Khan by Saima Mir

5star.jpg Crime

Jia Khan has alway lived by the motto be twice as good as men and four times as good as white men. This has served her well in her rise through the criminal justice system and by the time she is called home for her sister's wedding after fifteen years in self-imposed exile, she is at the top of her game. Returning to the city of her birth, to old scars and fresh wounds, Jia must confront her past and reconcile her visions for the future with her sense of honour and duty. Full Review

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Review of

Fallen Angel (Gaby Darin Book 3) by Jenny O'Brien

4star.jpg Crime

Acting DI Gaby Darin is twiddling her thumbs: the usual flood of cases has slowed to less than a dribble and she's looking through cold cases for inspiration as to which one she should have a good look at. DS Owen Bates suggests the murder of eighteen-year-old Angelica Brock in 1995 and Gaby is intrigued. She can't see any immediate failings in the original investigation: Angelica disappeared from a room in a securely-locked house, wearing her pyjamas, and was found dead by a dog walker on the Gt Orme in Llandudno the next day. She was wearing a hand-made nightdress which her mother had never seen before. Bates hasn't quite told the whole story: he's married to Kate Brock, Angelica's younger sister. Full Review

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Review of

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M C Beaton

4star.jpg Crime

Agatha Raisin has taken early retirement and she's left South Moulton Street for a cottage in the Cotswold village of Carsley. She's have preferred one of the more romantic names but at least Carsley is off the tourist trail with all the problems that brings. Now the problem is settling into a different way of life - and Agatha has never done small talk or even being pleasant to people. The first move is to enter the village quiche-baking competition and the beginning of the campaign is taking the judge, Reginald Cummings-Browne, and his wife Vera out to dinner. She knows she's being ripped off at the pub in the next village but this is necessary and it's a good investment as she knows that she's going to win. How? Well, her quiche is coming from a Chelsea Bakery... Full Review

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Review of

Fallen Angels by Gunnar Staalesen

2star.jpg Thrillers

Varg Veum, lone wolf detective, is back. After attending a former friend's funeral, Veum catches up with old friends but soon historic grievances and wounds are opened and the sins of the past are exposed to the light of the present. A horrific murder threatens these tenuous bonds and Veum is thrust into an investigation to root out the clues hidden in his own history and to catch a killer. Full Review

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Review of

Death Awaits in Durham (Kitt Hartley Yorkshire Mysteries) by Helen Cox

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Kitt Hartley's assistant, Grace Edwards, has left her library job and taken a place on the Venerable Bede Academy's vocational library studies course in Durham. It's an unusual place to study as students with government grants are not accepted, so most of the people attending are scions of the seriously rich, scholarship students - or they've managed, somehow, to scrape together the money. Grace, who's 22, comes into the last category. Her parents agreed to fund the course but told her that if that was what she chose to do then they were finished with her. Not long after she started the course, Kitt Hartley came for a visit - and immediately discovered an unsolved disappearance of a student from a year ago. Full Review

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Review of

The Captive by Deborah O'Connor

4star.jpg Thrillers

Hannah knows the cage, intimately. It lurks in the corner of her eye. Soon, it will be occupied. Then what? What if he speaks to her? What if he escapes? What if he hurts her? What if she hurts him? Full Review

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Review of

Deadly Cry (D I Kim Stone) by Angela Marsons

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DI Kim Stone and DS Jim Bryant were on their way back from Diversity Awareness training. The need for coffee overtook Stone - the course had been a complete waste of time for her as she knew that she was equally rude to everyone. It was in the shopping centre that Stone caught sight of a little girl clutching a teddy bear in the absence of her mother. Stone and Bryant didn't realise the extent to which this case was going to occupy their minds as the body of Katrina Nock is discovered some hours later. Her neck had been broken and it had all the hallmarks of a quick, functional kill, but who would do that to a young mother out shopping with her child? Full Review

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Review of

Body Language by A K Turner

4.5star.jpg Crime

Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Raven is the senior mortuary technician and not only does she talk to the dead, she also hears what they have to say to her. It's not something she's inclined to share with people as she's pretty certain about what their reaction will be. She's certainly not going to share it with the new pathologist, Dr Archie Chuff, wearer of a genuine Barbour jacket and old Harrovian. He's very conscious of his position and isn't even inclined to ask for the view of the anatomical pathology technicians despite the fact that they have a lot more experience than him and he has only a limited amount of time to spend on each body. That will prove to be a mistake. Full Review

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Review of

The Roots of Evil (Bob Skinner) by Quintin Jardine

4.5star.jpg Crime

On New Year's Eve, Sir Robert Morgan Skinner was celebrating at the golf club with his wife, Professor Sarah Grace, daughter Alex Skinner and the man with whom she shares a house, Dominic Jackson. Jackson would be better-known to the criminal fraternity of Edinburgh as Lennie Plenderleith but he's reformed and the new name reflects a new man. The Skinners don't stay much after midnight at the clubhouse and are dropped home not long into the new year. Skinner's tempted to let the phone ring but knows that he cannot: it's Mario McGuire asking for his presence at a crime scene in the centre of Edinburgh. Skinner's not technically with the police now - he's chairman of InterMedia UK - but the police value his knowledge and experience. Full Review

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Review of

The Body on the Island by Nick Louth

4.5star.jpg Crime

A prison transport left HMP Wakefield, heading for HMP Spring Hill. Steve and Aaron were accompanying Neil Wright who was 67 years old and had served six years for the manslaughter of his wife. Only that wasn't who he was. Sixty-three-years-old Neville Rollaston had served thirty years for the murder of five boys between the ages of ten and seventeen. He was being ghosted out of Wakefield and into a new identity set up in a deal whereby he divulged the whereabouts of the body of one of his victims. The Bogeyman was going to be set free on 2 July 2019. He appeared to be a reformed character but he had a list of people upon whom he wished to exact revenge. Full Review

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Review of

The Long Dark Road by P R Black

4star.jpg Thrillers

Two years ago Dr Georgia's Healey's nineteen-year-old university-student daughter went missing as she walked along the lonely A928 at Ferngate Bridge. There was a furious storm going on and she'd already refused the offer of help from one man in a big vehicle. We'll see - but no one else will know - that another car stops and Stephanie is bundled into the car and driven off. There has been no sign of her - or her body - in the two years since. Georgia is back is Ferngate, determined to find out what happened and she's not going to be stopped. Full Review

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Review of

Pandora's Gardener by David C Mason

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John Cranston is a gardener, although what he did before he became a gardener, he claims, is classified. That is just as well because he is about to be caught up in a criminal / spy / terrorist plot, where only he can save the day. Full Review

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Review of

Her Majesty the Queen Investigates: The Windsor Knot by S J Bennett

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It's early 2016 and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is at Windsor for the Easter Court. She's having a dine and sleep at the request of Prince Charles, who's attempting to raise money from some rich Russians for one of his pet projects. There'd been a distinctly Russian flavour to the evening and one of the performers brought in to play the piano has been found dead in what can only be called embarrassing circumstances. The immediate reaction is that one of the guests is responsible. The Queen mentally rules out her racing manager, an ex-ambassador to Moscow, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Sir David Attenborough. One couldn't bear to go down any of those roads. Full Review

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Review of

The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard

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Angel Roberts is an oddity - a female fisherwoman, making her living in a man's world. When her lobster trawler is found drifting off the coast of Quebec, Detective Morales is called in to come and head the investigation. Although the signs seem to point to an obvious conclusion, Morales feels something more sinister is going on, and finds himself frustrated at every turn by hidden agendas, fishing histories and secret family feuds. At the same time as trying to run his investigation, he also has his grown up son, Sebastien arriving at his door, weighed down with personal problems that he is unable to talk to his father about, which tie up with Morales own marital difficulties. Full Review

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Review of

The Last Resort by Susi Holliday

3.5star.jpg Thrillers

A group of strangers gather on a private island. They have been invited to an all-expenses paid retreat to test a brand-new product from the mysterious Timeo Technology company. The group includes a games designer, social media influencer, gossip columnist and hedge fund manager. Everyone seems to have an area of expertise that makes their attendance necessary. All except Amelia whose presence is a mystery. We follow the group as they explore the island, and each other's histories and it becomes clear that they all have a dark secret they would rather keep hidden. As the clock ticks down, these well-kept secrets are revealed, and it soon becomes clear that this luxury retreat is really a gilded cage. In a race against time, Amelia must struggle to uncover the reason for her attendance and protect the rest of the guests from the increasingly sinister accidents that befall them. Full Review

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Review of

Snow by John Banville

5star.jpg Crime (Historical)

Well, at least you're a Wexford man.

So said Colonel Osborne when he welcomed DI St John (pronounced 'Sinjun') Strafford to Ballyglass House just before Christmas 1957. Osborne was master of the Keelmore Hounds and had done something memorable with the Inniskilling Dragoons at Dunkirk. The niceties had to be established even when there was a Catholic priest dead on the library floor with some precious bits of his anatomy missing. Strafford was from Roslea at Bunclody and this, along with his good-but-shabby suit, marked him out as of Osborne's class and obviously Protestant. The dead priest was Father Tom Lawless from Scallanstown, who - despite the different religions - was in the habit of spending time at Ballyglass House. His horse was stabled there. Full Review

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Review of

The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths

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When a 90-year-old-woman with a heart condition dies peacefully in her armchair, it really shouldn't be suspicious and that was the view taken by DS Harbinder Kaur until she spoke to Peggy Smith's carer. Natalka Kolisnyk was adamant that there was more to Peggy's death than met the eye - particularly as she knew that there was no heart condition and that Peggy had worried that she was being followed. Then there was the fact that Peggy was a 'murder consultant' who helped authors with knotty plot lines in their books: she knew more about murder than any elderly woman should need to know. Full Review

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Review of

Agatha Raisin: Hot to Trot by M C Beaton and R W Green

4.5star.jpg Crime

Raisin Investigations had quite a bit of work on hand. The chairman of Philpott Electronics was concerned about his managing director, Harold Cheeseman, who had apparently returned from Australia because his wife did not like it there. This was unusual, as his wife had died before Cheeseman went to Australia. Then there was the Chadwick divorce: Chadwick was convinced that his wife, Sheraton, was seeing another man. Mr Gutteridge wanted Raisin Investigations to instal listening devices in the staff canteen: he wanted to know what the staff were saying about him and his secretary, who was from Geneva. Apparently, the staff called her The Swiss Roll.

Then there was the murder. Full Review

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Review of

Still Life (DCI Karen Pirie) by Val McDermid

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It was the middle of February and bitterly cold when a fishing boat out of St Monans pulled a body out the Firth of Forth instead of a lobster pot. It fell to DCI Charlie Todd and DS Daisy Mortimer to investigate and it didn't take too long to establish that the man was Paul Allard, ostensibly a Frenchman, but in reality James Auld of Edinburgh. A decade earlier he's gone missing when he was the prime suspect in the disappearance and possible murder of his brother, prominent civil servant, Iain Auld. DCI Karen Pirie, as head of Police Scotland Historic Crimes Unit, had been the last person to review the case, a couple of years earlier and it seemed sensible to bring her into the case at an early stage. Full Review

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