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Search tags: Historical-Mystery
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review 2017-09-21 15:10
Halloween Bingo Update 5: The Virgin in the Ice
The Virgin in the Ice: The Sixth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael - Ellis Peters

The Virgin in the Ice is set in the "dark, dark woods."  Perhaps not so surprising when it's 1139, there's a civil war on, and Brother Cadfael is on the road to another monastic house (in his capacity as healer).

 

For the Forest of Cree is full of ice and snow and wind, and murder and mayhem, as well.

 

 

It would also work for Amateur Sleuth or Murder Most Foul.

 

 

Read and Called:

 

Werewolves: Marked in Flesh, by Anne Bishop

In the Dark, Dark Woods: The Virgin in the Ice, by Ellis Peters

Locked Room Mystery: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, by Agatha Christie

Ghost: The Canterville Ghost, by Oscar Wilde

 

Read, but Uncalled:

 

Supernatural: Murder of Crows, by Anne Bishop

 

Called, but Unread:

 

Genre: Horror

Diverse Voices

Murder Most Foul

Witches

Cozy Mystery

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review 2017-09-11 10:43
Miraculous Mysteries: Locked-Room Murders and Impossible Crimes
Miraculous Mysteries: Locked-Room Murders and Impossible Crimes (British Library Crime Classics) - Various Authors,Martin Edwards

I've read three of the short stories in this collection so far, and I'd say 2 out of the three were excellent, with the third being worthy of note for just how transcendently bad it is.

 

The first story I read was, of course, Doyle's The Lost Special.  It wasn't a mystery in the sense of a puzzle to be solved, but instead as a solution presented after the fact.  Still, it was good and made better by the small touches that include a riff on Holmes' quote of "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth..." and the small uncredited cameo Homes himself makes by way of 'an amateur reasoner of some celebrity'.  I must admit that I guessed how it was done, although not what the special's ultimate fate was.  Harsh.

 

The next story I read was The Case of the Tragedies in the Greek Room by Sax Rohmer, which caught my attention because I saw in the introduction where Edwards chose it because it was the best example of what he inferred was a rather bad lot.  It features a psychic detective named Moris Klaw.  It was notable for being hilariously bad from start to finish; truly overblown and completely unbelievable, but in the manner that leaves you amused rather than disgusted (mostly).

 

The third story was Nicholas Olde's The Invisible Weapon which is built around that (now) classic motif of... read it to find out.  No spoilers here.  But it was written well enough to be enjoyable, if not 'oh wow' memorable.  

 

I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of these stories - hopefully soon.  But that's the great thing about anthologies like these, they keep on giving for ages afterwards if you want them to.

 

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text 2017-09-11 02:12
Reading progress update: I've read 19%.
Murder on the SS Rosa: a cozy historical mystery - a novella (A Ginger Gold Mystery Book 1) - Lee Strauss

Ok, so I'm using this one for Cozy Mystery. Night of the Living Deed will be used for Ghost.

 

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review 2017-08-21 11:20
On her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service (Royal Spyness, #11)
On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service - Rhys Bowen

There is no getting around that these books are the very definition of cozy; they're also charming in a way that endears them to even a thoroughly unromantic soul such as mine.  And while the focus of the series is an overall sweetness and innocence, Bowen occasionally slips edgier tragedies in that makes them all the more heartbreaking.  I think Bowen manages to capture perfectly a certain naiveté at a time in history when the world was at a tipping point, before everyone found out how truly evil humanity can be.

 

This eleventh book is a good example of this, even though the mystery itself wasn't quite as finely crafted as some of her others.  Anyone who has read the series will be thoroughly at home with Georgie and Belinda (another one!), Darcy and Fig.  And Queenie was left behind in this one - YAY!  This time Georgie is in Mussolini's Italy and there are dodgy goings-on at a house party the Queen has sent Georgie to, in order to spy on her son and that hussy Wallis Simpson.

 

I guessed the murderer early on (too much page time) but the story never failed to keep me amused, and there was a scene between Georgie and a German soldier that purely broke my heart for it's sweetness and naiveté.  

 

The ending for Belinda's story line was just way too convenient, in the way these story lines always are, but in spite of that, I'm happy to see it wrapped up and I'm looking forward to the next book - may the fates keep Bowen from turning it into a wedding-in-peril story.

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review 2017-07-29 06:23
A Most Novel Revenge (Amory Ames, #3)
A Most Novel Revenge - Ashley Weaver

Well, that was almost a Greek tragedy.

 

1930's England and Amory's cousin begs her by letter to join a house party at the Lyonsgate Estate; the first house party the estate has seen since a tragic weekend 7 years prior and with the exception of Amory and her husband, it's the same roster of guests.  They've all been brought back together by one woman who is determined to rake up all the secrets of the past and what really happened on that 'lost' weekend.

 

The series started with Amory estranged from her playboy husband, but instead of taking the obvious route - divorce and future romantic entanglements - the author brings Amory and her husband Milo back together for reconciliation.  Frankly I didn't think I'd like it and she sure didn't do much to sell Milo's legendary charm to the reader.  But three books in and I've warmed to Milo and find I don't mind him sticking around at all.

 

The plotting was amazing, frankly.  I never had a hint of where she was taking this story until the very end and when I read it, had to do a double take to make sure I'd read the right name.  I don't often trot out comparisons, but really, this was a mystery worthy of the era it's set in; very Christie-esque.

 

I rated it slightly lower than I usually would for such an outstanding mystery because the pacing was a bit slow; I never got bored or distracted, but neither did I feel antagonistic about being interrupted.  I might, upon further consideration, up it to 4.5, but for now it's a very, very solid 4 stars.

 

 

 

 

 

Total pages: 349  (qualifies for x3 location multiplier)

$$: $12.00

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