Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: mysteries-and-thrillers
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
review 2019-08-05 19:14
Hope Never Dies - Andrew Shaffer

Several months ago, I was in a local independent bookstore, where I found this novel on a solid wooden table filled with other mystery novels. The cover drew my immediate attention. (Jeremy Enecio the front cover artist - so acknowledged by the author in the Acknowledgements section of "HOPE NEVER DIES" - did a fantastic job of capturing the likeness of ex-President Barack Obama and Joe Biden.) I read the summary and promptly bought the novel.

"HOPE NEVER DIES" shows both Obama and Biden in Wilmington, Delaware several months into the year 2017. Biden is troubled by the death of a old friend, an Amtrak conductor, in a mysterious railway accident. He and Obama take on the role of amateur sleuths to uncover what the real deal is. Along the way there are some light, entertaining moments in the novel that highlight the special friendship ('bromance') both men had during their 8 years in the White House.

This is only the second novel I've read which featured living historical figures. (The other novel was 'The Golden Age' in which the author Gore Vidal inserted himself as a character.) If not handled right, this inclusion of real, living, public figures can go horribly wrong and come across as grossly inauthentic. Not here. Andrew Shaffer has done a masterful job of crafting a novel featuring ex-President Obama, Biden, and a variety of characters who made "HOPE NEVER DIES" one of the best novels it has been my pleasure to read this year.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2019-07-27 01:15
The Satapur Moonstone - Sujata Massey

In the mystery of "THE SATAPUR MOONSTONE", Perveen Mistry, one of India's first women lawyers, is employed by the Kolhapur Agency on a short-term basis to adjudicate and devise an agreement which would ensure the best education for 10 year old Maharaja Jiva Rao of the Kingdom of Satapur (one of India's princely states, which under the aegis of the British Raj, enjoyed local autonomy). The reason for Perveen being given this delicate assignment was a bitter dispute between the kingdom's 2 maharanis (Jiva Rao's mother and his grandmother, the dowager queen) as to the type of education each desired for the maharaja, who had recently lost both his father and older brother (in the latter case, a tragic hunting accident was the likely cause of death). And as both maharanis were in purdah, no man was permitted to see and/or have any direct dealings with either of them. Here is where Perveen's services as a lawyer were needed and required. 

What follows as the story progresses once Perveen makes the journey from Bombay to the isolated Kingdom of Satapur (via the Circuit House situated at some distance from the Kingdom, where the British political agent responsible for overseeing matters pertaining to Satapur and the surrounding area resides) are various palace intrigues and unforeseen hazards that may imperil the maharaja and Perveen herself. 

Sujata Massey has again crafted a compelling and thrilling novel with fully realized characters no reader can be indifferent to. In addition to a map of the Kingdom of Satapur, there is also a glossary that identifies many of the terms used in the novel that are uniquely associated with the India of that era (i.e., the early 1920s and earlier). 

Simply put, "THE SATAPUR MOONSTONE" is a winner! I can't wait to read the next novel in the series

Like Reblog Comment
review 2018-12-14 00:11
Maigret Sets a Trap - Georges Simenon

The novel takes the reader to Paris in early August. It is a rather hot and stale summer in the city, where breezes are few, and those that arise tend to be arid and dry. Enough to make anyone wish for rain. 

At the headquarters of the Police Judiciaire at Quai des Orfèvres, Inspector Maigret feels very much like a man under siege. The press, sensing that a big story is about to break, have made themselves like permanent fixtures in the police station. Over the past 6 months, there have been a number of murders of young women in the Montmartre section of the city. Maigret has been hard pressed to determine who the murderer could be, as well as a possible rationale behind the killings. Most of the novel is taken up with the steps taken by Maigret to set up a trap to snare, once and for all, the murderer and restore tranquility in the neighborhood. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-03-21 01:49
Anatomy of a Scandal: The brilliant, must-read novel of 2018 - Sarah Vaughan

From the moment I read the first 2 to 3 pages of "ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL," I knew this would be a novel I wanted to see through to the finish. I was seduced by the writing, which flows seamlessly and is a joy to read. 

Each chapter in "ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL" is told from the vantage point of the main characters: Sophie Whitehouse; James Whitehouse (her husband), an ex-Etonian and Oxfordian (both he and Sophie had met at Oxford, where they were students during the early 1990s), who was "to the manor born" and as an MP (Member of Parliament) and junior government minister is clearly poised for greater things. Besides, he and the Prime Minister - Tom Southern - are both blue bloods and boon companions from Eton and Oxford days. Both are imbued with an overweening sense of entitlement and privilege that gives them the sense that they can get away with just about anything. Besides, James is supremely self-confident, has an unerring knack for ingratiating himself with just about anybody, and has a handsomeness that even in middle age continues to draw women into his orbit. Then there is the barrister Kate Woodcroft, QC (Queen's Counsel), who has been appointed to prosecute James when he is accused of rape by a young woman who had worked for him as a researcher. 

A large portion of the novel is taken up with the trial. It is a high-profile trial which forces Sophie (who had given up her career upon marrying James and had contented herself with being the ideal political wife and mother of their 2 young children) to reassess both her marriage and her understanding of her husband, as well as her loyalty to him. Kate, too, is deeply impacted by the trial, which she is determined to win. Old ghosts from Kate's past are resurrected. And there are links between the present-day and Oxford from the 1990s that reveal interesting and unexpected connections among the main characters. 

Surprises and twists abound in "ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL" that will keep the reader wanting to know more. This is a novel that won't be soon forgotten by anyone who reads it. It is that GOOD.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-01-28 17:00
The Widows of Malabar Hill (A Mystery of 1920s Bombay) - Sujata Massey

A few minutes ago (it's 11:20 AM EST as I write this), I had the satisfaction of finishing reading "THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL." It's centered around India's first woman lawyer, Perveen Mistry, who had received her legal training at Oxford. The time is February 1921 and she has returned to her home in Bombay, where she has a job working in her father's law firm. 

Perveen has been given the responsibility of executing the will of Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim who owned a fabric mill and had 3 wives. In the immediate aftermath of Farid's death, the 3 widows are living in strict purdah (a type of seclusion in which the widows never leave the women's quarters nor see and speak with any man) at the Farid residence on Malabar Hill. Whilst carefully reading the documents, Perveen notices that the widows have signed off their inheritance to a charity. What strikes Perveen as odd is that one of the widows' signature is a 'X', which is a clear indication that the widow who affixed the 'X' probably was unable to read the document. This leads Perveen to wonder how the 3 widows will be able to live and take care of themselves. She begins to suspect that maybe they may be taken advantage of by the legal guardian entrusted by Mr. Farid to handle their financial affairs. Perveen has the welfare and best interests of her clients, the 3 widows, in mind.

Perveen goes on to carry out an investigation. She makes an arrangement with the widows' legal guardian, Feisal Mukri, to come to the residence to visit the widows and to speak with each of them separately. In the process of doing so, tensions are stirred in the Farid residence and a murder takes place there that makes a straightforward matter of executing a family will into something much more perilous and uncertain. There is also something out of Perveen's recent past in Calcutta that intrudes into her present life. 

"THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL" is a novel whose prose resonates on every page. It has a lot of twists and turns that will engage the reader's attention throughout. Sujata Massey is a writer who not only knows how to craft and tell a richly compelling novel. She'll leave the reader wanting more. And after almost 14 years of reading Massey's work, I'm already eager to begin reading the second novel in the Perveen Mistry Series. 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?