As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
New reviews are posted daily, but to search for earlier reviews please click on the Mystery People link below and select 'reviews' from the welcome page. This will display an alphabetic option for you to find the review you would like to read
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Published by Head of Zeus, 21 November
2013. ISBN: 978-1-78185-369-6
A woman is found dead, a
double shot to her head, floating in the waters of Venice.This would be shocking enough, but she is dressed in the religious robes
only ordained priests should wear – male priests at that!
This is Captain Katerina (Kat)Tapo’s first murder, throwing her into the
world of human trafficking, organised crime and religious controversy.As more bodies start to be uncovered, Kat
discovers that murder is not the only issue she is
contending with.Political manoeuvring
and international relations start to interfere with the investigation and she
finds herself working with a US Second Lieutenant, Holly Boland, who is
exploring her own enquiries into a possible war crime.
Working with each other and the creator of a virtual Venice, Carnivia, they
begin to unravel secrets that their respective superiors would prefer to remain
hidden. The two women find themselves
getting deeper and deeper into a case which threatens the lives of both of
them, and anyone else they connect it to.It starts to become unclear who they can trust and what they are
investigating, organised crime or a deeper governmental cover up.
Well paced with a really interesting set of characters and
uses the stunning backdrop of its location to draw the reader further into the
web-like plot which Johnathan Holt has created.The Abomination is page turning in the extreme, but without some of the
flaws inherent in some blockbuster thrillers.The characters have some depth, there are other stories going on along
with the main thrust of the narrative, and this creates a gripping read.
My only reservation is that both the story and the unusual
fact that the two main protagonists are women means that this ideal for a Hollywood film. Unfortunately I am sure that it would not
match up to the book.A fine book,
difficult to put down and recommended as a good holiday read, especially if you
are visiting the watery streets of Venice.
Reviewer: Amanda Brown
Jonathan Holt read
English literature at Oxford and is now the creative director of an advertising
company. He lives in London.
Published by Soho
Crime, (Hardback) July, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-6169-5280-8. (Paperback) April 2014. ISBN:
Junior Bender, the protagonist in this, the
third in this series, has a franchise, according to the eminence grise of
Hollywood, the powerful Irwin Dressler, the 93-year-old mob boss. Junior
prides himself as a burglar’s burglar, and has found himself much in demand by
criminals as their own private investigator. And that’s why Dressler has
two of his goons snatch Junior off the street and bring him to his home.
He asks Junior to find out who was responsible for ruining a minor actress’ career over 60 years earlier.
This gives the author an opportunity to describe the Hollywood scene of the
1950’s, together with the glamour of Las Vegas and the prevalence of mafia
bigwigs and run-of-the mill hoodlums. It is a mystery why a minor starlet
became so important to the mob that she had a single starring role: testifying at the Estes Kefauver crime hearings.
This book has quite a plot, and Junior has a tough road to hoe to solve the mystery.
------ Reviewer: Ted Feit
haswritten ten published novels, all thrillers,
all critically praised. In the 1990s he wrote six mysteries featuring the
erudite private eye Simeon Grist, beginning with The Four Last Things which made several Ten Best lists, including
that of The Drood Review. The other books in the series were widely and well
reviewed, and several of them were optioned for motion pictures. The series is
now regarded as a cult favourite. In 2007, the first of his Poke Rafferty
Bangkok thrillers, A Nail Through the
Heart, was published to unanimously enthusiastic reviews. "Itwas a Booksense Pick of the Month and was
named one of the top mysteries of the year by The Japan Times and several major
online review sites. Hallinan has written full-time since 2006. Since 1982 he
has divided his time between Los Angeles and Southeast Asia, the setting for
his Poke Rafferty novels.
Ted and Gloria Feit
live in Long Beach, NY,
a few miles outside New York City.
For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in
Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and
writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly
publications. Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're
now retired, they're able to indulge that passion. Their reviews appear
online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US. On a more personal
note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine
grandchildren between them.
Published by Ostara Publishing, 2013.
(First published 1999) ISBN:978-1-909619-07-4
The cover of this book describes it as Clerical Crime which is an
interesting category! This series about Theodora Braithwaite was previously
published from 1991 to 1999 and there are 8 previous investigations covered
before this reprinted copy. I have read some of the earlier ones and I
don't think that reading them in order is important. Theodora is a deacon
of the Church of England who uses her knowledge of human behaviour and her
connections within the Church to assist the police with their work when murder
happens in relation to Anglicans. In this book she attends a conference
of Church officials and lay people which is held in November in an unappealing
holiday camp in the fens - the camp is called Bolly's Jolly Holiday Homes.
D M Greenwood is a clever
writer who is obviously closely involved in the Anglican Church and who knows
all the quirks of churchly behaviour. She enjoys poking fun at the
incongruity of the holiday camp with the Church attendees. She is biting
about some characters like the Bishop who uses management speak and about whom,
as she puts it, 'it was rumoured that the Bishop did not want particular
changes in the Church, just changes.' She also describes with affection
other attendees at the Conference.
As they gather in Highcliffe,
East Anglia, to consider 'the Millennium Message' the shocking discovery
is made of the body of one of the delegates in a washing machine. He has
been stabbed. Since no-one has a bad word to say about him what reason
could there be for his murder? Theodora is acquainted with the
investigating police officer and he finds her insights into Anglican ideas and
practices very helpful. She, indeed, reaches the solution of the death
and other shenanigans before the Superintendent.
The mystery is clever and
well developed but some of the most interesting parts of the book consider
religious ideas and give a novel of social comment. ------
Reviewer: Jennifer S Palmer
As I wrote earlier this is
the 9th in a series and has been reprinted.
Dr Diane M Greenwood came originally from Norfolk
She took a first degree in classics at Oxford University, then as a mature
student, a second degree in theology at London University. She taught at
various schools before working for the diocese of Rochester. She retired as diocesan director
of education for the diocese of Rochester
has been describedas "a classics
teacher of terrifying erudition and eccentricity".Between 1991 and 1999 she published nine
books featuring Deaconess Theodora Braithwaite (in her thirties).D M Greenwood was last heard of living in Greenwich with her
Jennifer Palmer Throughout
my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my
15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but
occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting
reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics
including Famous Historical Mysteries.
Published by Oldcastle Books, 26 June
2014. ISBN: 978-1-84344-245-5
This reference book is a personal guide to European crime in books,
film and TV: ‘a user-friendly, wide-ranging snapshot of the best achievements
... of crime not originally written (or played) in English.It’s divided by country, and there’s a short
introduction followed by more detailed entries on notable writers, roughly in
chronological order.Then there’s a
description of selected films and TV, by date.At the back are two appendices with a ‘top ten’ in book and screen per
country, and an index.
It’s most certainly a
wide-ranging guide.Forshaw’s other
books include guides Nordic Noir, British Crime Film and British Gothic Cinema as well as British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia.The book assessments are spattered with
anecdotes about the authors, and the prose is lively and readable.It’s always interesting to read someone
else’s comments on a book you know, and it’s full of ideas for new authors to
try, or good films to watch.
I wasn’t so sure it was
completely user-friendly.It was
organised more as a chatty guide than a reference work, so Simenon, for
example, had three ‘chunks’ of text, each with a bold headline, and the
headlines themselves were amusing rather than clear or factual.Other writers got one ‘chunk’ or two. There
weren’t many spoilers (warning: this reader’s eyes had read the spoiler by the
time her brain had clocked ‘spoiler alert’) but I felt we were given more of
the plot than I wanted for a book I might like to read.I’d also have liked the original title, as
well as the translation title, for both book and film (for films, Forshaw
generally gave both).
An entertaining guide by a
real expert, with a lot of ideas for writers and film/TV to try.
Barry Forshaw'slatest books are British Crime Film and Death in a Cold
Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction. Other work includes
British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia, The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction
and Guns for Hire: The Modern Adventure Thriller, along with books on
Italian cinema and the first biography of Stieg Larsson. His next books are British
Gothic Cinema and a study of Thomas Harris and The Silence of the Lambs.
He writes for various newspapers, edits Crime Time, and broadcasts for ITV and
BBC TV documentaries. He has been Vice Chair of the Crime Writers' Association.
Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a
newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's
scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a
qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published
plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's
suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own
8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.Marsali also does a regular monthly column
for the Mystery People e-zine.
Published by Corvus, 3 April 2014. ISBN:
(Scots Gaelic): an elite Scottish mercenary warrior
Glasgow: June 1947. Douglas Brodie, chief crime
reporter on the Glasgow Gazette, is anticipating a quiet few months at
his job and enjoying his relationship with advocate Samantha Campbell when he
is contacted by Sheila Gibson, wife of the wealthy banker Sir Fraser Gibson.
Gibson has been kidnapped and the kidnappers are demanding a ransom of £20,000.
If the police are contacted Gibson willbe killed so Sheila asks Brodie to deliver the ransom money with the
utmost discretion. Brodie is initially unwilling but Sheila is desperate so
Brodie agrees and accepts the small payment that Sheila offers him. But when he
finally gets to the rendezvous he is attacked by an unseen person and knocked
out; when he recovers consciousness Gibson is there all right - but dead. The
police arrive almost at once: Brodie is the obvious suspect. Bad enough that
his fingerprints are on the gun that killed Gibson and that the investigating
officer is his old adversary Detective Chief Inspector Walter Sangster who
would be quite happy to see Brodie hang. Worse still is that Sheila denies all
knowledge of Brodie. Worst of all is that Brodie, still haunted by his
experiences in the war (North Africa, Normandy, Berlin) and in post-war Glasgow
(see Ferris’s earlier
novels The Hanging Shed, Bitter Water, Pilgrim Soul) cannot be sure that
he did not after all kill Gibson. He is arrested and detained in prison and so
cannot himself investigate what actually happened. So he, Samantha and his MI5
contact Harry Templeton concoct a brilliant deception which will free him from
jail and free him to find the truth about Gibson’s death the heart of which, Brodie believes,
lies in the vaults of Gibson’s bank.
This is an
exciting and ingenious thriller in the vein of Raymond Chandler with a strong
sense of period in particular Britain’s parlous economic condition at the time.
Reviewer: Radmila May
Gordon Ferris was born and bred in Kilmarnock.
After school where he enjoyed writing and rugby he took a job working for the Ministry of Defence,
procuring guided missiles and a tactical nuclear weapons system, before moving
to global accountancy firm Price Waterhouse, making partner in seven years. But something inside was calling him back to writing. On a long
haul flight with a laptop and hours to kill, he began the internal journey that
led to Truth Dare Kill and its sequel
The Unquiet Heart. With the launch in
early 2011 of the first 'Brodie' book - The
Hanging Shed , which was followed by Bitter
Pilgrim Soul is his latest book