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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by Matador, 28 March 2015. ISBN: 978-1-78462-213-8
DI Flick Fortune was hoping to
relax during her last two weeks before the start of her maternity leave ...
until a leading QC is found dead after a function at the Edinburgh Law Courts, just
after having sex with the wife of a senior police officer.
PP was great fun to read. It’s in the Christie style, but set in the present
day, so that the investigating officers have full access to modern techology,
but also suffer the pressures of the press (led by Inspector No, Fortune’s
former boss) and finance. The opening ‘list of characters’ was dauntingly
large, but in fact I didn’t find I needed it – each character was clearly
introduced. Fortune was a likeable detective, with a nicely-sketched home life,
married to a fellow police officer, and Inspector No was convincingly
unpleasant. The plot was fast-moving, with a high body-count and a lot of
twists, and the perp satisfyingly suprising, but fairly clued. I enjoyed the
way the setting moved from Edinburgh and Glasgow to country Scotland.
crime writers must be kicking themselves at not having thought of the ‘numbers’
idea first ... this reads well as a stand-alone, but if you like the sound of a
traditional PP with a twists-and-turns plot, then you might like to begin with
the London-set Murder on Page One.
The second in the series, Murder on the
Second Tee, is set in St Andrews.
Ian Simpson says, after a career in the courts I decided that I
had enough of facts and I started to write fiction. I greatly enjoy my second
career. From my days as defence counsel I remember police officers who bent the
rules out of shape and got away with it. They were often highly effective at
putting villains behind bars and I had mixed feelings about them. I based
Inspector No on these men, only I have made No a buffoon, a source of comedy. I
believe that crime fiction is at its best when flavoured with humour, and my
readers appear to agree with me. My second book is based in St Andrews, where I
was brought up, and it provides a wonderful backdrop for any story. My third, Murder in Court Three,is set in Edinburgh's legal world. I have
been fortunate that most of those who have read my books have enjoyed them and
I feel honoured when someone chooses to relax with my fiction.
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.
by Constable, 1 October 2015. ISBN: 978-1-47211-720-5
Agatha Raisin is a successful,
self-made woman, who has every reason to be proud of what she has achieved,
including her flourishing detective agency. However, Agatha is still painfully
insecure about many things, especially about her origins in a Birmingham slum,
brought up by alcoholic parents. Therapist Jill Davent has targeted Agatha ever
since Jill moved to the village of Carsely, even going so far as to employ a
private detective to research Agatha's origins. To make matters worse, Jill is
romancing Agatha's ex-husband, James, and counselling a woman that Agatha is
convinced is a murderess, even though she escaped the consequences of her
crimes. Agatha makes no secret of her opinion that the world would be a better
place without Jill Davent in it, which makes her an obvious suspect when Jill
is found strangled.
Jill's far from pure past soon gives the police many more suspects, especially
as the death toll swiftly rises. Agatha calls in all the resources of her
detective agency and other friends to investigate the crime, but soon it
becomes clear that Agatha's determination to discover the truth has made her
the killer's next target.
is the 26th book featuring Agatha Raisin. In it, as always, Agatha
is investigating murders and finding herself in danger, as well as pursuing any
attractive man she encounters, in the pathetic (and dwindling) hope that she
will, at last, achieve the perfect romantic relationship. The charm of the
Agatha Raisin books lies in the humour and in the friendships that she has
formed with the many characters that crop up book after book. Agatha can be
selfish, self-indulgent and devious, but she is also clever, intuitive and
determined, with many flashes of true kindness and generosity. Her warm
relationship with her friends in the village and elsewhere, and her staff at
the detective agency, and their reciprocal affection for her, is one of the
strong points of the book. The plot has many twists and turns and clever false
clues and concludes with an extremely ingenious but fair solution. Those
unacquainted with the series may prefer to start with some of the earlier
books, as the plot of Dishing the Dirt gives away things that happen in
previous books including the solution of one earlier book.
the Dirt is an enjoyable, easy-to-read, comedy crime; a perfect book to relax
with on a dark winter's evening.
born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1936 and started her first job as a bookseller in
charge of the fiction department in John Smith & Sons Ltd. While
bookselling, by chance, she got an offer from the Scottish Daily Mail to review
variety shows and quickly rose to be their theatre critic. She left Smith’s to
join Scottish Field
magazine as a secretary in the advertising department, without any shorthand or
typing, but quickly got the job of fashion editor instead. She then moved
to the Scottish Daily Express where she reported mostly on crime. This was
followed by a move to Fleet Street to the Daily Express where she
became chief woman reporter. After marrying Harry Scott Gibbons and
having a son, Charles, Marion went to the United States where Harry had been
offered the job of editor of the Oyster Bay Guardian. When that didn’t work
out, they went to Virginia and Marion worked as a waitress in a greasy spoon on
the Jefferson Davies in Alexandria while Harry washed the dishes. Both then got
jobs on Rupert Murdoch’s new tabloid, The Star, and moved to New York. Anxious
to spend more time at home with her small son, Marion, urged by her husband,
started to write Regency romances. After she had written over 100 of them under
her maiden name of Marion Chesney and getting fed up with 1811 to 1820, she
began to write detectives stories. On a trip from the States to Sutherland on
holiday, a course at a fishing school inspired the first Hamish Macbeth
story. They returned to Britain and bought a croft house and croft in
Sutherland where Harry reared a flock of black sheep. But Charles was at
school, in London so when he finished and both tired of the long commute to the
north of Scotland, they moved to the Cotswolds where Agatha Raisin was
Carol Westronis a successful short story writer and a Creative Writing
teacher.She is the moderator for the
cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly Dames.Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.The Terminal Velocity of Cats is the
first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Her second book About the Children was published in May
Published by No Exit
Press, 27 August 2015. ISBN: 978-1-84344-551-7.
It is 1945 and ex-policeman Captain Gregor Reinhardt is assigned to the
new branch of the military police called the Feldjaegerkorps and is sent to
Sarajevo to help with the German retreat from Yugoslavia. On the trail of
suspected deserters he comes across a massacre seemingly of civilians, but
there is more to it than meets the eye.
While Reinhardt is looking into who carried out the
massacre and who they were, five mutilated bodies are discovered deepening the mystery
Reinhardt's investigations lead him to realise the
Ustase are deeply involved and the further he digs into finding out the truth
the more his life becomes threatened. More inquiries lead him to the 999th
Field Punishment Battalion but all is not as it seems and Reinhardt is sure the
man Jansky in charge of the Battalion is corrupt but proving it is another
Peric a top man in the Partisans asks Reinhardt to
help him get rid of the Ustase who are becoming more and more brutal and dominant.
How he manages to do this makes a terrific story running in tandem with his
other investigations. Intriguing.
I found this book very interesting and although at
times brutal, I doubt that the incidents in the story were anywhere near as bad
as the actual happenings at this time in history.
It is very well written and wonderfully descriptive.
At times I could almost feel the cold and the desolation of the people of
Yugoslavia so well was it related.
On reading the Historical Notes at the end of the book
I was very interested to learn that many of the characters in the plot actually
existed and a lot of the events did occur. Even the Pale House was real but was
known as “the house of terror”.
Apparently there are two more Gregor Reinhardt novels
due to be published soon, I shall look out for them with anticipation.
Luke McCallin was born in
Oxford, grew up in Africa, was educated around the world, and has worked with
the UN as a humanitarian relief worker and peacekeeper in the Caucasus, the
Sahel, and the Balkans. His experiences have driven his writing, in which he
explores what happens to normal people put under abnormal pressures, inspiring
a historical mystery series built around an unlikely protagonist, Gregor
Reinhardt, a German intelligence officer and a former Berlin detective chased
out of the police by the Nazis. The Man
From Berlin was published in 2013, followed by a sequel, The Pale House, in 2014.
lives with his wife and two children in an old farmhouse in France in the Jura
Mountains. He has a master’s degree in political science, speaks French, is
learning Spanish, and can just get by in Russian. When he’s not working or
writing or spending time with his family, he enjoys reading history, playing
squash, and keeping goal for the UN football team.
Chappell. I have a
great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the
occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is
cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for
plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots
of great new authors.
Sphere, 13 August 2015. ISBN: 978-0-7515-5687-2 (PB)
This book should come with a health warning: care required; could
seriously mess with your mind.
The scenario the author sets
up certainly messes with the protagonist’s mind – though to be fair, it was
pretty messed up in the first place. Criminal lawyer Robert Stern has never
succeeded in moving on after the unexplained cot death of his two-day-old son,
some ten years before this book begins, and when a strange sequence of events
leads him to believe the child may still be alive, he is drawn inexorably into
a dark, complex underworld of murder, revenge and danger.
It begins with another child:
Simon, an engaging ten-year-old boy who is dying of terminal cancer – and is
convinced that he was a serial killer in a previous life. Sceptical? So is
Robert Stern, until Simon describes the body and burial place of one of his
victims – and leads him right to it.
As Stern sets out to prove
one way or the other whether Simon’s ‘memories’ are genuine, the police prove
unhelpful at best, and he finds himself crossing and recrossing a well-evoked
Berlin and its surroundings on the convoluted trail, and also in the sights, of
a present-day killer whose identity and agenda remain a mystery until almost
the end of the book. The tension level never falters; the sense of ‘how will he
get out of this?’ kept me gripped until the final twist.
Sebastian Fitzek has a keen
eye for an interesting character. Stern is the best kind of damaged hero: full
of flaws, and with a history that has provided him with friends in usefully
dark places, but ultimately one of the good guys. Young Simon is
heartbreakingly serene about his ultimate inescapable fate, and about the
rollercoaster journey he embarks on with Stern and Carina, the nurse who almost
sacrifices her career to help him solve the mystery of the ‘memories’. She is
intelligent and feisty when she needs to be, though occasionally a tad
over-emotional. Borchert, Stern’s seedy former client, is arguably the most
interesting of all, with feet in various grubby camps as well as a basic sense
I’m not normally a fan of
translated fiction, so full marks not only to Fitzek but also to John
Brownjohn, who has turned the original German into pacy idiomatic English which
never falters. Fitzek is apparently hugely popular in his native country; The
Child deserves to raise his profile in the UK as well.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Sebastian Fitzekwas born 13 October 1971 in Berlin Germany. He is a writer and
journalist. His first book Therapy
was a bestseller in Germany in 2006, toppling The Da Vinci Code from the No1 position.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.