Tag Archives: mystery

Review Wednesday – The Journal of Reginald Perigar by David Haynes

img_1943I downloaded this book when I saw it on a free promotion because it looked interesting but it was only after it arrived on my Kindle that I realised it was by David Haynes, an author I have read and enjoyed in the past.

This short book did not disappoint. Basil Jenkins is the collector of ‘intriguing objects’ so when he acquires a boxed chess set along with a journal recording matches played by Reginald Perigar, clearly a master of the game, he immediately begins to re-enact the matches one by one.

This Victorian Gothic story is perfectly pitched; the icy streets of London so apt. That the story was fairly predictable didn’t matter at all. Tales such as these are to be savoured in the telling. The twist at the very end is a really nice touch.

Best enjoyed on a cold winter’s night, along with a glass of rich mulled wine.

Review – Killing Jane by Stacy Green

img_1942The story starts with a killing so brutal that the attic where the body is discovered is reminiscent of a Jack The Ripper murder scene. And so it starts…

Called in as lead investigator for the first time is Erin Prince. It soon becomes clear that Erin has a whole bucket full of issues to deal with in her private life, most prominent of them the rich and privileged upbringing she has rejected, choosing not to work in the family firm but to make her own way in life. Even so she is given the nickname Princess by some, including unwanted attention from the media where the handle can be twisted anyway they need it to fit. There are also underlying, but mercifully, less well known reasons for Erin’s insecurities.

I didn’t find Erin very easy to connect with at first, she tends to whine and moan and her attitude is only made worse when compared to the solid and likeable figure of Todd Beckett, her new partner. Todd is a winning character, not afraid to say when he thinks Erin is wrong but sensitive to her lack of experience and willing to protect her public image.

There are plenty of twists and turns in this story, connections are everywhere and more grisly murders follow. The identity of the killer was fairly obvious as the book came to around the half way mark but more exciting for me than the identity was how the author was going to explain so many loose ends and if there could be a plausible link to the murders in Whitechapel so long ago. It could have been a huge letdown.

This for me was the strength of Killing Jane. The author did a very good job of tying up all aspects of quite a large cast of characters, all with something to hide, and what I thought might become a messy or unsatisfactory end was actually quite perfect, if horrific.

Hopefully Erin will move on from the tragedy and trauma of the past and in subsequent books we will see a more affable character. Whilst she has so obviously suffered there was some resolution in this first book; in my opinion, a nice touch.

Final note – what a superb cover; it really stood out for me.

To be published in January 2017

*Many thanks to Netgalley for providing an ARC of this book*

Review – The Good Mother by A L Bird

img_1934This story has all the hallmarks of a winner. Susan wakes in a room where she is being held captive; she has no idea why. To add to her terror she soon realises that her daughter, Cara,  is being held in the adjacent room. They make contact but they must be very careful not to be overheard.

The story is told from two viewpoints, that of Susan and her captor, a man who she believes she recognises from somewhere but she is confused and can’t pinpoint how she knows him.

Thre were lots of twists, as per the subtitle which promises them and the story is clever, a great idea. It was a hard one to nail, though. Difficult I think because we were privy to the captor’s thoughts and actions as well as those of Susan and that made the storyline confusing unless… he was who he was.

I did conclude early on who the captor must be, it was the only explanation that could possibly work. His actions were pretty reprehensible at times, even given the extreme circumstances, but it brought some kind of sense to the story.

The book was enjoyable and well written, maybe a little repetitive in the Susan parts and perhaps a few too many twists but it was a good read for the idea alone.


Review- No Cage for a Crow by M.R. Graham

img_1887Beautifully written, this first instalment of the ‘memoirs’ of Morrigan Holmes (the sister of the great, Sherlock) was absolutely delightful.
The story begins in the warmth and cloistered atmosphere of the Holmes household but Morrigan is desperate to escape. This she does with some bravado and she flees into the streets of London. Immediately we see the overwhelming contrast of how life exists in hugely contrasting levels in the great city. Morrigan almost immediately falls into the clutches of a vicious gang.
The reader finds out only a little of what happens in this short instalment and nothing of the background and we are left with a mighty cliffhanger at the end of it.
I loved this. The writing style was so superbly fitting for a story about Sherlock’s family and his era.
Four stars for the style alone… the story would need to be read in its entirety to find out if it is a five star read.