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 displays an alphabetic option for you to find the review you would like to read
For PREVIOUS REVIEWS- Click on MYSTERY PEOPLE below -
by No Exit Press, May 2014. ISBN: 978-1-84344-293-6
The acceptance of a promotion to Detective Inspector
finds Ian Peterson living in York – a far cry from Kent where he had worked
under DI Geraldine Steel.Whilst Ian
would have accepted a posting in any part of the country his wife Bev is less
than enthusiastic, as it has meant her leaving her family.
A death at the
racetrack is at first thought to be a suicide, but certain things don’t add up
and Iansuspects that it may turn into a
murder enquiry. Supposedly reliable witnesses to the death seem to be oddly
unavailable. The more Ian delves the less the reported events leading to the
death seem to stack up.But his new boss
Detective Chief Inspector Eileen Duncan is not interested in the anomalies.
Seems a straightforward case she says ‘so we should be able to wrap it up quickly.’
But this is no
straightforward case.There is a killer
out there, one who actually warns his victims that he is going to kill
them.Can Ian piece together the jigsaw
and find this killer before there are many more victims.
Leigh Russell weaves
a fascinating tale that had me completely foxed. Whilst the mystery is
tantalising the characters also fascinate, so clearly are they drawn.And not only is the reader drawn into the
lives of the victims but also those of the pursuers. But most sharply delineated
is the relationship between Ian and his somewhat petulant wife, the fragile
beautiful Bev who demands constant attention from her husband seeming to have
no understanding of his job and what it entails.
This is the
secondbook in this new series and I am
interested as to how it will develop. I eagerly look forward to the next
------ Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes
Leigh Russellstudied at the
University of Kent gaining a Masters degree in English and American literature.
A secondary school teacher, specialising in supporting pupils with Specific
Learning Difficulties as well as teaching English, Her first novel, Cut Short, was published in
2009, followed by Road Closedin
2010, Dead End in 2011, Death Bedin 2012 and Stop Dead in 2013, all featuring
Detective Geraldine Steel. Cold Sacrifice the first in a new
series featuring Ian was published in 2013. Leigh Russell is married with two
daughters and lives in Middlesex.
( USA) by Little, Brown, January, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-316-22435-0
(UK) by Orion, January 2014. ISBN 978-1-409-14474-8)
When the Cold Case Group in which Rebus has been working is eliminated,
he lucks out by being taken back with a spot in CID, albeit with a
demotion. Reduced from DI to DS, he now is subordinate to his long-time
protégé, DI Clarke. Of course, that doesn’t stop the old dinosaur from
acting like he always has.
Rankin introduces a couple of surprises in this novel,
the first being having Malcolm Fox, Rebus’s standing nemesis, as a
co-investigator working together. It comes about because Fox is
performing his last assignment with the Complaints looking at a 30-year-old
case involving the group known as the Saints of the Shadow Bible because they
each swore fidelity to protect each other on a stand-in for the holy
book. Rebus had joined the group as a young DC soon after the arrest of a
snitch who eventually got off on a murder charge through police mistakes.
This was in the Old Days, when anything went and they made their own
rules. The Solicitor General recently pushed through a retraction of the
double jeopardy rule and was looking to resurrect the murder charge.
Rebus volunteers to assist in Fox’s efforts and the two learn to trust one
another, leading to cooperation in another more recent investigation involving
an auto accident and the murder of the Minister of Justice.
As with the rest of the series, Rebus shines and errs,
but his character and ability always comes through. The author has no
need of our praise, but deserves accolades nonetheless. The complexity of
the plot provides Rebus with the chance to outthink everyone, but the surprise
is that Fox rises to the occasion as a real CID detective. Highly
Reviewer: Ted Feit
Ian Rankinwas born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, He graduated
from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing
novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature.
His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now
translated into twenty-two languages and are bestsellers on several continents.
He has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the
Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers'
Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In
2004, Ian won America's celebrated Edgar Award for 'Resurrection Men'.
He also won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman
Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary
degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews and Edinburgh. A
contributor to BBC2's 'Newsnight Review', he also presented his own TV series,
'Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts'. He recently received the OBE for services to
literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he
lives with his partner and two sons.
Ted and Gloria Feitlive 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 lower Manhattan. 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 Sphere, 27 August 2013. ISBN:
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache’s team has been replaced by staff, who
do not support or respect him and he appears to be working on his own fighting
internal politics and trying to find a murderer.
A woman is found dead,
packing to spend Christmas with her new friends at Three Pines, the place where
Armand Gamache feels most at home.As a
result of these links, the time of year, and also who the victim is, Chief
Inspector Gamache’s help on the case is welcomed.He finds himself working on a crime with its
roots going back many years, to a time when the dead woman was one of five
famous, sisters, the Ouellet quintuplets.With his last trusted team member, Inspector Isabelle Lacoste, he
tackles the case, along with the public relations cover up which it could
At the same time, corruption
and plotting within the Surete is coming to a head and to save himself and his
career Gamache needs to find out which of his colleagues he can trust and who,
frankly, is out to get him.As he does not know how high the problems go, he is reluctant to
trust anyone, and the net is closing in on him. Trying to protect those
he cares about, whilst putting himself in the crosshairs, is a plan that holds
little appeal, but may be what he has to do to expose the sinister forces
within the police itself.Gamache’s
challenge is trying to find out who the villains are, before he is hounded out
of the force and perhaps before his previously loyal assistant and friend, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, is set up for a fatal encounter.
This is an
absorbing book, well written and with an intricate plot that required me to
read it twice (such hardship) to get all the twists and get into the heads of
the key protagonists.I wish that I had
come across Louise Penny sooner, as a result of reading this I will now be
tracking Chief Inspector Gamache back through the library stacks.Louise Penny writes a good read and for me
has elements of many different styles of crime fiction in her writing.With the slightly isolated nature of Three
Pines, and quirky characters such as Henri the German shepherd and Rosa the
duck, she creates some of the atmosphere often found in more traditional “cosy”
fiction.This is offset against the dark
backdrop and sinister cunning of political plotting, and even cybercrime,
carrying some of the brooding nature from more gritty crime novels.The only thing that can be said against this
book is that you cannot turn your brain off to it or you will miss something!
Reviewer: Amanda Brown
Louise Penny was born in
Toronto in 1958 and became a journalist and radio
host with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, specializing in hard news and
current affairs. My first job was in Toronto and
then moved to Thunder Bay at the far tip of Lake
Superior, in Ontario.
It was a great place to learn the art and craft of radio and interviewing, and
listening. Louise had always dreamed of writing and says ‘ now I am. Beyond my
wildest dreams (and I can dream pretty wild) the Chief Inspector Gamache books
have found a world-wide audience, won awards and ended up on bestseller lists
including the New York Times. Even more satisfying, I have found a group of
friends in the writing community. Other authors, booksellers, readers - who
have become important parts of our lives. I thought writing might provide me
with an income - I had no idea the real riches were more precious but less
substantial.’ Louise lives with her
husband Michael in a small village
Published by Head of Zeus, 6 March 2014.
A teenage girl finds a
barely-alive toddler tied to a tree; a grandfather comes to Clare Hart of South
Africa’s Section 28, the special child protection unit, asking him to find his
missing student grand-daughter.
role as child protection officer means this book is focused on abuse of women
and children, based on real cases.Clare
is the principal focus, and a likeable, resourceful heroine.In this book – her fifth outing - she’s
facing problems of her own, and you’re drawn to sympathise with her personal
dilemma.Both she and her boyfriend,
Reidwaan, are having difficulties with their new chief, whose focus is on
trouble-shooting rather than children or drugs.Other characters like her immediate boss, Ina, and the lost girl, Rosa,
come across vividly. The Cape Town setting gives an interesting view of a
different country’s law enforcement methods, and the plot builds up to a
very enjoyable read.It works as a
stand-alone, but there are references to previous books, so you might want to
start at the beginning with Daddy’s Girl.
award-winning journalist and internationally acclaimed writer, is the author of
the Clare Hart series. Her novels have been translated into nine languages. She
was born in London and grew up in Namibia, the setting for Blood Rose,
her highly acclaimed second novel in the series. A Fulbright Scholar, she was
educated in South Africa and the United States. She is Executive Vice-President
of Sputh Africa PEN, the patron ofRape
Crisis and of the children’s book charity, the Little Hands Trust. She lives in
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 Constable & Robinson Crime. 20 March 2014. ISBN:
In this fast paced adventure Vince Treadwell goes to the French Riviera
to pursue a famous cat burglar. This is in 1965 during the Cannes Film
Festival and Vince is concerned with a movie star's jewels which had been
stolen from the Ritz in London. Vince has already had some painful
experiences ending up as the chief suspect in the murder of a jewel fence known
as Teddy the Levantine. His Riviera trip is being undertaken in the hope
of proving his innocence.
The frenetic atmosphere of Swinging 60s London is matched by the supercharged
atmosphere of the Cannes Film Festival. The luxurious high life and the
scruffy back streets feature in dizzying succession. The glamorous
parties with the stars are recreated with Vince accompanied by a knowledgeable
insider who certainly 'knows her tittle from her tattle.' Vince has made
contact with Jean-Jacques Messina, a famed French crime figure, nicknamed Mad
Dog, who hopes for a film of his life. His style is violent and often horrific.
This is a gripping thriller
with excellent recreation of that excitement of the 1960s. Car chases
trace the winding streets of Cannes and Antibes, people are shot and beaten up,
drugs appear at orgies. French attitudes to American cheap crime thriller
film styles are nicely mocked as Marxist intellectuals criticise the crudity of
simple narrative form as opposed to real film noir! As Vince puts it - the
French 'are full of existential ennui.' In fact anyone with pleasurable
memories of 1940s to 1960s films will enjoy the satirical referencing of these
This is a well written book
with violent action in 'hip' style combined with tightly packed vivid
Reviewer Jennifer S Palmer This is Danny Miller's 3rd book
featuring Vince Treadwell.
Danny Miller was born in Brighton and studied English and Drama at
Goldsmiths College, University of London. As a playwright he's had his work
performed at the National Theatre Studio, Bush Theatre and Theatre Royal
Stratford East. As a scriptwriter he's worked for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. Kiss
Me Quick (2011) was his first novel and the first in a detective series
featuring Vince Treadwell. It was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New
Blood) Dagger Awards 2011 and was highly commended by the judges.
Jennifer PalmerThroughout 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 &
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.