Three Books

I hope you’ve all had a great Christmas. Ours was very nice with lots of trail walks, good food and of course some fun presents but I’ll save that for another post because with year end fast approaching I’d like to share a few quick synopses of books I’ve read and maybe you’ll find one or two you might want to read.

“They say when you believe you’re about to die your entire life passes before your eyes in a flurry of poignant images, but all I could think of, rather absurdly, was that I should have worn the blue hat. Well, and that my sister would never forgive me for proving our mother right.”

This Side of Murder
Anna Lee Huber

Verity Kent is on her way to an engagement party of a dear friend. She is still dealing with the grief of losing her husband during WWI but she’s just received a letter that reveals a secret and perhaps casts doubt about her husband’s role in the war efforts.

Upon arriving at Umbersea Island, Verity reconnects with other friends and some who also served during the war. Soon though one of the guests will be dead but was it foul play? For those of you who enjoy locked-room mystery type settings, this is a great novel to add to your stack. I’ve read several of the author’s Lady Derby books and really enjoy those and I think Verity Kent will no doubt become another favorite because the ending had quite a development and I definitely want to find out what happens next.

“There was a legend that haunted that place, the kind that clings like a persistent odor. It was rumored that in late autumn every year – before the rain turned to snow – the mountain lake would begin to exhale sinister murmurs.”

Flowers Over the Inferno
Ilaria Tuti; translated by Ekin Oklap

In a village set near the Italian Alps, Superintendent Teresa Battaglia is called to investigate a gruesome murder. Not only is she fighting some personal health problems but she’s also saddled with a new detective.

Battaglia is difficult and that’s an understatement but at the same time it is refreshing to see a woman in her 60s as the lead. I particularly enjoyed the setting which is rich in descriptions and you can feel the tension of the villagers as something sinister is surrounding them. The novel also goes back and forth to secrets from the past that must be confronted. There’s a new book in this series that came out earlier this year and it is already on my wishlist. I have high hopes that Battaglia will be a bit kinder to her young detective.

“Maria curls her toes into the plush carpet that reaches almost to the edges of the expansive floor. It’s warm inside the house, cocoon like. Even so, Maria feels uneasy, and the tiniest grievances strike her as unusually annoying tonight.”

The Witch Hunter
Max Seeck; translated by Kristian London

While a famous author is at a book reading, his wife has been found murdered at their home in and detective Jessica Niemi is trying to find the culprit but she seems to be one step behind all the time. There are other grisly events and all clues point to the author’s books.

The beginning of this Finnish thriller was quite exciting but half way through I thought it became a bit convoluted. Not only that but throughout the story, we get flashbacks to Jessica’s past and that seemed to really pull me away from the story because I felt like I was reading two different novels, one an ill-fated romance and the other a murder mystery. Not sure if I would read another in what I believe is to be a series.

All of these were advance review copies from NetGalley.

Would love to hear if you’ve read any of these or if you are adding one to your wish list.

  1. December 27, 2020
  2. December 28, 2020
  3. December 28, 2020
  4. December 29, 2020
  5. January 1, 2021