Archive | July, 2017

Murder, Attempted Murder, Missing Girls

17 Jul

High Dive is a recent favorite of one of my favorites. I’m not sure I loved it quite as much as he did (sorry Jason!) but it was a pretty solid vacation read. Set in a British hotel that has made a bid to host the PM Margaret Thatcher, the chapters rotate between Moose, the manager of the hotel, his daughter Freya, summertime front desk worker, and a man called Dan. Dan is deep in the IRA network and in charge of planting a bomb at the hotel with a delayed timer set for the PM’s visit. It’s not a fast-paced mystery, no Richard Gere in The Jackal, but rather a solid character study, gently driven by the bomb-plot. 3.5 stars

Magpie Murders was such a pleasant surprise. I hardly ever read mysteries, but this one has me thinking I should like to start. It’s a story within a story and starts with the latest and final installment of a fictional author’s famous murder mystery series featuring detective Atticus Pund. Editor Susan Ryland is ecstatic to receive an early manuscript from her boss and she (and we) plunge right in to the story. HOWEVER, the final chapter is missing, leaving Susan (and us, the readers) wondering whodunnit. Susan heads to her office to search for the last chapter, but when she arrives there is news that Alan Conway, the, the author of the Pund series, has committed suicide. Susan begins to investigate his death and finds eerie similarities to Atticus Pund’s final case. Was it a suicide? was it murder? Good, twisty and clever, 4 stars.

The last two are both WWII novels. Both were good, neither was great. The Alice Network is told through two women during two different world wars. Eve Gardiner, a stubborn young women with a bit of a s-s-s-stutter, takes a job as a spy during the first world war. She is sent to work as a waitress in a french restaurant frequented by high-ranking German officials. Her life in 1915 is one that will keep you on pins and needles. Flash forward to just after WWII, a young (unwed, pregnant) American named Charlie (Charlotte), flees from her mother on a European trip and heads to France to search for her beloved cousin who disappeared during the war. The only clue she has to go on is one name: Eve Gardiner. Not great writing, but fast paced and a little soap-opera-y (in a good way). 3.5 stars

The last one is a Young Adult title about a blond-haired, blue-eyed Dutch girl named Hanneke who finds and delivers expensive black market items to the people who can afford them during the German’s invasion of Holland. One of her customers asks her to locate a missing person, a young Jewish girl she had been hiding in her cellar and when Hanneke agrees to take the job she is plunged into the world of the underground resistance. Again, the writing was not great. It’s a little juvenile in terms of character development, romance and overall content, but the plot moves right along and there is a good twist ending. Suitable for as young as 11 or 12 who are interested in WWII. 3.5 stars.