The Mitford Murders by Jessica Fellowes

Find in catalogThe niece of Florence Nightingale is mysteriously murdered on a train (the real life murder was never solved). Sixteen year old Nancy Mitford and her nanny/friend get involved in solving the murder. The story is set in early 1920’s England and includes a lot of interesting details about life in that time. This is the being of a new series featuring the Mitford family. The audio version includes an author interview at the end.

Florida Straits by Laurence Shames

This is a darkly funny novel about a New York gangster who decides to leave “the life” and retreat to Key West, only to be caught up in a caper. Joey Goldman is a simple but unintentionally wise and sensitive man. If you love the feel of the slowed-down tropical life, and a good caper story with lots of twists, this book is for you! The story also offers wisdom and self-discovery, delivered with humor, for example:

“Joey had always felt that putting your attention on something sad that couldn’t be fixed was about as pointless as sticking your finger in your eye.” This is also a story about love, family, redemption and the risks of intimacy.

The language is mature, and there is some violence and sexual themes, so this book is for adult readers. It’s funny and warm, and in the end (no spoilers), you will feel emotionally connected to Joey and his girlfriend.

In Farleigh Field, by Rhys Bowen

Find in catalogI enjoyed this story very much. I don’t usually have trouble putting a book down, but did with this one. A British aristocratic family with 5 daughters is at the center of the mystery. It opens with a failed parachutist dying on their estate. Family chums, now grown work for separate departments of British intelligence during WWII. As the story unfolds, no one knows who can be trusted or why the possible spy parachutist was sent to that part of England.

The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett

Find in catalogI enjoyed reading the Maltese Falcon which the library gave to patrons for free! I was in a remote area and the power went out so I was reading it by candle light. I had seen the movie years ago and that night while reading, I heard the voices of the actors of the movie while I read. I left the book at the retreat and the next person to read the book was my aunt who had not read an entire book for years. She enjoyed the story line and savored reading it. Maybe she will get back into reading books! We both are grateful to our library for generously providing this book to us.

The Black House, by Peter May

Find in catalogThe Black House is the first book in the Isles of Lewis trilogy. Edinburgh detective Fin MacLeod is called back to his native island in the Outer Hebrides to investigate a murder that has similarities to a case he was working on the mainland. Fin reconnects with the people he left behind many years ago, drawing closer to the murderer, as well as events that almost destroyed his life. The writing is incredible, making the Isle of Lewis come alive. This book won’t be forgotten easily.

A Death in the Family, by Michael Stanley

Find in catalogThe father of Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Bengu, the smartest detective in the Botswana police, is found stabbed to death in the street. Who would murder a frail old man in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease? Kubu is forbidden to work on the case because of his connection to the victim. The detective is assigned to work on another case that is connected to mining contracts, government corruption, China’s growing influence in Botswana, and eventually, the death of Kubu’s father. This is the fifth story in the series and one of the attractions is learning about traditional and modern Botswana.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web, by David Lagercrantz

Find in catalogDavid Lagercrantz continues Steig Larsson’s Millennium trilogy after his death. Characters Michael Blomkvist and Lizbeth Salander are back in a mystery involving the U.S. National Security Agency. There is a lot of international intrigue, computer hacking, and violence, but somehow the story falls flat. Lizbeth Salander was one one of the most interesting heroines to be created in a long time, but she has lost her spark in this book. Stick with the trilogy and pass on the pale imitations.

Charlie’s Bones

Find in catalogWhile installing a swimming pool, widow Lizbet Lange is shocked to find the skeleton of a hippie buried in her yard. Shortly thereafter, the ghost of said skeleton appears to Lizbet and asks for her help in solving his murder. The cops are suspicious of Lizbet and find it odd that she seems to have insider information about a murder that occurred when she was just a child. Lots of fun twists and turns!

The New Adventures of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer:Vol.2 The Little Death by Mickey Spillane

Find in catalogThis is a fun audio recording that features Stacy Keach as Mike Hammer. Other actors round out the cast, and sound effects are added just like in classic radio programs. This is classic Hammer with roof top chases, a damsel in distress, and appearances by his faithful friend “Betsy.”

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

Find in catalogOne early morning a Mercedes Benz charges into a line of people waiting to interview at a job fair; backs up and charges again. Eight people are killed, 15 are wounded, and the driver escapes. A couple of months later a depressed, retired policeman receives a letter from the killer. The policeman begins an investigation of his own, with the help of a few offbeat friends. Very well written and suspenseful.