Another outing for Daisy Dalrymple - this time she’s at a house party preceding her friend Lucy’s wedding - but it’s not long before the festivities are marred by nefarious doings….
More lightweight detective capers.
45. Flight of A Witch by Ellis Peters. 174 pages.
Third in the Felse family series, although this one is told in great part from the point of view of a new character and the Felses while important are less central than in the two previous books.
A girl disappears for a weekend and claims not to remember where she’s been, which might not matter, if she hadn’t been spotted near the site of a brutal murder…
Of the books I’ve read in this series, this one strikes me as being the nearest in style to the author’s Brother Cadfael books - almost as if it had been intended to be one of them but the author changed their mind at the last minute and updated it instead.
46. Declare by Tim Powers. 501 pages.
Not one of Powers’ best, this supernatural take on the life of Kim Philby - as Rob remarked , it gets rather rambly in the middle. Some interesting ideas, but dragged on too long for no good reason, we felt.
Powers apparently does detailed historical research for his novels and then fits the supernatural elements into the cracks between the known facts - a pity that in this case his research doesn’t appear to have extended as far as discovering that English people in London tend not to talk about “sidewalks” and “parking lots” even now, much less in the 1940s…. Minor niggles perhaps, but they cropped up often enough to be irritating.
47. Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood. 201 pages.
Book six of the Phryne Fisher series. Phryne is called in to investigate suspicious goings-on in a circus.
Not a bad book by any means but it felt rushed somehow. And a lot of Phryne’s usual supporting cast were otherwise engaged, which also detracted, I felt.
48. Fall of A Philanderer by Carola Dunn. 239 pages.
Daisy goes on holiday to the seaside. The discovery of a corpse is of course, not long in following.
These novels have a decided formula, but they’re none the worse for that.
49. Owl’s Well That Ends Well by Donna Andrews. 269 pages.
Meg Langslow and her fiance Michael have bought an old house, complete with contents - decades of hoarded contents that is.
So they organise a gigantic yard sale. Naturally with Meg’s extended family involved the result is nothing short of chaos. And murder.
50. Gunpowder Plot by Carola Dunn. 234 pages.
Daisy continues her unfortunate habit of stumbling over murder victims, this time at a Guy Fawkes party.
51. An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd. 266 pages.
Second in the Bess Crawford series. Bess accompanies a group of wonded back to England, only to be inadvertently drawn into the investigation of the murder of the wife of one of them.
This is a much more realistic and less cosy mystery than the Daisy Dalrymple or Phryne Fisher series, which is a perfectly cromulaent thing, but I found it a bit more intense than I was really wanting at the moment.
52. The Bloody Tower by Carola Dunn. 231 pages.
Daisy decides to write an article about the Tower o London, and inevitably trips over a corpse on the premises. I really enjoy this series - there’s nothing massively intellectual going on, but it’s a splendidly relaxing read that does exactly what it says on the tin.
53. An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire. 302 pages.
Third in the October Daye series. A day that starts with meeting your Fetch - an apparition identical to yourself portending your imminent death - is never going to be a good one and when it goes on to include the disappearance of your best friend’s children, even less so.
I think this is possibly the best book in the series so far. Not that the others were bad, and they established the characters and setting well, but McGuire seems to have really hit her stride with this one.