A young barrister witnesses a man’s death on the underground and gets involved in the investigation which follows. Not sure the police would have let him get as involved as he does in the real world, but an entertaining read all the same.
91. Carbonel, The Prince of Cats by Barbara Sleigh. 152 pages.
Splendidly well-written children’s book about a girl and a witch’s cat. Quite a few authors of books for adults could learn a thing or two from Sleigh.
92. Beautiful Joe by Marshall Saunders. 186 pages.
Supposedly the autobiography of a dog, this is actually a tract about kindness to animals, inspired by Sewell’s Black Beauty. Not as good as that classic, but interesting, if only into the insight to the attitudes of the time and place it’s set in.
93. Skin Game by Jim Butcher. 403 pages.
Another slice of magic and mayhem with the inimitable Harry Dresden. As usual I can’t say much about the plot without flinging spoilers in all directions, but this is once again an immensely enjoyable book with plenty of twists and turns as our wisecracking wizard gets into enough hot water to provide baths for all the residents of Chicago….
94. The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis. 324 pages.
I was a huge fan of Davies’ Falco series, despite not liking the ending of the last one very much, so I was keen to try this, the first book about Falco’s adopted daughter, Flavia Albia. I liked it, but not as much as the Falco ones - it’s almost as though she’s trying to do the same series over again with a female protagonist, but not quite. And I guessed who the murderer was long before Albia got there, which I almost never did with the Falco books. Good enough that I’ll happily read more in the series though.
95. One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey. 246 pages.
Second in the 500 Kingdoms series. Young Princess Andromeda is a bookworm and skilled researcher, but sadly unappreciated by her mother Queen Cassiopeia. And when her mother finally does put Andromeda’s skills to use the result is not at all what the Princess had hoped for - and looks set to cost her life….
Entertaining and engaging if nothing truly outstanding. The title is perhaps a touch misleading though - the eponymous knight is certainly important to the plot, but not the central figure by a long chalk.
96. A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs by Ellis Peters. 174 pages.
Fourth in the Felse family series, although it was the first of them I read originally and the one which inspired me to read the others. Still the best of them so far, I think.
An archaeological investigation into a tomb in a Cornish seaside town sets off a chain of events with fatal consequences.
97. Death in Ecstasy by Ngaio Marsh. 208 pages.
Fourth in the Inspector Alleyn series. This series is definitely improving as it goes on and this investigation of the death by poison of a follower of an offbeat religion is, as also the best in the series so far.
98. Manna from Hades by Carola Dunn. 247 pages.
First in a new series from the author of the Daisy Dalrymple books - this one is set in Cornwall in the 1960s and features an older protagonist, Eleanor Trewynn and her neice, DS Megan Pencarrow.
Didn’t grab me as quickly as the Daisy books, but pleasant enough that I’ll read the next in the series.
As a Pratchett fan, it amused me that Megan’s DI was named “Scumble” - he didn’t seem to be made of “mostly apples” though :).