This is the 21st book in the series, and according to my notes I read the previous book just about four years ago. In this installment a wealthy recluse is found killed in his apartment while his pet tigress becomes increasingly distraught. She didn’t do it! The victim and his family are pretty weird, but the murder is somewhat banal. While Lieutenant Decker and his team are investigating the murder, there’s a side plot with his annoying house guest/foster child tying up issues from the previous book, and Decker decides to make a change in his professional life.
10. Long Upon the Land by Margaret Maron
This is the final installment in the Judge Deborah Knott series. I procrastinated about reading it because I’ve enjoyed the series, but the conclusion was quite satisfying. It tied up loose ends without using neon signs and putting a bow on everything. The story involves a dead man who’s found in a corner of her father’s property, and this brings to light some bad blood between the two families. Deb also learns some details about her parents’ courtship and comes to understand how a proper daughter of a prominent family ended up marrying a widowed bootlegger with a houseful of sons. I’ve started a little project to read a mystery set in every US state, and this one thoroughly checks the box for North Carolina. Read 16-17 January.
11. Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin
A couple years ago I heard an interview with the author talking about his latest book (#21) in the John Rebus series, and I tucked it away as something to read one day. Now I’m part of a mystery book club at a local bookstore where we pick our own books, and another member suggested we read one of his books on the recommendation of another friend. It turns out that I’ll be in Edinburgh as part of a cruise later this year, so I wholeheartedly agreed with the choice. This book wasn’t entirely what I expected. Rebus is a little unusual, and the case involving a serial child killer was an interesting way to start the series. There were some pacing issues, but the series seems to have some potential. I think I might just go ahead and skip to more recent works though. Read 7-18 February.
12. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
This is the latest in the Cormoran Strike series. A rather intricate murder plot involves a government minister’s family, a wannabe anarchist, and various colors of horses. There are also significant developments in the life of the agency as well as the respective lives of Cormoran and his partner Robin. Like certain volumes of the Harry Potter books, this was a long book that didn’t at all feel like a slog. Read 17 February – 3 March.