In a sleepy little town in England in 1950, a clever young girl stumbles on an injured man in the family garden, and he whispers his last utterance to her. From there she’s off and running (mostly biking, actually) to find out who he was, what he was doing there, and who killed him. This is the first in the Flavia de Luce series, and I probably won’t continue any further. The story is engaging and holds together well, but Flavia is just too much. July selection for mystery book club #2. Read 18-21 June.
34. The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah
Hercule Poirot is back! This is the third book in the new series, but like the originals it can be read on its own. Four people receive letters reportedly from M. Poirot in which they’re accused of murder, but he didn’t send them. This is enough, however, to set him onto the case, especially when another person turns up dead. This is a brisk-paced page turner with an interesting story that also touches on some noteworthy social issues. A smooth transition to a new author. September selection for mystery book club #1. Read 22-23 June.
35. The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman
She is one of my favorite authors, but this book was disappointing. The story - five childhood friends are estranged after a traumatic event - deals with some serious issues, but overall it’s murky and flat. Every character is annoying at best, and the structure is confusing and frustrating. There’s her usual spot-on local color and a cameo from her series PI Tess Monaghan, but these elements only helped a little bit. On the other hand, since nobody particularly liked the book, we had a good discussion. June selection for mystery book club #2. Read 8-25 June.