Alphabetical Index of Mystery Reviews

Elementary, She Read

There’s nothing new about bookstore owner mysteries, but I was drawn to Elementary, She Read because of its subtitle: “A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery”. And I was entertained by how Vicki Delany gives an appropriate set of characteristics to her lead character. Gemma Doyle is English but living in Cape Cod so she can manage her uncle’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. She’s not a huge fan, but she likes the seaside town and her life there after leaving behind […]

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The Last of August

Charlotte Holmes is back! In the sequel to A Study in Charlotte, this generation’s Sherlock descendent and her best friend Jamie Watson are spending the holidays together in England. The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro takes the two to Holmes’ house in Sussex over winter break. They’re uncomfortable together, after all that happened in the last book, including explosions and Watson almost dying. He thinks he loves her, but there’s trauma between them, and she’s a rape survivor, and […]

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Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery

R.A. Spratt’s Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery is third in the series featuring the girl detective at a modern-day boarding school. It’s a terrific blend of humor, mystery, and adventure, particularly since this volume starts with more about Friday’s family. Her parents and four older siblings are all academics, theoretical professors, and their love of detachment from everyday life is astounding. That’s a complicating factor when the book opens, as it seems that Friday’s mother has been kidnapped. Yet […]

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The Big Rewind

I absolutely adored The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore. It’s a wonderful blend of murder mystery, satiric portrait of hipster life, quarter-century nostalgia (silly as that is), awkward burgeoning romance, and love for music, with the right song capturing the perfect memory or even changing your life. Jett lives in her grandmother’s apartment in Brooklyn. She wants to be a music journalist, but as we all know, print is dead, so she temps where she can and glides through life, […]

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A Front Page Affair

While hoping for another Lady Frances Ffolkes mystery, I stumbled across this similar series. A Front Page Affair, by Radha Vatsal, is the first Kitty Weeks mystery. Kitty (short for “Capability”) is a fish out of water no matter where she goes in 1915 New York City. Her father is her only relative, and he’s mysterious about his business. She’s got enough money to hang with her high society friend, but not the family background, particularly since she was born […]

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A Memory of Muskets

The latest Chloe Ellefson mystery, following Death on the Prairie, is A Memory of Muskets, and it’s the best one yet. Part of that is due to the connection to author Kathleen Ernst’s own experience. The mysteries are set at Old World Wisconsin in the 1980s, which is when Ernst worked there. This particular mystery involves the murder of a Civil War reenactor, an activity Ernst also participated in (along with her husband). As a result, she does an excellent […]

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Death Among Rubies

The too-much-for-her-time Lady Frances Ffolkes is back, but I recommend you read Death Among Rubies before Death on the Sapphire because a) you can (it gives you everything you need to know about the characters) and b) I liked this one better. That’s because it takes place in one of my very favorite mystery settings: the fancy house party. Frances, her supportive maid Miss Mallow, and her two very good friends Gwen and Tommie (who love each other, but not […]

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The Question of the Felonious Friend

I enjoyed greatly the first Asperger’s Mystery by E.J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen, The Question of the Missing Head, and its detectives, Samuel Hoenig and Ms. Washburn. The second, The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband, wasn’t as successful, in my opinion, so I wondered what I’d find in the third, The Question of the Felonious Friend, out next week. It’s as fun as the first. Samuel has Asperger’s Syndrome, which makes his narration particularly interesting, his observations alternately pointed and […]

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