Alphabetical Index of Mystery Reviews

Murder Is Bad Manners

Murder Is Bad Manners is a wonderful read for anyone who likes English boarding school stories or classic mysteries. Although put out by a young adult imprint, and thus marketed for kids, I also enjoyed reading it. Robin Stevens has captured the antique flavor of a residence for proper young ladies during the 1930s, but with a modern attitude. Our narrator is Hazel Wong, who’s come to the school from Hong Kong, and the Brit girls aren’t above the occasional […]

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The Final Reveille

Since I enjoyed the Chloe Ellefson series of mysteries set at a variety of living history museums, I thought I’d try another one from the same publisher, Midnight Ink. In The Final Reveille by Amanda Flower, out next month, the murder takes place during a Civil War reenactment at a living history farm in Ohio. Kelsey Cambridge has been showing the wealthy donor Cynthia Cherry around for the special weekend events. Cynthia’s unpleasant nephew and heir Maxwell is threatening to […]

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Murder With a Twist

If you miss William Powell and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man movies, have I got a new mystery novel for you! Out in early May is Murder With a Twist by Tracy Kiely, a modern, gender-flipped version of that premise. Nic (Nicole) Martini used to be a New York City police detective (until she was shot and went on disability leave). Nigel is her flippant husband, with plenty of inherited money and a crazy family. They’re back in the […]

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Some Like It Hot-Buttered

Since I enjoyed Jeff Cohen’s The Question of the Missing Head, I thought I’d check out another comedy mystery he’d written. Some Like It Hot-Buttered is the first of three in the “Comedy Tonight” series, named after the theater the protagonist runs that only shows comedies. (The other two are It Happened One Knife and A Night at the Operation.) It’s the story of Elliot Freed, a divorced Jersey guy who wrote a book that became a bad movie. He […]

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The Question of the Missing Head

Calling The Question of the Missing Head “an Asperger’s Mystery” might seem trendy, but the approach works very well. I loved reading it. Samuel has Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s not embarrassed by it; he considers it a “personality trait” instead of a disorder. He has opened a storefront called Questions Answered in the hope of being challenged by unusual questions, which suits his talents. There he meets former newspaper photographer Mrs. Washburn, who quickly falls into a useful role as his […]

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The Chloe Ellefson Series: Wisconsin History in Murder Mysteries

I stumbled across a mystery series (in the cozy tradition) that I’ve been enjoying, in part because these books by Kathleen Ernst point out cool aspects of Wisconsin history and heritage. Chloe Ellefson is a curator who, in Old World Murder, has just moved to work at Old World Wisconsin, a living history recreation site, to escape some bad memories and a broken relationship. As she learns more about the artifacts collected at the site, she also gets involved in […]

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The Adventure of the Plated Spoon and Other Tales of Sherlock Holmes

Unlike the other recent collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, The Adventure of the Plated Spoon and Other Tales of Sherlock Holmes relies mostly on reprints and curiosities, with just a few new tales. The book opens, after an introduction by editor Loren D. Estleman that emphasizes the continuing popularity of the title character, with a short, silly parody by J.M. Barrie (writer of Peter Pan and contemporary of Arthur Conan Doyle) that I first read in 1944’s The Misadventures of […]

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In the Company of Sherlock Holmes

This is the book, the one that resulted in Sherlock Holmes being declared public domain. Co-editor Leslie S. Klinger, in addition to being the editor of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, is also a lawyer, you see. The Conan Doyle Estate demanded payment for a license for this book, and Klinger sued. The result was favorable to all those, like these authors, inspired by Holmes. The introduction sums it all up, or you can find more details at the Free […]

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