Monday, 18 September 2017

The Skeleton Draws a Picture (A Family Skeleton Mystery) by Leigh Perry.

A Cosy Mystery with a difference!

I am really annoyed. Annoyed that I have only come upon this series at Book Four, the lovely people at Netgalley have remedied my total ignorance of  the books, but I will now have to read them out of order!

Travelling English Professor Georgia is rootless and listless as she does not hold tenure so as a kind of Literary minstrel she brings better grammar to the students of an mid-range art school. Used to a full house filled with parents (fellow scholars) and her teenage daughter, she is a little lonely and bored, enter Sid, the family Skeleton of the title!

Literally an ambulatory and autonomous bag of bones,Sid is able to assemble and disassemble at will,  this state often affected by his own emotional state of being . Despite his lack of body, he inhabits the story perfectly.He is an unlikely sleuth, but with a gift for researching the Internet and an inquisitiveness second to none, Sid's arrival heralds another suspicious death in what appears to be a line of precedent of murder wherever she and Sid roam.

In this story, a body in the snow begins a chain of events where friendly rivalries for a tenure spot turn into more ominous underhanded acts in a bid to bury more than the deceased.

I warmed to Georgia immediately, she is kind of ageless despite her progeny so I suspect most readers will enjoy her too. Sid is a really fun character and the ingenious ways that Ms Perry finds ways to incorporate body parts into expletives and humourous asides just raises the story above the norm. With  just enough peril to keep this thrilling, this is a near perfect light mystery.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage by Zara Stonely

This is the second in a Cosy Romance series - The Little Village on the Green.

The summer is over and the escape from the city to Langtry Meadows that was so necessary for  school teacher Lucy Jacobs has become a return to her true home. The people are friendly and her job filled with brushes with the animal kingdom, so thank Heaven's the local vet is hook line and sinker in Love with her.

The only problem is the ever present shadow of the chance that Charlie might lose custody of his beloved daughter Maisie who may not even be his.The potential for very messy divorce proceedings might just be a a obstacle too high for even these sweet lovers.

Throw into the mix a few other burgeoning romances, some puppies, a guinea pig and a long hidden secret and you have a  framework for what is a rather marvellous confection.

The story is written with a warmth and affection for the rural way of life and unlike many similar Cosy stories of this type,the characters are not hackneyed or stereotypical, no they are perfectly formed people set in village that I think all of us would like to spend a little time in.  The school setting allows for plenty of chuckles in between the angst and the central relationship is as satisfying to the casual reader dipping their toe into a lighter genre of reading as it is to the devotee of the form.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Miss Seeton Omnibus 1-3 by Heron Carvic

Picture Miss Seeton
Book 1  Just superb.

This is Marple mixed with the dry wit of Jack Dee.  A village setting with (in this the first of a reissued series) a dark underbelly of violence, extortion and even a wee bit of Heroin thrown in.

I guffawed often and fell in love with more than just Miss Seeton as the Local Quack and Yard Detectives also wormed their way into my heart!

Miss Seeton Draws A Line.
Book 2

These books are such fun! The crimes are deceptively dark but wrapped in  in  such a gloriously tongue in cheek humour that the frisson of discomfort is soon abated by another laugh

MIss Seeton and her Umbrella get involved in a spate of bank robberies that the Good folk at The Yard have linked to some terrible  child murders in Plummergen and the surrounding areas, so Miss Seeton's skill for drawing emotions and feelings  are called upon again.

Witch Miss Seeton
Book 3

This third in a collection of books reissued on kindle format by Farrago Books and graciously gifted to me via netgalley for review is somewhat shorter (or it seems that way, maybe I am just more attuned to the cadences of the style now) than the first two.

All the favourites are still in there in the wake of this calamitous woman, whose very belongings become weapons with minds of their own. Here cults, satanism and capitalism collide. The body count is not so high, but the humour is just as virulent.

Very enjoyable!