Special Feature and Excerpt: Down a Dark River by Karen Odden

Down a Dark River by Karen Odden

Publication Date: November 9, 2021
Crooked Lane Books
Hardcover & eBook; 336 pages

Series: An Inspector Corravan Mystery, Book One
Genre: Historical Mystery

In the vein of C. S. Harris and Anne Perry, Karen Odden’s mystery introduces Inspector Michael Corravan as he investigates a string of vicious murders that has rocked Victorian London’s upper crust.

London, 1878. One April morning, a small boat bearing a young woman’s corpse floats down the murky waters of the Thames. When the victim is identified as Rose Albert, daughter of a prominent judge, the Scotland Yard director gives the case to Michael Corravan, one of the only Senior Inspectors remaining after a corruption scandal the previous autumn left the division in ruins. Reluctantly, Corravan abandons his ongoing case, a search for the missing wife of a shipping magnate, handing it over to his young colleague, Mr. Stiles.

An Irish former bare-knuckles boxer and dockworker from London’s seedy East End, Corravan has good street sense and an inspector’s knack for digging up clues. But he’s confounded when, a week later, a second woman is found dead in a rowboat, and then a third. The dead women seem to have no connection whatsoever. Meanwhile, Mr. Stiles makes an alarming discovery: the shipping magnate’s missing wife, Mrs. Beckford, may not have fled her house because she was insane, as her husband claims, and Mr. Beckford may not be the successful man of business that he appears to be.

Slowly, it becomes clear that the river murders and the case of Mrs. Beckford may be linked through some terrible act of injustice in the past—for which someone has vowed a brutal vengeance. Now, with the newspapers once again trumpeting the Yard’s failures, Corravan must dredge up the truth—before London devolves into a state of panic and before the killer claims another innocent victim.

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Special Feature: The Attic on Queen Street (Tadd Street #7) by Karen White

If this cover doesn’t speak to mystery fans then I don’t know what does. This lovely Victorian house promises to be full of mystery not to mention a bit of the paranormal. This book strikes me as the kind perfect for people who aren’t ready for Halloween to be over! I mean, I am fully ready for all the holiday reading but I am still feeling the lingering draw to Halloween reads so this book really appeals to me in that regard.

Not to mention Karen White is an outstanding writer! She has written a number of stand alone historical fiction novels plus collaborated on a few books with other authors not to mention her long standing Tadd Street series. An author who can write consistently over multiple genres and series has my vote! I adore all her books and the Tadd Street series is no different!

I have skipped around in this series before and haven’t had any issues keeping up with the characters and subplots. The author does a great job orientating new readers within the story and the characters. I am sad to see that this will be the last in the series but I am excited to see how the series wraps up and what White comes out with next. If you are looking for a fun mystery to tide you over as you transition from Halloween to Christmas, this is your book! It’s out now so don’t miss it!

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Review: Miss Moriarty, I Presume? (Lady Sherlock #6) by Sherry Thomas

This was one of the few series that I have started and didn’t care for but actually decided to go back and give another chance to because everything about this book series promised to be right up my alley! I was so glad that I decided to give it another go because I have fallen in love with the characters (especially Lord Ingram) and I have loved all the books so far!

Obviously when this one came up, I couldn’t WAIT to see what some of my favorite characters had been up to since the last book plus things are really heating up when it comes to the Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty rivalry. If you have not read this series yet, I highly recommend going back and reading the other books first. This series builds on a lot of back stories and inter personal relationships so if you don’t have that context then it makes it more difficult to appreciate the larger narrative.

This book was a great weekend read and I enjoyed this one, though perhaps not as much as some of the others in the series but it was still what I would consider a solid read and I am really looking forward to the next book in the series as this one left things on a high note and I am eager to see what happens next.

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Review: Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens (Wrexford & Sloane #5) by Andrea Penrose

When I randomly picked up the first book in this series a few years ago, I knew I was reading something special. While not necessarily and earth shattering read or even something ‘new and different’ in the saturated genre of historical mysteries, there is something about Lord Wrexford that just makes me swoon and I just love him!

Charlotte and Wrex have been solving murders and falling in love for the last five books and finally here we are just as they are planning their nuptials and Charlotte’s reentrance into society when another body pops up! This time Charlotte and Wrex don’t really have a reason to investigate this murder but some how they end up getting pulled into the investigation and as expected, readers are treated to another fun filled mystery!

This book is the fifth in the series and while not 100% necessary with some of the books in the series, for this one I recommend reading at least the book before this one as there is some carry over from the previous book. And to be honest, these books are so fun and it would be silly to miss out on all the wonderful sleuthing in this series by starting here so do yourself a favor and go back and read the other books because it will help you to fully appreciate all these characters.

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Review: The Hollywood Spy (Maggie Hope #10) by Susan Elia MacNeal

I fell in love with Maggie Hope long ago and watching her journey through these last 10 books has been so fun as a reader. We have seen her go from nervous secretary, to spy, through PTSD, and heartache. As we enter the 10th book in the series ,she is in many ways unrecognizable from the first book.

As a reader you really get a sense of how the war changed her character and I think that’s what really makes this series shine. I haven’t always loved the direction that Maggie’s character has taken or choices that she has made but for me that’s what makes her so real and relatable. You don’t have to love her choices or agree with them but you learn to live with them in the same way that her character must.

I was a little nervous going into this book though because we see the reappearance of one time beau, John Sterling. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. In the previous books I felt like John was charming and wonderful—-up until he wasn’t. Then I was like ‘Maggie girl kick his ass to the curb!’ and now suddenly he’s making a reappearance in her life and I hoped that he had undergone some changes between the books.

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