Review: The Essence of Malice (Amory Ames #4) by Ashley Weaver

Here I am, yet another late comer to a new mystery series and I find myself wondering how in fact I missed this series in the first place!

Picking up a book mid series is always a risk, but I have found that more often than not, the author tries to fill in the missing links for new readers so they don’t feel like they need to start at the beginning. However sometimes it’s just not possible to go back and try to recap everything that a new reader might have missed.

While this book was well written and fun to read, I did feel like I needed the other books to stay up to par with everything that was going on.

1930s England.

When Milo Ames receives a troubling letter from his childhood nanny, Madame Nanette, he and Amory travel to Paris where they are soon embroiled in a mystery surrounding the death of a famous parfumier. Helios Belanger died suddenly, shortly before the release of his newest, highly-anticipated perfume, and Madame Nanette, who works for the family, is convinced that her employer’s death was not due to natural causes. (more…)

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Review: The Paris Spy (Maggie Hope Mystery #7) by Susan Elia MacNeal

The Maggie Hope mystery series is part mystery and part spy….probably heavier on the spy side but it has murder mystery elements woven in for variety. Some might argue that this series isn’t sure what it is….is it spy or mystery but in my opinion, I like the variation. It keeps thing exciting for me, having a character solve murders in one book and then go on a spy mission in another book.

I’ve been a fan of this series for some time now and though I haven’t loved every book, I love Maggie as a character and always excited to see where life will take her next.

Maggie Hope has come a long way since serving as a typist for Winston Churchill. Now she’s working undercover for the Special Operations Executive in the elegant but eerily silent city of Paris, where SS officers prowl the streets in their Mercedes and the Ritz is draped with swastika banners.

Walking among the enemy is tense and terrifying, and even though she’s disguised in chic Chanel, Maggie can’t help longing for home.

But her missions come first. Maggie’s half sister, Elise, has disappeared after being saved from a concentration camp, and Maggie is desperate to find her—that is, if Elise even wants to be found. Equally urgent, Churchill is planning the Allied invasion of France, and SOE agent Erica Calvert has been captured, the whereabouts of her vital research regarding Normandy unknown.

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Review: Arrowood by Mick Finlay

I absolutely love the tagline of this book: London Society takes their problems to Sherlock Holmes. Everyone else goes to Arrowood.

That totally caught my eye when I was scanning Netgalley in search of new books to read this summer. An anti-Sherlock Holmes sounded refreshing and new. I have been watching the TV show Sherlock (which if you haven’t watched it, go right now to Netflix and start!) and I love the modern take on it, so I thought that something like an anti-Sherlock read would be complimentary.

The Afghan War is over and a deal with the Irish appears to have brought an end to sectarian violence, but Britain’s position in the world is uncertain and the gap between rich and poor is widening. London is a place where the wealthy party while the underclass are tempted into lives of crime, drugs and prostitution. A serial killer stalks the streets. Politicians are embroiled in financial and sexual scandals. The year is 1895.

The police don’t have the resources to deal with everything that goes on in the capital. The rich turn to a celebrated private detective when they need help: Sherlock Holmes. But in densely populated south London, where the crimes are sleazier and Holmes rarely visits, people turn to Arrowood, a private investigator who despises Holmes, his wealthy clientele and his showy forensic approach to crime. Arrowood understands people, not clues (summary from Goodreads).

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Review: Murder on Black Swan Lane (A Wrexford and Sloane Mystery #1) by Andrea Penrose

While combing through the catalog of titles on Netgalley, I happened to come across this one and admittedly, was captivated by the cover. I am not really sure why, I mean it’s not like it’s really that new and eye catching….I feel like I’ve seen a ton of books with similar titles that I was passed by in favor of something more eye catching.

But for some reason I paused on this one long enough to read the summary. Again, nothing terribly fresh but yet it sounded like just the thing I was looking for…..something predictable. I was dying to read another British detective mystery novel and this sounded like just that. So I clicked on request and once it was approved, I started in on what I expected to be a run of the mill detective novel.

The Earl of Wrexford possesses a brilliant scientific mind, but boredom and pride lead him to reckless behavior. He does not suffer fools gladly. So when pompous, pious Reverend Josiah Holworthy publicly condemns him for debauchery, Wrexford unsheathes his rapier-sharp wit and strikes back.

As their war of words escalates, London’s most popular satirical cartoonist, A.J. Quill, skewers them both. But then the clergyman is found slain in a church—his face burned by chemicals, his throat slashed ear to ear—and Wrexford finds himself the chief suspect (summary from Goodreads).

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Review: A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan #2) by Julie McElwain

Long time readers of my blog know that I love time travel novels. I personally feel like I was born in the wrong era so I compensate by reading books on time travel and hope that I stumble upon my own vortex and end up in the castle of an insanely handsome duke to be, who just happens to be single and makes me a duchess and showers me with glittering jewels, titles, lands, oh and love of course!

Wow, I digress…I got wrapped up in that daydream a little too much I think haha!

In the spirit of my daydreaming, I picked up the latest Kendra Donovan novel which just so happens to have striking similarities to my daydreaming :).

When Kendra Donovan’s plan to return to the 21st century fails, leaving her stranded in 1815, the Duke of Aldridge believes he knows the reason—she must save his nephew, who has been accused of brutally murdering his ex-mistress.

Former FBI agent Kendra Donovan’s attempts to return to the twenty-first century have failed, leaving her stuck at Aldridge Castle in 1815. And her problems have just begun: in London, the Duke of Aldridge’s nephew Alec—Kendra’s confidante and lover—has come under suspicion for murdering his former mistress, Lady Dover, who was found viciously stabbed with a stiletto, her face carved up in a bizarre and brutal way.

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