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: Angels and Demons (Robert Langdon #1) by Dan Brown

Is Dan Brown’s writing terrible? Yes. Are his stories far fetched and unbelievable? Yes. Are the books poorly researched? Yes. Did that stop me from reading this book in a frenzy? Absolutely not!

I will fully admit, I loved The Da Vinci Code. I didn’t care how unbelievable or bad the writing, the story itself was so good that I was reading well into the night, every night. I simply had to know what happened next.

That was at least 10 years ago that I read that book, so I felt like I was long overdue for a Robert Langdon mystery. For some reason, the mood just struck me and I decided it was time to check out the first book in the Robert Langdon series, Angels and Demons.

When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol—seared into the chest of a murdered physicist—he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati … the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy—the Catholic Church.

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Book Blast: The Service of the Dead by Candace Robb

Please join author Candace Robb as her Kate Clifford Mystery Series is featured around the blogosphere, from May 9-24.

The Service of the Dead by Candace Robb

Paperback Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Pegasus Books
Paperback; 256 Pages
Series: Kate Clifford Mysteries, Book One
Genre: Historical/Mystery/Thriller

Expertly recreating the social and political upheavals of late medieval Europe, Candace Robb introduces a new series starring Kate Clifford, a woman forged on the warring northern marches of fourteenth century England.

Political unrest permeates York at the cusp of the fifteenth century, as warring factions take sides on who should be the rightful king–Richard II or his estranged, powerful cousin in exile, Henry Bolingbroke. Independent minded twenty-year-old Kate Clifford is struggling to dig out from beneath the debt left by her late husband. Determined to find a way to be secure in her own wealth and establish her independence in a male dominated society, Kate turns one of her properties near the minster into a guest house and sets up a business. In a dance of power, she also quietly rents the discreet bedchambers to the wealthy, powerful merchants of York for nights with their mistresses.

But the brutal murder of a mysterious guest and the disappearance of his companion for the evening threatens all that Kate has built. Before others in town hear word of a looming scandal, she must call upon all of her hard-won survival skills to save herself from ruin.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

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Review: Where the Dead Lie (Sebastian St. Cyr #12) by C.S. Harris

When this one came up for review, I agreed because it sounded like a bit of a gritty Victorian/Regency mystery and I was ready for a bit of a new mystery series.

However, I was hesitant because this book was number 12 in the series. Lately I’ve been jumping into a couple of new series a little late in the game and I felt like at the very least, I should read the first book in this new series so I could get an idea of where things were at, at least with the main character, Lord Devlin.

London, 1813. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is no stranger to the dark side of the city, but he’s never seen anything like this: the brutalized body of a 15-year-old boy dumped into a makeshift grave on the grounds of an abandoned factory.

One of London’s many homeless children, Benji Thatcher was abducted and tortured before his murder—and his younger sister is still missing. Few in authority care about a street urchin’s fate, but Sebastian refuses to let this killer go unpunished. Uncovering a disturbing pattern of missing children, Sebastian is drawn into a shadowy, sadistic world.

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Review: The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett

I’ve been a fan of grail lore since I watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when I was 8 years old. I’ve seen it at least a hundred times I feel like, so needless to say, I am a huge fan of anything related to the Holy Grail and I LOVE cathedrals.

I am also a fan of Charlie Lovett’s novels, and this latest book combined both grail lore, cathedrals, and Lovett’s charming prose. This book appealed to my love of English mythology and King Arthur, so I couldn’t pass it up for review when I saw it.

Arthur Prescott is happiest when surrounded by the ancient books and manuscripts of the Barchester Cathedral library. Increasingly, he feels like a fish out of water among the concrete buildings of the University of Barchester, where he works as an English professor.

His one respite from the never-ending committees is his time spent nestled in the library, nurturing his secret obsession with the Holy Grail and researching his perennially unfinished guidebook to the medieval cathedral.

But when a beautiful young American named Bethany Davis arrives in Barchester charged with the task of digitizing the library’s manuscripts, Arthur’s tranquility is broken. Appalled by the threat modern technology poses to the library he loves, he sets out to thwart Bethany, only to find in her a kindred spirit with a similar love for knowledge and books—and a fellow Grail fanatic.

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