A mystery writer moves to the country to find some peace and quiet in her life to do some writing.
What I Liked
The feel is very much like an Agatha Christie-style small village with priests, neighbours and a local mystery, with a body dropping shortly after things get settled.
What I Didn’t Like
The romance side doesn’t work, as it’s hard to get a feel for the lead character’s age…one minute she seems like a woman in her late 50s and the next she seems like a girl in her early 20s. Worldly, calm, centred and then naïve, unsure, flighty. The ex and her son seem superfluous, and some of the other characters are a bit superficial with their secrets which are wildly apparent long before they are “revealed”. She isn’t as bumbling as, say, Stephanie Plum, but she’s hardly Miss Marple either, or even Jessica Fletcher. But these are minor complaints for a rich world and sense of Christie-like mystery.
The Bottom Line
Not quite Christie but I’ll read more in the series.
A collection of 20 solve-them-yourself mysteries, perfect for reading on your break. For context, the stories are all short, suitable for reading one or two on a coffee break. If you have seen the 5-minute mysteries in the back of magazines like Reader’s Digest or remember the old Encyclopedia Brown series, then you understand the premise — you read a short-short story (almost flash length) with a mystery of “who did something”, ending with the narrator announcing she or he knows the solution. Then, as the reader, you are challenged to figure out the mystery too. Turn the page, and voila, the solution from the story’s narrator to see if you’re right.
Diana Gordon has retired from being a private investigator after being shot, and is living the simple life in Port Findlay, Washington running her own photography studio. But a local woman is murdered, and when Gordon finds the body, she can’t resist doing a little personal investigating. And she turns up links to her past and how she got shot — for taking a photograph of someone who didn’t want to be captured.
Detective Murdoch has family problems — his sister, a cloistered nun, is dying and he can’t even see her to really say goodbye, just through a screen. His drunk of a father is in jail convicted of murder and ready to hang, but proclaiming his innocence — so even though it’s been many years since they spoke, Murdoch tries to find out the truth of the death of his father’s acquaintance following a potentially rigged dog race.
Constable Oliver Wicken is dead — the result of an apparent suicide while on duty. But Murdoch doesn’t buy it, so he starts to investigate only to find a woman who claims to have just jilted him, hence the suicide. He still isn’t satisfied, but with nothing else to go on, what can he do? Then another woman comes forward to say SHE was his girlfriend — a second one and neither had ever been mentioned to his mother with whom he lived!