LEAVE NO TRACE by A. J. Landau: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
2d ago
Nothing could have been more ordinary in the minutes before the explosion.  A fifteen-year-old boy is trying to get his father’s attention away from his phone and pay attention to him.  Danny is pointing toward the water beyond Liberty Island, home of the Statue of Liberty.  He tells his father that there’s something wrong with the Park Police boat in the harbor, that they no longer use that model. His father really isn’t interested or sure that Danny knows what he’s talking about.  As his father and mother and younger sister head toward the line that will be going up to La ..read more
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DEATH UNDER A LITTLE SKY by Stig Abell: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
1w ago
Jake Jackson, a London police detective, is about to experience a life change.  Just at the time his marriage is dissolving, he receives news of the death of his Uncle Arthur and the bequest his uncle left him.  Now he has the opportunity to retire and start over. Arthur was a wealthy, eccentric man, a bachelor with no family other than Jake, so Jake is not surprised to be the recipient of his uncle’s generosity, but he is stunned when he realizes the extent of it.  In addition to a mansion called Little Sky, named after the lake on Arthur’s property in a remote corner of the En ..read more
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THE PRICE YOU PAY by Nick Petrie: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
2w ago
Peter Ash and and his friend Lewis go back a long way, and they have the kind of bond that is unbreakable.  Each man would do anything for the other, so it’s something Peter doesn’t even have to think about when Lewis enters his house in the middle of the night and asks for assistance. The two head north from Milwaukee in below zero weather to the home of Teddy “Upstate” Wilson.  Upstate had worked with Lewis and two others to do jobs that needed doing and no one else would or could handle.  Eight hours before he picked up Peter, Lewis received a text from Upstate–Bad men here ..read more
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The spring semester at BOLLI (Brandeis Osher Lifel...
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
3w ago
The spring semester at BOLLI (Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) begins in just over two weeks, and I’m preparing to teach WHODUNIT?:  Murder Most British. As most mystery fans are aware, there has always been a competition between the admirers of the American author Edgar Allan Poe and his French creation and those of the British writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his English detective as to which author should be credited for introducing the world’s first consulting detective.  Since this will be a course on British authors, you can probably guess into which camp I belong ..read more
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LAST SEEN IN HAVANA by Teresa Dovalpage: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
1M ago
Visiting one’s childhood home often proves to be a challenging experience, especially if you have been living in the United States for years and are now returning to Cuba.  So much has changed, either in reality or in one’s imagination, that it’s not surprising that Mercedes Spivey is not quite certain how she should feel about her return. Mercedes spent her childhood with her paternal grandmother, her mamina, living in a huge ramshackle mansion in Havana.  Their home had always needed major repairs, but now it, as well as mamina, has fallen on hard times, and it is primarily Mercede ..read more
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THE RIVER WE REMEMBER by William Kent Krueger: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
1M ago
It’s 1958, and memories are long in Black Earth County, Minnesota.  It is barely a generation since World War II, and the town of Jewel is holding the annual parade celebrating its freedom and honoring its veterans on Decoration Day, now known as Memorial Day.  But discrimination against Native American Noah Bluestone and his Japanese wife Kyoko is ever-present. Sheriff Brody Dern is in his office when a man enters with staggering news.  “They ate him, Brody.  They ate him right down to the bone.” The “him” is James Patrick Quinn, the largest land owner in the county and pr ..read more
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PAST LYING by Val McDermid: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
1M ago
It’s April, 2020 in Edinburgh, and the COVID era is just beginning.  So little is known about it–how long the lockdown will last, how to protect one’s self from getting the virus, exactly how it’s transmitted–that it’s a really strange time. For Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie, life in lockdown is particularly challenging.  It’s obviously difficult, if not impossible, to conduct investigations when she can’t move around the city freely and interview people as is necessary in her job in the Historic Cases Unit (what in the United States are called cold cases). Trying to deal wit ..read more
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DARK RIDE by Lou Berney: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
2M ago
Calling Dark Ride a thriller is an understatement.  It’s a novel that’s so tense, so taut, that I was finding it difficult to turn the pages, fearful of what would happen next. The book starts out calmly enough.  The protagonist is Hardy Reed, although he’s always called by his childhood nickname “Hardly.”  That’s because he’s often hardly anywhere–at college, where he dropped out after three semesters; at his dead end job at a rundown amusement park; in his life, which he’s going through “high” most of the time. In his semi-stoned state, Hardly goes to the Driver Improvement Ve ..read more
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Now it’s time for my “best of” list for 2023. ...
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
2M ago
Now it’s time for my “best of” list for 2023.  There were so many mysteries/thrillers published this year that perhaps you are thinking that you’ve missed a couple you would have enjoyed reading.  In selecting what to read next, you may wish to consider my choices for the best crime novels of the year. My selections are split almost down the middle, with eight novels taking place in the United States and six abroad.  As I wrote in my 2022 list of the best of that year, mysteries are no longer limited, and actually haven’t been in quite a while, to the United States and England ..read more
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THE SWEET GOODBYE by Ron Corbett: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
2M ago
I came across Ron Corbett’s name a few weeks ago; until then, I had not heard of this Canadian novelist.  I first read Ragged Lake, one of the novels in his Frank Yakabuski series, and I was hooked.  Then I read The Sweet Goodbye, and I knew I had to write about this talented author. Danny Barrett is an FBI agent working undercover, very successfully so.  He begins the book with a prologue, telling the reader that when he was a beat cop, “The first time I worked undercover, I arrested my brother.”  That’s all we learn about the arrest, other than that his younger brother “h ..read more
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