A DEATH IN TOKYO by Keigo Higashino: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
1w ago
As a young policeman watches, a man staggers onto the famed Nihongashi Bridge in Tokyo.  The officer assumes the man is drunk, although he thinks it’s a bit early in the evening for such total inebriation.  The policeman looks away for a minute, and when he looks back the man is leaning below the kirin, the pair of statues representing mythical Chinese beasts.  Disgusted, the officer approaches the man to get him to move along when he realizes that the man isn’t drunk but dead, with a knife protruding from his shirtfront. When additional police arrive they realize that the victi ..read more
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RACING THE LIGHT by Robert Crais: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
3w ago
When two official-looking people walk into Elvis Cole’s office, at first he takes them for federal agents.  They do a quick but thorough search of his office and the adjacent one, then usher in a nondescript older woman, rather plain with her lack of makeup and her vaguely outdated dress.  But looks can be very deceiving. She introduces herself as Adele Schumacher, and she wants to hire Elvis to find her son.  Joshua Schumacher considers himself an investigative reporter, hosts a podcast called In Your Face with Josh Shoe, and his show consists of uncovering what he views a ..read more
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THE BULLET THAT MISSED by Richard Osman: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
1M ago
Is it a “cozy”?  Is it a traditional mystery with unusual/eccentric protagonists?  Does it really matter? As those who have taken my WHODUNIT? courses at BOLLI (the Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) are aware, I am not a fan of cozies, although I recognize that they have become the most popular sub-genre of mysteries.  The “official” definition of a cozy is a mystery with little or no violence or sex, the detective is an amateur sleuth, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. But I think that begs the question.  My definitio ..read more
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PICTURE IN THE SAND by Peter Blauner: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
1M ago
Picture in the Sand is a family history, a lesson in politics, and a crime novel all in one fascinating package.  It takes the reader from Brooklyn to Egypt to Hollywood, and it encompasses both popular culture via the making of “The Ten Commandments” and the political turmoil that has engulfed the Middle East for over seven decades. The novel opens with an email from a son to his mother.  Alex Hassan (asking henceforth to be called by his new name, Abu Suror,”father of joy”) is leaving home, rejecting his acceptance from Cornell University in order to fight with his “brothers” in Sy ..read more
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Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
1M ago
Best movies, best television shows, best podcasts.  Now it’s time for my list of best mysteries of 2022. As always, my choices for the best of the best are a mix of domestic and foreign mysteries, police procedurals and private detectives and amateur sleuths.  Interestingly though, and for the first time, more than half of the fourteen books take place either partly or totally outside the United States. That statistic definitely speaks not only to the increasingly important role that mysteries/thrillers/crime novels play in today’s publishing business but also to how widely the genre ..read more
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KILLERS OF A CERTAIN AGE by Deanna Raybourn: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
1M ago
I will be totally upfront about this book–I loved it!  As a woman who is also “of a certain age,” I think it’s about time the mature woman received her due, even women who were, and are forced to become again, killers. Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie were young women in 1979.  That’s when they were recruited to join The Museum, as the secret organization was known.  The original members were from various resistance movements operating during World War II, and their mandate was hunting and killing Nazis.  At this they were very, very successful. After the war ended Th ..read more
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THE FURIES by John Connolly: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
2M ago
It’s no small thing for an author to create a sense of unrelenting doom and violence simply by the use of language and mood.  This is what John Connolly does in his latest novel, The Sisters Strange, the first of two books in the volume titled The Furies. Charlie Parker is a private investigator in Portland, Maine, but the story opens in the small Pennsylvania town of Athens.  Edwin Ellerkamp has spent his entire life there, a life that is soon to end, not because he is eighty but because of the coin collection he has accrued over the years.  When Ellerkamp is found by his part ..read more
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FOX CREEK by William Kent Krueger: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
2M ago
At first it appears to be a routine case, and Cork O’Connor is reluctant to accept it.  He is a private investigator and former sheriff but now would rather be working in his family’s restaurant than chasing criminals. At the diner, a man introduces himself as Lou Morriseau, and he tells the investigator that his wife has left him for another man, a Native American.  Morriseau shows Cork a photo of his wife Dolores, but when Morriseau tells Cork the name of the man she’s having an affair with, the latter is stunned.  It’s Henry Meloux, a respected healer and tribal leader, who i ..read more
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THE LOCKED ROOM by Elly Griffiths: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
2M ago
The Locked Room begins at a time that seems far, far away, before the world as we know it changed.  It’s the end of February 2020, and we’re hearing the very first rumblings about a deadly virus with origins in China.  But that’s still a couple of weeks away and not at all in the mind of Ruth Galloway. In her childhood home, Ruth is going through a box of photos and souvenirs that belonged to her late mother.  Ruth’s father has remarried, and the home will soon be updated and redecorated by his new wife.  This bothers Ruth not at all, and she’s glad to have the opportunity ..read more
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THE DOUBLE AGENT by William Christie: Book Review
Marilyn's Mystery Reads
by Marilyn Brooks
2M ago
His name, or at least the one he currently uses, is Alexsi Smirnoff, and he just rescued the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, from an assassination attempt.  Russian born, sent into Nazi Germany to infiltrate their military, after seven years Alexsi makes his escape from Germany and arrives in Iran, a neutral country.  Now he hopes that saving Churchill will have him sent to relative safety in England. But that is not to be.  Instead he is told that the prime minister is very impressed with his ability and has “high hopes for someone of your talents.”  The British ..read more
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