Books in Brief: Mystery

Time has gotten away from me.  Because it’s been a few months since I’ve read some of these titles, the reviews will be more about overall impressions rather than detailed analysis.



Kilmoon by Lisa Alber.  Merrit Chase leaves the States to travel to an Irish village to meet her father, a celebrated matchmaker, who has no knowledge of her existence.  Her arrival triggers events which lead to murder and she finds herself a suspect.  Everything eventually comes back to events from thirty years in the past.

Atmospheric, brooding and complex.  Merrit was not an easy character for me to connect with; her father even less so.  That said, it’s still a good read.  Detective Sergeant Danny Ahern stole the story for me.

Whispers in the Mist by Lisa Alber.  A strange fog has rolled in from the Atlantic.  Along with the fog comes tales of the Grey Man . . . and murders.  Detective Sergeant Danny Ahern is on the case.  Until the case strikes too close to home.

Sequel to Kilmoon by Lisa Alber.  While there are references to events which happened in the first book, it’s not necessary to read it first.  Of the two, this is the stronger story, I think:  Danny is a far more interesting character than Merrit or Liam.

Hidden by Karen Olson.   Nicole Jones abandoned her old name and her old life years before the book begins.  She’s been enjoying a quiet life on Block Island, living off of the grid.  When someone from her past finds her, she realizes that she will have to leave and find another place to hide.

What I liked best about this story was Nicole’s reinvention of herself from the girl she used to be.  I like the Nicole who gives bike tours and taught herself to paint beautiful landscapes.  Her past self, which is revealed as the story progresses, is less interesting.  The mystery is so-so.

Shadowed by Karen Olson.   Sequel to Hidden.  Nicole is now Susan McQueen and she’s living on an island in Quebec, Canada.  She’s trying to recreate the life she had on Block Island, living a quiet life, working as an artist.  She’s still off the grid but this time around she has not given up her computer.  The lure of the online chatrooms and the temptation to reach out to an old accomplice proves to be her undoing this time.  Someone else has been lurking in the chatrooms, and they know her well enough to find her, even though she’s using a different name.

Some things are too easy, some things are too hard, but it’s still a light, enjoyable read.  Someday I will have to re-read the first book to see if something that happens in this one matches up.  Someday.

The Sixth Idea by P.J. Tracy.  Two online friends, scheduled to meet in person for the first time, are murdered on the same night, two hours and several miles apart.  And north of Minneapolis, Lydia Ascher finds two dead men in her basement.  Homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth connect the cases.  When an elderly, terminally ill man is kidnapped from his home and an Alzheimer’s patient goes missing from his care facility, a link emerges.  Leo and Gino team up with Monkeewrench to solve a mystery sixty years in the making and moments away from disaster.

It’s been several months since I read this.  I remember enjoying it — I love the Monkeewrench crew.  I also remember thinking some of it was too easy.  And that there was one really good twist.


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