Tag Archives: Mystery

Book Review – Blunt Force

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Lynda La Plante https://lyndalaplante.com is the author of nearly 50 novels. Blunt Force was published in 2020 and is the sixth novel in her Tennison series. It is the 3rd book I completed in 2023.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is 30-year-old Detective Sargent Jane Tennison.

Having been removed from the high-profile Flying Squad, Tennison is now assigned to the Gerald Road station in Knightsbridge. With the discoveray of a body, the tranquility of the affluent neighborhood is disrupted. The man isn’t simply dead but has been severely beaten, dismembered, and disemboweled.

The man turns out to be talent agent Charlie Foxley. Tennison finds no shortage of suspects. Foxley had earned himself many enemies. Most evidence points towards Foxley’s ex-wife, but not enough for an arrest.

As the investigation moves forward, Tennison finds evidence of drugs, prostitution, and underage girls manipulated into having sex. Her excursion into the world of show business is far from glamorous.

I enjoyed the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 434-page mystery. While the book is part of a series, it can easily be read standalone. The plot was a little slow, and the novel seemed to end abruptly. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 3.8 (rounded to 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review – The Island

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Natasha Preston https://www.natashapreston.com is the author of 20 novels. The Island will be released 28 February 2023. This is the 104th book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this book/novel as R. The primary character is 17-year-old Paisley.

Paisley isn’t the typical teenage girl. Her passion is her blog which focuses on stories of true crime. The blog has made her one of the top teen social media influencers. That is what earns her the invitation to Jagged Island.

Jagged Island is a private amusement park for the very rich. It is set to open soon, and the owner wants Paisley, and a handful of other influencers, to hype the park. The six selected teens will enjoy an exclusive weekend at the park. They will be treated as VIPs and are expected to post about their experience.

Liam, James, Will, Ava, Harper, and Paisley find the park even better than they had expected. The gothic theme of the park is particularly appealing to Paisley. Their VIP experience is hosted by the park owner Malcolm Wyatt and four employees. What could go wrong with only a dozen people on a gothic-themed island?

A storm sweeps in to disable communication with the mainland. People begin to die. The thrilling amusement park weekend turns into a brutal struggle for survival.

I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 336-page young adult thriller. Much of the novel is written in the first person from Paisley’s point of view. The dark cover art is a perfect fit for this novel. I give this novel a rating of 3.8 (rounded to 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review – The Secret She Kept

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – J.S. Ellis https://joannewritesbooks.com is the author of eight novels. The Secret She Keptwas published in 2020. This was the 98th book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence and mature situations, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is twenty-five-year-old Anthony Hughes.

Lottie Gibson had been Anthony’s close friend, only now she is dead. A few days before her death, she had loaned him her laptop. As he looks over her machine, he discovers more than 20 videos recorded by Lottie. They go back nearly a year, and in them, Anthony discovers secrets his friend had been hiding. Anthony realizes that he had not known the real Lottie.

Anthony thinks Lottie had lent him the laptop as insurance. She knew that she was in danger. Anthony cannot decide what to do. He should turn the computer in to the police. Instead, he slowly watches the videos and begins to follow the clues Lottie has left.

I enjoyed the 4.5 hours I spent reading this 238-page mystery. It has a slow pace, and the plot is weak. The story is told in the first person by the Anthony character. The cover art is not very eye-catching, but it is consistent with the plot. I give this novel a rating of 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review – The Blitz Detective

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Mike Hollow https://blitzdetective.com is the author of seven novels. The Blitz Detective: The intricate wartime murder mystery was published in 2020 and is the first book of his Blitz Detective series. The novel was first published under the name Direct Hit. This was the 97th book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com  with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of minor violence, I categorize this novel as PG. The primary character is Detective Inspector John Jago.

Jago is a veteran of the Great War and has been with the police since 1919. It is early September 1940 with Jago now 42. Britain has been at war for over a year. The Luftwaffe has begun bombing London, the Blitz has begun.

A body is discovered in an unmarked van. Jago is called to the scene and recognizes the body. It is a local Justice of the Peace, Charles Villiers.

Before evidence can be gathered, the air raid sirens blare out the warning of approaching German aircraft. A random git by a German bomb obliterates the van and what evidence it might have held.

The death looked suspicious to Jago. He begins to investigate. His focus is disrupted by the assignment to provide assistance to a journalist. This is not one of the regular London crowd, but an American woman, Dorothy Appleton. At first, he considers her a nuisance, but he becomes attracted to her as time passes.

Villiers held a position of power and had his share of enemies. The investigation uncovers secrets held by Villiers. It also divulges criminal attempts to profit from the war. Jago and his partner, DC Peter Cradock, must face danger from more than the German Blitz.

I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 328-page WWII-era mystery. I found myself reminded of the BBC TV series Foyle’s War. The novel paints a vivid picture of war-torn London. It is a little slow, but still an enjoyable read. I give this novel a rating of 3.9 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).


If you have an interest in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 600 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – The Hiding Girl

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Dorian Box https://dorianbox.com is the author of four novels. The Hiding Girl was published in 2020 and is the first book in her Emily Calby Series. This was the 93rd book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is twelve-year-old Emily Calby.

Calby was growing up in rural Georgia when her life was turned upside down. Out of nowhere comes two men who brutally murder her mother and little sister. If she had not run away, she would be dead too. Without the money her father had hidden, she would have been lost.

Before he died, he had shown her the stash. Enough cash to keep her for weeks if she is careful. Calby looks old for her age but is still too young to be on her own. She manages to manipulate more than one charitable person to help her, but not everyone she meets is so kind. Her journey is as much personal survival as it is a search for the killers.

Young Calby is on a mission. She wants to find and kill those who took her family. Along the way, she makes an unlikely friend in Lucas. He is a former gang member who now has his own business. He gave up gangs on the street for the more profitable realm of the Internet.

Lucas helps Calby track down the men that murdered her family. He also shares what he knows in the art of ‘self-defense’. Will Calby be able to track down the two criminals and bring them to justice? Or will she become just one more of their victims?

I enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 334-page mystery. I enjoyed this action-packed and engaging novel. You will get to like the character of Calby, but she is a dark hero. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review – Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Nancy Springer https://www.nancyspringer.com is the author of more than 50 novels. Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade was published in 2022 and is the second book in this series. This was the 89th book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! I categorize this novel as G.

As the title implies, Sherlock’s younger teen sister, Enola Holmes, is the primary character. She is now living on her own in London and has established herself as a scientific perditorian. She is the one to engage if you want persons or things found.

When she finds her good friend Lady Cecily Alastair is again in trouble, Enola acts to assist her. The poor young woman is dominated by her father. Even her mother is strictly kept under his control. While Cecily’s rescue is successful, the young woman soon leaves the safety of Enola’s office and disappears.

Being a young and relatively naive aristocrat, London is dangerous. Enola realizes the situation is more dire when she discovers that Cecily suffers from a split personality. Sometimes Cecily is confident and independent. At other times she is timid and naive.

Can Enola find her friend before she falls prey to the darker side of London?

I enjoyed the 4 hours I spent reading this 155-page young adult mystery. The book is short. More of a novella than a novel. I have read the first novel in the series, Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche. I actually thought that book was a little better than this one. Both books have a weak plot, most likely because they are targeted at young adults. The cover art is well chosen for this novel. I give this novel a rating of 3.3 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review – Fatal Witness

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Robert Bryndza https://robertbryndza.com/ is the author of more than 15 novels. Fatal Witness was published in 2022. This is the seventh novel in Bryndza’s Detective Erika Foster series, and it is the 71st book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this novel as R.

One evening while on a walk in the neighborhood near her home, Detective Chief Inspector Erika Foster stumbles upon the murder of Vicky Clarke. Clarke is a podcaster with a true crime series. When the woman’s notes and recording are discovered to be stolen, Foster believes Clarke was on the trail of a killer.

The investigation is complicated when the body of another young woman is found in the same building. It is one of the two Ivanova sisters who lived across the hall from Clarke. She had been brutalized and stabbed. Another young woman is missing. Will Foster and her team be able to find the killer before there are more deaths?

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 372-page mystery. This is the second novel by Bryndza that I have read. The first was The Girl in the Ice. They have both been excellent modern British mysteries. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review – Watson on the Orient Express: A Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Father and daughter team Charles Veley and Anna Elliott https://sherlockandlucy.com have published more than 30 novels. Watson on the Orient Express: A Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery was published in 2020. It is the 17th in their Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James series. It is the 65th book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to minor scenes of violence, I categorize this novella as PG.

Watson is kidnapped. While in captivity he overhears the plans for an assassination. When he is able to escape, he heads to Constantinople aboard the Orient Express to thwart the plot.

Holmes and James are involved in finding the missing Lord Harwell. Harwell has connections to important diplomatic discussions scheduled to take place in Constantinople. Watson is able to send Holmes a quick telegram. This leads Holmes and James to follow Watson to Turkey.

Will Holmes and James be able to find Watson? Will they be able to derail the plans for an incident that could lead to war?

I enjoyed the 3.5 hours I spent reading this 220-page period mystery. I read the Sherlock Holmes collection when I was very young and have been a Sherlock Holmes fan ever since. The books in this series are relatively short. More novellas than full novels. This is the third book in the series that I have read. The others were Remember, Remember and Die Again, Mr. Holmes. All three have been good reads. This book alternates chapters between James and Watson as each tells their story in the first person. The chosen cover art is simple but appropriate. I give this novella a rating of 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review – HE WILL GET YOU

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Charlie Gallagher https://www.writercharliegallagher.com is the author of more than a dozen novels. HE WILL GET YOU was published in 2020. It is the 5th novel in his Detective Maddie Ives series. This is the 60th book I have completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this book/novel as R. The primary character is 35-year-old UK police officer DS Maddie Ives.

Ives and Inspector Harry Blaker are assigned to investigate the murder of Alice Oxley’s ex-husband. A brutal murder with no trace of a motive or a suspect. A few days later, Scott Rice is found murdered in a similar way. The reason for his death is equally baffling. Ives and Blaker fear that they are tracking a serial killer.

Lance Askew has come to Canterbury on business. His business is murder, a job that he loves. He has been hired to kill a police officer. To throw off the investigation, he has set about committing multiple murders. He hopes that his real target will be lost amongst the other victims.

Can Ives and Blaker make sense of the crimes and find the killer before a colleague and friend is murdered?

I enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 280-page mystery. This novel can be read stand-alone, but it is always best to read any novel series in order. I had the opportunity to read the first novel, HE IS WATCHING YOU. I think both were enjoyable mysteries. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review – Ten Seconds to Dead

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – L.A. Clayton https://www.authorlaclayton.com is the author of four novels. Ten Seconds to Dead was published in 2020 and is the first book of her Ten Second series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence and mature situations, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is Katherine ‘Kate’ Edison.

Edison has just finished law school and passed the bar on her first try. Her father would have been proud of her, but he is gone. He died in front of her. Now she is ready to follow in his footsteps. He was a CIA man.

Since her father’s death, she has been preparing to be a CIA agent. She secures an interview, and it is going well. As she leaves, she is covertly contacted by the AGI, the Alternate Government Initiative. AGI is an ultra-secret US government agency. They want her as an agent, just like her father was before her.

Edison accepts the AGI offer and undergoes rigorous training. Even before she has finished her training, she is catapulted into the field. She faces danger in both the training and missions. She begins to sense that something is wrong. She soon begins to fear that she has been deceived. That she is not really working for a government agency. Can she discover the truth and survive?

I enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 389-page thriller and mystery. The story is filled with action, suspense, and intrigue. I like the chosen cover art, and I give this novel a rating of 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).