Tag Archives: Mystery

Book Review: “The Revenant Express: A Newbury & Hobbes Investigation”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Revenant Express: A Newbury & Hobbes Investigation” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by George Mann. Mr. Mann has published more than a dozen novels. This is the fifth in his “Newbury & Hobbes Investigations” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in a Victorian Europe, though not our own.

Sir Maurice Newbury is headed to Russia with Veronica’s sister Amelia to pick up a mechanical heart. The heart has been made by Faberge. Meanwhile Veronica lies ill in London. Their other team member, Sir Charles Bainbridge, is also in London trying to determine who is infection prominent men with the Revenant plague.

I enjoyed the 5 hours I spent reading this 234-page steampunk mystery. This is not the ifirst novel in the series and this novel expected the reader to be familiar with the ongoing plot and characters. I recommend reading them in order. I do like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 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: “Arctic Adagio”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Arctic Adagio” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by DJ Cockburn (https://cockburndj.wordpress.com). This is Mr. Cockburn’s second publication.

I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’.

Superintendent Rex Harme is providing security on a luxury cruise ship that is above the law. When one of the wealthy passengers goes overboard under suspicious conditions, he must begin thinking like a detective again. He has little time though as it is rumored that much of the crew, including him, will be let go as soon as the ship docks.

I found the 1.25 hours I spent reading this 55-page mystery/thriller interesting. I think better cover art could have been chosen. I give this novel a 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 Reviews: “Templar Secrets”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Templar Secrets” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Andreas Economou (https://www.aeconomouauthor.com). This is Mr. Economou’s second publication. See my interview with the author.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set across the ages as it tells a story of the Templars and the Masons.

This story is a mixture of facts and fiction. In the present is George Makrides living in Cyprus. He has recently joined the Masons and has been seeking the secrets that he expected to be revealed.

Starting in 966 BCE Hiram is sent by his king to design and build King Soloman’s temple, but there is intrigue between the kings. Later the crusades take the Holy Land and established the Kingdom of Jerusalem. There is a need to protect pilgrims as they travel to Jerusalem from Europe and the Knights Templar are born. Much later the French nobility and church view the Templars as a wealthy threat and they are persecuted. The Templars are eventually officially disbanded.

Foreseeing trouble, the Templar leadership hides their treasure on Cyprus. The head of the order forms the Masonic lodge to maintain and hand down clues to where the order’s treasure has been hidden. The Masonic order evolves over the decades, but the essential clues in their ceremonies remain.

George and his friend and Masonic brother Alex are becoming disillusioned with the Masons, but their interest in the Templars has expanded. They wonder if the fabled Templar treasure exists and if it really is hidden on Cyprus.

I enjoyed the 11 hours I spent reading this 474-page mystery. While the primary plot of the story is the mystery of the Templar treasure which George and Alex pursue, I found the historical fiction of the Templars and the Masonic lodge much more interesting. I like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 4.1 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

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

Book Reviews: “A Dangerous Collaboration”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “A Dangerous Collaboration” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Deanna Raybourn (https://www.deannaraybourn.com). Ms. Raybourn has published 20 books. This is the fourth novel in her “Veronica Speedwell Mystery” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in 1888, mostly on a Cornish island off the coast of Wales. The primary character is Veronica Speedwell.

Speedwell is invited by Lord Templeton-Vane, the brother of her colleague Stoker Templeton-Vane, to visit the island owned by the Lord’s oldest friend, Malcolm Romilly. Ostensibly Speedwell has been invited to obtain samples of a butterfly she is wanting to add to her lepidopterarium. Not wanting Speedwell to be alone with his brother, Stoker invites himself on the trip.

When they arrive Speedwell finds that there have been ulterior motives by both their host for the invitation and Lord Templeton-Vane for his asking her along. Romilly’s wife had disappeared three years earlier on their wedding day. Now he has all of those he considers the prime suspects in her disappearance on his island. Romilly is determined to find out what happened to his bride.

Speedwell and both brothers find themselves involved in far more than they had anticipated. Events play out indicating that the person behind the disappearance is indeed with them on the island. They are determined to solve the mystery but are faced with lethal opposition to their involvement. The romance between Speedwell and Stoker continues to simmer with neither making a move.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 333-page period mystery. I have also read the first book in this series, “A Curious Beginning“, and I have enjoyed them both. I liked the characters of Speedwell and Stoker, as well as the time period of the story. I like the cover art chosen for this novel. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Remember Me”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Remember Me” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by D. E. White (https://daisywhiteauthor.co.uk). Ms. White has published a dozen novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in contemporary Wales. The primary character is LAPD Detective Ava Cole who has returned after fifteen years to her home in Wales to see her dying ex-husband one last time.

The visit back home stirs more memories than just her Ex. When Cole was still a teen in Wales her best friend Ellen Smith had disappeared. Now 15 years later no one has heard from her. But that is a mystery that Cole and her close friends know the answer to, or at least she thinks she does.

Now not only is the visit back home stirring up emotional attachments to those she left behind, but previously unknown facts about Ellen’s disappearance begin to surface. The truth about Ellen may destroy many lives. But then another young girl disappears and Cole fears it is tied to Ellen’s disappearance.

I enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 295-page British mystery. This novel has an interesting plot that leads Cole on a bumpy trip down memory lane. This is a good psychological thriller with a twist or two in the plot. I think better cover art could have been chosen. I give this novel 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 Murder Pit”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Murder Pit” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Mick Finlay (https://mickfinlay.com). This is Mr. Finlay’s second publication and the second book in his “Arrowood Mystery” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence and some Mature Language. The story is set in the England of 1896. The primary character is private detective William Arrowood.

Arrowood is a comtemporary of Sherlock Holmes, but he has little respect for him. Arrowood is engaged by a couple to find their estranged daughter, Birdie. Birdie has  married, but since then she has refused any attempts at contact by her parents.

Arrowood and his colleague, Norman Barnett, travel a short distance outside of London where Birdie is living with her husband. He and his entire family are well thought of in the local community, but they refuse to let Arrowood and Barnett speak to Birdie. The detectives nose around, asking questions, but they only stir up the ire of the locals.

When an old gypsy woman who befriends them disappears, Arrowood asks even more questions, stirring up the locals even more. Arrowood and Barnett are threatened and attacked. The more they investigate the less they trust Birdie’s inlaws or her parents. At the same time they feel that something is clearly wrong at the farm where Birdie is living.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 432-page mystery. I chose this novel because I thought it had something to do with Sherlock Holmes. It doesn’t other than annimosity towards Holmes by Arrowood. There are several characters in this story that suffer from mental problems. Revealing how they were treated at the close of the 19th century seems to be part of the mission of this novel. The story was OK, but I thought it was a little slow. The cover art is OK, but I think something more closely tied to the story would have been better. I give this novel a 3.7 (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: “He Is Watching You”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “He Is Watching You” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Charlie Gallagher (https://www.writercharliegallagher.com/). Mr. Gallagher has published ten novels. This is the first in his “Detective Maddie Ives” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in contemporary England. The primary character is DS Maddie Ives.

Ives has spent most of her police career as an undercover officer. Now that her identity has possibly been revealed, she has been posted to Canterbury to keep her safe from retribution. She is assigned to missing persons and reluctantly begins to dig into her new position. Her first case is for a missing woman who is known to disappear on drunken binges.

DI Harry Blaker is working Major Crimes in Canterbury and is called in on a hit-and-run. He and Ives begin to collaborate believing that there may be a connection between missing persons and the hit-and-run.

The murderer has planted cameras so that he can watch the bodies of his victims. He is surprised to discover that one isn’t dead yet. He must finish her. He already has his next victim selected. Soon Blaker and Ives find themselves in a race to find the murderer before it is too late for his latest victim.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 380-page mystery. I like the characters and plot of this novel. I look forward to reading more in this series. The cover art is OK but could be tied more to the plot. I give this novel a 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: “Die Again, Mr. Holmes”

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Book Reviews – “Die Again, Mr. Holmes” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Anna Elliott (http://www.annaelliottbooks.com) and Charles Veley (https://sherlockandlucy.com). Ms. Elliott has authored or co-authored more than a dozen novels. Mr. Veley has authored or co-authored eight novels. This is the eighth novel in the “The Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mysteries” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘G’. The story is set in 1898 England. The primary characters are Sherlock Holmes and his young American daughter, Lucy James.

Both Holmes and James have missing person cases they are working on independently. James though has the complication of also having to protect her 10-year-old sister-in-law Becky from her estranged criminal father. Then the news that devastates them all – Holmes has died! Will James and the faithful Watson be able to protect the young Becky and find the missing woman without Holmes?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 471-page Sherlock Holmes mystery. This is the second novel in this series I have read (the other “Remember, Remember” I read back in late 2017). I have thoroughly enjoyed them both. The mystery definitely has the feel of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories. I think that the cover art was well chosen. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Day 115 on an Alien World”

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Book Reviews – “Day 115 on an Alien World” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Jeannette Bedard (http://jeannettebedard.com). This is Ms. Bedard’s first novel and the first in her “Settler Chronicles” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the future. The primary character is Margo Murphy.

Murphy has served in the military but was dishonorably discharged. She has signed on to a colony ship for a new start on a new world. But then ‘accidents’ start to happen. Their ship crashes on the target planet and colonists begin to die. Murphy does not know who to trust, but she feels strongly that there is a saboteur amongst the colonist. Can she survive long enough to determine who is behind the deaths?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 362-page science fiction mystery novel. I liked the characters created for this novel, and I liked the plot. I look forward to reading the next installment in this series. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “The Devil Aspect”

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Book Reviews – “The Devil Aspect” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Craig Russell (https://craigrussell.com). Mr. Russell has published 11 novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The year is 1935 and the story is set in Prague and the nearby Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The primary characters are the young psychiatrist Viktor Kosárek and Prague Police investigator Lukas Smolak.

Kosárek has just taken the position at the Hrad Orlu Asylum to pursue his theory of the ‘Devil Aspect’. His patients at Hrad Orlu Asylum are the countries most infamous six killers, all deemed insane. He begins his treatments and is disturbed at what he discovers. He also finds himself attracted to the young Judita Blochová the chief administrator at Hrad Orlu Asylum.

A serial killer known as Leather Apron has been operating in Prague and the police have no clue as to who it might be. Investigator Smolak has been working hard to track down the killer, but thus far has few leads. Filip Starosta is Kosárek’s friend from university but he seems to be getting more and more distant and erratic in his behavior. As hard as it is for Kosárek to believe, he begins to have concerns for his friend’s sanity. Kosárek is also hearing strange things from his patients while they are heavily drugged and under treatment. He begins to believe there is an evil there among the patients beyond their simple insanity.

I thought that the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 410-page horror/mystery were interesting. The plot was interesting to me, but I found the story to be a bit slow. It is a very dark story with a touch of the supernatural. I did like the unexpected plot twist at the end of the novel. The chosen cover art is OK, but I think something closer to the story would have been better. I give this novel a 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).