Case histories

Amy Case HistoriesCase Histories is the television adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie detective series. I really love the books, and I didn’t dislike the TV series, but I didn’t love it. Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy!) plays Jackson Brodie, a private detective in beautiful Edinburgh. He tends to stumble across mysteries that are old, with current implications. The scenery is great, there are lots of reconcilable British actors, but sometimes I wasn’t sure I could actually follow what was going on. Back to the books….

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The insanity of murder by Felicity Young

Cynthia The Insanity of MurderAnother solid story in this series of books about Dody, a female autopsy surgeon in Victorian London. This story focused on the suffragette movement and the treatment of female mental patients. The story made me squirm in places as practices towards female patients was rudimentary, the thought that female mental health was totally connected to their sexual organs and removal of those organs did wonders is preposterous! There was not as strong a story line in this volume but I enjoyed learning about early medical practice and am glad times have changed.

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The hanging tree by Ben Aaronovitch

Amy The Hanging TreeThe problem with reading a series slowly, waiting for the next book to be released, is that you can rather lose track of the continuing story. I still love Peter Grant, and especially Nightingale, and there were lots of great characters and witty dialogue, but occasionally I was a bit flummoxed. This series is a lot of fun, perhaps I need to reread the earlier books…..

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Sacred games by Vikram Chandra

amy-sacred-gamesIt took me more than two months to read this book; at times I wondered whether I should give up, but I just couldn’t. It’s about gangsters and police in Mumbai, set mostly in the present with some historical parts. It is epic in scale, with so many characters, such an intricate mystery and an enthralling look at Indian culture. I really loved Sartaj Singh, my first Sikh protagonist, and am going to miss this vibrant, violent, exotic and yet familiar world.

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The malice of waves by Mark Douglas-Home

cynthia-maliceA story where a family, an isolated community and and an island do not give up their secrets easily. The mystery only reveals itself at the end of the book and was not easily guessed – in fact I was clueless all the time. This was a different mystery story to read in which Cal, the investigator, doesn’t exactly solve the mystery, more that it is revealed to him. This left me feeling a bit flat at the end of the book, as he did not use his skills and knowledge of the sea so much as his prodding and listening skills.

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Vera

VeraVera: Series One. I just caught the end of the recent series on TV and found a new favourite DCI! Vera calls everyone ‘pet’ and ‘love’, she’s a little bit grumpy and disheveled, but she’s brilliant and very caring, deep down. The accents and scenery are great, the murders are puzzling and the regular characters are endearing. For lovers of British crime shows with lovable characters and not too much gore or violence. You can also read the books it is based on, the Vera Stanhope series by Ann Cleeves.

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Case Histories

Amy case historiesI love Kate Atkinson, but I don’t usually go for detective novels, so I put off reading this. I needn’t have, because it is as clever and character driven as her other novels. Jackson Brodie is a familiar sort of fellow; a slightly damaged private detective with a troubled life, but the book isn’t predictable. There are multiple cold cases, twists, red herrings and plenty of heart, all set in Cambridge. There’s a lot to like, and I’ll keep going with the series.

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