The end of the wasp season by Denise Mina

Cynthia The End of the Wasp SeasonThe characters in this story were not very nice – they were troubled and did not make for an easy read. This is the second book in the series and we learn about Alex’s life and relationships. There is a very strong sense of place, being the gritty life in Glasglow.

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White nights by Ann Cleeves

Amy white nightsDuring summer, in Shetland, it never gets completely dark. One bright night, a stranger appears at a gallery party, and causes a scene; in the morning he is dead. Jimmy Perez and his English counterpart, work differently in the tiny community, trying to find the murderer. Jimmy is at a different stage of life to his television version, but has the same quiet strength; such a likeable character. A detective series with engaging recurring characters, atmospheric scenery, and clever mysteries.

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Still midnight by Denise Mina

cynthia-till-midnight.jpgFirst in a series that introduces DS Alex Morrow. Alex is not on the best of terms with her work colleagues and we discover the many factors contributing to this throughout the story. Alex investigates a hostage situation that is not clear cut to solve. I found it hard to warm to the story at the beginning and found the author assumed you knew about British crime and police enforcement – having to go and find explanations to some terms.
It will be interesting to see how Alex develops through the series and how her relationships develop.

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Unforgotten. Series 2

Amy Unforgotten2This is a brilliant British crime show, set in London and surrounds. It starts with the discovery of a body, long dead, and introduces a series of seemingly unconnected characters and the police. As the series goes on, connections become clear, and finally the murder is solved. Like most British crime shows, I spend a lot of it identifying actors from other shows (It’s Ruth from Spooks! It’s Mrs Plornish from Little Dorrit!). The detectives are very endearing, and the mystery is clever and compelling; it’s a great show.

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Raven black by Ann Cleeves

Amy Raven Black InstaI love reading a book after loving a film or television adaptation; there’s always so much more depth. In this case, it’s also really different. Jimmy Perez looks different, and he is at a different stage of life, so it was like discovering new things about a beloved character. Despite the fact that I knew who the killer was (at least one of the mysteries) it was still an exciting, atmospheric ride.

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Lillian Armfield : how Australia’s first female detective took on Tilly Devine and the Razor Gangs and changed the face of the force by Leigh Straw

Cynthia Lillian ArmfieldThis was an interesting look at the development of women’s policing in Australia, focusing on Lillian Armfield. Imagine being a police officer with no uniform or weapon and no power of arrest? The huge amount of research that went into this book is evident. It did fall down for me as it was a bit repetitive in places.

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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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