The secret place by Tana French

Amy The Secret PlaceA year ago a teenaged boy was found dead on the grounds of a fancy girls’ school, and now, a girl turns up at the police station with a card that says someone knew who killed him. I love the main detectives in this book; young Stephen, desperate for a shot at the Murder Squad, and Conway, who was so frustrated a year ago. The many teenaged girls are well drawn, the atmosphere both real, and eerie, and the mystery satisfyingly convoluted. It took me longer to read this than others in the series, perhaps because I have enough teenaged girl drama in real life, or perhaps because the otherworldly parts of the story were a little much at times, but I still enjoyed it very much.

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The crow trap by Ann Cleeves

Amy the Crow TrapThe scenery isn’t quite as good as when you read (listen to the eAudiobook) rather than watch it, but the accents are as good, thanks to the narrator. An environmental survey starts off badly, and gets worse for the three women up on the lonely hill, who are conducting it. A very satisfying murder mystery, told from four different perspectives, the final one being Vera’s.

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The canary keeper by Clare Carson

Cynthia The Canary KeeperA great historical mystery read set in London and Orkney in the 1850s. Birdie unwittingly becomes a suspect in a murder and to clear her name she travels to Orkney to investigate. Clare brings to life the locations beautifully, both in the descriptions of the locations and society. How is the dead man connected to Birdie? Is any of her family involved? Atmospheric with lots of history, mystery, and a touch of magic and romance – once involved with the story I just had to keep reading to discover the ending.

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Ghosts of the past by Tony Park

Amy Ghosts of the PastAnother great African/Australian adventure from Tony Park, this time with an historical element. An Australian man is approached by a South African journalist about one of his ancestor’s time in South Africa, and German South West Africa, now Namibia, around the time of the Anglo-Boer War. He becomes involved in a dangerous mystery, and both the modern and historical storylines are full of action, intrigue, historical detail, and romance. Fast paced, with twists and turns, and a lot of fun.

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Where the crawdads sing by Delia Owens

amy-crawdads.jpgWhere the Crawdads Sing is the story of Kya, grown up alone and wild in the marshes of North Carolina. Told in two time periods, there is the story of Kya’s youth; harsh realities as well as kindness and care, and a murder mystery and court drama. The landscape features heavily, and Kya’s journey is affecting and compelling. While I think the narrator did a good job, it’s not my favourite accent, and I might have enjoyed it even more if I read the print book, rather than listened to the audio. It’s a To Kill a Mockingbird/romance/nature book that I can really see being turned into a movie.

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Broken Harbour by Tana French

Amy Broken HarbourI do so love a Tana French novel. Each one’s main character, is a minor character from the one before, which gives the added bonus of getting to know a character you are already familiar with, and don’t necessarily love, so much better. Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy is a murder detective taking a new, young partner along to solve the mystery of who murdered a whole family. It’s a psychological mystery, full of flawed characters, complicated relationships, evocative Irish dialogue, and moving character journeys.

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