See what I have done by Sarah Schmidt

Penny See What I Have DoneSee what I have done is a must read for lovers of murder mysteries and historical fiction.

Lizzie Borden’s parents Andrew and Abbey are found brutally murdered in their Massachusetts home. The novel takes the reader back to events leading up to that fateful day in 1892.

Lizzie becomes an immediate suspect in this crime and is send to trial for the murders. The question is did the daughter Lizzie take and axe and butcher her parents or not?

Sarah Schmidt is an Australian author and this is her first novel.

Find in library

A curious beginning by Deanna Raybourn

Cynthia A Curious BeginningVeronica Speedwell is such an unusual women for Victorian times. She is knowledgeable, outspoken, sexually aware and determined and is not afraid to let everyone know that is all that! Being such a strong character, by the end of the story she unfortunately becames a bland character for me – there is no development or frailty. The book had a strong sense of place – Victorian London was well described. As for the mystery, even though it was quite outlandish, I did have to keep reading to find out what happens, and I have the feeling that it is not fully solved yet.

Find in library

The cutting season by Attica Locke

amy-the-cutting-seasonCaren Gray’s family has been on the Belle Vie plantation for years; first as slaves, and then as workers. One morning Caren finds a woman dead, and it turns into a current and historical mystery. I didn’t find the characters, the setting, or even the mystery all that engaging, though the resolution was good. I suspect it is a good crime novel, and that I’m just not that into them.

Find in library

Olmec obituary by L.J.M. Owen

caitlin-olmec-obituaryApple tea, a phrenic library and flash backs to Aztec life 3,000 years ago, this debut novel by Australian author LJM Owen is written for those who love crime, history or contemporary literature.

Olmec Obituary is the first in a series about Dr Elizabeth Pimms – Intermillenial Sleuth (the second was released in November 2016). The first few chapters start off slow, but the plot, for me, was promising enough to persevere. Described by the author as a cross between Bones and Midsomer Murders, Elizabeth is an archaeologist and librarian who solves really cold cases.

When Elizabeth moves back to Canberra from her dig in Egypt after her father dies suddenly, she takes up work in the Mahoney Griffin library (a fictional setting). Continue reading

The ivy tree by Mary Stewart

amy-the-ivy-treeThe Ivy Tree is romantic suspense, very light on romance but full of forbidding settings and characters. Next to the ruined great house, the manor farm thrives and three people are set to inherit from the elderly owner, except one has been missing for eight years. Mistaken and assumed identity weaves a very tangled web; who can we trust? Sometimes the web was a little bit too tangled and I got a bit lost, but all in all it was a clever and enjoyable story.

Find in library

Coffin Road by Peter May

ali-coffin-roadI’m a bit of a sucker for a murder mystery and this one especially because it is set on the beautiful Isle of Harris off Scotland’s west coast. Peter May has written a number of stories set on the Outer Hebrides including the atmospheric Lewis Trilogy. What also makes a murder mystery enjoyable is the subplot which in this case is about bees, the effect that certain pesticides have on them and the fight to have this research recognised. So, as well as being transported back to my homeland, this novel educated me on why we need to look after our bees.

Find in library

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.

Link to library