Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Onyx Webb Book 10 - The End


As you may know, I was fortunate to be in the "100 Readers" club for this series. And as you have seen in previous posts, I really enjoyed it.

The final book in the series is out. It is done, all over, the end.

"In Book Ten: The Mulvaneys deal with aftermath of the Solstice Eclipse Ball. Stan Lee and Spider Boy finally meet. Readers finally learn the fate of Onyx Webb."     

I loved every book in this series. And this last one was just as good. Still plenty of twists and turns and surprises. Some "last books" leave you feeling empty, angry, and or dissatisfied. The end of this series actually has a feel good ending. I love how the authors treated all of the characters in the end. There is also some humor and nods. I can't say too much without spoiling it, but I think the authors were able to touch on every character from the series in this last book, and wrap it all up. No easy task. Now we wait and hope for a Netflix, HBO etc. series. It would make a great televised series.

I think the thing to do now, is read the whole series beginning to end. Thanks Richard and Andrea!          

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Indian Bride by Karen Fossum

August Mystery Book Club theme: Dream Vacation Spot

For our MCB meeting this month, we read mysteries set in somewhere we would like to vacation.

I chose to find a mystery set in Norway for two reasons. First, it sounds like it would be cooler than Texas this time of year, lots of mountains and water. Second, two sets of my great grandparents were from Norway and my other hobby is genealogy.

I read The Indian Bride by Karen Fossum. It is #5 in the Inspector Konrad Sejer series, set in Norway.


"When perpetual bachelor Gunder Jomann goes to India for two weeks and comes home married, the town of Elvestad is stunned. On the day the Indian bride is supposed to arrive, the battered body of a woman is found in a meadow on the outskirts of town. None of the "good people of Elvestad" can believe that anyone among them would be capable of such a brutal murder. But in his quiet, formal way, Inspector Konrad Sejer understands that good people can commit atrocious deeds, and that no one is altogether innocent—including the café owner who knows too much, the girl who wants to be a chief witness, and the bodybuilder with no outlet for his terrible strength.

Another brilliantly conceived, dark novel from one of Europe’s most successful crime writers."

This was a sad story. Gunder is a middle age bachelor and decides he wants a wife. He wants a wife from India. He has a travel book about India and thinks the women are beautiful. He buys a special brooch, which is native to a Norwegian women's bunad or costume representing a region of Norway. He goes to India in search of a bride.

Elvestad is a small town, just over 2000 people. Everyone has lived there their entire lives, it seems. Everyone knows each other, grew up together, went to school together. Several people have seen bits of the crime, possibly. But since they aren't sure and wouldn't want to say anything bad about anyone they know, how could that person possible be involved, they don't say anything...for months. Even Gunder doesn't say anything when his bride doesn't show up as planned. He keeps telling himself, maybe she will be there when he gets home...for several days. Oh and if that isn't bad enough that his bride is probably the victim, he missed getting to the airport to pick her up because his sister was in a car accident, is in coma, and his brother in law is out of the country on business, so it is all on Gunder.

The story goes on with Inspector Sejer trying to solve the murder of course. But the people of the town are not very forthcoming. It is a pretty intense story, fast paced, quick read that once you agree on the murderer, it changes.

I hate to say it but I didn't like the ending. I would probably read another Inspector Sejer book though.

"Karin Fossum (née Mathisen) is a Norwegian author of crime fiction,often known there as the "Norwegian queen of crime". She lives in Oslo. Fossum was initially a poet, with her first collection published in 1974 when she was just 20. It won the Tarjei Vesaas' Debutant Prize. She is the author of the internationally successful Inspector Konrad Sejer series of crime novels, which have been translated into over 16 languages. She won the Glass key award for her novel "Don't Look Back", which also won the Riverton Prize, and she was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger in 2005 for "Calling Out For You"."

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Heirloom by Ed Lynskey


One of the books I read this summer was Heirloom, the 8th in the Isabel and Alma Trumbo series.

 "For their eighth mystery, Isabel and Alma Trumbo, the retired sister sleuths living in Quiet Anchorage, Virginia, undertake solving yet another murder mystery. Uncle Jimbo who runs the town antique shop discovers the dead body of Angelo Conti, the town EMT and firefighter. Sheriff Roscoe Fox launches his investigation while Isabel and Alma don their sleuth hats. The first suspect is Eloise Starr, a schoolteacher whose fourteen-year-old daughter Bunny drowned in the Coronet River, and Angelo was unable to revive on the scene, angering Eloise. The second suspect is Twyla Coolidge, a wealthy socialite who recently moved to town. Isabel and Alma call on their young helper Sammi Jo Garner and their elderly gentlemen friends known as the Three Musketeers for their able assistance. Meantime, Isabel and Alma give Sammi Jo an old cameo broach, a family heirloom with reputed strange magical powers. Heirloom is a clean read and a traditional whodunit set in a charming small town. Join Isabel and Alma when they set off on solving their latest mystery that is as fun and challenging for them as it is for the reader."

The Isabel and Alma mysteries are always a quick, light cozy to read after a heavier mystery. As I have said before, this series is like Mayberry meets Tuna. If you are from Texas you are probably familiar with the stage play series Greater Tuna. I picture several of those characters, when I read these books. Then "The Three Musketeers" remind me of the busy body men that hung out at  Floyd's barbershop.

Ed Lynskey writes two other cozy mystery series.

  • The Hope Dove Cozy Mystery Series has two books: Nozy Cat 1 and Nozy Cat 2 written under the pseudonym Lyn Key. Nozy Cat is the name of Hope's talking cat. Well to Hope anyway.
  • Robin and Bill Piper Cozy Mystery Series: There are two books so far in this series. Robin and Bill may be your next door neighbors...or you.
He also writes a "hard boiled" series.
  • Private Investigator Frank Johnson Mystery series: There are six books in this series. I have not had the chance to read them yet.
Oh, Ed has also written six stand alones. Pretty busy and creative. He has something for everyone.

From Wiki:

"Ed Lynskey is an American poet, critic, and novelist, mostly of crime fiction. He was born in Washington, D.C. where he still lives and works. He writes four mystery series, including the P.I. Frank Johnson Mystery Series, the Isabel & Alma Trumbo Cozy Mystery Series, the Piper & Bill Robin Cozy Mystery Series, and the Hope Jones (Nozy Cat) Cozy Mystery Series.

His creative work has been reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, San Diego Union-Tribune, London Free Press, Halifax Chronicle-Herald, Lansing State Journal, The Virginian-Pilot, Tucson Citizen, and Nashville City Paper. Lynskey's work has been compared with that of Loren D. Estleman, James Lee Burke, Daniel Woodrell, Bill Pronzini, and Robert Crais.

His essays have been reprinted by Gale Research and Gryphon Books. He has written reviews for New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times, Kansas City Star, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ronoake Times, Des Moines Register, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), and Columbus Dispatch. His speculative literature has appeared in Strange Horizons, Chizine, and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

His numerous poems have appeared in such venues as The Atlantic Monthly, American Poetry Review, and Chicago Review. He won the 1993 Denny C. Plattner Appalachian Heritage Award in Poetry from Berea College, Kentucky. His work has been anthologized by St. Martin’s Press, University of Virginia Press, and Storyline Press.

His poem was cited in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007: 20th Annual Collection, Ellen Datlow, editor. His stories were cited in Hardcore Hardboiled, Todd Robinson, Otto Penzler, editors, Kensington Publishing Group, 2008 and Sex, Thugs, Rock & Roll, Todd Robinson, editor, Kensington Publishing Group, 2009."

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Remember Me, Garage Sale Mysteries

Wow. I didn't realize I had been gone so long. Between work, air conditioning ups and downs and tooth ups and downs (hoping both make it through the summer), July has flown by. Did I mention the heat? 25+ days over 100 F. Hit 107 a few days ago. Kind of sucks the energy and ambition out of you. But now it is August which is a countdown to fall -which may be October here.

I really wanted to tell you about a 3 part series that just finished (I know, I know) on PBS. Remember Me.
I didn't think it was something I would want to watch. Looked like some melancholy drama by the title and short description I saw. As I looked more into it, I went ahead and recorded it. It is not a melancholy drama.

Remember Me Poster

Looks who's in it. Michael Palin. I know him from Monty Python. I never would have looked for him in this roll. Also Julia Sawalha. She played Saffron in Absolutely Fabulous. (Ok so now you know my other side.)

Here is what it is about:

" Michael Palin’s portrayal of pensioner Tom Parfitt, who stages a fall in his eerie Yorkshire home in order to escape into residential care, leading to a chilling and macabre mystery.
At the age of "eighty-odd," Tom Parfitt sits alone in his terraced house in the otherwise entirely Asian community of a small Yorkshire town, and remembers a strange drowned figure washed up on a beach. Tom carefully fakes a fall, to trick his social worker into taking him into residential care."

And then someone apparently falls out of the window of Tom's room and dies.
And then there is water pouring down the stairs from the attic of Tom's house.
And there are shells lying on the floor.
And there is a locked attic with a creepy saree that may be moving.
More water, more shells, more creepiness.

This is a supernatural mystery that will give you the willies. Palin and Sawalha are really good in these characters. Other leading actors in the series are Mark Addy and Jody Cromer.

You can watch it on line on PBS still.

Four new Garage Sale Mysteries are coming up this month. I really like these.

Garage Sale Mystery Collection

August 6: The Beach Murder
August 13: Murder by Text
August 20: Murder Most Medieval
August 27: A Case of Murder

All premiere on Sundays at 8 central time.