Flight from Berlin : a novel

From Eileen Effrat

Author: David John

Title:   Flight from Berlin : a novel

Set during the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, this suspense thriller pits the Gestapo and the British Secret Intelligence Service against one another in the quest for a secret dossier that could destroy the Nazi leadership. A British journalist, outspoken in his criticism of Hitler, and a former Olympian join forces in this atmospheric and fast paced thriller. If you are a fan of Alan Furst, Daniel Silva, Philip Kerr, or David Downing, give this a try. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Games of Lies

From Eileen Effrat

Author: Rebecca Cantrell

Title: Games of Lies

I have read and thoroughly enjoyed Cantrell’s two previous Hannah Vogel spy/mystery novels. The series features the Nazi rise to power prior to the Second World War. After narrowly escaping Germany with her life four years before, Vogel now returns to Berlin in 1936 to cover the Berlin Olympics for a Swiss newspaper under an assumed name. Once again acting as a British courier transporting documents out of Germany, she also finds herself investigating the murder of a long time friend and colleague. Can she successfully get out of Germany a second time? I would recommend reading the books in order to get a greater feel for the characters and the time period.

Librarian review: Death in Brittany

From Eileen Effrat

Author: Jean-Luc Bannalec

Title: Death in Brittany

This is the first in a planned series featuring Commissaire Dupin,a Parisian police officer now assigned to the picturesque sea-side resort of Port-Aven on the Brittany coast. This idyllic setting is soon shattered as the ninety-one year old legendary owner of the Central Hotel is found brutally murdered. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of suspects—family, friends and employees. Food, local history, geography, wine, and culture play an important role in the unfolding of the story. It is very evident that the author intimately knows and loves this region. This is not a straight forward whodunit. Instead there are several twists and red herrings to keep you guessing. As for me, I enjoyed the curmudgeon Commissaire Dupin as much as I enjoy Inspector Gamache from Louise Penny’s police procedural series.

 

Reykjavik Nights

From Eileen Effrat

Author: Arnaldur Indridason

Title: Reykjavik Nights

This is a prequel to Indridason’s Detective Erlendur mystery series, focusing on his early years as a rookie cop in Reykjavik. Always curious and determined to find answers, he spends his off hours digging into unsolved crimes. One of these involves the drowning of a homeless man he had befriended. As he digs deeper into the presumed drowning, he realizes it may be linked to the mysterious disappearance of a woman that very weekend. This is a police procedural evoking a 1970’s Iceland. If you like Nordic Noir and haven’t tried the Erlendur series, this is a good place to start.

Eva’s Eye

From Eileen Effrat

Author: Karin Fossum

Title: Eva’s Eye

This is Norwegian Fossum’s first Inspector Konrad Sejer mystery published in 1995,but only now translated into English. When a dead man’s body is found floating in a river, Sejer is immediately drawn to an unsolved murder of a local prostitute at the same time the dead man went missing. Are the two cases related? Sejer does not believe in coincidences. As he begins to unravel the fragmented clues surrounding both murders, Eva Magnus,a struggling artist,soon becomes a person of special interest. This is Nordic noir at its best, a psychological study of how lies can quickly unravel.

Tatiana : an Arkady Renko novel

Name: Eileen Effrat

Author: Martin Cruz Smith

Title: Tatiana : an Arkady Renko novel

What he/she said about the book: Arakady Renko, Senior Investigator for Very Important Cases in Moscow, is still on the job after 30 years. Politically and socially,things have not changed much. Putin’s “New Russia” is just as corrupt as Renko’s first police investigation at Gorky Park in 1981. This is the 8th novel in the series and Renko is just as cynical and persistent as always. A Russian investigative reporter reputedly jumps from a window,a crime boss is gunned down,and a Swiss translator on business in Kaliningrad is murdered; all three within days. The key to these seemingly unrelated events is a notebook left behind by the translator. As the action shifts between Moscow and Kaliningrad,Smith vividly portrays daily life in Russia. This latest book in the series does not disappoint.

Librarian Recommended: The Swedish Girl

From Eileen Effrat

Author:  Alex Gray

Title:  The Swedish Girl

The tenth installment in the Detective Superintendent Lorimer series does not disappoint. A Swedish student is brutally murdered in a shared apartment and one of the male flat mates is accused and held without bail. Convinced that the guy is innocent, Kristy Wilson, another of the flat mates, sets out to convince Lorimer to re-evaluate the evidence and untangle a complex web of relationships surrounding the murdered girl. Gray’s mysteries, set in Glasgow, Scotland, gives readers  a genuine feel for the city and its inhabitants. If you enjoy Ian Rankin’s mysteries set in Edinburgh, why not give Glasgow a try?

The Reckoning

From Eileen Effrat

Author: Rennie Airth

Title: The Reckoning

This is the fourth in an historical mystery series spanning the early 1920’s to 1947 and featuring John Madden, a Scotland Yard Inspector. Now retired from the force, Madden is called back to investigate a series of execution style murders using a World War I German Lugar. Is this revenge for some past deed? I am a great fan of Airth’s John Madden series for its vivid description of England during the interwar years as well as the main character’s deductive crime solving abilities. It would be best to begin the series with River of Darkness, published in 1999.

Paris to the past : traveling through French history by train

From Eileen Effrat

Author:  Ina Caro

Title:   Paris to the past : traveling through French history by train

Paris is the gateway to France’s well preserved past. The Paris metro or the high –speed TGV can take time travelers to historic sites in just a few hours. Caro describes 25 outings  that span 700 years of French history. Arranged chronologically, she visits everywhere from the Place de la Concorde, the Pantheon, and Saint-Denis in Paris, to Versailles, Chartres, Rouen, and Blois in the region. Filled with historical tidbits, this is a very enjoyable, well researched read for Francophiles and armchair travelers.

Fear in the sunlight

From Eileen Effrat

Author:  Nicola  Upson

Title:  Fear in the sunlight

The year is 1936 and Josephine Tey, the famous Scot mystery writer and playwright,is celebrating her fortieth birthday at the exclusive resort village of Portmeirion in Wales. Tey is also scheduled to meet filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock while there to negotiate film rights for her book, A Shilling for Candles. This bucolic setting turns deadly when two women are brutally  murdered.  Although slow to start,once the murders begin the action heats up as some very nasty family secrets are exposed. If you are a Hitchcock fan, there is a lot of background and bio on the man and his wife. For a realistic period piece with some memorable characters, this could be a good choice.