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.

Gypped

 

From Elaine Pasquali

 

Title: Gypped

Author: Carol Higgins Clark

Jack and Regan Reilly go to Los Angeles. where Jack is attending a law enforcement conference. The conference presents a change for a much wanted rest and . Or does it? Regan meets her old friend, Zelda, who recently inherited $8 million. Instead of fun and relaxation, Regan gets discovers a scheme to swindle Zelda of her millions and Regan is almost murdered for her troubles. A vacation this trip was not, but it was a fun, relaxing read.

 

With This Puzzle, I Thee Kill

From Elaine Pasquali

Title:  With This Puzzle, I Thee Kill

Author:  Parnell Hall

This is one of the Puzzle Lady series. Sherry ghost writes Aunt Cora’s crossword puzzles.  Cora, a serial monogamist, is about to marry Raymond. Cryptograms arrive warning against the marriage.  Enter Brenda, Sherry’s best friend, who is engaged to Sherry’s abusive ex-husband, Dennis.  Dennis connives a double wedding, with Sherry as matron of honor for both brides.  On the eve of the wedding rehearsals, Raymond is found murdered.  Dennis is arrested for Raymond’s murder. While  Cora is trying to prove Dennis’ innocence, a material witness is murdered.  Sound like a soap opera?  Surprisingly, it’s engaging and fun..

 

The Black Country

From  Andrea Kalinowski
Author:  Alex Grecian
Title:  The Black Country 
The Black Country: a novel of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad by Alex Grecian is the second installment of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad and, to me, contained traces reminiscent of a crime which truly occurred. For more information on the true crime case, please see The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: a shocking murder and the undoing of a great Victorian detective by Kate Summerscale. The Murder Squad is sent to the black country or coal country to find some missing family members. Sutton Price, his wife, and his youngest son have disappeared. The three older children are fine and are being cared for by the housekeeper and watched over by the townspeople. Meanwhile, the detectives are trying to find the missing family members and being hindered by the superstitious nature of the townsfolk and by the fact that the ground is slowly giving away due to the tunnels being carved beneath for coal mining. Sutton Price’s second wife is his children’s former nanny and the children view her as an interloper. The first wife ran away. The detectives do finally succeed in unraveling the whole miserable tale in the place that is causing such trouble for the townspeople, the mineshafts. The youngest son was murdered by a most unusual suspect and gave me pause because it forces one to consider the nature versus nurture argument. Is evil learned or is it an innate force? The Black Country is an excellent read for those who appreciate a good mystery.

Dying to know : a Gumshoe Ghost mystery

From Andrea Kalinowski
Author: T.J. O’Connor
Title: Dying to know : a Gumshoe Ghost mystery
Do you ever wonder if you will come back if something is left unresolved in your life on Earth? Well, in Dying to Know : a Gumshoe Ghost Mystery by TJ O’Connor, the protagonist, a detective, is murdered. His motto is a play on “Physician, heal thyself” and is actually “Detective, solve thyself.” Detective Oliver Tucker, who hates his name but loves his wife and dog, is on the trail of the person who snuffed him but must first learn to master the rules of being a ghost. He cannot travel the same way anymore but must mentally focus on where he wants to be and transport himself mentally. His energy is collected from electrical sources such as light bulbs and cell phones. Too much energy use and he is incapacitated. His longtime detective partner does not believe in ghosts and so ignores, for the most part, Tuck’s communications and warnings. Tuck’s wife is more accepting of Tuck as a ghost, and so, she aides her ghostly husband in the search for the truth. I enjoyed this title immensely and cannot wait for the sequel(s).

Death a l’ Orange

From e p
Title:  Death a l’ Orange
Author:  Nancy Fairbanks
Carolyn Blue, her son, husband, and some of his faculty colleagues take a tour to France.  A few of these colleagues are competing for a deanship vacancy at the University.  Carolyn, on the other hand, is there to enjoy the sights and focus on her job as a food writer.  Unfortunately, illness and accidents plague the group.  Who is responsible?  Can Carolyn figure that out before someone is killed?  A fast summer read.

Murder in Greenwich: Who Killed Martha Moxley?

From Jackie Cantwell
Author:  Mark Fuhrman
Murder in Greenwich: Who Killed Martha Moxley?
This is the true crime account of the murder of 15 year old Martha Moxley on her own property in the exclusive area of Belle Haven, Greenwich, CT. on October 30, 1975. Her neighbors were the Skakels, who are related to the Kennedys. From the beginning, many people suspected that someone from the Skakel household must have committed the crime, as the murder weapon was a golf club matching a set found in the house. Thomas Skakel, the 17 year old son of the widowed Rushton Skakel, emerged early as a suspect, since he was the last known person to see her alive. Ken Littleton, the 23 year old tutor who moved in that day, was a suspect for many years. Not only was the police investigation incompetent, but they tiptoed around the wealthy Skakels. It seemed the only way the crime would be solved would be a confession, because the police weren’t about to uncover anything useful themselves! Not until the existence of “the Sutton file” (a report by a private investigation firm, paid for by Rushton to clear Thomas’s name) became known did Michael Skakel (15 y/o at the time of the murder) become a suspect.

I like how Fuhrman explained how a murder investigation is supposed to be conducted, as he is a former detective with LAPD, most notable for being associated w/ the O.J. Simpson trial. A cast of characters would have been useful.

Bringing Adam home : the abduction that changed America

From Jackie Cantwell
author: Standiford, Les
Bringing Adam home : the abduction that changed America
 This is the heartbreaking story of the 1981 abduction and murder of Adam Walsh, the son of John Walsh, the host of America’s Most Wanted (AMW) T.V. program.  According to the authors (and later the Hollywood (FL) PD), the case is now solved and closed.  Les Standiford is a well-known author and Joe Matthews is a retired detective and polygraph expert from Miami-Dade PD and is now an investigator on the AMW program.  Joe assisted the detectives early in the investigation of the murder, and was called upon by John and Reve Walsh in 2006 to conduct a complete, methodical private investigation to solve the crime once and for all. Joe was given access to all the original police files. The Walshes suspected all along that Ottis Toole, a drifter and admitted serial killer, was Adam’s murderer.  Toole had confessed to the killing several times over the years, and then recanted. But he knew things that only the killer could know.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), Toole died in prison serving other charges in 1996. He was never charged with the murder.  The book serves as an indictment of the Hollywood PD, the Broward County authorities, and of the incompetent investigation of the murder.

The most dramatic evidence is a photo taken of Toole’s Cadillac floorboard carpeting. You absolutely must see this photo, enhanced by Luminol to detect blood, to believe it. Incredibly, this (and other damning) evidence was there for the detectives to see all along.  Some passages were difficult to understand due to the coincidence that many surnames began with “H”, such as, “Hoisington made an effort to do what Hessler ordered, but by the time Hoffman and his partner Hickman had finished with Toole … “.  (There are also characters named Hart, Hughes, Haggerty, and Hardaman, I kid you not). Another confounding aspect of the book was the typographical errors. There is reference made to a Gerald Schaffer, Toole’s one-time cellmate. Schaffer’s name is misspelled twice later in the book. There is a Cast of Characters section in the back, but it is of limited usefulness. Fans of true crime will most probably like this book.

It comes with a warning, however: the subject matter is very disturbing and sometimes graphic.