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.

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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.

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.

Beneath the abbey wall

From  Eileen Effrat

Author:  A.D. Scott

Title:   Beneath the abbey wall   

This is the third in Scott’s mystery series set in the Scottish Highlands during the 1950’s, when rock ‘n roll and television invade homes.  Featuring the newspaper staff of the Highland Gazette, this latest sequel surrounds the murder of the newspaper’s business editor, Mrs. Smart.  This is unsettling enough for the staff, but things take a turn for the worst when the Deputy Editor is accused of the murder.  The staff unites to prove the police wrong and begin to uncover secrets deeply rooted in Smart’s past.  If you enjoy mysteries with a unique and historic setting, this Tartan Noir series may be for you.   A Small Death in the Glen is the first in the series.

The frozen dead

From Eileen Effrat

Author: Bernard Minier

Title: The frozen dead

This fast paced French thriller has it all—-a decapitated horse hanging from a cable car, three men brutally murdered with similar modus operandi, and patients on the loose from  a  maximum security psychiatric hospital. Commandant Martin Servaz, a city cop from Toulouse, leads the investigation as past nefarious deeds in a small village in the French Pyrenees finally come to roost.  This is a police procedural with some rather grisly details.  Only recently translated into English from the French, this is Minier’s  first novel and I can’t wait for more.

Fatal enquiry

From Rosemarie Jerome

Author:  Will Thomas

Title:  Fatal enquiry

Private Agent Cyrus Barker is framed for murder and there is a reward for his capture.  With no funds, no solid leads in the case and everyone after him , he is forced to hide in the East End of Victorian London.  His assistant, Thomas Llewelyn,  must find the evidence to prove that Barker is innocent but the culprit is after him at every turn.  This sixth book in the series is a departure from the usual;  it is Llewelyn’s case with Barker lurking in the shadows.  I enjoyed the book but I missed the interaction between the two characters.  It did provide the reader with an opportunity to learn more about Barker\’s mysterious past.  Though the identity of the culprit is not a mystery, the chase, some surprises and the hunt for the truth creates a suspenseful adventure.  The cliffhangers hint at possibilities for their future exploits.

The devil’s cave : a Bruno, chief of police novel

From  Eileen Effat

Author:  Martin Walker

Title:  The devil’s cave : a Bruno, chief of police novel

This is the fifth in a series featuring Bruno Courreges, the Chief of Police in a small French village in the Dordogne.  A naked dead woman is found floating down the River Vezere in a small boat with a large black candle and a decapitated cockerel.   Evidence of a Black Mass ritual?  As the investigation proceeds, the shady dealings of a local real estate firm indicate strong ties to the murder.  For a genuine flavor of the Dordogne—-cooking, agriculture, people, wine, lifestyle, economy, and history—- this is an enjoyable cozy mystery series.