As part of our tie-in to the detective-themed Summer Reading Challenge, it’s time to recommend a few excellent detective series. If you’re looking for a new series to get your teeth into, here are the first books of three fabulous mysteries:
Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley mysteries. Glossing over the rather unsympathetic blurb for book one (Never nice to read a woman being described as “fat and unlovely”, even if she is the prime suspect at a murder scene.), this is where we start Elizabeth George’s dark and suspenseful series. Book one.
Peter May’s trilogy set on the Isle of Lewis. With a wonderful sense of place, this trilogy will transport you to the Scottish Isles as you follow Detective Inspector Fin Macleod’s attempts to get to the bottom of the captivating and sinister mysteries. Book one.
Newly appointed police inspector Domenic Jejeune doesn’t mind ruffling a few feathers. Indeed his success has elevated him into a poster boy for the police. The problem is Jejeune doesn’t really want to be a detective at all; he much prefers watching birds. Recently reassigned to the small Norfolk town of Saltmarsh, located in the heart of Britain’s premier birding country, Jejeune’s two worlds soon collide with the grisly murder of a prominent ecological activist. Jejeune must call on all his birding know-how to solve the mystery and deal with unwelcome public acclaim, the mistrust of colleagues and his own insecurities.
This novel begins with the aftermath of the death of Nell Abbott. Her sister Jules returns to the town for the first time in years, she has not communicated with her sister or her niece in all that time.
Memories begin to haunt her as soon as she arrives and steps into the house on the river. What is the truth of what happened in the past and what is the truth now. The police have decided Nell’s death was suicide.
The story is well written, each person has their own chapters. It flows well builds up to a fitting climax. The characters are brought to life and develop all the time.
There are lies, violence, heartbreak, regrets and much more.
Not as good as The girl on the train but still well worth reading.
Reserve Into the Water
A very popular parent at Plummer Prep, Brighton, Yvonne is left for dead in the school playground. The police think they know who did it but have no evidence. The local Inspector asks Cece an ex police officer for help as she has just started taking her children to the same school as the suspects.
The story is told from the viewpoint of Cece, Maxie, Anaya, and Hazel. It covers a lot of back history of each of them, hidden because it is shameful or even illegal. All the parts are integrated brilliantly to produce a cracking story.
A must read book from a master storyteller.
Reserve The Friend
Out today in shiny new paperback: Elly Griffith’s latest Norwich and Kings Lynn-set mystery.
“Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich’s web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they were recently buried, DCI Nelson has a murder enquiry on his hands. The boiling might have been just a medieval curiosity – now it suggests a much more sinister purpose. Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. The only trace of her is the rumour that she’s gone ‘underground’. This might be a figure of speech, but with the discovery of the bones and the rumours both Ruth and the police have heard that the network of old chalk-mining tunnels under Norwich is home to a vast community of rough sleepers, the clues point in only one direction. Local academic Martin Kellerman knows all about the tunnels and their history – but can his assertions of cannibalism and ritual killing possibly be true? As the weather gets hotter, tensions rise.”
How do you vindicate a deceased, self-proclaimed killer? A criminal lawyer in Stockholm, Martin Benner sees himself as a man who has it all. Then Bobby T barges into his office one day, demanding his help…”
THE HOUSE OF FOUR is the brand new Istanbul crime thriller featuring Inspector Ikmen, ‘the Morse of Istanbul’ ( Daily Telegraph ) from Barbara Nadel. Perfect for fans of Donna Leon!
Everyone in the Istanbul neighbourhood of Moda knows the Devil’s House. A crumbling Ottoman mansion, and once the home of a princess, it is a place associated with ill fortune. The princess’s four children, now in old age, still live in separate apartments on different floors and are rumoured never to speak to each other. Then one of them is found dead, stabbed through the heart, and it is discovered that the other three siblings have met an identical fate. There is no sign of forced entry or burglary, and all evidence must be gained from letters and diaries, but as Inspector Ikmen digs into their past it becomes clear they have been harbouring a secret…
Coming soon: reserve a copy
“One bright morning, Precious Ramotswe – head of Botswana’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – receives a visitor: a woman from Australia. This woman asks Precious to take on a case: to find the nursemaid who raised her during her childhood in Botswana. The woman wants to thank her for being such an important part of her life.
Precious has a history of successfully solving cases, but this one proves difficult and throws up a number of surprises and challenges… Precious and Grace is a story about being a detective, the complexities of human nature, as well as lessons about gratitude and obligation.”
It all starts with the suicide of William Goldacre, devastating to those left behind. Why did he do it, nobody really knows or if they do they’re not saying.
A couple of years later we have a murder (or do we) in Cambridge, bestselling feminist writer Clare Abbott. Her personal assistant is Caroline Goldacre, William’s mother.
Barbara Havers is desperate to redeem herself, and she is convinced there is a connection. She badgers Lynley into getting her on the case, which he does.
This is a novel of deeply hidden secrets, distorted truths, sexual complications, madness and much more.
Some of it is a bit convoluted and could maybe have been shortened. Interesting murder weapon.
As usual with Elizabeth George it is well written, the characters come to life in the reading of it and their interaction adds to the story.
Reserve A Banquet of Consequences
“John Harper lies awake at night in an isolated hut on an Indonesian island, listening to the rain on the roof and believing his life may be in danger. But he is less afraid of what is going to happen than of something he’s already done.In a local town, he meets Rita, a woman with her own troubled history. They begin an affair – but can he allow himself to get involved when he knows this might put her at risk? Moving between Europe during the cold war, California and the Civil Rights struggle, and Indonesia during the massacres of 1965 and the decades of military dictatorship that follow, Black Water is an epic novel that explores some of the darkest events of recent world history through the story of one troubled man.”