Welcome to the Christmas book fair and today I am sharing some of the great mystery books on the shelves that would make wonderful gifts.
And the first mystery today is one I can personally recommend is Going Home by Sharon Marchisello.
My review for the book 30th September 2021
This is a well written and thought provoking story that combines a care crisis that many of us face with elderly parents who have developed dementia, and the unravelling of the mystery surrounding a murder in a family home.
It is clear the author has experience of the challenge of communicating with someone who has short term memory loss, and brings in a cleverly crafted murder plot with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested.
There are flashbacks to the past and events which have a bearing on the present, and the reader is witness to the fallout that revelations result in as the search begins for a viable suspect amongst the outsiders who have access to the family home. It would seem that the authorities have only one suspect in mind, and without the ability to communicate coherently, an elderly woman must rely on her extended family to prove her innocence.
The author does a great job in keeping all the various strands of the plot running smoothly in parallel and brings the story to a satisfactory climax.
I recommend to those who enjoy well written murder mysteries and family sagas.
Also by Sharon Marchisello
Another mystery that I can recommend is The Vanished Boy by Harmony Kent... a parent’s worse nightmare.
About the book
It’s so remote out here. Anything could happen …
A missed phone call in the night is all it takes.
When Carole’s 18-year-old son goes missing, she breaks into Jayden’s laptop to try to understand his life.
All too soon, Carole discovers just how little she knew her boy.
And when one lead after another dead-ends, the distraught mother has to face the unthinkable.
Sucked into a sticky web of deceit and lies, nothing is as it seems.
When your life turns inside out and upside down, who would you trust?
My review for the book June 23rd 2021
A parent’s worst nightmare. A missing teenager and a realisation that you didn’t know them as well as you thought you did.
The author has created a fast paced thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat, as widow Carole searches social media for clues as to where her missing son might be. She heads down paths that lead to even more questions, as the empathetic detective in charge of the investigation does his best to keep her updated on developments.
The circle of family and friends she can turn to is small, and as she slowly uncovers key pieces of information, she begins to feel even more isolated and her sanity is threatened. The physical evidence mounts up and turns her world upside down; trust in everything and everyone in her life is challenged.
The characters are relatable, as are the extremes of emotions and pain that fuel the events leading to the unexpected climax of the story.
Can you believe all that you see and hear? Or are you being manipulated by someone with something to hide? You will have to read the book to find out.
A small selection of other books by Harmony Kent
The next book is by Geoff Le Pard.. a contemporary mystery romance – The Art of Spirit Capture
About the book
Jason Hales is at his lowest ebb: his brother is in a coma; his long-term partner has left him; he’s been sacked; and Christmas is round the corner to remind him how bad his life has become.
After receiving an unexpected call telling him he’s a beneficiary of his Great Aunt Heather’s estate, he visits the town he vaguely recalls from his childhood, where his great aunt lived. Wanting to find out more, he’s soon sucked into local politics revolving around his great uncle’s extraordinary glass ornaments, his ‘Captures’, and their future.
While trying to piece his life back together, he’ll have to confront a number of questions: What actually are these Captures and what is the mystery of the old wartime huts where his uncle fashioned them? Why is his surly neighbour so antagonistic? Can he trust anyone, especially the local doctor Owen Marsh and Charlotte Taylor, once a childhood adversary, but now the lawyer dealing with the estate? His worries pile up, with his ex in trouble, his flat rendered uninhabitable and his brother’s condition worsening. Will Christmas bring him any joy?
Set in the Sussex countryside, this is a modern novel with mystery, romance and magic at its core, as well as a smattering of hope, redemption and good cooking.
One of the recent reviews for the book
The Art of Spirit Capture is a VERY unusual story that mixes a bit of the metaphysical with small town politics, a splash of romance, and a collection of eccentric and intriguing characters. Jason Hales has just been sacked from his engineering job when he learns he and his brother, Peter, are the joint executors and beneficiaries of his deceased aunt’s estate. Peter, however, is in an induced coma following a biking accident, leaving Jason to sort out the legalities.
When Jason arrives in the small town he vaguely recalls from childhood, he learns the estate includes not just his aunt’s home, but also a large surrounding stretch of woods and several workshops where his uncle made spirit captures—glass ornaments containing the last breath of departed loved ones, and capable of producing strong emotional reactions.
Because Jason hadn’t seen his aunt in decades and because the spirit (and light) captures are integral to the life of many people in the town, Jason is immediately viewed with suspicion. What keeps this story moving forward is Jason’s need to locate the formula for producing captures, and the townspeople’s wariness of what he intends to do regarding the future of captures.
The characters are an eccentric collection, each with backstories of their own, many of which overlap in surprising ways. The deeper I sank into the book the more complexities the author revealed. The plot is ingenious and rewarding, with many twisting threads tied neatly together at the end. I loved the descriptions of the captures (especially the light capture display), and the resolution of how everything played out.
Jason is a highly likable character, but I also need to mention other personal favorites. Lotte, Jason’s childhood friend, now a lawyer assisting him the estate, and Cyrus, a neighbor farmer with a chip on his shoulder really stood out for me. I also loved Viscount, a dog Jason “inherits” with the estate.
If you’re looking for something different, give this quirky and well-written book a read. It’s well worth sinking into the pages!
A selection of books by Geoff Le Pard
The final mystery day has a festive theme and is by Amy M. Reade with The Worst Noel (The Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery Series Book 1)
About the book
Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace, love, and joy, but for Lilly Carlsen, this Christmas is murder.
As a single mom, small business owner, and president of the local Chamber of Commerce, the last thing she needs is to find a dead body on the floor of her jewelry shop on the busiest shopping day of the year. And as if that isn’t enough, Lilly has to deal with a deadbeat ex-husband, a mother with declining mental health, and two teenagers.
But when a second body turns up, Lilly finds herself squarely in the crosshairs of suspicion. Can she figure out who killed the victims before she becomes one herself? And will her family’s Christmas be merry…or scary?
One of the recent reviews for the book
Lily a single mom and president of the local chamber of commerce finds a dead body in the floor of her jewelry store during the busiest shopping day of the season. Not only has she had to deal with her no good ex-husband, two teenagers and a mother who mental condition is declining.
When another body is found she finds herself in the middle of the things. Will she be able to save the day and find the killer before she might be another victim? Can she survive the chaos of Christmas alive and in one piece?
A delightful read which pulls you in.
Also by Amy M. Reade
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books… thanks Sally.