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Feb 2, 2016

Language of Secrets, Ausma Zehanat Khan

Khan’s second novel featuring Detective Esa Khattak. The action starts with the thoughts of a dying man, Moshin Dar. His death at a terrorist training camp in Algonquin State Park puts a Canadian security forces operation in jeopardy. Esa Khattak is brought in to mollify Dar’s father, a vocal activist with a radio show and an axe to grind.

Khattak is deliberately kept at the periphery of the investigation only told that the dead man was an informant and that is what got him killed. Dar was a friend of Esa’s and he wants justice done so he sends in his partner, Rachel to infiltrate the mosque Dar attended. As Khattak and Rachel begin piecing together what is really going on it becomes clear to Khattak that not only is he being used, but the picture he is building up of his former friend isn’t the one he was expecting and more personal than his masters at INSET could ever realize.

Some parts of the narrative are loosely based on the true story of the ‘Toronto 18’ in 2006.

Jan 11, 2016

Little late but...

Happy 2016 to all my readers! As the title of this post says, a little late but being flat out with a cold will do that to a girl. There are many things to look forward to this year including Eric Larson at TKE (well Rowland Hall) 7 p.m. Monday April 18th. You'll need tickets to get in but you get those with a copy of Dead Wake in paperback, easy peasy.

For those new to this blog, feel free to comment on the reviews or just do what everyone else does, email or in person at the store.

Jan 4, 2016

After The Crash, Michel Bussi

‘Miracle on Mt. Terrible’

That was the headline after a plane crash in the Jura mountains in 1980. One survivor, a baby girl, thrown clear of the wreckage. Two families come forward to claim her, they both had grandchildren on the flight. The De Carvilles are moneyed and lawyered up to their perfectly manicured eyeballs. Of course their granddaughter Lyse-Rose survived the crash. The less well-off Vitrals don’t agree because the baby is their granddaughter Emilie. Of course DNA could’ve solved the mystery, if DNA had been around in the eighties.

The ensuing court case puts both families under the microscope and although one family gets Lylie (a hybrid of Lyse-Rose and Emilie) neither walks away intact.


Eighteen years later former mercenary turned PI, CrÄ—dule Grand-Duc is about to mark his crushing failure to establish Lylie Vitral’s true identity with a bullet in the head. Then he has an epiphany, makes a phone call and hours later he is dead, the only clues to who killed him written inside the journal he sent to Lylie and she has vanished. It falls to Lylie’s brother Marc to follow the trail and unmask Grand-Duc’s killer.

Dec 15, 2015

Guest Post

Guesting on this blog for the first time the awesome Wendy Foster Leigh


The Man on the Washing Machine, Susan Cox

Theophania Bogart has found the perfect city in which to hide from her frenetic past. San Francisco is the ideal city in which to hide from family scandals left behind in England. In San Francisco she begins a new life in the flats around Fabian Gardens. She lives above her shop specializing in soaps, scents, and your basic Bay Area kitsch. She falls into a routine of morning coffee, dog walking, and arguing with her irresponsible business partner. She is settling into the community until the day she sees a local handyman falling from a window across the garden. Something strange is going on in the neighborhood. When her business partner is also killed, Theo seems to be the perfect suspect.


Theo is an example of the plucky protagonist who goes into dark rooms without turning on a light or foolishly meeting a suspect in the silent garden. Perhaps the strangest incident in her escapade is the moment she walks into her laundry room and finds a stranger standing on her washing machine. He disappears quickly, and she goes on the search for both the murderer and the unknown man on the machine.


Sue Cox has written a mystery which demands that it become a series. Theo lives in a square surrounded by flats and businesses filled with future stories. The book is a comfortable read; however, has an edge to it that should appeal to readers who want a strong woman protagonist and a cast of peculiar characters.


The Man on the Washing Machine is the winner of Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel. Sue Cox has created a likeable character in the form of Theo and has introduced a neighborhood association with enough personality to make a reader curious as to what can happen next in Fabian Gardens.

Dec 1, 2015

A couple of xmas crackers

December is always a busy time of year at TKE, so while I remember here are a couple of cracking good reads for you to get your teeth into. Enjoy!

Splinter the Silence, Val McDermid

Carol Jordan just got a second chance, saved from a drink drive charge by a failure in procedure she is offered a chance to get her team, including psychologist Tony Hill, back together. A home office proposal, a floating murder investigation team headed by Jordan. Whilst Carol puts her people in place, Tony does his best to keep his feelings for Carol out of the way while he attempts to wean her off the booze.

The new unit's first case isn't official, it may not even be a case at all, just a series of random patterns that Tony identified which may or may not mean that the suicide of a prominent feminist blogger who took on the internet trolls and won is actually murder. It's a race against time to work out who the next victim might be and Jordan's team have made some powerful enemies who are out to scupper the unit's reputation before the paint is dry on their new office walls.

Ashley Bell, Dean Koontz

Novelist Bibi Blair still lives close to her parents in surfer's paradise Newport Beach,.  Her day starts like any other, until she can't pick up her coffee cup. She checks herself into hospital and gets the news no one ever wants to hear. She has a year to live, without chemo and radio therapy six months tops. Most would crumble under such a diagnosis Bibi looks death in the face and says "we'll see."

Overnight the cancer vanishes but the cure comes at a price. Bibi learns that she has been spared to save the life of another girl, Ashley Bell. If Ashley dies, Bibi will too. To keep her fiancee and family safe Bibi goes on the run, taking on the forces holding Ashley, who will do anything to stop her.

With the deadline fast approaching Bibi can't even trust herself. She's been using a memory trick that a man called 'Captain' taught her when she was six years old to keep herself in the dark as to how much danger she's really in.