Sep 18, 2017

The Sorbonne Affair, Mark Pryor

Hugo Marston, head of security for the US Embassy in Paris is at Isabelle Severin's funeral when he is approached by American romance novelist Helen Hancock. Her story sounds a bit far-feteched; someone has been spying on her, possibly to steal her work. Hugo suggests bringing in the police in the shape of Camille Lerens and a spy camera is found in Helen's suite at the exclusive Sorbonne Hotel. Before Camille can proceed with an investigation a murder occurs at the same hotel and within hours some of the footage from the spy camera, some very revealing footage is uploaded to the internet. Hugo finds himself drawn into the investigation because the bodies stacking up are all Americans and it seems that his involvement has drawn the ire of the killer.

Meanwhile Tom Green is obsessing over the release of convicted bank robber Rick Cofer who swore revenge on Tom and Hugo back when both worked for the FBI. Cofer is heading their way and may already be hunting his quarry on the streets of Paris.

Sep 5, 2017

Sourdough, Robin Sloan

From the writer of ‘Mr Penumbra’s 24 hour book store’ comes a charming Bay Area tale of robots, software and sourdough.

The 'clement street starter' is the last delivery from the hole in the wall food place that genius software engineer Lois Clary has been ordering from every night since they left a menu taped to her door. The two Mazg brothers that run it are leaving the country in a hurry and the key to their mouth-watering sour dough is now Lois' room mate. A very musical and lively room mate.

Soon, Lois has the baking bug and is supplying her neighbours and the canteen at her employer; robot arm maker General Dexterity. She has also discovered, a club for woman named Lois and the Marrow Fair, a group of cutting edge food technologists based out at now-abandoned Alameda air base, Lois, with email encouragement from the Mazg brothers (and some Mazg music) begins to explore the starter's origins. Without realizing it, Lois has hitched her star to a seething clump of microbes, which is becoming more demanding by the day.

Aug 15, 2017

Gone To Dust, Matt Goldman

Twin cities private eye Nils Shapiro's newest client is Edina PD. They have a murdered divorcee and a calculating killer who 'dusted' up the victim's house and contaminated their crime scene. CSI won't be solving this one.

Nils and his old police academy graduates buddies might though. Shap is an interesting character, hope we see more of this new-fashioned gumshoe.

Bedlam Stacks, Natasha Pulley

Smuggling for the East India company nearly cost Merrick Tremayne his leg. Stuck back in England in a crumbling ruin that his brother refuses to even try and repair, Merrick spends most of his waking hours in the greenhouse where his great grandfather, explorer Harry Tremayne planted the exotic plants he found in Peru, Merrick can keep anything alive except the strange tree that Harry planted in the garden which has just blown up the house! Merrick convinced he is going mad, the other thing Harry brought back was a statue and it appears to be moving of its own accord.

Before he completely loses his marbles Merrick is recruited into another smuggling operation, this one destined to fail, his attempt to obtain cuttings from the cinchona trees that sit just above the tiny settlement Harry visited known as New Bethlehem or Bedlam for short is liable to get him killed by the people controlling the quinine trade. That will be grounds to bring in the army. What Merrick and his companions find is a place caught in time, protected by ancient beings and more of the moving stone statues and a link back to his great grandfather, a priest named Raphael.

Aug 8, 2017

Nine Tailed Fox, Martin Limón

Another entry in the excellent Sueño/Bascom military investigators series. GI’s are going missing, three so far, in different towns all over South Korea. The army brass have congress breathing down their necks and want Sueño and Bascom to find the missing men, pronto. 

GI’s are no angels but the missing trio had been up on assault charges against local women. Some locals think the triads are to blame, some quote legends of the gumiho a centuries old nine tailed fox disguised as a woman. The truth probably lies somewhere in between and the only way Sueño can see to solve the case is to set a trap; with himself as bait. 

Fox Hunter, Zoë Sharp

Close protection specialist Charlotte (Charlie) Fox is on the trail of her boss, Sean Meyer; who appears to have gone rogue and killed one of a group of men who got away with assaulting Charlie in her squaddie days. Parker Armstrong sends her to the Middle East with instructions to deal with Meyer, fast and by any means necessary.

Charlie's arrival in Iraq coincides with a vicious attack on the convoy she's travelling in but was she the target? Charlie doesn't like being warned off it only makes her more determined to find out the truth. In amidst the groups of local arms dealers, smugglers, black ops teams from both superpowers lies a path to Sean and she's determined to follow it, to the end.

The Mapmaker’s Daughter, Katherine Nouri Hughes

A fascinating blend of historical fiction and fact. This is the story of Nurbanu; born Cecilia Baffo Veniero, she’s not even a teenager when the Ottoman Empire sweeps across her tiny island capturing her and hundreds of other young children.

Cecilia’s education brings her to the attention of the Sultan and starts her rise to becoming one of the most powerful and influential women of her age. Nurbanu, quarantined with a mystery illness uses her time to document her story and explain some of the hard choices she had to make to preserve her Sultan’s dynasty.