Sep 20, 2016

Thrice The Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d, Alan Bradley

Flavia’s triumphant return from Canada just in time for Christmas is anything but. Her father has fallen ill and Dr. Darby won’t allow any hospital visits.

Feely and Dieter have had a bust up and Undine is using Buckshaw like a jungle gym, abetted by Dogger. 

Fleeing the estate at the earliest opportunity and on an errand for the Vicar’s wife Flavia discovers a body and a cat. The perfect antidote to her concerns about Colonel De Luce (the body, not the cat) Flavia enlists Mildred Bannerman, former chemistry teacher at Miss Bodycote’s Academy as her ally in this curious tale of science, storytellers, witches and murder.

Sep 15, 2016

Beloved Poison, Elaine Thomson

St Saviours is a crumbling infirmary in Victorian London, long overdue for demolition. Here the healing arts can be deadly. Jealousy, sabotage, drunkenness and passion all seethe just beneath the surface and that’s just the staff. In the apothecary Flockhart and his ‘son’ Jem (apothecaries can only be men), assisted by Gabriel prepare the medicines to doctors’ orders. Into their little family comes Will Quartermain; his employers have sent him to supervise the excavation of the churchyard that borders St Saviours.

Prior to the demolition Jem discovers six tiny coffins hidden in the wall of the chapel, they don’t look like much, so why does their discovery trigger a series of murders? Jem is determined to find out but her knowledge of poisons and an enemy both powerful and ruthless could put her on the road to the gallows.

Sep 13, 2016

Red Right Hand, Chris Holm

The Bay Area has been attacked, a little known terrorist group have claimed responsibility and a family’s cell phone video, shot at the precise moment of the attack, goes viral. The video exposes a federal witness that both sides thought was long dead. 

Charlie Thompson was in charge of walk ins on the night that federal witness turned himself in, now she’s a high flying special agent determined to protect an asset who has intelligence on the shadowy organization known only as ‘The Council’. FBI manpower is focused on capturing the terrorists so Charlie bends the rules; sending Mike Hendricks, wanted man and The Council’s worst nightmare in to secure her witness. Hendricks wades into the middle of a terror plot whose perpetrators may not be what they seem.

Sep 12, 2016

Seven days in the book world with Melodie Johnson Howe

Melodie, who was discovered by Hollywood at twenty one and acted alongside Clint Eastwood, Alan Alda and James Caan to name but a few always dreamed of being a writer. Just married and raising a young family she studied creative writing alongside acting. In 1980 she wrote her first play The Lady of the House. She quit acting when it ceased to fulfill her creative side and turned to writing. Her first two novels were The Mother Shadow (nominated for both an Agatha and an Edgar award) and Beauty Dies. Then came the Diana Poole series, starting with City of Mirrors.
Melodie is still married to Bones, they have three grown up children.

Here is Melodie's week in her own words.

This has been a busy week for me, but I always manage to get my reading in at night, in bed.  I don’t judge a book by its cover but by its weight. So if I fall asleep while reading I won't jerk awake with a broken nose.

I have just finished reading Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. I admire her deft wit, and how she delves into the jumbled morality that most families live with.

Now I am back in Three Pines with Armand Gamache. I love Louise Penny’s series. In A Great Reckoning, I can taste and smell the food that Gabri and Olivier serve in their bistro.  I’m planning to go to Three Pines one Christmas. If I can find it on the map.

I’ve also been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s, Big Magic. In all honesty I wouldn't read this book if I were not going to be on a panel about it. I tend to shy away from tomes on creativeness. But she delivers a down home view on creativity that touched me. Whether you’re knitting a sweater, writing a memoir, throwing pots, designing a garden or painting you probably have doubts about you own drive and imagination (who doesn’t?). This is the perfect read for you.

Melodie's week in a nutshell

Truly Madly Guilty (2016)
A Great Reckoning (2016)
Big Magic (2015)

Hold A Scorpion (#2 in the Diana Poole series)
will be out in hardcover October 2016 9781605989679

Here is a sneak peak at the cover art

More at

Sep 6, 2016

The Dry, Jane Harper

You lied. Luke lied. Be at the funeral.

Federal Agent Aaron Falk wasn’t going to go to his former best friend’s funeral. Too many memories and he hasn’t been back to Kiewarra since he and his father were chased out twenty years ago. Back then Ellie, his girlfriend was found dead and Luke was Aaron’s only alibi. Now Luke is dead, seemingly by his own hand. Aaron returns to his hometown and finds it slowly being sucked dry by the unending drought. His reluctant investigation into Luke’s death could be the spark that burns Kiewarra to the ground.

This is a great debut novel, wouldn't be surprised to see an Edgar headed Jane's way. 

Aug 23, 2016

Surrender, New York, Caleb Carr

Drs. Trajan Jones and Mike Li were feted advisors to the NYPD, until they exposed some serious failings at the forensics lab and got run out of town as a result. Now they spend their days in the farm town of Surrender; teaching online courses in forensic science and profiling from the cabin of a restored airplane. Jones is a criminal psychologist, following the methods of Dr. Lazlo Kreizler and Li is a whiz at collecting and interpreting trace evidence. Li still pines for his ex-colleague, Gracie Chang and Trajan (LT to his friends) spends his free time caring for a rather unusual pet.

LT and Mike are brought in by the local police after the latest in a series of murders around Surrender. The victims, throwaway children, so called because their parents simply abandoned them to start a new child free life. Unable to go to school and unable to legally work these are the kids who end up on the street selling themselves or drugs.

LT determines that the murders are something else entirely; a case which points right to the rotten core of the Big Apple and puts him, Li and the local police in the crosshairs of some very powerful people. In a bid to understand the nature of the throwaways LT brings one of them onto his team which could prove to be his undoing.

Aug 15, 2016

The Night Bell, Inger Ash Wolfe

The sins of the past revisit the present in this the fourth of the Hazel Micallef series.

1959 Hazel is among the last people to see classmate Carol Lim, alive in Port Dundas, Ontario. Carol’s parents report her missing and Hazel’s adopted brother is questioned in connection with her disappearance, but never charged.

Present day, the town is in thrall to developers, the police service too. Hazel and her colleagues are being downsized and shoehorned into a new shopping mall on a site locals call the lion’s paw and she isn’t happy about it. Her mother, the former mayor of Port Dundas is ill and Hazel is wrestling with a new case.  The project manager of a ‘luxury’ subdivision being built on the outskirts of town has been covering up a grisly discovery; human bones found on land where the county foster home once stood.

Amid reports of corruption and broken promises Hazel and her colleagues investigate. They find more bones but a colleague disappears during the search and that night a series of brutal murders begins.  Determined to find her colleague, Hazel begins to see links to her long deceased brother, her actions to clear his name once and for all, propel her into the sights of an angry killer.