I have read several mystery/detective novels in the last couple of months. They are definitely a pleasant diversion, so I wanted to share them with you.
The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde – Having enjoyed several of Fforde’s Thursday Next books, I was eager to get into this new series about Inspector Jack Spratt, head detective in the Nursery Crimes Division. This book centers on the investigation into the death of Humpty Dumpty, who has fallen off his favorite place to sit and reflect, the wall in his garden. But was it an accident, or were more nefarious forces at work?
I will leave that question unanswered so you can discover it on your own. Suffice it to say, I appreciated the writing style and all of the nursery rhyme references. However, I’m not sure I will be reading any of the others because, as my friend Melissa and I agreed, once you’ve gotten the joke, you’ve pretty much gotten it. 3 stars.
X by Sue Grafton – This is book #24 in the Kinsey Millhone/Alphabet series; the first one is A is for Alibi, so you can start there if you’re like me and want to read things in order. Kinsey Millhone is a private investigator in Santa Teresa, California, and a no-nonsense, independent woman who values her few friends highly. The books, which started coming out in 1982, continue one after the other without any jumps in time between them, so this story takes place in 1989.
I like Kinsey, so I liked this book, although it would have been nice to have something new happen in her personal life. I won’t get into the plot other than to say it wasn’t the most exciting of her novels. I’m still looking forward to the final two in the series, though. 3 stars.
Rough Country by John Sandford – This is #3 in the Virgil Flowers series – there are actually 9 out so far, so I still have some catching up to do. The first book was Dark of the Moon, although Virgil Flowers was actually introduced in Sandford’s Prey series, featuring the character of Lucas Davenport.
In this story, Virgil is called away from his vacation by Lucas to investigate the murder of a woman at a women-only resort in northern Minnesota. As he delves into the various angles of the case, he uncovers another murder that may be related and begins to think this is a much bigger case than it started out to be. It was a good story, and I enjoyed the characters as well. 4 stars.
Devoted in Death by J.D. Robb – This is #41 in one of my favorite series in any genre, the In Death series. I love Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her charming, good-looking husband Roarke, along with the rest of their friends and associates, and I really enjoy the futuristic setting of mid 21st century New York as well. Again, if you want to start from the beginning, the first book is Naked in Death.
Devoted begins with the introduction of the villains, who have come from Alabama, and flips between the investigation and their activities as the book continues. By the time they hit New York, they have left a string of bodies behind them, and it’s only getting worse now that they have settled in to the big city. But no matter how good they are at concealing themselves and not leaving a trail, they are still no match for Lieutenant Dallas and her gang. 5 stars.