Lovesey, Peter. Another One Goes Tonight.

NY: Soho Press, 2016.

When this series started, back in the early ’90s, I wasn’t at all sure it was going to work. Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond, head of Bath CID, in the West Country, was an abrasive and overweight bully. In fact, his high-handedness got him sacked and he spent the second book working security for a London department store. But Lovesey got him under control and Diamond settled down to a continuing and successful police career chronicled in writing and plots of generally high quality.

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Griffiths, Elly. A Room Full of Bones.

NY: Houghton Mifflin, 2012.

This is the fourth in the series featuring Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist — a bone specialist — working in Norfolk and living in near-isolation out on the edge of the Saltmarsh. She’s become a regular consultant for the cops, in the person of DCI Harry Nelson — by whom she also managed to get pregnant, but he’s married so she’s now also a single mother, something that doesn’t really come naturally to her.

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Connelly, Michael. Two Kinds of Truth.

NY: Little, Brown, 2017.

Harry Bosch, longtime star of homicide for the LAPD, may be retired now but he hasn’t quit. He did the private eye thing for a little while, then found a home as an unpaid volunteer detective for the tiny San Fernando PD out in the Valley. He’s pursuing cold cases (using a cell in the old, now unused jail as an office), helping out with new cases that come up, and also mentoring their young and relatively inexperienced detectives. But then his ex-partner from shortly before he retired turns up, accompanied by a Deputy DA.

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Published in: on 25 March 2018 at 5:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Penny, Louise. The Nature of the Beast.

NY: St. Martin, 2015.

This is number eleven in the series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Quebec Surete, one of the most recognizable cops in Canada (he’s often in the papers) and now retired to the tiny, off-the-map village of Three Pines, down near the Vermont border. And this one includes a large swath of genuine history that most people, even most Canadians, have never heard of before.

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Gallagher, Stephen. The Bedlam Detective.

NY: Crown, 2012.

I kind of hate to admit that I’ve never heard of this author, since this is his fifteenth novel, and I confess I picked it up mostly because of the title, but I definitely lucked out. It’s a very original sort of murder mystery, with adroitly painted characters and a thoroughly believable setting. It’s the fall of 1912 in the southwest of England and Sebastian Becker is on a case. He used to be a homicide detective in London, and then went to America, where he became a Pinkerton undercover agent (and learned how to use a pistol because “they’re all gunslingers over there”) and also met and married Elisabeth, a Philadelphia girl. Nowadays, he’s an investigator for Sir James, the Lord Chancellor’s Visitor in Lunacy, who takes an official interest in any man of property whose sanity begins to appear questionable.

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Penny, Louise. The Long Way Home.

NY: St. Martin, 2014.

For the past couple of books in this stellar series, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, head of the Quebec Surete’s homicide division, has been struggling to save both his job and the Surete itself. And it all ended with the arrest of the premier of the province and with Gamache being forced to personally kill his boss. It was all just too much and though Gamache won, finally, he also retired to a cottage in the almost Brigadoon-like village of Three Pines, where most of the series has been set.

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Penny, Louise. How the Light Gets In.

NY: St. Martin, 2013

This is the ninth in the author’s award-winning series about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Quebec Surete. I had been reading my way straight through them, and mostly enjoying the experience, but when I first embarked on this one a couple of years ago, I found I had to stop a third of the way into it, put it down very carefully, and just walk away. Penny seemed to be tearing her principal characters to shreds and I couldn’t deal with that. I was too invested in the series.

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Published in: on 23 February 2018 at 8:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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Cohen, Gabriel. Red Hook.

NY: Open Road, 2001.

I’d never heard of this author, even though he’s been around for nearly two decades, but I followed the recommendation of a friend and I’m glad I did. This was Cohen’s first book and it’s not only a very good mystery novel, it’s a first-rate book, period. Brooklyn police detective Jack Leightner, a native of the blue-collar Red Hook community, is fifty years old and he’s beginning to wonder where his life has gone.

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Griffiths, Elly. The House at Sea’s End.

NY: Houghton Mifflin, 2011.

This is the third in the series featuring Dr. Ruth Galloway, archaeologist in the wilds of northern Norfolk, and the quality remains high. Ruth lives almost by herself in a small cottage out on the edge of the saltmarsh, which can be something of a trial in the winter, and now she has a new baby, too. (Her relationship with the father provides one of the continuing themes in the series, and it’s nicely handled.)

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Griffiths, Elly. The Janus Stone.

NY: Houghton Mifflin, 2011.

This is the second in the series featuring English archaeologist Ruth Galloway of northern Norfolk, and it’s even better than the first-rate first volume. Ruth is turning forty and she’s overweight, but she had a one-night stand with homicide DCI Harry Nelson — it was a combination of stress and special circumstances during the last case — and that’s complicating her life. Being a bone specialist, she’s been doing some forensics work for the police and this time, three months since the previous case, that brings her to investigate the skeleton of an infant found under the doorstep of an old house being torn down to make way for a block of luxury flats.

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