Death of a Scriptwriter – M.C. Beaton
Fiction , M.C. Beaton , Mystery , Uncategorized / June 19, 2017

M.C. Beaton’s Scottish detective protagonist Hamish Macbeth returns in Death of a Scriptwriter, published by Mysterious Press, copyright 1998.   This continuation of the Hamish Macbeth series introduces us to Patricia Martyn-Broyd who has for many years been known as one of Scotland’s most favored detective novelists.  In the last decade, however sales of her books have fallen off almost completely so when she is approached by an agent for a television producer and asked if they could use her writings as the foundation for a series of programs she is surprised and elated.  Patricia would love nothing more than to have her works come to life again.   Fiona King, the producer, comes to detective Hamish Macbeth and asks about appropriate locations to stage the production of one of Patricia’s stories, The Case of the Rising Tides.  Hamish directs her to a secluded and dreary place on a nearby loch that has a castle that has been renovated and transformed into a bed and breakfast.  The village of Drim is located at the edge of the loch and has a population with very little excitement in their lives so when they hear that the pilot movie is going to be…

Death of a Glutton – M.C. Beaton
Fiction , M.C. Beaton , Mystery , Uncategorized / June 9, 2017

M.C. Beaton presents to us the Checkmate Singles Club at the start of this enjoyable continuance of the Hamish Macbeth series of novels in Death of a Glutton, published by St. Martin’s Press, copyright 1993. Many personalities have applied for a holiday excursion to Lochdubh in Scotland’s northern shores.  Maria Worth has started this dating service with the financial assistance of her longtime friend Peta Gove.  Because of her family monies Peta has substantial funds to back Maria in this venture but it comes with a price.  Peta is looking for a man, a man who can tolerate her habit of almost constantly stuffing herself with food.  When Peta goes to dinners she not only finishes her own plateful but asks people if she can finish theirs as well.  To call her a glutton would almost be a kindness.  The woman can and will eat every morsel of food that she can lay her hands on and then complain there wasn’t more.  Her table manners are rather grotesque and she has the habit of showing up at the carefully thought out and well arranged singles meetings that Maria has designed. The dating service seems to be doing well but Peta’s constant lip-smacking…

Cold Storage, Alaska – John Straley
Crime Thriller , Fiction , Mystery , Uncategorized / March 15, 2017

John Straley brings a novel filled with mystery and drama in Cold Storage, Alaska, published by Soho Press, copyright 2014.   Straley starts this wonderful novel out with the remembrances of an elderly woman, Annabelle, about her oldest son Clive McCahon, who on the same day in April, 2000 has just been released after serving seven years on drug related charges in a federal prison and is looking for a way to get home to Cold Storage, Alaska.  On his way he stops in Los Angeles and picks up his cold weather parka which has thousands upon thousands of dollars sown into its lining.  The man he picks up the parka from also gives him a dog who is the meanest mutt anyone has ever seen.  Clive has always had this surreal talent where animals talk to him, though this mutt says nothing until the end of the book.   So Clive and this scary mutt, who he decides to call Little Brother, find their way with great difficulty to Clive’s brother Miles who was waiting for him at the short runway of the village airport to bring him home to the terrible news that their mother had passed away just two…

North of Nowhere – Steve Hamilton
Uncategorized / February 8, 2017

Steve Hamilton brings another installment in his five-novel Alex McKnight series in North of Nowhere, published by Thomas Dunne Books, copyright 2013. The novel begins with Alex McKnight receiving an invitation to a friend’s poker game since the usual player, the sixth man, could not attend that evening.  The game will be held at a rich land developer’s mansion on his newly bought six-sided felt poker table.  The game went well for most of the night as it is not a high stakes game but friendly and the home’s owner, a man named Vargas, provided good whiskey and snacks for the six players. Suddenly three men wearing masks and holding guns came rushing in and ordered everyone to lay face down on the floor and not to move.  One of these robbers picked out the home owner and ordered him upstairs to open his secret wall safe that Vargas had told very few people about.  Alex, from the floor, gets a look at one of the robber’s eyes and the athletic shoes he was wearing.  After talking to the police this remains their only clue as to who these bandits might be.  The developer is quite upset and accuses some of the players of having…

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