mystery


The first book in the cozy mystery Target Practice Mysteries series.

Publication year: 2015
Format: ebook
Publisher: Ranch Dog Entertaiment
Page count at GoodReads: 166

This was a fun, short mystery.

Diana, she prefers Di, has gone through a bad divorce and needs a change. When her friend from high school, Jess, wants to hire her, Di is happy to pack up and move to Wyoming where Westmound Center for Competitive Shooting (archery and guns) is located. Once there, she finds the place almost empty, except for her bubbly new roommate Mary and a friendly Great Dane Moo. Di will be the new computer person for the firm.

Westmound is starting a new archery program and they’ve already recruited the coaches among the top archery competitors. Four of them competed in the Olympic Summer Games together but there’s quite a bit of bad blood between them. Di did also shoot for a while but gave it up years ago.

Then one of the new coaches is murdered. Mary decides to investigate her death and drags Di along with her. However, many people hated the murdered person and she did also boast that she’s writing her memoir where she’ll expose a lot of people. So, Mary and Di have their work cut out for them.

The writing style is very humorous and I liked it a lot. The mystery wasn’t too complicated although it did have a few twists. The characters were on the light side, no doubt because the book is short.

I liked most of the cast and most, of course, Moo, the Great Dane and his antics. Mary the enthusiastic sidekick was also great fun and a source of good gossip, er I mean, information on the characters.

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The first book in Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James mystery series.

Publication year: 2015
Format: Audio
Running time: 7 hours 28 minute
Narrator: Edward Petherbridge

This was a pretty enjoyable, fast-paced mystery if you can ignore the liberties taken with Holmes and Moriarty and their relationship.

It’s 1895, three years after Holmes supposedly died fighting Moriarty. However, he did survive and lives in secrecy. Some people do know that he survived. Mycroft, Holmes’ brother, has a very high-profile case for Holmes; a man has been murdered and a lot of highly placed men are concerned. The murdered man is in the employ of John D. Rockefeller so his position is more important than himself. It comes clear that a shadowy organization is targeting the men around Rockefeller.

But Holmes’ attention is captured by a young and beautiful American actress, Lucy James, who wants Holmes to find out who are her real parents.

The story has a lot of twists and turns. The writing style is quite faithful to Doyle’s style. Holmes is more emotional than in many other pastiches which didn’t bother me. We also get a lot of historical personages which was fun.

However, Veley adds a different wrinkle to Holmes’ and Moriarty’s backstory which I didn’t quite care for. Also, for a Holmes mystery this was somewhat predictable.

The narrator was great and spot on for this style of story.

The first book in the humorous historical mystery series Her Spyness set in Britain in the 1930s.

Publication year: 2007
Format: Audio
Running time: 8 hours 4 minute
Narrator: Katharine Kellgren

Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, or Georgie as she’s known to her friends, is a cousin of King George V of England but she doesn’t have much money. Her brother has cut off her allowance and she doesn’t want to marry a boorish foreign prince. Of course, her brother the Duke is also penniless because their father gambled away almost everything and then killed himself. Georgie’s fed up living as an unwanted house guest with her brother and his wife in the Rannoch castle in Scotland. So, she heads to London. She stays in the family’s London house but she doesn’t have enough money to hire even one maid. She tries to work for a living but knows that the royal family wouldn’t put up with that if they found out so she tries to keep it a secret. Even her own mother doesn’t like it and sabotages her first job right at the start. Fortunately, she meets her old friend from school, Belinda, who is now a famous fashion designer. Or at least she aspires to be famous. Meanwhile, she tries to get paying customers. But she’s happy to help out Georgie. As a good royal girl, Georgie doesn’t have much experience with men but in this story she meets a penniless but charming Darcy and Tristram whom she’s known as a child.

This was a fun book. It’s written in first person from Georgie’s POV and it was fun to follow her when she tries to live on her own. She’s smart and knows that she’s been born to privileges even though she’s currently hard on money. Her family and the other side characters are also fun. Her mother used to be an actress before she managed to snare a Duke. But her mother divorced her father rather soon and is now found with one rich man or another. She doesn’t support Georgie, though. Georgie’s brother Binky is quite hopeless at looking after himself and couldn’t support himself at all. His wife, Whiffy, is very proper. Georgie also meets Queen Mary a couple of times. Georgie’s grandfather is a retired police officer who doesn’t get along at all with Georgie’s father’s family.

The mystery is quite on the light side and doesn’t even start until about halfway through when Georgie finds a man murdered in the London house’s bathtub. Despite the title, there’s not much actual spying in the book.

The Triangle has 10 episodes, all available from The Triangle’s page at Serial Box.

Publisher: Serial Box 2019
Writers: Dan Koboldt, Mindy McGinnis, and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
Format: eARC
Instead of giving away any spoilers for the ending, I’ll talk about the whole novel.

This was a very good ending to this serialized novel. It tied up most of the story lines but left a possible opening to continued adventures, for some of the characters.

The story’s fast-paced with a lot of mysteries and twists and turns which I enjoyed. I also enjoyed the sci-fi elements a lot, although the ending could have explored them more. Pretty much the only thing that didn’t work for me was the romance. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel any chemistry between those characters, it felt like ticking a box of “romance”. The mysteries actually made me read the last three episodes back-to-back because I didn’t want to wait a week between them. 😉

The characters are all competent adults (with the possible exception of McBride although he gets his chances to shine, too) and I always enjoy reading about characters like that. They have some friction but are able to put them aside and concentrate on the task at hand. Marie St. Clair is a local police officer who forced her way to the team in the second episode, which was a good because it and unexpected person to the team. I think McBride could have been used more as a comic relief, though. The POV shifts were sometimes abrupt. The story was told from the POVs of Segarra, St. Clair, Hammond, and Dumont who are the most developed characters, naturally.

A highly entertaining thriller with sci-fi elements.

The Triangle has 10 episodes, all available from The Triangle’s page at Serial Box.

Publisher: Serial Box 2019
Writers: Dan Koboldt, Mindy McGinnis, and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
Format: eARC

This episode answers most of the questions which I have about the island. Some of the characters and happy with the answers and some not so happy. However, they still don’t have a way off the island and they know that it’s going to be very difficult to get away. MacBride also speculates that they might not even want to get off because the US government won’t let them walk around knowing what they now know. Vice Admiral Segarra is worried about Miller, their wounded soldier whom they rescued from the Russians. He wants to know more and heads out to the city with Maria St. Claire. They intend to search it for more clues. Instead, they’re again captured by the Russians.

Segarra is increasingly frustrated with his inability to find out what happened to the USS Wasp, the warship which disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle. He feels useless and a failure, so he wants to take decisive action. Meanwhile, David Hammond is almost happy. He feels useful again and is working. St. Claire has been reminded of how the Americans use her country and is furious about it. MacBride doesn’t know whether to be happy about the revelations or worried about his future.

Even though we now find out a lot about what’s going on, the characters are far from safe. In fact, they may never get home. The only thing they can do is attempt to negotiate with the Russian submarine commander. The episode ends with another big revelation.

The Triangle has 10 episodes, all available from The Triangle’s page at Serial Box.

Publisher: Serial Box 2019
Writers: Dan Koboldt, Mindy McGinnis, and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
Format: eARC

The tragic events which ended the previous episode, push Vice Admiral Segarra to action. Now, the Russian submarine commander is the enemy and Segarra wants some explanations from him. However, he’s stopped by the troops but some very interesting information slips from them.

Segarra wants to rescue his wounded soldier Miller and now he knows a way to do it. The plan is dangerous but if the group can pull it off, Miller will be safe and Segarra can plan for a way to force the Russian submarine commander to stop what he’s doing. Michael Hammond is very much against the plan, especially because it puts Tessa Dumont into danger. However, Tessa doesn’t like Hammond’s possessive instincts. Arguing escalate to the point where the conspiracy theorist MacBride acts as the voice of reason. But the dangerous plan is put into action.

In this episode, we get a bit of evidence of what’s happening on this strange island. The group argues more but this time on personal level rather than professional. The group’s actions will most likely force the Russian commander to respond. They have lots of guns and a working nuclear submarine with torpedoes. Our intrepid heroes have one pistol. Things don’t look good.

The Triangle has 10 episodes, all available from The Triangle’s page at Serial Box.

Publisher: Serial Box 2019
Writers: Dan Koboldt, Mindy McGinnis, and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley.
Format: eARC

After the unexpectedly horrible ending of the previous episode, our heroes are stunned for a little while. But not for long. Alastair McBride is spinning outrageous theories and revealing some military secrets. They prove that something terrible, indeed, something most unnatural, is in the water around the island. Tessa Dumont has finally made the radio work but now Michael Hammond and the others don’t want anyone to come to the island, at least not before they find out how the rescues can land safely. David Segarra and Marie St. Claire want to further investigate the city and they go there. But the Russian soldiers are most likely there, so the duo must be very careful.

Meanwhile, Dumont and Hammond talk with the pair of young boys who are also on the island and find out what happened to them. Apparently, they lost their parents in the storm which brought then to the island. However, when St. Claire hears about it, she’s sure that no such accident has occurred in at least five years. How are the boys on the island? Are they lying or is something else going on?

Segarra and St. Claire find out something that changes all their expectations and the episode ends in another tragedy.

Now we find out why nobody leaves. But if nobody can leave, how and why can they come in? If it possible somehow to use that to leave? And can the group talk with the commander of the old Russian submarine and convince him to try? Should they?

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