Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Reading Ahead: November 2015, part 4

Cool weather and mysteries go together like peas and carrots. Whether your preference is holiday-minded, cozy, or funny, November has a mystery for you.

A Christmas Escape, by Anne Perry. Perry treats readers to the thirteenth in her seasonal series, transporting them to the unconventional setting of the Mediterranean island of Stromboli where they meet lonely Charles Latterly, who hopes the blue skies and warm air will brighten his spirits. Unfortunately, his fellow guests are not as lovely as the scenery. Add the rumblings of a local volcano and a murder, and now Charles must race against the clock to deduce who among his unsavory companions could have committed this heinous crime. For those in need of a quick seasonal escape of their own, I think this would fit the bill quite nicely.

Tricky Twenty-Two, by Janet Evanovich. Stephanie Plum might not be the world’s greatest bounty hunter, but she knows when she’s being played. Ken Globovic (aka Gobbles), hailed as the Supreme Exalted Zookeeper of the animal house known as Zeta fraternity, has been arrested for beating up the dean of students at Kiltman College. Gobbles has missed his court date and gone into hiding. People have seen him on campus, but no one will talk. Things just aren’t adding up, and Stephanie can’t shake the feeling that something funny is going on at the college—and it’s not just Zeta fraternity pranks. As much as people love Gobbles, they hate Doug Linken. When Linken is gunned down in his backyard it’s good riddance, and the list of possible murder suspects is long. The only people who care about finding Linken’s killer are Trenton cop Joe Morelli, who has been assigned the case, security expert Ranger, who was hired to protect Linken, and Stephanie, who has her eye on a cash prize and hopefully has some tricks up her sleeve. Plum novels always bring the laughs, so fans will want to snag a copy to beat the winter blues.
Away in a Manger, by Rhys Bowen. This latest in Bowen's Molly Murphy mystery series finds our sleuth looking forward to the approaching holidays. She has a family of her own now: she and Daniel have a baby son and twelve-year-old Bridie is living with them as their ward. As Molly and the children listen to carolers in the street, they hear a lovely voice, the voice of an angel, and see a beggar girl huddled in a doorway, singing "Away in a Manger." Bridie is touched by the girl's ragged clothes and wants to help her out if they can. They give her a quarter, only to watch a bigger boy take it from her. But Molly discovers the boy is the girl's older brother. They've come from England and their mother has disappeared, and they're living with an aunt who mistreats them terribly. Molly quickly realizes that these children are not the usual city waifs. They are well-spoken and clearly used to better things. So who are they? And what's happened to their mother? As Molly looks for a way to help the children and for the answers to these questions, she gets drawn into an investigation that will take her up to the highest levels of New York society. Guaranteed to be a quick, heart-warming read this season.

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