The Last Party

The latest offering by Clare Macintosh opens with a murder of a local man on New Year’s Eve in Cym Coed, Wales. Rhys Lloyd is co-owner of “The Shore,” an upscale resort on the boundary between Wales and England, but he is reported missing and soon after his body is found washed up on the shore of the lake. The novel jumps from present to past, and back again, and each chapter is a different narrator, so one has to pay close attention to the chapter headings. Detective Ffion Morgan of Wales is investigating the case with Leo Brady, a British detective, and together they must sift through the lengthy list of suspects to discover the murderer. It is a bit lengthy, but all in all I found it to be a good read.

The Blame Game

Oh, this was a good read! Naomi, a female psychologist becomes over-involved with two of her patients, letting down her boundaries, since both cases include abuse. This begins to drive a wedge in her marriage with her husband, Leon, since she offers both her clients places to stay. But this plays a necessary part in the suspenseful plot, when someone is apparently trying to frame Naomi for a murder. If you like this novel with its surprise ending, Jones has written several others to check out as well…

Bark of Night

David Rosenfelt is a master at humorous mysteries (25 in this series) with courtroom drama, canine rescues, and there are usually a few mob characters involved as well. All his books are set in Paterson, New Jersey, and the protagonist is Andy Carpenter, a semi-retired lawyer who takes on cases pro bono. As one reviewer commented, “Andy’s self-deprecating humor is the author’s greatest gift” — exactly. If you like dogs, love mysteries, and like to see the good guy (always falsely accused) go free, this book’s for you!

The Murder of Mr. Wickham

If you are a fan of Jane Austen and enjoy murder mysteries, this title by Claudia Gray will be of interest. Several of her characters have married, and are guests at a house party given by Emma (Woodhouse) Knightly and her husband, George Knightly. The first couple attending is Elizabeth (Bennett) Darcy and Fitzwilliam Darcy, along with their son, Jonathan. Next is Emma’s cousin Colonel Christopher Brandon and his wife, Marianne; Captain Frederick and Anne Wentworth; and finally Edmund and Fanny Bertram. Rounding out the party is Miss Juliet Tilney, the daughter of a friend of Emma’s, and about the same age as Jonathan Darcy – Emma clearly is playing a bit at matchmaking.

Enter Mr. Wickham’s character, a dastardly schemer who delights in cheating people out of their money, and who has had dealings with several of the characters, much to their dismay. He just happens by on a horribly rainy night, and winds up yet another guest at the manor, but an uninvited and unwanted one. When he is found murdered after a few days at the Knightly’s Donwell Abbey, Jonathan and Juliet decide to investigate to find the murderer. Suffice it to say that since I have only read Pride and Prejudice, I had a very hard time keeping all the couples straight. I think you have to be a well-read fan of the author’s to keep up with all the drama…

Two Nights in Lisbon

What do you do when your newlywed husband suddenly disappears on your honeymoon? Ariel Pryce wakes up one morning in Lisbon, Portugal, to find her husband John missing — no note, phone call or text, and she can’t reach him on his cell phone. She is sure that something horrible has happened, and after quizzing the hotel employees, her next stop is the local police station. The two detectives she meets with are very sceptical, but as time goes on, agree to take her seriously. especially when Ariel receives a ransom call. Pavone weaves a solid story, and the reader is left wondering exactly what happened, especially the further one delves into the novel. Recommended for those who enjoy a good mystery.