V.I. Warshawski, former public defender turned private investigator, is on the job again. This time her help is unsolicited: Vi’s dogs lead her to a young girl badly dehydrated, in a cave of rocks on a bank near a Chicago lake. Jane Doe is taken to a hospital and later escapes when threatened by a henchman for a shady Chicago developer. Vi tracks the girl to an old tender house near a bridge, and learns her story: her uncle has sent her grandmother, whom she lived with, to a memory care unit in a nursing home in order to sell the grandmother’s house to developers for millions. Vi has to outwit an abusive corrupt cop, and his brutal killer friend in order to rescue the young girl Julia’s grandmother, and make their world safe again. Sara Paretsky is an stellar mystery author, and is only one of four living writers to have received both the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America and the Cartier Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writers’ Association of Great Britain. I highly recommend her novels.

Death of An Eye: An Eye of Isis Mystery

Dana Stabenow is well known for her Kate Shugak mystery series, but this title is first in a series set in Alexandria, Egypt in 45 BC, during Cleopatra VII’s reign. Her Eye, or agent, has just been murdered while tracking a lost shipment of new bronze coins commissioned by the Queen. Cleopatra chooses her childhood friend, Tetisheri, to become the new Eye, and tasks her with finding both the murderer and the lost shipment of coin. Tetisheri is aided by Apolloduros, the queen’s personal bodyguard. Stabenow paints a vivid portrait of the indignities suffered by women during that time, especially slave women. I found both this title and its sequel, Disappearance of a Scribe, to be very satisfying reads. Recommended especially for fans of historical fiction.

Murder at Ochre Court

Alyssa Maxwell has written quite a few titles in the Gilded Newport Mystery series; this title is # 6. Emma Cross is a society news reporter in 1898 Newport, and a good example of the difficulties faced by women in the work force at the early 20th century. It was hard to be taken seriously as a professional woman. Men felt that women were too fragile to report hard news, thus Emma was reduced to covering the society pages. But she does manage to solve murders quite well. In this novel she has a few to figure out… Recommended for historical mystery fans.

Give Unto Others

It’s hard to believe that Donna Leon’s latest mystery is #31 in her series about Commissario Guido Brunetti. I think I have read most of them, and this one is just as intriguing. A woman whom Brunetti knew growing up, comes to see him about a personal matter. Brunetti has a few of his associates look into the matter, and before he realizes it, they all become embroiled in a complicated case of tax fraud. For anyone who has been to Venice, it feels like you are back there, with Leon’s descriptive tone and Venetian characters. Her fans will be happy to see this latest offering in libraries…

The Judge’s List

Lacy Stoltz is back in John Grisham’s latest novel, which is a follow-up to The Whistler. She is still an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, and this time, Lacy is approached by a client in fear for her life, if she reveals what she knows about a corrupt judge. Spoiler alert: this time it involves murder. I’d rather not read about serial killers, but was too far into the novel to stop reading. It’s fast-paced, well-written, and definitely one of those books you can’t put down…