Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun

This title is number three in the Finlay Donovan series, which I realized after I had started reading it. Finlay Donovan, a writer/mom/sleuth needs to discover who is blackmailing Feliks Zhirov, a Russian mobster. It’s a quid pro quo, since at her request, he shut down a website for contract killers that had her ex-husband’s name on its list . Her pal Vero owes an Atlantic City loan shark thousands of dollars that she doesn’t have, so they are both in hot water. Together they drop out of sight and attend a citizens police academy, where Finlay is attracted to a hot cop who is teaching several courses. It’s your basic mystery romance, but I enjoyed it. However I would start with the first two books in the series; otherwise this title will be a bit confusing…

Good Dog, Bad Cop

Another offering by David Rosenfelt just hit the shelves, but this title is not about his lawyer character, Andy Carpenter. Instead it follows Corey Douglas, a retired cop turned private investigator and his partner, Simon Garfunkel, a retired K-9 police dog. Corey teams up with Laurie, Andy’s wife, to solve a cold case involving a fellow officer, Danny Avery, who was murdered several years earlier, while on duty. This series is a little less amusing than the Andy Carpenter cases, but it was still enjoyable.

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!