Sunday, April 21, 2024

March 2024 Additions to My Digital Security Blanket


The two weeks that our nieces were here from the UK were busy, busy, busy-- and filled with laughter and lots of fun. But more of that later. I'm trying to get myself back in the swing of blogging, and I thought I'd start with what I couldn't resist adding to my Kindle last month. 

I've grouped these additions by genre/subgenre, and if you click on the link in a book's title, you'll be taken to Amazon US where you can learn more about it.

Let's see if I added any books that you're already familiar with... or ones that tempted you to add them to your own reading stacks.

=== Police Procedural ===

A Litter of Bones by J.D. Kirk. Set in Scotland.
Synopsis: "Ten years ago, DCI Jack Logan stopped the serial child-killer dubbed 'Mister Whisper,' earning himself a commendation, a drinking problem, and a broken marriage in the process.

Now, he spends his days working in Glasgow's Major Investigations Team, and his nights reliving the horrors of what he saw.

And what he did.

When another child disappears a hundred miles north in the Highlands, Jack is sent to lead the investigation and bring the boy home. But as similarities between the two cases grow, could it be that Jack caught the wrong man all those years ago?

And, if so, is the real Mister Whisper about to claim his fourth victim?

▲ A few weeks back, I posted a link to a list of mysteries set in the Inverness area of Scotland, an area I'm familiar with and a bit homesick for. The first book I tried from the list was a winner, so I've moved on to this title, hoping for the same results.

The Coffin in the Wall by M.J. Lee. Set in England.
Synopsis: "In the historic city of Chester, a chilling presence lurks amidst the picturesque surroundings. Teenage drug dealers are turning up dead, the bodies twisted and mangled by a ruthless killer. Detective Inspector Emma Christie finds herself thrust into a harrowing investigation, tasked with unraveling the tangled web of violence and deception gripping the city's underbelly.

As the body count climbs, Emma Christie navigates a treacherous landscape where loyalties are tested and secrets lurk in every shadow.

With each new victim, the pressure mounts, and she races against time to stop the killer before more lives are lost. As the stakes escalate and the danger looms ever closer, she realises that in a beautiful city, trust may be the most elusive commodity of all."
▲ I am a big fan of Lee's Jayne Sinclair genealogical mystery series, so when I learned that he had a new series featuring Detective Inspector Emma Christie and that the series was set in Chester (not the usual territory for English police procedurals), I couldn't resist. I've already read it, so there will be a review in the future.

=== Private Investigator ===

A Galway Epiphany by Ken Bruen. Set in Ireland.
Synopsis: "Ex-cop-turned-PI Jack Taylor has finally escaped the despair of his violent life in Galway in favor of a quiet retirement in the country with his friend, a former Rolling Stones roadie, and a falcon named Maeve. But on a day trip back into the city to sort out his affairs, Jack is hit by a truck in front of Galway’s Famine Memorial, left in a coma but mysteriously without a scratch on him.

When he awakens weeks later, he finds Ireland in a frenzy over the so-called “Miracle of Galway.” People have become convinced that the two children spotted tending to him are saintly, and the site of the accident sacred. The Catholic Church isn’t so sure, and Jack is commissioned to help find the children to verify the miracle—or expose the stunt.

But Jack isn’t the only one looking for these children, and he’s about to plunge into a case involving an order of nuns, an arsonist, and a girl who may be more manipulative than miraculous. From the multiple Shamus Award winner known as “the Godfather of the modern Irish crime novel” (
Irish Independent), this is a hard-edged, ceaselessly suspenseful mystery in the popular long-running series.

▲ It's been a long time since I've visited Jack Taylor, and I thought it was time that I stopped by for a visit. This series of Bruen's can be so visceral, so emotionally draining, that I could never read one after the other. Jack's life can be likened to one long train wreck after another, but I can't stop hoping that everything will turn out right in the end. He deserves it.

=== Thriller ===

Synopsis: "Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for forty years. Now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates what they have to offer in an age that relies more on technology than people skills.

When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses paid vacation to mark their retirement, they are targeted by one of their own. Only the Board, the top-level members of the Museum, can order the termination of field agents, and the women realize they’ve been marked for death.

Now to get out alive they have to turn against their own organization, relying on experience and each other to get the job done, knowing that working together is the secret to their survival. They’re about to teach the Board what it really means to be a woman—and a killer—of a certain age.

▲ The synopsis of this book has always intrigued me, and I've heard a lot about it before and after its release, but it was Sam's review on Book Chase that convinced me to get my hands on a copy so I can read it.

Synopsis: "Naomi Shaw used to believe in magic. Twenty-two years ago, she and her two best friends, Cassidy and Olivia, spent the summer roaming the woods, imagining a world of ceremony and wonder. They called it the Goddess Game. The summer ended suddenly when Naomi was attacked. Miraculously, she survived her seventeen stab wounds and lived to identify the man who had hurt her. The girls’ testimony put away a serial killer, wanted for murdering six women. They were heroes.

And they were liars.

For decades, the friends have kept a secret worth killing for. But now Olivia wants to tell, and Naomi sets out to find out what
really happened in the woods—no matter how dangerous the truth turns out to be.

▲ To be honest, I hadn't paid that much attention to this book until I happened to see Marshall's author event on The Poisoned Pen Bookstore's Youtube channel. Yes, these events can drum up book sales!

=== Historical Mystery ===

The Bookseller of Inverness by S.G. MacLean. Set in Scotland.
Synopsis: "After Culloden, Iain MacGillivray was left for dead on Drummossie Moor. Wounded, his face brutally slashed, he survived only by pretending to be dead as the Redcoats patrolled the corpses of his Jacobite comrades.

Six years later, with the clan chiefs routed and the Highlands subsumed into the British state, Iain lives a quiet life, working as a bookseller in Inverness. One day, after helping several of his regular customers, he notices a stranger lurking in the upper gallery of his shop, poring over his collection. But the man refuses to say what he's searching for and only leaves when Iain closes for the night.

The next morning Iain opens up shop and finds the stranger dead, his throat cut, and the murder weapon laid out in front of him - a sword with a white cockade on its hilt, the emblem of the Jacobites. With no sign of the killer, Iain wonders whether the stranger discovered what he was looking for - and whether he paid for it with his life. He soon finds himself embroiled in a web of deceit and a series of old scores to be settled in the ashes of war.

▲ I've been resisting temptation when it comes to this book even before its release; however, when it showed up on that list that I mentioned earlier (and the price was right), I couldn't resist.

=== Historical Fiction ===

Three Summers by Margarita Liberaki. Set in Greece.
Synopsis: "Three Summers is the story of three sisters growing up in the countryside near Athens before the Second World War. Living in a big old house surrounded by a beautiful garden are Maria, the oldest sister, as sexually bold as she is eager to settle down and have a family of her own; beautiful but distant Infanta; and dreamy and rebellious Katerina, through whose eyes the story is mostly observed.
Over three summers, the girls share and keep secrets, fall in and out of love, try to figure out their parents and other members of the tribe of adults, take note of the weird ways of friends and neighbors, worry about and wonder who they are. Now back in print after twenty years, Karen Van Dyck’s translation captures all the light and warmth of this modern Greek classic.

▲ For thirty-five years, a Greek woman called Kiki cut my hair. Knowing her made me more curious about her country. Even a film like Mamma Mia! made me more interested in Greece-- it's so beautiful! This book sounds a bit like a soap opera, but I'll give it a try.

=== Non-Fiction ===

Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home by Mikael Lindnord. Set in South America.
Synopsis: "When you're racing 435 miles through the jungles and mountains of South America, the last thing you need is a stray dog tagging along. But that's exactly what happened to Mikael Lindnord, captain of a Swedish adventure racing team, when he threw a scruffy but dignified mongrel a meatball one afternoon.

When the team left the next day, the dog followed. Try as they might, they couldn't lose him—and soon Mikael realized that he didn't want to. Crossing rivers, battling illness and injury, and struggling through some of the toughest terrain on the planet, the team and the dog walked, kayaked, cycled, and climbed together toward the finish line, where Mikael decided he would save the dog, now named Arthur, and bring him back to his family in Sweden, whatever it took. Illustrated with candid photographs, Arthur provides a testament to the amazing bond between dogs and people.

▲ What can I say? South America is one of those continents that I find difficult when it comes to choosing books to read, and I'm in the mood for a tale of the dog.

Well-- how did I do? Have you read any of these already? (I know you have, Sam!) Or... did I tempt you to add to your own TBR piles? Which ones were the temptations? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Welcome back. Missed the daily missives, but knew you were having fun. I read Killers of a Certain Age -- pretty stark and murderous, but witty. This dog tale perks my interest. Sounds good. Await the review.

    1. I have several books that need reviews. I just need to get my mojo back after having such a fun, relaxing time.

  2. Suggest looking at Mikael Lindnord's Instagram page -- lots of great photos, including of Arthur in Sweden with his family.

  3. I'm so glad you had such a good time, Cathy! Can't wait to hear more about it. And you've got some good 'uns here. I've read some of Raybourn's romantic suspense, but not a purely 'crime fiction' novel from her. I'll be interested in what you think of that. And I do like MacLean's historical fiction. Yes, I think you have some fine reads ahead of you.

    1. I've heard lots of good things about Shona MacLean.

  4. Welcome back! I'm glad you had such a good time with your nieces. I have Killers of a Certain Age and What Lies in the Woods on my summer reading list. They both look really good. But those first two are also books I think I would really like, so I'm adding them to my TBR list! :D And they made a movie about that dog, Arthur; it's in theaters right now and it is so good. I highly recommend it. The movie is called Arthur the King.

    1. Thanks for the tip about the movie. I'll keep an eye out for it!

  5. Well, hello stranger! Not really - ha! So happy to hear that you've had a good time with family. You have been missed though. I have read Killers of a Certain Age and have What Lies in the Woods on my shelf. Hope you enjoy both!

  6. Your mystery books are very interesting all of them.

  7. Welcome back. A Litter of Bones was one of my best reads in 2023. Many readers loved Killers of a Certain Age but for me it was just ok.

    1. That's really good news about A Litter of Bones, Lynn. Thanks for letting me know!

  8. Welcome back - glad to hear you had a good time! I kept thinking of all of you, and hoping the visit went well.

    I already have the 1st 2 books you listed on my list to read (no surprise, since both involve police). And I'm another one who has already enjoyed Killers of a Certain Age, and think you're likely to as well.

    1. The more you folks say, the higher it moves up on my reading list. ;-)

  9. Good to see you back, Cathy. I hope your nieces enjoyed their visit and that you all had a great time. I've recently read that new Jack Taylor book and found it a little different from Bruen's take on Taylor than some of the earlier books in the series. Jack's in pretty bad shape in this one, but his head won't admit it even though his body is screaming at him to slow down.

    I found Killers of a Certain Age to be quite good, and kind of wish there were at least a sequel, if not a series, based on those characters.

    1. I'm almost in the mood to read the Bruen book, Sam. It will be interesting to see what I think of it.

  10. I've read a couple of J.D. Kirk's books including A Litter of Bones--love the setting. Killers of a Certain Age was fun because I love feisty old women and these were not only feisty, but skilled! Retired is not the same as dull, especially with the experience of these four women. :)

    1. I love hearing all these comments about A Litter of Bones and Killers of a Certain Age!


Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!