One thing that helps me get my reading back into the 'normal' zone is to have the joy of diving into the latest books in two favorite mystery series. And that joy was mine in the last few days. I'll tell you about it in just a bit. I also want to invite everyone back here on Friday of this week to enjoy a guest post by my friend (who is also a mystery writer) Skye Alexander. Her latest mystery is What the Walls Know - more about that later.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Deborah Crombie's books featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. Truly, truly loved them. The latest (#19) is called A Killing of Innocents. This book starts with a trainee doctor, Sasha Johnson, hurrying across Russell Square, on her way to meet a friend. Unfortunately, Sasha doesn't make it to her meeting because she is very quickly stabbed and then dies. Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid is called to the scene and he and his partner, Doug Cullen, begin the investigation. Duncan contacts his wife, Gemma James, who along with her partner, Melody Talbot, have been assigned to a special task force on knifing crimes. And we, the readers, get to follow along as we learn more about the victim and whether her death was targeted or if she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Deborah Crombie is a master at developing characters that the reader wants to know and follow along. She's also a great crime writer, so the puzzle to solve is also interesting. I have enjoyed all her books and learning about London (she does her research admirably there), other parts of England, and finding out the who's and why's and how's. However, as I said, the characters, their lives, how they grow and change - definitely a master. Well done, Deborah, and by the way, when will the next be ready? Ha! A highly recommended series.Elly Griffiths' series featuring Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist, and DCI Nelson, representing the police. The title is The Last Remains and I once again 'cheated' and ordered this book from the UK. Well, it comes out in February there and won't be out until April 25 here. You see my dilemma. Ha! I have linked to the US copy and will be showing that cover as well. In this book, a skeleton is discovered in the wall of a cafe that is being renovated. The police are called (DCI Nelson) and Dr. Ruth Galloway is brought in to examine the bones and determine the age and possibly how the person died. There turns out to be connections to other favorite characters (Cathbad) and the trail also leads to some Neolithic flint mines.
I said that the author above was a master at character development and I believe that Elly Griffiths is another that is so, so talented in this area. I have loved Ruth and Nelson since the very first book, The Crossing Places. As the series has progressed, we have learned more and more about Ruth's profession of archaeology and more and more about Ruth herself, Nelson, his team, their families, and other characters that have been included. Each book lets us catch up with the whole 'family' and solve a crime as well.
I don't think it's a spoiler to say that this one may be the last in this series for a while. Elly Griffiths has not said it's the end, but other reviews have said this. I think she said - the last...for now. The crime-solving here is good, the updates and appearances of characters from all over the series are good, and the references (not by name but by small tidbits) to previous books are good. I don't think a reader would catch all of those references had they not read the previous books - just saying. I loved the book and I love this series. Finishing it made me want to start at the beginning and read them all again. If you haven't read this series, it is highly recommended by me. Elly Griffiths has been writing a couple of other series lately and also done some middle grade mysteries. She's busy. My request to her is to please let us see a bit more of Ruth and Nelson as time goes by.
Have you read either of these series or parts of them? What are your favorite mystery series? I can always use another one, right? LOL