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Jane Austen, detective

WaterlooStephaine Barron’s Jane Austen Mysteries is one of the longest-standing series starring a real author.  Barron’s premise is that a cache of lost Jane Austen papers, which purportedly shed light on the “lost years” of Jane’s life, has turned up on a Maryland estate.  These letters document, in “Jane’s” own words,  a series of detecting adventures.  Barron does an excellent job of imitating Jane Austen’s style, and intriguingly links real people with their fictional alter-egos, for instance Jane’s mother looks and sounds a lot like Mrs. Bennet (of Pride and Prejudice).   Jane’s latest adventure is Jane and the Waterloo Map (Soho, 2/2016) which is set in 1815 after the battle of Waterloo.  Cavalry hero Colonel MacFarland has been attacked and is near death when Jane finds him.  His last words  “Waterloo map,” impel Jane to investigate.

–posted 2/22/2016

Posted February/24/2016

New Hamish MacBeth

deathofanurseDeath of a Nurse  (Grand Central, 2/2016) is the 32nd mystery starring Sergeant Hamish MacBeth, the carrot-haired, easy-going Scottish policeman in the Highland village of Lochdubh (pronounced Lock-doo).   His clumsy new assistant Charlie Carter has replaced Dick Fraser who quit to open a bakery in a town nearby.  Readers can rely on Beaton’s good plots, quaint village ways, and continuing characters such as:  Nessie and  Jessie Currie, Priscilla Halburton-Smith and Detective Chief Inspector Blair not to mention MacBeth’s odd looking blue-eyed dog called Lugs and his wild cat namds Sonsie.  This new mystery starts when Hamish meets Gloria Dainty, the beautiful private nurse hired to care for  old Mr. Harrison.  Hamish asks her out to dinner, but she stands him up.  Several days later, her body is found at the bottom of a cliff.

–posted 2/15/2016

Posted February/24/2016

New Louise Rick

Sara Blaedel’s  detective novels have regularly hit the top of Scandinavian bestseller lists, but are not as well-known in the U.S.   Her series features Danish detective Louise Rick, who has had special FBI training and worked many years in homicide.  She is single, but has a foster teen-aged son and is quite close to her journalist friend Camilla Lind.   The Killing Forest (Grand Central, 2/2016) is the 5th Louise Rick crime novel to be translated and published in the U.S.  Rick is now working for the National Police heading an elite unit investigating missing persons where crime is suspected.  Her present case concerns a fifteen-year-old boy who vanished a week earlier.  When Louise realizes that the missing teenager is from the town of Hvalsoe,where she lived as a young woman, she seizes the opportunity to combine the search for the teen with her personal investigation of her boyfriend’s long-ago suicide.

–posted 2/8/2016

Posted February/24/2016

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