Tag Archives: Crime

Hidden Prey by Cheyenne McCray

Overview

Title: Hidden Prey
Author: Cheyenne McCray
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Romantic suspense
Pace: Fast
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2014

Thoughts

I didn’t mind this novel, but it most definitely wasn’t a favourite. Honestly, it was just a hit too instalove for me. I mean, it starts with a man who is not recovered from his fiancé’s death, and then he’s suddenly lying attracted with no guilt? That just felt… no character development. Let alone the woman who has just escaped an abusive relationship, to fall straight into the arms of someone else? Neither had any development to get to that point.

I also didn’t love the control that the Big Evil exerted over his granddaughter. I mean, I get that it’s important in his characterisation and a great way to villainise him, but ultimately I just felt icky. Then there were just multiple moments of discomfort with the Big Evil. Again, I understand why they are there, but I already knew he was evil…

Admittedly, I didn’t actually get to the end of this story. I stopped about three quarters of the way through. I figured if by that point I’m not all that invested, and don’t really get excited about what’s going to happen next… then, I don’t need to finish it. So maybe the conclusion would have made everything about this story so much better. I’ll never know.

All in all, this wasn’t a bad story. It’s just that I have so many amazing stories on my shelves that I didn’t feel invested in finishing a “not bad” tale.

<- More Cheyenne McCrayMore romantic suspense ->

Image source: Goodreads

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

Overview

Title: City of the Lost
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Rockton #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Pace: Fast
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2016

Thoughts

It took me a while to get through this book, not because it was easy to put down. But because it was just dark enough that reading it at night, before bed was not the greatest of ideas. So many twists and turns, and somewhat gruesome deaths filled these pages. And, just like all of the other books I’ve read by Kelley Armstrong, I freaking loved this.

Although Diana didn’t seem like the greatest of friends even from the beginning of this story, I was shocked at the depths of badness that she went to. I mean, her steady unravelling while Casey is able to find herself… it was horrible and a little heartbreaking. Also a little bit too familiar. Everyone has had a toxic friendship, and as someone who has recently said goodbye to one such friendship, it was a little bit eerie and too relatable.

Actually, this story had a few unexpected twists and betrayals throughout it. I spent the whole time trying to figure out just who the killer was, and it wasn’t until literally moments before the big reveal that I guessed it. Which completely doesn’t count as anticipation, because it was literally the moment that Casey puts it all together. I love those surprises, and I would love to go back one day and reread this, finding all of the clues that I totally missed. Having said that, I didn’t actually have any good guesses as to WHO the murderer was…

I loved everything about this book. It was absolutely amazing and fun and delicious. The idea of a town in which people are trying to disappear hide out is so very cool. And I love that it highlights all of the ways in which people are likely to resort to less-than-desirable behaviours if the rules of society are removed. It makes you stop and think about what social rules shape us.

<- More Kelley ArmstrongA Darkness Absolute ->

Image source: Goodreads

Serenity by Brad Parks

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Serenity
Author: Brad Parks
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Crime
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012

Thoughts

I enjoyed the way in which the wisdom prayer was used to create the name of this short story. It’s definitely a prayer that has come up a few times in my life over the years. I know in this context, it’s used in relation to AA. But still, it was a nice little moment.

This story is kind of horrible in places. Which is unsurprising because it features a murder. But I was weirdly happy about the fact that the lead in this story didn’t have a drink. So yeah,  he murdered someone and is about to dispose of the body and (theoretically) get away with murder. But he didn’t give up on his AA and have a drink.

You kind of gues from the beginning that Billy is dead. Yet, it isn’t till the end that you get that confirmation. And I kind of needed that. Mostly to make sure I wasn’t insane in my understandings. Also, there’s a great, somewhat graphic description of just how the man is killed.

<- The Great PlainsChatter ->

Image source: Amazon

Chemotherapy by Kat Richardson

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Chemotherapy
Author: Kat Richardson
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012

Thoughts

This short story had a completely unexpected turn. It was quite dark and filled with death and crime (expected), but with a much, much, much darker ending than I expected. Like, actually kind of horrifying. Although that could just be because it hit some of my sensitive points.

The little girl in this is just so damn adorable. But honestly, all I could think about when I finished this was how scared the child is going to be. It was totally heartbreaking. There was so much emotional connection in this story, and it was very difficult to not feel kind of sad at her story.

I honestly thought that this story was about a murder and would be a bit if a whodunit. But, as mentioned earlier, it was filled with unexpected twists and turns. So, ultimately it was about something entirely different. And I just loved that fact…

<- ChatterThe End is Never Pretty ->

Image source: Amazon

Chatter by Gary Phillips

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Chatter
Author: Gary Phillips
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Crime
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012

Thoughts

This short story was pure dialogue. Which makes sense, considering the fact that the title of it is literally Chatter. I mean, the whole thing read like chatter. And it was chaos, pure and simple. Considering it’s a short story in a collection about murder and mayhem, that was seriously apt.

This short story was rambling and chaotic, but really fun. Although, admittedly, it was so rambling that I’m not 100% sure of what was happening throughout. Still, that lack of understanding was kind of fun and is part of the reason I’d like to reread this story.

Even with my lack of understanding, I found this story to be wonderfully dark and twisty. Seriously enjoyable.

<- SerenityChemotherapy ->

Image source: Amazon

The Great Plains by Chris F. Holm

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: The Great Plains
Author: Chris F. Holm
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012

Thoughts

When you read a short story on a murder collection that is all about a man who is sitting by himself in a car and watching… you get the hinkies. And have some pretty serious reservations about where this is going to go. Don’t get me wrong, I like to sit in my car and just BE at times. But I don’t go to the same place and watch the same woman everyday…

Which makes it quite surprising that this didn’t really involve so much stabby stabby. Not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely a much gentler story than I was expecting.

Although this was still a bit stalkerish in feel, the acknowledgement of the stalkerishness made it much less creepy. That, and the fact that it is such a feeling of emptiness and lack of destination. It kind of made it sad more than anything.

<- The Name of the DameSerenity ->

Image source: Amazon

Loose Lips by Andrew Grant

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Loose Lips
Author: Andrew Grant
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012

Thoughts

I loved the spy angle of this short story. As the tale unfolds and the actions of the past twenty-four hours… you start to see more and more of what has gone on behind the scenes. And with each and every revelation, you find a new easter egg for some well thought out plot.

For every action, there is a wonderful reaction in this story. The narrator just filters out information as he’s distracting his opponent. And, the murder has already happened, so the stakes feel a whole lot intense and full on.

The title made me think that this would be a tale of gossip. One that lead to death because someone spoke when they shouldn’t. instead, it’s all about misdirection and secrecy. With so, so, so many unexpected twists and turns throughout.

Eight short pages, and I seriously loved this short story.

<- Kross KillThe Name of the Dame ->

Image source: Amazon

Kross Kill by J.M. Edwards

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Kross Kill
Author: J.M. Edwards
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012

Thoughts

This was… disturbed. Which is not surprising considering the collection that I found this in. And the fact that it had the word “kill” in the title. Although, I was expecting more of a twist in this tale. It was actually a pretty straight forward, kill and murder kind of story…

I do like that although all of the bad in this happens through sheer stupidity, the guy who is a dumbass does get his comeuppance. It’s probably a little bit extreme and not necessarily poetic justice… but, still, I liked the just desserts at the end. Actually, both the dumbass bad guy and the bad guy bad guy got a pretty horrible / good ending.

Actually, I completely expected the uncle to be more of a bad ass. Certainly a determined man, but not anywhere near the level of challenge that I was expecting. Which was a little bit sad.

You know how when you read a story, there is one image that just seems to stick? For this one it’s blood splatter…

<- Nice Guy TypeLoose Lips ->

Image source: Amazon

The Royal Art of Poison by Eleanor Herman

Overview

Title: The Royal Art of Poison: Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicines and Murder Most Foul
Author: Eleanor Herman
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime, History, Science
Pace: Slow
Format: Non-fictional text
Year: 2018

Thoughts

This is one of those books that I’ve stopped and started multiple times. It’s incredibly interesting and informative. But, it’s a little bit dry throughout. There’s good wit, humour and sass. But it’s also a lot of information in a short amount of time.

I enjoyed how this book first talked about the different (and many) caused of death in the past. How many of these deaths were often attributed to poison… but in fact were just poor hygiene and pure insanity. Of nothing else, this is a great reminder of just how far we’ve come. And how damn lucky I feel to have been born in the modern era.

Then there’s the section on historical figures which were reported to be murdered by poison. I love how Herman not only talks about those final moments, but also a little about their lives, the reasons for their apparent murder and finally the modern evidence that does or does not support poisoning. It’s very interesting reading about well known historical figures.

This is definitely one of those books that I’ll need to read again and again. It’s filled with information that I probably won’t absorb even with multiple reads. And then there’s so much follow up reading to fill my brain with!!!

<- More crimeMore history ->

Image source: Amazon

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Overview

Title: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Series: No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Africa, Cozy mysteryCrime
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Year: 1998

Thoughts

I was surprised by this story. Mostly in the fact that there really didn’t appear to be any one specific storyline. I thought that there would be one underlying crime that would carry throughout this whole story. Instead, it was a series of short investigations that let you get to know Botswana and Mma Ramotswe.

Although this was very different to what I expected, I absolutely loved reading this. It kind of felt like the African sun (I’ve spent time in South Africa)… that feeling of being relaxed and content. That the world is good just for being itself and worth embracing every moment. It was so relaxed and just downright fun. Although, it also meant that I didn’t race to finish this either…

Although there wasn’t a huge underlying crime that went through as a common thread, there was one crime that had moments showing up throughout. It gave a sense of mystery without being overpowering like many of the crime stories that I’ve read. I love that there was an eventual conclusion, but it wasn’t the conclusion to the story.

This is one of those cruisy books that I look forward to reading again. I will also look forward to adding more of this series to my shelves. It was impossible to put down and look away from. And definitely has pulled me into the glorious nostalgia of the African sun.

<- More Alexander McCall SmithTears of the Giraffe ->

Image source: Kobo