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Posts Tagged ‘Cynthia Harrod-Eagles’

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I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley

This is an entertaining, well written and relatively light hearted romance with a bit of a hard centre because the heroine is kidnapped.  Emma Ruskin is fed up with her teaching job so she decides to apply for the job of governess to a ten year old girl – Poppy.  Poppy’s family seem to despise her including the handsome Gavin.  But in spite of this Emma likes her new job – and Gavin.

Then both Poppy and Emma are kidnapped and held to ransom and suddenly everything is deadly serious.  Will they be rescued in time?  Emma puts her faith in Gavin working out where they are in time.

I like this author’s style and I thought she really brought the dysfunctional family to life – especially their bickering. I warmed to both Emma and Poppy as well and wanted things to work out for them. This was an entertaining light read and it kept me occupied for an afternoon in a very pleasant fashion.

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A skeleton is discovered in a suburban garden when a shed is demolished.  Clearly it isn’t anything to do with the young couple who have lived in the house for less than a year as the pathologist soon establishes that the bones have been there for at least fifteen years.  DCI Bill Slider needs a restful low key investigation which will keep him out of the limelight for a while following the fallout from his last case.

It seems as though the bones could be those of Amanda Knight who disappeared more than twenty years ago and who had lived in the house with her parents.  Slider soon finds himself totally engrossed in the case and it starts haunting his dreams.  It  becomes clear however that the case may not keep him out of the limelight after all.

I have read and enjoyed all the Bill Slider series.  I love the punning chapter headings and the way the police characters interact.  It makes a welcome change that Slider himself doesn’t have any personal issues apart from a few cases from the past haunting him from time to time.  It is also nice to read about teams of detectives who do basically get on with  each other.  The dialogue is well done and feels realistic and I like the plot.

I did work out who the murderer was in this case though not until more than half way through the book and it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of it.  The books in this series can be read as standalone novels if you don’t want to read the whole series in the right order.  This is number nineteen in the series.

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Country Plot

Jenna loses her home, her boyfriend and her job all within a few hours on one horrible Monday.  Shattered, she returns to the bosom of her family – or in this case her brother, Oliver and his wife and children.  Fortunately another relative offers her a temporary job which includes living in. Kitty Everest  Kitty and Jenna hit it off immediately and the job proves to be very interesting – cataloguing Kitty’s miscellaneous collection of objets d’art.  But Jenna soon gets caught up in plans to help Kitty increase her income so that she can stay in Holtby House rather than selling it.

In spite of the interesting job and the idyllic surroundings, Jenna soon finds there are always one or two serpents in paradise.  Somehow she needs to find out what’s going on and put a stop to it as there seem to be rather a lot of people working against Kitty.

I loved the characters and the dialogue in this well written novel.  Jenna is very far from being a helpless heroine and I really warmed to her and wanted things to work out for her.  This is light entertaining reading with a nice soupcon of skulduggery to stop it being too frothy.  If you want a book which will cheer you up on a wet winter afternoon  then you could do worse than read this one.

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Harte's Desire

I have read and enjoyed Cynthia Harrod-Eagles Bill Slider crime series and I stumbled across the audio edition of this book quite by accident.   Polly is married to Seth, an interior designer patronised by the rich and fashionable.  Her friend and next door neighbour, Ginnie is married to Julian, a publisher.  Life on the surface is good for both of them but Polly desperately wants a child and Ginnie is getting a bit bored with a husband she regards as putting the brakes on her shopping habit.

When Simon Harte, a wealthy American buys the house at the corner of the road things are set to change.  He comes into the art gallery where Polly works and insists on taking her out to lunch to seal the deal when he buys some expensive paintings.  Simon seems an interesting man and Poppy is just a little tempted but she loves Seth doesn’t she?

I enjoyed the sparky dialogue and the way the friendship between Polly and Ginnie is depicted.  I also enjoyed the way the tension mounts and you just know something is going to happen to change the status quo for this group of friends.  If you want a well written light read which also has some interesting things to say about life in general then you could do worse than read or listen to Harte’s Desire.

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One Under: A Bill Slider British Police Procedural (A Bill Slider Mystery)

Bill Slider is curious about an apparent hit and run death because the girl who is the victim seems to be outside her normal territory.  Something about the scene of the accident seems wrong but he can’t put his finger on what it is.  The post mortem reveals that her injuries weren’t consistent with being hit by a car.  There has also been a suicide on the underground of a middle aged man.  Two apparently unrelated incidents which soon seem like causing Slider and his team more trouble than they could ever have imagined.

This is an excellent read and the eighteenth in the Bill Slider series.  It is a change from the normal London police procedural in that the police characters mainly get on with each other and don’t have horrendously complicated private lives or major personal problems to contend with.  There is no bad language and little on the page violence.  They are well plotted and the characters are well drawn and there are plenty of amusing asides and some marvellous chapter headings.

I read this book in less than a day and really enjoyed it.  The plot is very topical and themes of the book are quite dark and gritty but they are dealt with in a low key way.  This is an excellent read and can be read as a standalone novel as well as part of a series.  I have read all the series now but read several of them out of series order but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment.  I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review.

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Blood Never Dies: A Bill Slider British Police Procedural (A Bill Slider Mystery)

A young man is found dead in his bath with his throat cut.  At first glance it could be suicide but something isn’t right and Bill Slider and his team believe it is murder.  But they can’t identify the body as all of his personal papers have disappeared and he appears to have been using a false name.  As they gradually uncover information about the victim and his contacts and associates things seem to be getting more complex rather than clearer.

As people they interview are found dead they fear they may have found a serial killer but there are also indications their first victim may be linked to some rather sinister activities.  This is an exciting well written crime novel and I found it an excellent read.  There is plenty of humour, some marvellous one liners and some amusing chapter headings.

I like Bill Slider as a character and he has to be one of the most likeable detectives in crime fiction. The series can be read in any order as there is enough background information about the series characters private lives to keep the reader informed.

 

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Body Line (Bill Slider Mysteries)

This is the thirteenth book in this entertaining and well written police procedural series.  DI Bill Slider’s latest case seems to be the product of a paid hit man.  Dr David Rogers is shot in the back of the head after he answers the door to an early morning caller.  The young woman who was with him at the time escapes by climbing over a balcony and taking refuge with a neighbour.  When Slider and his team start looking into the victim’s life it soon becomes clear that no one really knows what he does – or at least no one who is willing to talk.  His ex-wife clearly knows more than she is willing to tell but persuading her to talk seems the biggest stumbling block.  The biggest mystery of all is which hospital Dr Rogers worked for and precisely where the money comes from to fund his lavish life style.

As the police start looking into the victim’s life more and more layers are uncovered and the case becomes more complex rather than less.  This is a compelling read even if you have worked out what was going on before the end as I did.  I hadn’t worked out the details but I was pretty sure what was behind it all.  I still found it a tense read especially the denouement which was very tense.  This is a well written novel with plenty of amusing banter between the police characters and some marvellous chapter headings.

This series can be read in any order as there is enough background information about the private lives of the series characters to enable the reader to understand what has taken place before.  I love the way the characters interact and while the people involved don’t always see eye to eye they so manage to sort out their differences fairly quickly.  The books in the series are all well plotted and well written and the dialogue is some of the best in modern detective fiction in my opinion.

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