Crime Fiction Pick of the Month – June 2012

The Crime Fiction Pick of the Month meme is hosted at Mysteries in Paradise by Kerrie. I read 5 crime fiction books this month and my pick of the month is:

Red Bones by Ann Cleeves

Red Bones is the third book in Ann Cleeves’s Shetland Quartet. It’s set on Whalsay, where two young archaeologists, excavating a site on Mima Williams’s land, discover human bones. They are sent away for testing – are they an ancient  find or are the bones more contemporary? Sandy Wilson, Inspector Jimmy Perez’s sergeant is Mima’s grandson. He is visiting his family when late one night he finds Mima’s body. It appears she was shot accidently by his cousin Ronald, out shooting rabbits. Then one of the archaeologists is also found dead, and even though it appears to be suicide Jimmy and Sandy are not convinced, thinking it could be murder.

I really like these Shetland mysteries. They are complicated and slow-moving books that enable you to immerse yourself in the mystery. The characters have depth and the locations are superbly described. In this book Ann Cleeves explores both the history of the island, its close-knit community, its traditions and the intricacies of the close family relationships. In contrast to the rest of the series the novel is narrated by Sandy as well as Jimmy and consequently both their innermost thoughts and feelings are revealed.

Red Bones is currently being filmed for a two-part TV drama. More good news – Ann Cleeves’s website reveals that there is another Jimmy Perez mystery in progress  – Dead Water to be published in January 2013.

The four books in the Shetland series are:

7 thoughts on “Crime Fiction Pick of the Month – June 2012

  1. While I am really glad to hear that there is a new Jimmy Perez mystery on the way, I’m not sure what I think about a TV adaptation!
    After the disastrous casting of the main character of the last series I liked (Stephen Tompkinson is NOT how I imagined Peter Robinson’s Insp Banks and his performance in the one episode I watched didn’t win me over either!), I am rather worried about who they are going to cast as Jimmy!


    1. I agree,Liz. I did not like the Insp Banks series and Stephen Tompkinson in no way resembles my image of Banks. Douglas Henshall, a Scots actor is playing Jimmy Perez and unless they change his appearance he doesn’t look like my idea of Perez. I don’t usually like TV or film versions of books I’ve read in any case, but maybe this will be OK – just as long as they don’t change the plot or characters.


      1. Not sure what I think about that! On the one hand, I like Douglas Henshall and he can act but on the other isn’t he reddish blond and Jimmy Perez is dark and quite Spanish looking?
        I have to confess that I have always thought he would look a bit like TV historian Neil Oliver but that is no help in casting an actor to play him!


        1. That’s the problem, isn’t it? Henshall doesn’t look like Perez. I hadn’t thought about who could play him but you are so right – Neil Oliver does have a look of Perez. I love his programmes, but don’t think he’d take on the role!


  2. This is a series that I’ve been meaning to read for some time. I actually have all 4 books. Your thoughts and high ratings make me anxious to begin. However, I’m still immersed in Deborah Crombie’s Kincaid/Jones series right now. It’s fun to anticipate though. TV or movie adaptations are always a little tricky aren’t they? Some work fine for me, even if the actors don’t match my vision of them. I just kind of disconnect and consider it a “new” character. 🙂


    1. Kay, I haven’t read any of Deborah Crombie’s Kincaid/Jones series!

      It’s a good idea to ‘disconnect’ from the book if you can when watching a TV/film version. Usually, I can’t!


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