Recent Reading

I’ve read some books recently and haven’t written about them – ‘real life’ keeps getting in the way! So here are a few brief notes on three of the books I’ve read this month:

  • The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi 4/5 – the first in the Hermes Diaktoros, Greek detective series, set on a remote Greek island. Hermes investigates the death of a young woman. It’s great on location and characters, but a bit slow in parts. Each of the books in the series features one of the Seven Deadly Sins – in this one it is the sin of lust. I’ve read the third book in the series – The Doctor of Thessaly – and have the fifth one, The Whispers of Nemesis. I just need to find the second and fourth books to complete the series.
  • Before the Poison by Peter Robinson 4/5. This is a stand-alone book, about Chris Lowndes, a widower who has bought a house in the Yorkshire Dales. Sixty years earlier a man had died there and his wife Grace was convicted of his murder and hanged. Chris wants to discover whether she really was guilty. This is a convincing mystery, told alternating between the present day and the past. Another book well grounded in its locality and with great characterisation.
  • The Inspector’s Daughter by Alanna Knight 3.5/5 – the first in the Rose McQuinn Mystery series. Set in Edinburgh in 1895, Rose, recently returned from America’s Wild West, steps into the shoes of her father, DI Faro (another series of books features this detective). Her friend Alice ask her to investigate her husband’s strange behaviour as she is convinced he’s having an affair. Meanwhile there is also the mystery of the brutal murder of a servant girl to solve. Rose lives in an isolated house at the foot of Arthur’s Seat and is helped by a wild deerhound who appears just when she needs him. An interesting historical murder mystery, convincingly set in the late 19th century, when Edinburgh was developing and the Forth Railway Bridge had just been opened.

Book Beginnings on Friday: The Inspector’s Daughter

How to participate: Share the first line (or two) of the book you are currently reading. Book Beginnings is hosted by Katy at A Few More Pages every Friday.

I found The Inspector’s Daughter by Alanna Knight in my local library recently. I’d never come across this author before but see from the book cover that she has written more than 40 novels, 4 non-fiction books, numerous short stories and 2 plays!

With some many books to her name I thought I’d once again jumped into a series of books, but I was lucky because The Inspector’s Daughter is the first in the Rose McQuinn Mysteries. In this book set in 1895 Rose has returned home to Edinburgh from the American Wild West and it’s not long before she steps into her father’s shoes by agreeing to investigate the strange behaviour of her friend’s husband.

The book begins:

Soon I would be safe.

The journey from nightmare was almost ended. Every turn of the train’s wheels, every drifting smoke wreath closed the door more firmly on the past.

Beyond the hills, the blue glimpse of the sea, Edinburgh was fast approaching, epilogue to ten years in America, so-called land of opportunity but for me a land of tragedy and loss.

So, this opening shows that Rose has had a bad time – ‘a nightmare’, and  a ‘tragedy’ in America, but raises questions, such as – what happened? What was the loss? And why did she go to America and what is she coming home to? I haven’t read much further so I don’t know the answers yet – but this opening does make me want to read on to find out.

I’ve borrowed this book from the library but I see on Amazon that a Kindle edition is available. Alanna Knight has a website, where I see she not only writes but also paints!