Mini-reviews: Mysteries

Warning: Some of these reviews contain spoilers.

leaving everything most lovedLeaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear (March 2013, Harper), 352 pages

I loved the color and spices of India that infused this novel, the tenth in the Maisie Dobbs series.

I felt a little manipulated by Winspear. I wondered if she was delaying a decision on Maisie’s relationship with James just to prolong the series (ugh!). On the one hand, I just want to see them together. I think they’ll work well, and I want to see that. But on the other, I think Maisie still acted within her very independent nature. So mostly I’m just sitting here wishing and hoping. And a little sad.

Another great installment in one of my favorite historical mystery series.

doors openDoors Open by Ian Rankin (Reagan Arthur (Little Brown), 2010), 368 pages

I’d heard lots of great things about Ian Rankin’s books, so I was glad to get the chance to pull this one from its lingering spot on the TBR shelf. Mostly, though, I was disappointed by this one. If I hadn’t heard such great things, I probably would have put it down mid-read (and I maybe should have abandoned it regardless).

I did enjoy the Edinburgh setting, though.

I plan to give Rankin another try, starting with book one of his Inspector Rebus series, Knots and Crosses.

missing fileThe Missing File by D.A. Mishani (Harper, March 2013), 304 pages

This is another one that didn’t really live up to my expectations. Again, I enjoyed the setting (Israel this time). But most of the book really plodded. The protagonist’s low self-esteem seemed to pervade the book. We have this supposedly great detective, who doesn’t do or learn anything really. It’s like he’s living in an allergy fog like those commercials, except we’re given no explanation for his inaction.

The twist at the end is pretty great, though, I thought. And how the main points are never really, truly, nailed down.

red herring without mustardA Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley (Bantam, 2011), 432 pages

This third Flavia de Luce mystery was the needed rebound after the sophomore slump that was The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag (my review). Our precocious protag is back at it, and I quite enjoyed this one. I hope it’s not too long until I can return to the series (I think I’ve got books four and five on my shelves waiting patiently).

I received some of these books from the publisher. I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

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10 responses to “Mini-reviews: Mysteries

  1. I need to get back to the Flavia books too.

  2. Those first two are series that I plan on reading sometime – hopefully in the near future!

    • Doors Open is actually a standalone, but I think I know what you meant, since I referenced Rankin’s main series, too.

      You haven’t read any Maisie Dobbs yet? I think you’ll really enjoy those books.

  3. Do you think Winspear is afraid of “jumping the sharK” if she finally has Maisie and James get married? She would certainly have to adjust Maisie’s independent nature some and she’s lose that tension that she’s been playing with through all of these books.

    • I hope she isn’t afraid. She’s shepherded Maisie through lots of other pretty dramatic life changes, and I think both Winspear and Dobbs can certainly handle it. It’s so annoying when you (the reader) feel strung along endlessly. The story certainly doesn’t have to end at the wedding!

      • I haven’t read this series yet, but it sounds like one I’d enjoy. Except, now that I know I’m going to get strung along, I’m not sure! :) I don’t like it when authors do that either. The worst offender for me has been the Hannah Swensen mysteries. I really enjoyed the characters and the recipes in the beginning, but it was like Joanne Fluke (the author) was afraid to take the series anywhere. It’s really sad to me.

        Thanks for sharing these fun reviews at Booknificent Thursday! You’ve added several to my TBR list!
        Tina

  4. Oh man. I borrowed Red Herring from my stepmom MONTHS ago and still haven’t gotten to it. Funny because I remember reading The Weed while nursing Elle in those early weeks–maybe it’s time I pick up the series again. Glad to hear you enjoyed it better than The Weed!

  5. You are reading some fun books! Do I dare add titles to my already overwhelming reading wish list? :)

  6. Pingback: Best of Reading for 2013 | Word Lily

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