Warning: Some of these reviews contain spoilers.
Leaving 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 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.
The 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.
A 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).
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