I recently posted about the audio books I’ve read in the last 2 1/2 months, now for the print books…
I read two Jane Langton mysteries. I LOVE her books! I read the first two in her Homer Kelly series and of course I read the second one first and the first one second. Oh well…
The Minuteman Murder (the first Home Kelly book. previously titled The Transcendental Murder)
Set in Concord Massachusetts, home to the transcendental American past. Seems everyone there is infatuated with the Transcendentalists, Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, Dickinson. Homer Kelly, a detective is in Concord researching for a book he is writing on one of the Transcendentalists. He meets Mary Morgan in the library. She is also working on a book, hers is about the Women of the Transcendental movement. It’s love/hate at first sight!
Ernest Goss, a wealthy resident reveals at a town meeting that he has come into possession of some rather delicate Transcendental letters that shed a rather shady light on the Transcendentalist themselves! Are they genuine or fakes? Several residents don’t want them published but Ernest is determined to make his name with the publication of them. What lengths will the town go to, to stop Ernest publishing them?
Patriots Day is here and the town always has a big festival on April 19th commemorating the Battle of Concord, one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. The highlight of the festival is the re-enactment of the ride of Paul Revere or Dr. Samuel Prescott who was the one that went on to Concord with the news that the British were coming. Shortly after the ride and the parade a shot is heard and a boy scout finds the body of Ernest Goss! Did one of his sons kill him, or someone who didn’t want the letters published? Mary and Homer are hot on the case.
A good sense of place and quotes from Thoreau, Emerson, Dickinson and the lot at the beginning of each chapter and throughout the book. Wonderful quirky characters and a gem of a detective in Homer Kelly.
This book counts for My Readers Block Scavenger Hunt Silver, a revolver on the cover.
Dark Nantucket Noon by Jane Langton
Homer and Mary are back in this second installment set on Nantucket. An eclipse of the sun turned daytime into chillingly unnatural night and when the light returned, someone was dead! Kitty Clark came to Nantucket to observe the eclipse at a prime location for viewing. Arriving at the lighthouse at Great Point at the very end of the island, she stumbles on a dead woman. The dead woman just happens to be the wife of Joe Green, Kitty’s ex-lover and when the party descends the lighthouse stairs and find Helen dead, Kitty is standing over her with bloody hands. One of the men said, ‘You killed her’ and Kitty said, ‘No, it was the moon, you see. The moon did it.’
An exceptionally well written whodunit. Suspenseful and tense right to the end! Can Homer prove Kitty is innocent with such evidence against her? A real page turner. I enjoyed this one better than the first and it’s a good thing I read the second one first because it made me hungry for more!! This copy was a Penguin book and full of lovely sketches by the author. You can check out a few on a post I did previously about this book here.
This book also counts for Bev’s Scavenger Hunt Silver, the lighthouse meets the a building other than a house square
and counting towards Read Scotland…
The Lion and Unicorn Quest by Cecilia Peartree
I picked up this little ebook as it is written by a Scots author and would count for Read Scotland. Ms. Peartree has a couple different series. I read the first one in her Crime in the Community series set in Scotland and really enjoyed it. This one is in The Quest series and set in 1950’s London. It centers around a couple who search for and find lost art works, usually lost in the war.
Flora and Oliver work together recovering stolen or lost art works and after a silly argument they aren’t speaking to each other. Flora’s past as a secret agent in the war is coming back to haunt her. She is pulled into an investigation surrounding an old nemesis. In the meantime Oliver is asked to help protect a famous painting being loaned out for display at the Festival of Britain. Doesn’t take long before their different paths cross and they find themselves deep in a murder mystery. Not anything really deep, but quite enjoyable and free at Smashwords! Crime in the Community is free too!
The Last of the Line by John MacKay
Cal’s parents are dead and his last remaining blood relative, Aunt Mary, passes away. Cal returns to the Outer Hebrides to arrange her funeral and take care of her estate. He’s a big city boy now and doesn’t care for or understand the the old islanders way of life. But Cal learns Mary had a secret all his life and he is determined to find out what it is. Could she have been his mother? Will he stay on the island or return to the city? Another wonderfully atmospheric book from MacKay. After reading The Road Dance by him I had to get my hands on all his books and all I can say is I hope he writes more!
Heartland by John MacKay
Ian Martin returns home to Lewis after his marriage ends in divorce. He’s looking to re-connect with his roots and start again. Hoping that reconstructing his ancestral home, an old blackhouse, will give him purpose. While digging up the old floor he unearths a human skeleton. Now he has a mystery to unravel as well. Could it be the skeleton of a high school friend thought lost at sea? I LOVED this book. Characters from The Road Dance are mentioned in this one too. Excellent mystery and beautiful location. If you like tales set in Scotland you really need to get your hands on one of his books.