• Book Review: Murder at Wedgefield Manor by Erica Ruth Neubauer (Jane Wunderley, 2)

    Book Review: Murder at Wedgefield Manor by Erica Ruth Neubauer (Jane Wunderley, 2)

    Murder at Wedgefield Manor by Erica Ruth Wunderley is a charming and delightful mystery novel set in the tranquil Essex countryside of England in 1926. The story follows Jane, an American who is spending some time in England with her matchmaking Aunt Millie before they return to America. While Millie catches up with her long-lost daughter Lillian and their host, Lord Hughes, Jane fills her days with reading mystery novels and taking flying lessons. But things take a dangerous turn when Simon Marshall, one of the estate’s mechanics, is killed in a car accident, and it’s revealed that the brake cables were intentionally cut.

    The murder of Simon Marshall sets off a chain of events that reveals the dark secrets of Wedgefield Manor’s residents. The house is full of suspects, including visiting relations, secretive servants, and strangers prowling the grounds at night. With the help of the enigmatic Mr. Redvers, who Jane previously met in Egypt, she sets out to uncover the truth behind the murder.

    One of the strengths of this book is its setting. The author expertly transports the reader to the English countryside in the 1920s, creating a charming and idyllic backdrop for the murder mystery. The descriptions of the manor, the gardens, and the surrounding countryside are vivid and engaging, making the reader feel like they are right there alongside the characters.

    The characters in Murder at Wedgefield Manor are well-drawn and believable. Jane is a smart and resourceful protagonist who is easy to root for. Her aunt Millie is a fun and eccentric character who adds some levity to the story. The other characters in the book, including Lord Hughes, his family, and the estate’s staff, all have their own secrets and motivations, which keeps the reader guessing as to who the murderer might be.

    The plot of the book is well-crafted, with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader engaged. The pacing is just right, with the tension building steadily throughout the book until the exciting conclusion. The mystery is complex enough to keep the reader guessing, but not so convoluted that it becomes confusing.

    One of the themes of the book is the role of women in society in the 1920s. Jane is a modern woman who is interested in flying planes and solving mysteries, much to the disapproval of her Aunt Millie. The book touches on the struggles that women faced during this time period, but it doesn’t feel heavy-handed or preachy.

    Murder at Wedgefield Manor is a well-crafted and engaging mystery novel that will appeal to fans of the genre. The setting and characters are charming, and the mystery is complex enough to keep the reader guessing until the very end. This is a great book for anyone looking for a cozy mystery with a strong female protagonist and a charming English setting. You can get a copy of this light-hearted romp from Amazon here.

  • Book Review: Pietr The Latvian by Georges Simenon (Jules Maigret, 1)

    Book Review: Pietr The Latvian by Georges Simenon (Jules Maigret, 1)

    Pietr the Latvian is the first novel in the Jules Maigret series, written by Belgian author Georges Simenon and originally published in 1931. The novel introduces the iconic detective character of Jules Maigret, who goes on to appear in over 70 novels and numerous short stories, becoming one of the most beloved figures in detective fiction.

    The novel is set in Paris, where Maigret is called in to investigate the arrival of a mysterious Latvian named Pietr. Initially, Maigret’s investigation is simply routine, but as he delves deeper into the case, he realizes that Pietr is not who he claims to be. The investigation takes Maigret to various locations across Europe, including Amsterdam, Berlin, and Riga, as he tries to uncover Pietr’s true identity and motive.

    One of the key strengths of Pietr the Latvian is its focus on character. Simenon was known for his ability to create fully-realized, three-dimensional characters, and this is evident in the novel. Maigret is a compelling and sympathetic character, with a deep sense of compassion and understanding for the people he encounters in his investigation. Pietr, meanwhile, is a complex and enigmatic figure, whose true identity remains a mystery for much of the novel.

    The novel’s setting is also notable, as Simenon evokes a strong sense of place and atmosphere in his writing. The novel takes place in various locations across Europe, and Simenon’s descriptions of these places are vivid and evocative, creating a strong sense of the novel’s setting. The novel also explores the complexities of European society in the early 20th century, including issues of nationalism and class.

    The plot of Pietr the Latvian is well-constructed and suspenseful, with a number of twists and turns that keep the reader engaged. Simenon’s prose style is spare and direct, with a focus on Maigret’s observations and thought processes. The pacing of the novel is slow and deliberate, with a focus on the minutiae of Maigret’s investigation, which may not appeal to readers who prefer more action-oriented crime fiction.

    One potential weakness of the novel is its portrayal of race and ethnicity. The character of Pietr is portrayed as a sinister and duplicitous figure, and his Latvian heritage is often invoked as a sign of his otherness. While it is important to note that the novel was written in a different time and cultural context, modern readers may find the novel’s treatment of race and ethnicity problematic.

    In conclusion, Pietr the Latvian is a well-crafted crime novel that introduces the iconic character of Jules Maigret to the world. The novel is notable for its focus on character, setting, and atmosphere, as well as its well-constructed plot and Simenon’s spare and direct prose style. While the novel’s treatment of race and ethnicity may be problematic for modern readers, the novel remains a compelling and engaging work of detective fiction that will appeal to fans of the genre. You can get a copy of this mystery from Amazon here.

  • New Book Releases March 15- March 21, 2023

    New Book Releases March 15- March 21, 2023

    Murder in Paris by Andrea Hicks (The Camille Divine Murder Mysteries, 4)

    Summer 1923 – PARIS
    Camille decides it’s time to make her promised visit to Paris to see her old friend, Madame Tatou. She, Ottilie, and Cecily travel to France by aeroplane, a new experience for them all. They have a purpose in going to Paris, one that they hope will end in joy, but their plans are somewhat waylaid when Madame Tatou finds the body of her maid in a cupboard at her 7th Arrondissement apartment. The intrepid Camille, and her loyal maid, Cecily, set out to discover why Madame Tatou’s maid was murdered, who wanted her dead…and why!


    Released March 16, 2023.

    A Mansion for Murder by Frances Brody (A Kate Shackleton Mystery, 13)

    Old bones speak from the grave as a curse descends on Saltaire in acclaimed author Frances Brody’s thirteenth Kate Shackleton mystery, perfect for fans of Rhys Bowen and Jacqueline Winspear.

    When Kate Shackleton disembarks at Saltaire station, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, she has no idea what to expect. A stranger, Ronnie Creswell, has written to say that he has urgent information about the past that will interest her, and he persuades her to make the journey to Milner Field, the grand house that is said to be cursed. But moments after Kate arrives at the lodge, a messenger brings devastating news to Ronnie’s parents: he has been found drowned in the mill reservoir.
    Ronnie’s father suspects that this was no accident, and the post-mortem proves him right. Ronnie was murdered. Terrified and distraught, Mrs. Creswell refuses to stay at the Lodge a moment longer. But events take an even more shocking turn when ten-year-old Nancy Creswell, eyes and ears for her blind Uncle Nick, goes missing. An account of the fateful Saturday of Ronnie’s death arouses Kate’s suspicions, and furhter investigations could prove her right. But truth is never so straightforward at Milner Field. Uncle Nick spins an old story that could hold the key to finding Nancy alive—though the fabled curse may not have claimed its last victim yet. And only a set of old bones buried on the grounds will finally reveal the horrifying truth.


    Released March 21, 2023.

    The White Lady: A Novel by Jacqueline Winspear

    The White Lady introduces yet another extraordinary heroine from Jacqueline Winspear, creator of the best-selling Maisie Dobbs series. This heart-stopping novel, set in Post WWII Britain in 1947, follows the coming of age and maturity of former wartime operative Elinor White—veteran of two wars, trained killer, protective of her anonymity—when she is drawn back into the world of menace she has been desperate to leave behind.

    A reluctant ex-spy with demons of her own, Elinor finds herself facing down one of the most dangerous organized crime gangs in London, ultimately exposing corruption from Scotland Yard to the highest levels of government.

    The private, quiet “Miss White” as Elinor is known, lives in a village in rural Kent, England, and to her fellow villagers seems something of an enigma. Well she might, as Elinor occupies a “grace and favor” property, a rare privilege offered to faithful servants of the Crown for services to the nation. But the residents of Shacklehurst have no way of knowing how dangerous Elinor’s war work had been, or that their mysterious neighbor is haunted by her past.

    It will take Susie, the child of a young farmworker, Jim Mackie and his wife, Rose, to break through Miss White’s icy demeanor—but Jim has something in common with Elinor. He, too, is desperate to escape his past. When the powerful Mackie crime family demands a return of their prodigal son for an important job, Elinor assumes the task of protecting her neighbors, especially the bright-eyed Susie. Yet in her quest to uncover the truth behind the family’s pursuit of Jim, Elinor unwittingly sets out on a treacherous pathyet it is one that leads to her freedom.


    Released March 21, 2023.

    The Raven Thief by Gigi Pandian (Secret Staircase Mysteries, 2)

    Multiple award-winning author Gigi Pandian is one of the best locked room mystery writers working today. Her newest heroine, Tempest Raj, returns in The Raven Thief, where sliding bookcases, trick tables, and hidden reading nooks hide something much more sinister than the Secret Staircase Construction crew ever imagined.

    One murder. Four impossibilities. A fake séance hides a very real crime.

    Secret Staircase Construction just finished their first project with Tempest Raj officially a part of the team—a classic mystery novel-themed home interior. Their client is now ready to celebrate her new life without her cheating ex-husband, famous mystery author Corbin Colt. First up, a party, and Tempest and Grandpa Ash are invited to the exclusive mock séance to remove any trace of Corbin from the property—for good. It’s all lighthearted fun until Corbin’s dead body crashes the party.

    The only possible suspects are the eight people around the séance table—a circle of clasped hands that wasn’t broken. Suspicion quickly falls on Grandpa Ash, the only one with actual blood on him. To prove her beloved grandfather’s innocence, Tempest must figure out what really happened—and how—or Ash will be cooking his delectable Indian and Scottish creations nevermore.


    Released March 21, 2023.

    Murder at Waldenmere Lake by Michelle Salter (The Iris Woodmore Mysteries, 2)

    Walden, 1921. Local reporter Iris Woodmore is determined to save her beloved lake, Waldenmere, from destruction.

    After a bloody and expensive war, the British Army can’t afford to keep the lake and build a convalescent home on its shores yet they still battle with Walden Council and a railway company for ownership. But an old mansion used as an officer training academy stands where the railway company plans to build a lakeside hotel. It belongs to General Cheverton – and he won’t leave his home.

    When the General is found murdered, it appears someone will stop at nothing to win the fight for Waldenmere. Iris thinks she can take on the might of the railway company and find the killer. But nothing prepares her for the devastation that’s to come…


    Released March 21, 2023.

    Murder Under a Red Moon by Harini Nagendra (Bangalore Detectives Club, 2)

    The latest novel in the acclaimed Bangalore Detectives Club series finds amateur sleuth Kaveri Murthy uncovering a new murder during the blood moon eclipse.

    When new bride Kaveri Murthy reluctantly agrees to investigate a minor crime to please her domineering mother-in-law—during the blood moon eclipse, no less—she doesn’t expect, once again, to stumble upon a murder.

    With anti-British sentiment on the rise, a charismatic religious leader growing in influence, and the fight for women’s suffrage gaining steam, Bangalore is turning out to be a far more dangerous and treacherous place than Kaveri ever imagined—and everyone’s motives are suspect.

    Together with the Bangalore Detectives Club—a mixed bag of street urchins, nosy neighbours, an ex-prostitute, and a policeman’s wife— Kaveri once again sleuths in her sari and hunts for clues in her beloved 1920s Ford.

    But when her life is suddenly put in danger, Kaveri realizes that she might be getting uncomfortably close to the truth. So she must now draw on her wits and find the killer . . . before they find her.


    Released March 21, 2023.

    The Dangers of This Night by Matthew Booth (An Everett Carr Mystery, 2)

    The Icarus Club is one of London’s most prestigious gentlemen’s clubs, counting amongst its members the very elite of society. Beneath the veneer of respectability, however, there swarm dark secrets, tense rivalries, blackmail, and murder.<br><br>Jacob Erskine is a man who can count many of the Icarus Club’s members as his enemy. When Erskine is found shot dead in one of the reading rooms of the club, the police are baffled. Why was the dead man’s body covered in bank notes? What is the relevance of a single feather found beside the body? Who had the opportunity to steal the revolver used to commit the crime from a locked desk? And who amongst them is a liar and a thief?<br><br>Everett Carr, retired judge and reluctant amateur sleuth, thinks he knows the answers to some of those questions. But as Carr digs deeper into the mystery of Jacob Erskine’s death, it becomes apparent that more than one person had a motive for wishing him dead. When a second murder occurs, Carr comes to realise that the killer is someone far more deadly than even he had anticipated.<br><br>If Carr is to solve the murder, not only will he have to brave the very real dangers of the night, but he will also have to delve into the dark secrets of the past…


    Released March 21, 2023.

    Quite a lot of new releases this week! Are you adding any to your collection?

  • Book Review: Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz (Magpie Mysteries, 2)

    Book Review: Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz (Magpie Mysteries, 2)

    Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz is a mystery novel that keeps you engaged and guessing until the end. The story follows Susan Ryeland, a former editor who has retired to run a small hotel in Crete. When one of her guests, a woman named Cecily Treherne, disappears, Susan is reminded of an unsolved case she worked on years ago involving the murder of Cecily’s daughter and son-in-law at a hotel in Suffolk.

    As Susan starts to investigate the similarities between the two cases, the narrative switches to a novel within the novel. The second storyline is a whodunit set in the same Suffolk hotel, featuring a cast of eccentric characters, including a famous detective writer, a missing manuscript, and, of course, a murder.

    Anthony Horowitz expertly weaves the two stories together, slowly revealing connections and twists that keep you guessing until the end. The characters are well-drawn, and their motivations are complex, making it difficult to know who to trust.

    Horowitz also uses the novel to explore the nature of storytelling, particularly the idea that the author has control over the narrative. The way in which the two stories interact with each other and the characters in each story comment on the other is clever and thought-provoking.

    One of the few drawbacks of the novel is that it can be a bit slow at times, particularly in the middle. However, the intricate plot and satisfying conclusion make up for any pacing issues.

    Moonflower Murders is a well-crafted mystery novel that will appeal to fans of classic whodunits and modern thrillers alike. Anthony Horowitz once again proves himself to be a master of the genre.

    You can pick up Moonflower Murders from Amazon here.

  • #Read Christie2023: Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie, (Hercule Poirot, 24)

    #Read Christie2023:       Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie, (Hercule Poirot, 24)

    Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie is a gripping mystery novel that revolves around the murder of a wealthy businessman named Gordon Cloade. The novel was first published in 1948 as has been published in the United States under the title There is a Tide… and has since then been a popular classic in the genre of crime fiction.

    The novel starts with the introduction of Rosaleen Cloade, the young and beautiful widow of Gordon Cloade, who has inherited his considerable fortune. The other members of the Cloade family, including Gordon’s siblings and their spouses, are left disappointed with the will as they were expecting to inherit a share of his wealth.

    Soon after Gordon’s death, his brother-in-law, David Hunter, begins to investigate his sudden demise. He finds out that Gordon was planning to marry Rosaleen, and this news leaves him and the other family members shocked. David is determined to uncover the truth behind Gordon’s death and protect the family’s interests.

    As the investigation progresses, the story takes several twists and turns, and the reader is left guessing until the very end. The novel is a classic example of Agatha Christie’s mastery in crafting a complex and intriguing plot that keeps the reader engaged until the very last page.

    One of the most impressive aspects of Taken at the Flood is the way Christie portrays the complex relationships and dynamics between the characters. The Cloade family is dysfunctional and has its share of secrets and conflicts. Christie masterfully weaves these elements into the plot, adding to the intrigue and suspense of the story.

    The character of Rosaleen is also very well written, and the reader can sense her vulnerability and uncertainty throughout the novel. Her character is pivotal to the plot, and the reader is left wondering whether she is involved in Gordon’s murder or merely a victim of circumstance.

    David Hunter, the main protagonist, is also an interesting character. He is a lawyer by profession and is appointed as the executor of Gordon’s will. He is determined to uncover the truth behind Gordon’s death and is not afraid to take risks to achieve his goal. He is also portrayed as a rational and logical thinker, which makes him a compelling and relatable character.

    The pacing of the novel is also excellent, and the story moves at a steady pace, keeping the reader engaged throughout. The plot twists and turns keep the reader guessing until the very end, and the resolution of the mystery is both satisfying and unexpected.

    One of the central themes of the novel is the idea of inheritance and how it affects people’s lives. The novel explores the different motivations behind people’s desire for wealth and the lengths they are willing to go to achieve it. The characters in the novel are all motivated by their desire for money, and this leads them to make questionable decisions and engage in unethical behavior.

    Another theme explored in the novel is the idea of justice and how it can be subjective. The novel questions the idea of what constitutes justice and whether it is always fair and just. The resolution of the mystery raises some ethical questions, and the reader is left wondering whether justice has truly been served.

    In conclusion, Taken at the Flood is a gripping and well-crafted mystery novel that showcases Agatha Christie’s mastery in the genre of crime fiction. The complex plot, well-developed characters, and intriguing themes make it a must-read for anyone interested in the genre. The novel is a timeless classic that has stood the test of time and remains a popular choice among readers today. You can buy a copy of Taken at the Flood from Amazon here.

  • Book Review: Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey, 2)

    Book Review: Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey, 2)

    Clouds of Witness is a classic mystery novel by Dorothy L. Sayers, published in 1926. It is the second book in the Lord Peter Wimsey series, which features the aristocratic detective, Lord Peter Wimsey. In this novel, Lord Peter Wimsey finds himself in the middle of a murder case involving his brother, the Duke of Denver, and he must race against time to clear his name and solve the crime.

    The story begins with Lord Peter Wimsey returning to England after a trip to Africa, only to find out that his brother, the Duke of Denver, has been arrested for murder. The victim is their sister’s fiancé, Captain Denis Cathcart, and the evidence against the Duke is overwhelming. Lord Peter Wimsey believes in his brother’s innocence and sets out to investigate the case.

    The investigation leads Lord Peter Wimsey to the family’s country estate in Yorkshire, where he begins to uncover a web of deceit, jealousy, and family secrets. As he delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a number of suspects, each with their own motive for wanting Cathcart dead. Among the suspects are the Duke’s fiancé, Lady Mary, who was in love with Cathcart, and the Duke’s former mistress, Mrs. Grimethorpe, who had a child with Cathcart. Lord Peter Wimsey’s investigation takes him to London, where he discovers that the victim was involved in a shady business deal, which may have led to his murder.

    The novel is set in the early 20th century, and Sayers does an excellent job of recreating the atmosphere and social norms of the time. The book is also notable for its strong character development, with each of the suspects being well-drawn and distinct. Sayers’ use of language is also impressive, with her prose being both elegant and witty.

    One of the standout features of the novel is the character of Lord Peter Wimsey himself. Wimsey is a complex character, and Sayers does an excellent job of exploring his psyche. He is a man who is haunted by his experiences in World War I, and he uses his work as a detective as a way to deal with his trauma. Despite his aristocratic background, Wimsey is also a man of great empathy and compassion. He is able to connect with people from all walks of life, and he has a deep understanding of human nature.

    Another notable aspect of the novel is the way that Sayers uses the setting to create a sense of atmosphere. The country estate where much of the action takes place is described in great detail, and the reader gets a strong sense of the isolation and claustrophobia that the characters must feel. The novel also makes use of the contrast between the idyllic countryside and the dark underbelly of London, which serves to create a sense of tension and unease.

    The plot of the novel is complex and multi-layered, with Sayers skillfully weaving together a number of different threads. The mystery itself is well-constructed, and the reader is kept guessing until the very end. Sayers’ use of misdirection and red herrings is particularly effective, and she manages to keep the reader on their toes throughout the novel.

    One criticism of the novel is that it can be slow-paced at times, particularly in the middle section. There is a lot of dialogue and exposition, which may not be to everyone’s taste. However, the novel does pick up towards the end, and the final few chapters are particularly gripping.

    In conclusion, Clouds of Witness is a well-written and engaging mystery novel, which is notable for its strong character development, atmospheric setting, and well-constructed plot.

  • Book Review: A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle

    Book Review: A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle

    A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle is a gripping crime fiction set on board a luxury cruise liner sailing from Southampton to New York in the 1920s. The story revolves around the discovery of a dead body on board, and the subsequent investigation to uncover the culprit.

    The story is set in November 1924, when the Endeavour sets sail for New York with 2,000 passengers on board. When a body is found on deck, the ship’s officer Timothy Birch is quick to dismiss the death as a tragic accident. However, Scotland Yard inspector James Temple is convinced that there’s more to the death than meets the eye, and he launches an investigation to uncover the truth.

    As Temple and Birch begin their investigation, they soon discover that a priceless painting has been stolen, and that there are a string of suspects on board with secrets to hide. With just days left until the Endeavour reaches New York, the investigation becomes increasingly dangerous, and the two investigators must work quickly to identify the killer before it’s too late.

    Hindle does an excellent job of creating a claustrophobic atmosphere on board the Endeavour, and the tension and suspense are palpable throughout the story. The characters are well-drawn and complex, and the different personalities and backgrounds of the passengers and crew are explored in detail. This helps to create a sense of realism and makes the story more engaging for the reader.

    The mystery at the heart of the story is also well-crafted, with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until the very end. The plot is reminiscent of classic locked-room mysteries, but the setting on board a luxury cruise liner adds a fresh and interesting dimension to the story. Fans of Anthony Horowitz, Sophie Hannah, and Richard Osman will appreciate this fresh take on the classic genre.

    A Fatal Crossing is a well-written and engaging mystery thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end. The claustrophobic setting, well-developed characters, and satisfying mystery make this a great read for fans of crime fiction. You can buy a copy of A Fatal Crossing here.

  • Happy 70th birthday to “The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie!

    Happy 70th birthday to “The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie!

    Agatha Christie is a renowned author who has written numerous mystery novels that have captivated readers worldwide. Among her many works, “The Mousetrap” is one of her most well-known plays. First performed in 1952, “The Mousetrap” has since become the longest-running play in the world, with over 27,000 performances to date. This essay will examine the plot, characters, themes, and critical reception of “The Mousetrap.”

    Plot Summary

    “The Mousetrap” is set in a guesthouse called Monkswell Manor, run by a young couple named Mollie and Giles Ralston. The play opens with the arrival of several guests, including a young man named Christopher Wren, a retired army major named Metcalf, a spinster named Miss Casewell, and a foreigner named Mr. Paravicini. The group becomes snowed in, and tensions rise as strange occurrences begin to take place, such as a phone call from someone claiming to be a police detective, warning the guests that a murderer is on the loose and may be heading to Monkswell Manor.

    As the play progresses, it becomes apparent that each guest has a secret or hidden agenda. Wren, for example, is a hyperactive and eccentric young man who seems to enjoy making people uncomfortable. Metcalf is a gruff and domineering figure who appears to have a dark past, while Miss Casewell is a guarded and secretive woman with a troubled childhood. Mr. Paravicini is a mysterious foreigner with a sinister air and a penchant for playing mind games with the other guests.

    The tension in the house reaches a climax when one of the guests is found murdered. The group realizes that one of them must be the killer, and suspicions fall on each of them in turn. The play’s denouement reveals the identity of the murderer in a shocking twist ending that has become one of Agatha Christie’s trademarks.


    “The Mousetrap” features a diverse cast of characters, each with their own quirks and personalities. Mollie and Giles Ralston, the owners of Monkswell Manor, are the most grounded and sympathetic characters in the play. Mollie is kind and caring, while Giles is practical and level-headed. Together, they provide a stable and reassuring presence amidst the chaos and suspicion that surrounds them.

    Christopher Wren is the most eccentric character in the play. He is hyperactive and excitable, often making inappropriate comments or acting out in bizarre ways. Despite his odd behavior, Wren is also intelligent and perceptive, and he is able to uncover some key clues that help to solve the mystery.

    Major Metcalf is a gruff and domineering figure who seems to enjoy asserting his authority over the other guests. He is initially seen as a potential suspect due to his intimidating demeanor and past as a soldier, but he is ultimately revealed to have a more complicated backstory.

    Miss Casewell is a guarded and secretive woman who is initially aloof and unapproachable. She has a troubled past that is gradually revealed over the course of the play, and she proves to be a key player in unraveling the mystery.

    Mr. Paravicini is the most mysterious and enigmatic character in the play. He is a foreigner with a sinister air and a penchant for playing mind games with the other guests. His true motives are unclear, and he remains a figure of suspicion until the play’s shocking conclusion.


    One of the central themes of “The Mousetrap” is the idea of deception and hidden motives. Each of the characters in the play has something to hide, whether it’s a dark secret from their past or a hidden agenda for their present actions. The play explores the idea

    “The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie is a play that explores several themes, including deception, guilt, and justice. These themes are woven throughout the story and are integral to the plot and characters.


    Deception is a key theme in “The Mousetrap.” Throughout the play, the characters are revealed to be concealing secrets and hidden agendas. This creates an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust as the characters begin to question each other’s motives.

    The most significant example of deception in the play is the identity of the murderer. The audience is led to believe that any of the characters could be the killer, but the true culprit is ultimately revealed to be someone who had been hiding their true identity and motives throughout the play.


    Another important theme in “The Mousetrap” is guilt. Several of the characters are burdened by guilt over their past actions, and this guilt influences their behavior throughout the play.

    Major Metcalf, for example, is haunted by guilt over his role in a military operation that went wrong. His guilt makes him defensive and hostile towards the other characters, and he is initially suspected of being the murderer.


    The theme of justice is also present in “The Mousetrap.” The play explores the idea of what constitutes justice and whether it is possible to achieve justice in a flawed and imperfect world.

    The characters in the play are all seeking justice in some form, whether it’s Mollie and Giles Ralston’s desire to see the murderer brought to justice or Christopher Wren’s quest for personal redemption. The play’s ending, with the revelation of the murderer’s identity and subsequent arrest, provides a sense of closure and justice for the characters and the audience.

    Critical Reception

    “The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie has received generally positive critical reception since its debut in 1952. The play has been praised for its intriguing plot, suspenseful atmosphere, and unexpected twists and turns.

    One of the most remarkable aspects of the play is its longevity. It has been running continuously in London’s West End for over 70 years, making it the longest-running play in the world. Despite its age, it continues to draw audiences and receive positive reviews.

    Critics have praised Christie’s skill at creating a compelling mystery with a limited number of characters in a single setting. The play’s claustrophobic atmosphere, which traps the characters and the audience in the isolated setting of a country house during a snowstorm, has also been lauded.

    However, some critics have criticized the play for being formulaic and predictable. They argue that Christie’s trademark twists and turns have become cliched over time and that the play’s ending is not as surprising as it was when it first premiered.

    Despite these criticisms, “The Mousetrap” remains a beloved classic of the mystery genre and a testament to Christie’s enduring popularity as a writer.

    I would love to see a live performance of “The Mousetrap,” but I don’t think it’s as popular of a production in the United States. For my UK readers, The Agatha Christie estate has produced a hardcover limited edition 70th anniversary version of the play which will be released March 30th from Amazon here. I’m unsure if this will be released later in the United States or other international markets, but I hope it will be. Non-UK readers can buy a regular version of the play here. Let me know if you’ve read “The Mousetrap” or seen it performed in the comments below.

  • Book Review: The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah (The New Hercule Poirot Mystery, 1)

    Book Review: The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah (The New Hercule Poirot Mystery, 1)

    The Monogram Murders is a 2014 detective novel by British author Sophie Hannah, featuring the iconic detective character of Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot. The book is set in the 1920s and follows Poirot as he investigates a series of murders at the luxurious Bloxham Hotel in London.

    The story begins when Poirot is approached by a panicked woman named Jennie, who confesses to having committed a murder. However, before Poirot can learn more, Jennie disappears, and he becomes involved in a complex and twisted web of clues and suspects. The murder victims are all connected to the Bloxham Hotel, which leads Poirot to check in as a guest in order to solve the mystery.

    The book is written in a similar style to Agatha Christie’s original novels, and Sophie Hannah does an excellent job of capturing the tone and atmosphere of Christie’s work. Poirot is portrayed with all his eccentricities and quirks, and the other characters are also well-developed and interesting.

    The plot of The Monogram Murders is complex, with numerous twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the end. The book is also well-paced, with the tension building steadily throughout, and the reveal of the murderer is satisfying and surprising.

    One of the strengths of the book is the way it revisits and updates many of the classic elements of Christie’s work. The setting of the Bloxham Hotel is reminiscent of the opulent hotels of Christie’s time, and the various characters who inhabit it are similarly evocative of the kinds of people who would frequent such places. Hannah also introduces a number of new characters and ideas, while still staying true to the classic formula of the murder mystery.

    The Monogram Murders is an excellent addition to the Hercule Poirot canon, and a worthy tribute to Agatha Christie’s work. The book is well-written, with a complex and engaging plot, and a satisfying conclusion. It is a must-read for fans of classic murder mysteries, as well as for those who are curious to see what Poirot would be like in a modern context. You can pick up a copy from Amazon here.

  • New Book Releases March 8 – March 14, 2023

    New Book Releases March 8 – March 14, 2023

    The Dying Place by Charly Cox (Detective Alyssa Wyatt, 5)

    When the trunk slammed closed, sealing her fate, a deep cold slithered into the center of Kennedy’s bones. All she could do was pray that her attacker would leave enough of her for her family to identify…

    Kennedy Farmer, an experienced athlete, never returns after leaving for her usual running route through the dusty mountain trails of New Mexico.

    While the search for Kennedy begins, Detective Alyssa Wyatt and her squad face a terrifying new case when the body of a young woman, Rheagan Pembroke, is discovered in the desert terrain surrounding Albuquerque.

    Her wounds horrify even the hardened squad of the Albuquerque P.D. – and the case takes an even darker turn when they discover a polaroid stuffed into the victim’s mouth, showing the body of Gunner Galveston, a murder victim from fourteen years ago. Alyssa was a detective on the case, but the culprit was never caught.

    As the team are taunted with gruesome packages and blood-curdling phone calls, it becomes evident that a serial killer – whose blood lust is quickly increasing – has been operating in plain sight.

    To catch a killer, Alyssa and the squad need to understand the savage desires driving them … before Kennedy becomes another life taken at the hands of a psychopath.

    Meet Alyssa Wyatt: detective, mom … and a serial killer’s worst nightmare. This incredibly addictive detective series will thrill fans of Karin Slaughter, Chris Carter and Kendra Elliot.


    Out March 8, 2023.

    Death on Deck by Verity Bright (A Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery, 13)

    When Lady Swift embarks upon her first luxury cruise she imagines a gilded ballroom, afternoons on deck taking tea and all the delectable food she can eat. But she can’t seem to escape from murder…

    Lady Eleanor Swift is all set to spend her birthday with her beau, dashing Detective Hugh Seldon, until he calls to cancel on her again at the last minute. What’s a girl to do? Pack up her staff and her faithful old bulldog, Gladstone, and head off on a cruise to New York, that’s what!

    On the stunningly opulent ocean liner Celestiana, Eleanor tries to forget her worries and make the most of her trip. That is, until she sees a man being shot and falling overboard. On closer inspection of the scene, Eleanor literally stumbles over the likely murder weapon. And the nick in the barrel is unmistakeable: this gun belongs to Detective Seldon…

    With some discreet digging, Clifford discovers Detective Seldon is aboard the ship on an undercover mission. Eleanor doesn’t want to make waves but she’s sure that something fishy is going on and he’s being framed. To get Seldon off the hook, Eleanor casts her net wide and searches for the real murderer among a sea of suspects including European nobility, Italian opera stars and American nouveau riche. But does the victim’s expensive gold ring point to a lavish lifestyle or is it a red herring?

    When another passenger is found dead in his first-class cabin, a poisoned whisky glass clutched in his hand, Eleanor realises they are really in hot water. Will the killer be Eleanor’s catch of the day, or will she spend her birthday at the bottom of the sea?

    A totally charming, unputdownable Golden Age mystery with characters readers will adore. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss.

    Readers cannot get enough of Verity Bright!


    Out March 13, 2023.

    Murder on the Night Train to Paris by L. B. Hathaway (The Posie Parker Mystery Series, 15)

    What if the City of Light holds nothing but darkness?

    January, 1926

    Invited aboard the glamourous Night Train to Paris, and tasked with investigating the disappearance of her best friend, Posie Parker suddenly finds herself right in the middle of a murder!

    Controversial society beauty, Lady Caroline Greenlow, is on her way to Paris Fashion Week. She always has a habit of rubbing people up the wrong way, but things take a dreadful turn when she is poisoned at dinner, and then another murder occurs soon after.

    Just who exactly are their fellow passengers? Can they be trusted? Why is the Night Train so empty? And why did Lady Caroline have to die? And is everything really as it seems?

    As she starts to look for her friend Dolly, in a quest which takes in the artists’ quarter of Montparnasse, the glamorous Champs-Elysees, and the glitter of the clubs of Montmartre, Posie realises that she must pursue justice for Caroline Greenlow too, and find the killer. And as she searches for answers regarding both women, Posie realises that danger is hot on her own heels, and someone is following her at every corner.

    But why? And can she get out of Paris alive?

    A delightfully gripping historical cozy. Fans of Agatha Christie, Lee Strauss and Rhys Bowen will be smitten.

    Readers adore Posie Parker!

    Don’t miss out on the other thrilling books in the Posie Parker Mystery Series, available exclusively on Amazon. Follow Posie’s investigations as she uncovers more dark secrets and solves intricate cases in ‘Murder in a Chelsea Garden,’ ‘Murder and the Mermaid,’ ‘Murder through the Mirror,’ and many more.

    With 15 books in the series and more on the way, there’s always a new mystery to solve.


    Out March 13, 2023.

    48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister by Joyce Carol Oates

    When a woman mysteriously vanishes, her sister must tally up the clues to discover her fate.Marguerite, a beautiful woman, has disappeared from her small town in Upstate New York. But is foul play involved? Or did she merely take an opportunity to get away for fun, or finally make the decision to leave behind her claustrophobic life of limited opportunities?

    Her younger sister Gigi wonders if the flimsy silk Dior dress, so casually abandoned on the floor, is a clue to Marguerite’s having seemingly vanished. The police examine the footprints made by her Ferragamo boots leaving the house, ending abruptly, and puzzle over how that can help lead to her. Gigi, not so pretty as her sister, slowly reveals her hatred for the perfect, much-loved, Marguerite.

    Bit by bit, like ripping the petals off a flower blossom, revelations about both sisters are uncovered. Subtly, but with the unbearable suspense at which Joyce Carol Oates excels, clues mount up to bring to light the fate of the missing beauty.


    Released March 14, 2023

    The Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn Green

    Bestselling author Jocelyn Green sweeps you away in a dazzling novel of secrets, betrayal, and romance within one of New York City’s most esteemed museums.

    For years her explorer father promised Dr. Lauren Westlake she’d accompany him on one of his Egyptian expeditions. But as the empty promises mounted, Lauren determined to earn her own way. Now the assistant curator of Egyptology for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lauren receives two unexpected invitations.

    The first is her repentant father’s offer to finally bring her to Egypt as his colleague on a new expedition. The second is a chance to enter the world of New York’s wealthiest patrons who have been victims of art fraud.

    With Egyptomania sweeping the city after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, Detective Joe Caravello is on the hunt for a notorious forger preying on the open wallets of New York’s high society. Dr. Westlake is just the expert he needs to help him track the criminal. Together they search for the truth, and the closer Lauren and Joe get to discovering the forger’s identity, the more entangled they become in a web of deception and crime.


    Released March 14, 2023.

    Stateless by Elizabeth Wein

    From the beloved #1 bestselling author of Code Name Verity, this thrilling murder mystery set in 1937 Europe soars with intrigue, glamour, secrets, and betrayal.

    When Stella North is chosen to represent Britain in Europe’s first air race for young people, she knows all too well how high the stakes are. As the only participating female pilot, it’ll be a constant challenge to prove she’s a worthy competitor. But promoting peace in Europe feels empty to Stella when civil war is raging in Spain and the Nazis are gaining power—and when, right from the start, someone resorts to cutthroat sabotage to get ahead of the competition.

    The world is looking for inspiration in what’s meant to be a friendly sporting event. But each of the racers is hiding a turbulent and violent past, and any one of them might be capable of murder…including Stella herself. 


    Released March 14, 2023.

    Will you be adding any of these new books to your TBR pile?