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Chicklit mystery set in Los Angeles. Maddie Springer is a young fashion designer who tries to track down her lawyer boyfriend when he goes missing, and finds herself in the middle of embezzlement and murder. I nearly stopped reading on the first page, wherein Maddie describes her behaviour on the freeway when she's late for a meeting with her boyfriend. Almost causing an accident by cutting into lanes and doing her make-up in the mirror at high speed was presumably supposed to make her look adorably ditzy, but I simply found it loathsome. I did keep reading, but it coloured my view of the character for the rest of the book.

It's an odd one for me. The mystery plot was enjoyable if predictable, and there were things I liked a lot, with some good supporting characters; but it was hard work getting to the end and if it had been a paper edition I would have probably been high-speed skim-reading. No more than a two star for me and I'm not inclined to try anything else by this author, even if I can see why other people were bowled over by it.

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67) Francis Durbridge -- Tim Frazer Gets The Message [audiobook]

Abridged on 2 CDs and read by Anthony Head. Another case for engineer turned spy Tim Frazer. British intelligence agent Miss Thackery was last heard of in Asia, so why has she turned up dead in the Welsh countryside? And is her murder linked with the disappearance of a German scientist who was working at the British government? Another enjoyable 1960s espionage novel, splendidly read by Anthony Head.

http://www.librarything.com/work/12339476

68) Mary Stewart -- The Moonspinners

1960s romantic suspense. A young woman working at the British Embassy goes to Crete for an Easter break with her cousin, and walks into a cover-up of a murder and a witness in hiding. The mystery is not in whodunnit, but why. An excellent romantic suspense with a vivid sense of place.

http://www.librarything.com/work/26721/

69) Dick Francis -- Flying Finish

Lord Henry Grey holds down an ordinary office job, to the horror of his family who think that he should solve the family financial problems by the traditional method of marrying an heiress in search of a title -- or as he calls it, prostituting himself. He hasn't told his family about his other activities -- amateur jockey, and semi-amateur pilot. When he shifts jobs into working for a bloodstock shipping agent, nobody thinks he'll stick to it. But Grey not only sticks with the job, he inconveniences other people by doing so, and by being bright enough to notice that there's something very odd going on.

Another solid suspense novel from Francis, as ever tied into the world of horse-racing, and with a good romance sub-plot.

http://www.librarything.com/work/71205

69) Paul Doherty -- Corpse Candle

Thirteenth of the medieval mystery series starring Sir Hugh Corbett, Keeper of the King's Seal. I'm not familiar with the series and this one's a long way into the run, but I found that Doherty does a good job of introducing his characters to new readers. Corbett is sent by the King to investigate the death of Abbot Stephen of St Martin's-in-the-fields, an abbey in a remote area plagued by bandits. It's a locked room murder mystery that leaves Corbett initially baffled, but then he finds himself with more murders to investigate, providing both more clues and an incentive to find the killer fast. Very enjoyable, and I'd like to read more of the series.

http://www.librarything.com/work/532013

70) PD James -- Cover Her Face [audiobook]

Full cast dramatisation from BBc Radio 4 of the first Adam Dalgliesh mystery, on two CDs. Very well done, and with the original novel being fairly short, this one doesn't have to leave out large chunks of the book, even if if it is still abridged.

http://www.librarything.com/work/14341

71) Mary Stewart -- This Rough Magic

Another romantic suspense from Stewart, this one set on Corfu and themed around Shakespeare's Tempest. I enjoyed it a lot, but felt that the heroine was rather more blatantly collecting plot coupons than in some of Stewart's books.

http://www.librarything.com/work/25998
julesjones: (Default)
1956 contemporary romantic suspense set on the Isle of Skye. Fashion model Gianetta Drury needs some peace and quiet, She's never fully recovered from her divorce to the husband she still loves, and London during the build-up to the Coronation is more excitement and fuss than she wants. A holiday on the Isle of Skye seems ideal, until she discovers that her ex-husband Nicholas has signed into the same hotel on the same day. And if that wasn't enough, it turns out that there has been a recent murder, and the other residents of the hotel are suspects. Nicholas isn't exempt, because he was staying in the hotel on a previous trip. And then there is another murder...

While I picked out the correct candidate for murderer readily enough at the first clear clue/herring, the story's well enough written that it doesn't matter. There's still plenty of suspense in whether the characters will recognise the right pattern in time. The book has some engaging lead characters in a strongly drawn setting, and some genuinely chilling scenes. A particular highlight for me was the chase in the fog towards the end of the book. One with re-read potential even after you know the solution.

http://www.librarything.com/work/26796

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