What Are You Reading?

Since we can’t get together to discuss one book, let’s share what mysteries we are reading. Send me an email at tplinfo@topshamlibrary.org and I will post whatever you want to write about what you are reading. No spoilers please.






I just finished reading Trick or Treat Murder by Leslie Meier. This story take place in Maine. The whole town is getting ready for a big Halloween Party. There have been several fires & with the last one a body was found. There are several suspects but they all seem to have alibis. The guilty person was a surprise.. I enjoyed the read.


One Last Lie – Paul Doiron – a Mike Bowditch series that revolves around his friend and mentor, Charley Stevens. You know there will be another book as the ending leaves a tantalizing reference to former girlfriend and his current love.

Linda Castillo – Outsider – Kate Burkholder series Kate finds a wounded former police colleague in an Amish home running away from fellow police officers. What she learns from Gina will endanger everyone in the household.

Sara Graves – The Girls She Left Behind – a Lizzie Snow series Two cousins, Joan and Tara are kidnapped as teenagers. Joan escapes leaving her cousin and three other girls who are being held prisoner. What happens after the girls are found alive ten years later had lots of twists and turns. Kept me reading to know what happens next.

I’ve been reading a lot of Ngaio Marsh mysteries and she wrote about a zillion. They are similar to Agatha Christie but more complicated.


C.B. Strike DVD – 5 stars

I wanted to share with you … I finished watching C.B. Strike last night !! It was fabulous !! It is rare the ‘movie’ is better than the books … but this was. For such complex books, the show did a great job getting right to the heart of it without leaving too much behind. Loved the actors and the dynamic between Strike and Robin …. conveyed so much better than in the pages of the books. Did hate the ending


The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides – 5 stars

Identified as a psychological thriller. Very interesting having a psychoanalyst as the main character. I liked the psychological theories threading through the plot. It was a page-turner with  a lot of twists and turns.  Probably someone who is cleverer than I am may have figured out earlier than I did (which was pretty much at the end of the book) what was going on.  So, I think, for me, that a discussion about the way the clues were introduced would be very interesting. I think the skill of the writer is how and where he discloses the clues.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.

This is not a mystery but it draws you in. Alice is the main person in the book. She is at spin class and falls and hits her head . When she comes to, she has lost the last 10 years of her life. She thinks its 1998 and she is pregnant with her first child. It is really 2008 . She has 3 children & is in the process of getting a divorce from a man she is madly in love with. There are many twists and turns in this story and something that brings you along as you read. I enjoyed the ending and the whole book.

The Stranger Diaries by Ellie Griffiths – 5 stars

This is a stand-alone book by the author of the Ruth Galloway mystery series. It is quite the departure from her usual fare, having a definite gothic feel to it, dark and brooding. Clare Cassidy is teaching a course on her favorite gothic writer R. M. Holland. The book opens with the beginning of one of his old stories, two men on a train and the story of a secret society and unexplained death at the school where Clare teaches. Then we move to the present time and real life. Clare’s best friend is killed. Next to her body is a note from that story. From there the story is told from three different perspectives, Clare’s, the detective’s, and Clare’s daughter, intertwined with the telling of the original fictional story. Those perspectives and the story that started it all are expertly interwoven into a seamless mystery that will hold you captive until the end. It is suspenseful and a little spooky. As an aside, also interesting to me was the assumption on the part of Clare about the thoughts of the other two people, and what they were actually thinking, and vice versa. It was a study in how we think we know what others are thinking based on our own state of mind. It was brilliantly done.


The Lost Boys of London by Mary Lawrence – 5 stars

I have enjoyed this whole series and this latest installment did not disappoint. I found it very interesting to follow Bianca in London and John fighting in Scotland. Ms. Lawrence did a wonderful job of setting the stage in this historical mystery. I felt like I was walking the streets of London, smelling the smells and hearing the sounds. The war in Scotland was brutal and terrifying and her portrayal of John as a soldier, heartbreaking. The mystery was well concocted and the killer unknown until the very end. All of her characters were real to me, and their relationships complex and full-bodied, even the cat. This book brought me into itself and held me until the very end.

Something in The Water by Catherine Steadman – 5 stars

It’s very interesting , the first chapter sucks you & you have to find out what? The something in the water is sharks but that isn’t what the problem turns out to be. The question is – Is the husband really that bad or not?. I don’t want to say too much but who killed the husband? You’ll only find out after you read.


The Tree People by Naomi M. Stokes.  5 Stars.

Takes place in the Olympic National Forest of Washington State and the Coast Salish Native Americans. A story of (murder) rugged characters, ancient creatures and culture mysteries.

The Girl Who Lived Twice by David Lagercrantz. 5 Stars.

I think this is the 5th in the series of Stieg Larsen who wrote the first original series. There is no other like Lisbeth Salander.


The Red Door by Charles Todd – 5 stars

This makes an even dozen in the Inspector Rutledge series, set in post WWI Britain. We start with a young wife from a small village, longing for her husband to come home from the war. She paints the front door red as a welcome home surprise for him. Then we visit a married man in London, going to the bank. On the way home he has an overwhelming fear for his young son, and lapses into panic and paralysis. Thus begins the knot that Ian Rutledge has to untangle. What do these two have in common and how does that set off a string of deaths encompassing the distance between them? This case is well plotted, intricate, and beautifully written. Beware the red herring. I never guessed the culprit. I give this one 5 stars.

Assault and Pepper by Tamar Myers – 3 stars

I have enjoyed this series featuring Magdalena Yoder for many years. They are mysteries with serious murders but they are also very funny. They are a bit inconsistent though. Some are better than others. This one was one of the best. Ms. Yoder is a Mennonite living in Pennsylvania in Amish country. Her parents were killed when she was young and she inherited their farm and the care of her younger, sister, Susannah. She has turned the farm into a prosperous B & B. She was not so successful with her sister, who left the fold and scandalized the community. Filled with eccentric and quirky characters these books are hilarious. I laughed out loud several times during this one. I love the word play that the author employs to provide humor. In this instance, Magdalena’s dearly beloved pastor dies after digging into a bowl of chili at the church supper, and she is tasked with finding his killer. Thus begins the romp through the personal lives of Rev. Schrock and his family and friends. You’ll find plenty of laughs along the way.

A Show of Hands by David Crossman – Rating 5

I have just finished reading the book A Show Of Hands by David Crossman. It’s about an island of the coast of Maine, you can chose which one as you read. I enjoyed the pot belly stove in the local store where the men set around & talk about what happening on the island  – a murder. Crisp is a retired NSA agent who helped solve the mystery . Many people are involved in this mystery. The read was fun & enjoyable. The ending was a great surprise. Even though I did have an inkling just a couple chapters from the end, but it was a surprise.

Just a note to say that I have been reading some interesting stories.

J. A. Jance – Sins of the Fathers – J. P. Beaumont series

Charles Todd – A Divided Loyalty  – Inspector Rutledge, 5 stars

The Replacement by Brennan Yovanoff – A supernatural story, but not really scary.  3 stars

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney – A psychological suspense. 5 stars

On my Kindle, I just finished a young adult book called The Blossom and the Firefly by Sherri L. Smith. Takes place in Japan in the early years leading to WWII.  How a young man and a young woman from different villages meet.  Very good story.  I came away with a different view of the war from the Japanese perspective.   5 stars

Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner.She has an easy style of writing and I enjoy her books.


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