Entries Categorized as 'Mysteries'

A Study in Scarlet

Our rating: ****

Dr. Watson agrees to share an apartment with Mr. Sherlock Holmes to save money. Soon he learns that Holmes is the only consulting detective in London and can make accurate logical deductions from even the smallest details. When a man is murdered and even Scotland Yard cannot find a clue, Holmes and Watson set out to untangle the threads and get to the bottom of the mystery, beginning the classic stories about the adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

This is undoubtedly an interesting story and a good mystery. There’s enough detail here that even though I’ve read it several times I still pick up on something new each time. You’ll find yourself trying to make Holmes’ deductions before he does as the plot thickens. I’ve marked this for advanced readers because the second half of the story is a bit disturbing, though not gruesome. An exciting introduction to one of literature’s greatest detectives.

A Penny for Your Thoughts

Our rating: *****

In this first of the Million Dollar Mysteries, Callie Webber is on her way home from a charity donation when her mysterious boss asks her to stop off and deliver two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to an old friend of his.
Callie, with her background in private investigations and law, is very loth to just hand over that much money to anyone without checking up on them first. After all, it’s her job to investigate anyone who requests a grant from her boss’s foundation. But she agrees, and grudgingly heads off to Feed the Need with the check. All she can think about is getting home and enjoying her dog Sal—until the head of Feed the Need is murdered.

A Penny for Your Thoughts is very well written with lots of suspense and action! And it has one of those “gotcha” endings that, when you think about it, you should have been able to catch! I love those. Actually, the whole series has the delightful distinction of being written by a Christian author, and starring a Christian main character. I wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers, though. Like every murder mystery, there are some unsavory people and events, as well as a teensy bit of mature content. Happily, that latter is not over the top, nor held up as good. I find these books so refreshing after wading through several secular series.

Cat Among the Pigeons

Our rating: ***

Pedro, Cat Royal’s good friend, is finally settling into his new life in the Theatre Royal after the events in the first book, The Diamond of Drury Lane. All seems well, until Pedro’s former master appears and claims Pedro as his rightful property. Cat is determined to stop the dangerous man from taking away her friend, but with old enemies looming on the horizon she finds it much harder than she ever imagined.

Another Cat story well told. The style is quite enjoyable, and the authoress paints a very vivid picture of life in Britain in 1790. However. I would not give this book to anyone under thirteen, and I would think twice before recommending it to anyone under fifteen. The nasty language increased drastically—both in amount and stoutness—and some of the subject matter is on the border line of being uncomfortable, especially for younger readers. These books excite the adventurer in me, but I really don’t want to get hooked on books focusing on gangs, in which the heroine winds up risking jail because of her actions. It’s a clear picture of life in the streets, but not something I want to be filling my head with nonstop.

The Diamond of Drury Lane

Our rating: ****

Catherine “Cat” Royal is a streetwise orphan who lives in the theatre at Drury Lane. As London is in an uproar over the French Revolution, Cat is thrust into dangerous political intrigue when Mr. Sheridan, the owner of Drury Lane Theatre, entrusts Cat with the secret that a diamond is hidden in the theatre. If that wasn’t enough, a London gang finds out and will stop at nothing to make Cat reveal the diamond’s location.

This book has a plot full of intrigue and mystery that will keep you turning pages until the final twist. Julia Golding masterfully describes both the gentry and commoners and their feelings about the rise of liberty. Though I did figure out the main plot thread before it was revealed, I was quite surprised by a number of places in the story. One little warning: The Diamond of Drury Lane takes place mostly on and around the streets of 18th century London. The very dirty streets of 18th century London. Get the picture? Other than that (and it’s really quite minor), this one’s a definite keeper.

Nightmare’s Edge

Our rating: ****½

Due to events that can only be understood by reading the first two books, Nathan Shepherd must travel to the dream world to find his father. Preventing Interfinity, a merging of the three Earths, is his goal. But events take a turn for the worst as previously-safe Earth Red heads back into a collision course. Nathan must decide between sacrificing the remaining supplicants (the strange powers behind dimensional mirror travel), playing the giant violin that previously almost killed him, or a third option which may be the most dangerous of all.

Hold onto your hat as you read this final installment! Themes of sacrifice, courage, and love are demonstrated over and over before your eyes as the story races to its conclusion. We finally learn the answers to most of the mysteries from the previous books. The ending is satisfying, yet things feel a bit rushed as the final chapter hurtles to a close. I was more emotionally involved in the previous two books than I was in Nightmare’s Edge, but with so much ground to cover it’s no wonder.