E is for Evidence – Sue Grafton

Kinsey gets set up as the crim in this the fifth Kinsey Millhone mystery….. being set up with an unexpected deposit of $5000 into her usually threadbare account. And winds up having a couple of close shaves with homemade bombs and a psychotic killer.

Actually, this is more of a Thirties whodunnit than a Patricia Cornwell thriller-type mystery. I enjoy both, but Sue Grafton’s style is nice and easy, and quick, to read. Especially when waiting for the Eurostar to Avignon!

Next stop, F is for Fugitive….

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Cabal – Michael Dibdin

Another Aurelio Zen mystery that has appeared at the Gyford’s Walton library, and a more attractive read than the more autobiographical books I’d bought with me.

A good detective/crime read, as usual, but with more focus on Aurelio’s private life, giving more of an insight into the man to go with the mysteries he investigates. There were overtones of The Da Vinci Code, with a secret society within one of the ancient orders that emerged at the time of the Crusades….. but this novel is nothing like as complex. With the action taking place solely in Rome/the Vatican City, the focus is more on the workings of Italian/Vatican police and security forces, and those who control them, than the Cabal itself.

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Trace – Patricia Cornwell

Borrowed from Abby for holiday reading, this proved a suitable Kay Scarpetta blockbuster to occupy some of the quieter moments – such as there were – during the trip from Delhi to Kathmandu.

The focus of the plot is more concerned with Kay’s niece, Lucy, and her life and relationships than the usual, older characters, but interestingly, the novel lets you see what each of those think of Lucy and her adult-relationship with Kay. Not having read the earlier novels, I didn’t really get as much out of Kay’s return to Virginia and her emotional response to the changes since her departure as others might do.

Amazon.co.uk link: Trace – Patricia Cornwell

Amazon.co.uk list: Kay Scarpetta Collection (in order)

A Conspiracy of Paper – David Liss

Set in London the early 18th century, in the era when financial institutions and paper-based monetary systems were emerging in concept and in fact, this book is part murder-mystery, part-historical novel, with lots of detail on the jewish and financial communities in London, as well as its underworld of fist-fighters, gin joints, pick pockets and prostitutes.

It took me a while to get into it – in addition to the breadth of information provided by way of general backgrounds and settings, the main character is a bit of a mish-mash, and I found it hard to get a feel for him. At times it felt like David Liss was just desparate to fit in everything he’d discovered in doing his research.

That said, in the end, I wanted to know what happened enough to take the novel with me on my trip to India and Nepal! I still couldn’t articulate a snappy description of the book when asked by the Gulf Air stewardess though….

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D is for Deadbeat – Sue Grafton

More satisfying than C for me, largely because of the action in Kinsey’s personal life, and the fact that for the first time she has a client who is a crim/ex-crim, who is subsequently murdered. The main gripe I had with this plot is that the Whodunnit factor rests on there being 5 suspects and the fact that all are slim blondes, and I failed to pick up on these significant features in the initial descriptions of most of them, with the end result that it was hard to follow the twists and turns in the later chapters.

Buy it: Amazon link