I just can't seem to find the time to catch up on all of the reviews I've neglected. So...I'm going to include a bunch of December/January short reviews.
Singularity by Kathryn Casey
Sarah Armstrong is a profiler for the Texas Rangers. After the murder of a wealthy and influential businessman and his mistress, the investigation points to his widow. Sarah, however, doubts this and begins looking at other murders that appear to have similarities. Is the guilty party actually a serial killer who rides the rails? She finds herself alone in this belief of a nomadic psychopath who has committed murders across the state of Texas.
Moderately entertaining, but not a series I will make an effort to follow.
Crime/Police Procedural. 2010. 332 pages.
An Unwilling Accomplice (Bess Crawford Mysteries) by Charles Todd
I find it interesting that I liked this Bess Crawford better than some others I've read-- evidently fans of the series liked it less well.
Plot: Sergeant Wilkins, a wounded war hero who is to be honored by King George, asks for Bess to accompany him. Bess doesn't remember ever having cared for the man and is a bit perplexed by the request sent by the War Department. She does, of course, comply and attend Wilkins. Unfortunately, Wilkins leaves his wheelchair and disappears after the ceremony, and Bess is accused of dereliction of duty for permitting her patient to go AWOL.
A sighting of Wilkins in a village where a man was murdered puts Bess in an even more precarious situation. Naturally, Simon Brett decides to aid Bess in her search for the missing man, and Bess sets out to discover more about Wilkins. She follows leads across the country trying to determine why he went AWOL, and if he committed the murder, why. Are there others on his list?
The plot is a bit convoluted, but the historic detail of the period makes for interesting reading in and of itself. The first WW had so many dramatic repercussions on England, and the Todd team (mother and son) always do an excellent job in creating an England that is undergoing tremendous societal changes.
Again, many fans of the series were not as happy with this installment, but I liked it better than some of the previous Bess Crawford books.
Historic Mystery. 2014. 357 pages.
The Burden of Memory by Welcome Cole
This was a NetGalley offering; I read The Pleasure of Memory (also from NetGalley) a while back, and this is the second in the series.
Beam's role is a little reduced as other characters find larger roles. The narrative is a bit jumpy, moving from one character to another. The overall plot seemed harder to follow, as minor characters from the first novel suddenly became more important without sufficient background to remind the reader of their previous roles.
Nevertheless, I was enjoying Burden as I found my feet with the larger roles of characters from the first book and the introduction of new characters like the pirates. Unfortunately, toward the end, the direction of the plot didn't please me, and the book ends with a cliff hanger.
Fantasy. Dec. 1, 2014. Print length: 521 pages.
Dreamwalker (The Red Dragon Academy Bk. 1) by Rhys Bowen and C.M. Broyles
I love the cover, but wasn't really satisfied with this one. Written for middle schoolers, much of the action takes place in a magical boarding school, but no Harry Potter appeal to this one.
Addie is a California kid whose mother recently died. Her English aunt sweeps in and takes Addie to England, and then quickly enrolls her in a Welsh boarding school.
I wanted to like this one, but found it slow and without the charm or whimsy that I prefer in books for the younger set. I was disappointed that the cover was so much more interesting than the book.
NetGalley/Red Dragon Press
YA/Fantasy. 2014. Print length: 284 pages.