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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Murder at Kensington Palace by Andrea Penrose and All the Devils by Barry Eisler

Murder at Kensington Palace is the third in the Wrexford & Sloan mysteries.  I've had problems with the earlier two, but I like the characters and Charlotte Sloan's secret identity as the satirical artist A.J. Quill in the Regency Period so I've continued to read the books.  

I'm happy to say the third book seems to find Andrea Penrose becoming more skillful in her presentation (but that may be because I was reading ARCs that were probably edited).  Murder at Kensington Palace made the most of previous characters and added some intriguing new ones.

Charlotte's cousin Cedric is murdered and his twin brother Nicholas is arrested for the murder.  Unable to believe Nicholas guilty, Charlotte determines to find out what happened. The plot (far-fetched, but exciting) requires Charlotte, Lord Wrexford, and the Weasels (two street boys, Hawk and Raven whom Charlotte has taken in and who have aided in previous investigations) to explore scientific experiments involving electricity.  (Is someone trying a Frankenstein experiment?)   

The role of Mrs. McClellan (the housekeeper) develops; Charlotte's great-aunt and the bluestocking Lady Cordelia are introduced.  I like the addition of the two new strong female characters and giving Mrs. McClellan more time, and as always the lovable Weasels.

I look forward to the next addition to this series. :)

Read in Aug.  Blog review scheduled for Sept. 11, 2019.

NetGalley/Kensington Books
Historical Mystery.  Sept. 24, 2019.  Print length:  304 pages.

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The latest Livia Lone book by Barry Eisler has connections to current news about sex trafficking and powerful people.  It is well-researched, as all of Eisler's books are, and links to real events are included in the notes following the novel.  

from description:  Ten years ago, the daughter of Homeland Security Investigations agent B. D. Little vanished into thin air. So did seven other girls—the crimes all bearing the same signature characteristics.
Now the disappearances have begun again. And Agent Little’s efforts to investigate are being blocked by forces far above his pay grade. Desperate, he turns to Seattle sex-crimes detective Livia Lone, the most obsessive hunter of predators Little knows.
Livia Lone has continued to grow in these books, and she never gives up on her mission to save young women.  While very different from Lisbeth Salander, she is every bit as determined to pursue and bring to justice, legal or otherwise, those who abuse women and children--regardless of their wealth and powerful positions.  

The Livia Lone books are a spin-off of the John Rain books, and some of the characters from the John Rain series make appearances.  All of Eisler's books are intense thrillers, and this one doesn't disappoint!

Read in June.  Blog review scheduled for Sept. 11, 2019.

NetGalley/Thomas & Mercer
Thriller.  Sept. 24, 2019.  Print length:  364 pages.  
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The weather here is more like July/August than September, but I'm thinking about fall, Halloween, pumpkins, fall foliage.  Surely we will eventually get to the low 90's and [gasp] possibly the 80's before long.     

12 comments:

  1. It actually rained at our house yesterday and a bit this morning. It's been weeks of high temps and no moisture. Does that mean fall is coming? Well, maybe. Both these books sound good. I actually hearing Andrea Penrose speak on a panel at a mystery conference and have meant to try her series. And I'm familiar with Livia Lone books somehow, probably from your previous reviews. Will try to seek out both series.

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    1. We haven't had rain in so long, I've forgotten what it feels like! Fall temperatures have come later and later for the last several years--maybe by October we will see some 80 degree weather! Right now praying for low 90's. :\

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  2. I just finished reading the second Wrexford and Sloan mystery and I really liked that one! These characters are a lot of fun. I'm excited to read this third one, but it's still On Order at my library. So I'm going to have to wait a few weeks. :D

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    1. I love the characters in the Wrexford and Sloan series. I read them as ARC's from NetGalley and hope the final editions have corrected some of the annoyances. Repetition has been a problem with all of them, but much less so with this latest one. But if I never see the phrase "havey cavey" again it will be too soon. It was used probably ten times in the first one I think and brought me up short each additional usage, distracting and annoying. On the other hand, the A.J. Quill satirical portions and the Weasels are great and keep me involved.

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  3. What you describe about Murder at Kensington Palace fits my theory that an author of a series often seems to hit stride around the third or fourth book in the series and settles in from there. Maybe that's what's happening with this series; if so, the author is in good company.

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    1. I think a lot of the problem was the lack of editing in the versions I read, but Penrose seems to be feeling more comfortable in the latest installment. I like the period, the characters, and the plots. :)

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  4. Good to hear that the Wrexford and Sloan series is shaping up nicely. The first two couldn't have been all that bad since are now reading the third!

    Livia Lone sounds great. I loved the kick-ass quality that Lisbeth Salander had.

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    1. Reading unedited manuscripts means taking in the problems with the good points. Charlotte, Wrexford, the Weasels, and their friends are with it. :p

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  5. I'm glad to hear that you liked the latest Wrexford and Sloan mysteries more than the previous ones. I've not heard of this series so it's check-it-out time. :D And Barry Eisler's books sound good to me.

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    1. The Eisler books are well-written and well-plotted, but the Livia Lone books do have dark subject matter with the emphasis on sex trafficking. I've liked all of them, and I like that he backs up his fictional plots with links to real events.

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  6. I've seen a lot of Eisler books and just haven't picked one up yet. I need to! The Penrose series sounds like my kind of series :)

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  7. These sound like a couple of good choices for the RIP challenge. I'm starting The Institute, Stephen King's new book.

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