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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

3 Mysteries

 Gone by T.J. Brearton.  A family has gone missing.  Things are looking bleak as Detective Rondeau and his team consider the possibilities, including murder/suicide or kidnapping.  Or is it a government conspiracy?

Interesting and tense.  There were red herrings, but they were as often for Detective Rondeau as well as for the reader.   

The father of the missing family is a documentary filmmaker, who had recently finished a documentary about factory farming and was investigating toxic waste disposal when the family disappeared.

The novel mentions that factory farming is worse for the environment than any other single factor.  Although I have read similar statements and a few articles before, a little research made me appropriately ill:  11 Facts about Factory Farming, Factory Farming and the Environment, Factory Farming and Human Health, and there is plenty more out there--including the "humane" treatment of animals.  
via Your Food Is Medicine

Anyway--Brearton has a tense novel (although the conclusion was a bit too psychological), but what I mainly took away was more  what occurs in the real world, and it isn't pretty.  Fiction can make the government's role in allowing these abuses more offensive than simply reading articles by environmentalists.

NetGalley/Joffe Books

Mystery/Suspense.  May 2016.  Print length:  212 pages.

By the North Door by Meg Elizabeth Atkins is a strange and creepy novel about a young woman who goes missing. Originally published in 1975, it is both a little old-fashioned and very modern for its time.

Inspector Henry Beaumont has a family connection to the missing woman and makes discovering what happened to her a personal mission outside of his role with the police.

Strange characters and modern witchcraft.

Not sure what I really think about By the North Door, but I wanted to know what happened!

NetGalley/Endeavor Press

Mystery/Paranormal.  1975.  2016.  Print length:  182 pages.

Stephen Booth's Cooper & Fry mysteries are uneven; some I've liked a lot, some not so much.  I liked Scared to Live better than the last one I read, partly because Fry, always difficult, is less waspish and irascible in this one.  Cooper, as always, provides the calm and empathetic element, but he has some concerns of his own.

The murder of Rose Shepherd, a recluse, and a house fire that kills a mother and two of her young children initially have no connection. Eventually, however, the two investigations intertwine.

A Bulgarian connection, two separate worries about mental illness, an odious neighbor, baby smuggling, blackmail....  


* I was totally unaware of Schengen countries (borderless countries that don't require a passport)!  I've been to the UK several times, but never to the European continent and was unaware of the treaty in 1990.  

*Booth refers to a meal of homity pie, a dish with potatoes, onions, and leeks, and covered with cheese.  

*He also mentions crantsies, or maidens' garlands, so I checked with Wikipedia and discovered a crant/crantsey/maiden garland:  is a crown-shaped garland used as a funeral memento for, usually female,virgins.

An interesting history of the practice can be found at A Vintage Green Life.

Booth's books always include descriptions of the Peak District sometimes in detail, as he does with the town of Matlock Bath in this novel, or in a simple mention of something that might seem common to him, but unfamiliar to the reader.  :)  I love tid bits.


Mystery/Police Procedural.  2014.  Print length:  594 pages.   


  1. Is it wrong that describing a book as "strange and creepy" kind of makes me want to read it even more?

    1. :) Don't forget "strange." A Kirkus review of one of her books in 1969 said Atkins had conceived a new genre: "a discreet psychotic gothic." I'm still on the line about this book, though.

  2. Each book is different but so interesting. I think Gone stands out to me for its plot and the environmental issue. I'd read a nonfiction about farming and animals rearing and yes, it totally made me sick. What they feed to the animals and how they are "cared for" is simply mind boggling.

    1. The details and effects of factory farming are offensive to almost everyone--when we are forced to think about it. When governments talk about climate change, you don't hear too much about the problems caused by factory farming, but evidently the United Nations thinks moving to a meat and dairy free diet would have a positive impact on climate change.

    2. I guess the link spaced the words out, but it looks like emphasis. :)