Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (Cormoran Strike #3). I like this series largely because of Cormoran and Robin, but the plots keep me interested as well.
I could have done without the body part delivered to Robin at the beginning--a wee bit too much of an opening, but it does demonstrate how personal the attack is. And although the leg (uh huh, uh huh, a leg) is sent to Robin, the real target is Cormoran Strike.
The first dilemma is discovering who hates Strike enough to send him a leg (not overly fond of dismemberment); there are four possibilities that have to be investigated.
While the police focus on one suspect, Strike and Robin investigate the other three that Strike believes more credible. Several subplots are entwined with the central plot, and along the way we also find out more about the backstories of both characters. In the acknowledgements, Rowling mentions how much she enjoyed writing this installment. It is certainly more grisly than the previous two books and definitely not Harry Potter.
Mystery/Suspense. 2015. 498 pages.
No Shred of Evidence by Charles Todd. I've been reading this series since the first one was published in 1994, and I've read quite a few, but not all of the 18 books (mainly the ones my library has purchased) about Inspector Ian Rutledge.
A bit of the background: Ian Rutledge suffered from shell shock during WWI and continues to do deal with some of the effects.
Sooo--four young women are boating when they realize a young man is in distress--he can't swim and his boat is rapidly sinking. They attempt a rescue, but several details are curious.
As two of the girls attempt to get the young man in the boat without tipping themselves over, a farmer witnesses the situation and swims out to help. He accuses the young women of trying to kill the young man, and when the group reaches shore, the girls are taken into custody. Detective Rutledge is called in to investigate.
Because the victim is in a coma, Rutledge needs to find out what actually happened. The girls say they were trying to rescue the young man; the farmer says they were trying to kill him.
There is also a secondary plot involving a mysterious young woman who was staying in the village, but has moved on. In fact, this young woman never stays in one place for any length of time and is difficult to locate. Another curious situation.
There are some several holes in the novel, but I enjoyed it. I'm quite fond of Inspector Rutledge and of Hamish, the young Scot Rutledge was required to execute during the war for refusing to obey an order. Hamish remains a voice in Rutledge's head, but has received less time as the series has continued. He is, nevertheless, an important character.
My favorite in the series remains the first one, A Test of Wills, but I've enjoyed at least 9 of the novels in this series. The effects of shell shock were so severe that some men never recovered. The Todds have also co-authored the Bess Crawford series.
Historical Mystery. Feb. 2016. 336 pages.
Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear. Another series I've followed since the first book. Set in the period between the two world wars, the early books deal with some of the same issues the Todds write about concerning the first world war. The later books begin anticipating the inevitability of WWII--which is what this one does.
Maisie is sent to Munich in 1938 to retrieve a man the British Government believes will be useful in the war effort. Maisie must navigate Hitler's Munich, a frightening and dangerous place.
I'm not sure where this series is going. Will Maisie get back to her detective work or continue working for the Secret Service?
Probably both, but for some reason, I would prefer more on the detective side.
The later books have been uneven, and I find myself preferring the earlier entries in the series. I like the historic details that have been a part of the series, but Maisie as an undercover or intelligence agent doesn't appeal to me as much as Maisie the detective.
Historical Mystery. March 2016. 309 pages.