New monthly reviews from Joanne, our mistress of mysteries!
The Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths
The sixth book in the Ruth Galloway Mystery series sees Ruth, a forensic archaeologist, called to a construction site whose crew has unearthed a downed WWII plane with the pilot still inside. Of course, nothing is as it seems and when two people are attacked during separate incidents, the simple explanation concerning the discovery of the plane becomes much more sinister. Readers who aren’t familiar with this series need not worry about catching up with the characters – the author fills us in on their background without being too repetitive for her seasoned readers. I particularly like the humour that she brings to her characters and found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion. If you enjoy this book, do go back and read the series from the beginning. You won’t regret your decision.
Checked Out by Elaine Viets
What attracted me to this book was that it takes place in a library and involves the group who fundraise for it – The Friends of the Library. Since I work in a library and belong to our Friends of the Library, I wanted to see how the fictional institutions matched up to the real thing. Helen and Phil, husband and wife PIs, are hired by the Flora Park Library and the ultra-rich Coakley family, respectively. Helen, under the guise of a library volunteer, searches for a missing John Singer Sargent painting, supposedly slipped into a book that later was part of a large donation of books to the library. Phil, working as a gardener on their estate, has been hired to find the expensive necklace that the Coakley’s gave to their daughter on her birthday and which went missing the very evening of. When someone connected with the library is the victim of a hit-and-run, Helen realizes that shelving books can be a very dangerous pastime! Viets introduces a cast of characters both likeable and detestable and does a good job of throwing in the occasional red herring. On a personal basis, I would say that my library is heavy on the likeable “characters”.