Joanne’s Mystery Picks

LETHAL WHITE51vbz607nll-_sx322_bo1204203200_ by Robert Galbraith

If there was ever any doubt that J.K. Rowling was just a flash in the pan with her Harry Potter series, then that doubt is quickly shattered with the latest installment in her Cormoran Strike series (written under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith).  Coming in at 647 pages, this complex story takes us from the supposed psychotic ramblings of “Billy”, who pleads for Strike’s help in investigating a crime that he thinks he witnessed as a child, to the Houses of Parliament.

As Strike pursues Billy’s story, made difficult by his sudden disappearance, Robin goes undercover in The House where “back-stabbing” is a daily occurrence amongst the Ministers and their cronies.  Both investigations are complicated further by the events taking place in the private lives of Cormoran and Robin, respectively, as their personal relationship grows.

Due to their previous successes, Cormoran and Robin’s services are in great demand – to the point that they’ve had to hire more investigators.  This results in Cormoran taking on the bulk of the surveillance.  The toll that this takes on his body is evident in ever painful step that he takes.  The pair will soon have to make some important decisions about the future of the agency and their personal relationship.

5 Daggers
Joanne gives this “5 daggers out of 5”.

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

15888AN INSTANCE OF THE FINGERPOST by Iain Pears

Pears’ 1998 novel has been described as “Dickensian in breadth and darkness” along with many accolades asserting to its excellence.  I can only add that I found it an astoundingly clever piece – a mix of fact and fiction – that left me guessing right to the very last page.

As well as being a brilliant murder mystery, the novel shows us the scientific community of 1663 – from the practise of alchemy to the beginnings of modern chemistry and medicine in all its blood and gore.

When an Oxford don is murdered, the evidence points to a servant girl.  Four narrators remember the events surrounding the murder – and each remembers them differently.  Which version is the correct one, for we know that memory is a very unreliable witness?  The journey to that last page was enthralling and the ending a touch of brilliance.

5 Daggers
Joanne gives this “5 daggers out of 5”.