Friday, May 12, 2006

COLD RELATIONS by Gerald Hammond (Allison and Busby)

When you're head of Edinburgh's canine unit, everything seems to go to the dogs. Det. Sergeant Honey Laird's caseload seems to thin out a little, so she takes on a chore for an old friend--babysitting the friend's ex-husband, an ex SAS officer recuperating from a head wound in Iraq. Honey's obvious solution to most problems is fixing them up with a dog or two. This time the fix becomes a problem when Andrew's spaniels are kidnapped after a grouse shoot, a shooter goes missing, and a womanizing QC demands a female investigator for his case. The seriousness of the crimes lose nothing by the light touch of Hammond's writing. This book has something for everyone, but it's a wonderful find for lovers of cozy English police procedurals!

THE TORSO by Helene Tursten (Soho Press)

You know it's gonna be a bad day when a torso, so mutilated that it's gender is unknown, turns up on a beach. Det. Insp. Irene Huss gets the call on a case that moves her from her home office in Goteborg, Sweden to Copenhagen, where she encounters a similar mutilation. The further she probes into the case, the more murders appear. Irene is plummeted into Copenhagen's "Sin Central" where she meets a 400-pound plus Sumo wrestler who becomes an unlikely supporter. A call from an old neighbor adds the chore of looking for a runaway teenager. Meanwhile on the home front, one of Irene's twin daughters is involved in an automobile accident, and the family dog is sued for a paternity suit. Tursten provides the perfect police procedural--gruesome crime juxtaposed against a detective's ordinary familly life. I'm glad this one was in my TBR pile!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

SAVANNAH BREEZE by Mark Kay Andrews (Harper Collins)

When Mary Kay Andrews writes a sequel—she writes a SEQUEL! Following the Edgar-nominated SAVANNAH BLUES, Andrews now tells the story of trendy restaurant owner Bebe Lowdermilk (BLUES' Weezie's best friend). No longer successful, Bebe has been DONE WRONG by Reddy a gorgeous con man, er investment counselor, who has sold everything she owned except a run down 1950s motor court on Georgia's Tybee Island. Fortunately all Southern Belles have family and friends (both lifetime and new) to call on when the going gets tough. Bebe's assembled posse comes together witih a vengence to restore her fortune and to teach Reddy why it's not good to mess with GRITS (girls raised in the South). This might well be the best summer read of 2006!

OH DANNY BOY by Rhys Bowen (St. Martin's Minotaur)

The Molly Murphy mystery series keeps getting better and better! In her fifth outing, Molly's determination to find a new career becomes tangled with her resolution to put dashing police Captain Daniel Sullivan out of her life. Her plans are put aside when Daniel is arrested for corruption and jailed and she is the only one who will help him. Additional complications from her personal life and with an outbreak of murdered prostitutes require all of Molly's skills as an investigator and as a strong-willed woman. In keeping with all of Bowen's works, the supporting characters are well-drawn and realistic, and the story moves at breakneck pace until its harrowing conclusion. This is a marvelous entry in a top-notch series!