Category: Mystery Reviews

A review of The Fate of Pryde by Mary Martin

Certainly the mystery that surrounds and motivates Jonathan Pryde and the poor ‘lost souls’ that inhabit his castle, drives the story rapidly towards its conclusion, but this is more than simply a story of suspense. The novel touches on some serious thematics such as the relationship between art and life, on both ethics and philosophical responsibility, and ultimately, on how we create meaning in our lives.

A review of Among the Departed by Vicki Delany

How do people carry on with their lives when someone has not only departed, but vanished? How do they cope privately with the not-knowing, and endure the public scrutiny? What becomes of them? The novel gives the reader an insight into those living out their lives among the departed. This aspect of the novel is particularly compelling, thought provoking, and heart-rending.

A review of The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

There’s a lot to enjoy about the novel, not least the mystery: Hammett generally wrote tightly plotted novels and, in that respect, The Thin Man satisfies in spades. The banter between Nick Charles and his wife is also very enjoyable and his wisecrack about a man needing a shot of whiskey in the morning to ‘break the phlegm’ is one that most men will identify with.

A review of FireSong by Aaron Paul Lazar

The story of the Underground Railroad is also compelling and Lazar handles the history beautifully, deftly weaving it into the story, and allowing the reader to discover and enjoy each piece of information along with Gus and Camille. Managing a delicate balance between action and reflection, Lazar’s latest book FireSong is a delightfully satisfying read full of warmth, humour and drama.

A review of According to Luke by Rosanne Dingli

It isn’t just the natural world that is richly described, but also the iconic places that the characters visit, from the Saydnaya convent in Damascus to the Rabat Priory in Malta, along with the many paintings and sculptures, all described with the kind of meticulous detail that helps the reader sympathise with the love that Jana has for the places and work.

A review of The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Why should one read The Big Sleep today? Well, first there is the story: it is a thrilling ride. Then there is the quality of Chandler’s prose, his much vaunted style, which still impresses (though its downbeat and bathetic vibe is occasionally imitative of Hemingway).

A review of Through A Glass, Darkly by Bill Hussey

Hussey has been kind to the reader by slicing his novel into bed-time-reading sized chapters. But unless you like your nightmares to be as ‘jittery as a dog full of fleas’ then read Through a Glass Darkly on a bright summer’s day.

A review of Tremolo: Cry of the Loon by Aaron Paul Lazar

What makes this book work so well is how it moves beyond genre, to illuminate a critical period in his hero’s life, showing just how the warmth and honesty in his family life have given rise to an integrity which makes him more than simply a clever detective. His character creates a theme that works throughout all of the Gus LeGarde books, and, I suspect, a theme that may well be present in all of Lazar’s work.

A review of The Confessions of Owen Keane by Terence Faherty

The stories are indeed rather special and they develop the crime genre in a fascinating direction. Owen Keane fulfils many of the roles of a priest – he offers pastoral care to his “parishioners” and feels an imperative to save or rescue them. More often than not, it is he who decides when and how to offer help, responding to a need that is not apparent to others.