Sunday, 22 March 2015

New Purchases

I was sort of a good/ bad boy on Saturday. I brought about 6 or 7 books to my used book store for credit to make a bit of room on the bookshelves, but I ended up using some of that credit to buy a few more books. Darn that Nearly New Books, they had quite a few I was interested in. They usually do. So let's see what I found this time.

1. The Beggar King and The Poisoned Pilgrim by Oliver Potszch (Historical Mystery). I've read the first book in this series, that being The  Hangman's Daughter. It is a historical mystery series set in Germany during the 1660s. I quite liked the first book and last time I went to Nearly New Books I noticed they had the other three in the series. I only picked up the 2nd at that time but when I saw they still had the remaining two books, I twisted my arm and picked them up to. Better to have them on my shelves than to miss out on them when I have a chance to read them. I'm really looking forward to tackling the second book, The Dark Monk.

2. St. Alban's Fire by Archer Mayor (Book 16 in the Joe Gunther series). One of my goodreads friends mentioned this series to me and I was pleasantly surprised to find one of the books at the store. I haven't tried the series yet and I may wait until I find the first book before I try this one. But who knows. This is the synopsis.
"Winter is on the wane in Northwestern Vermont. The moon hangs bright and cold in the silvery night sky over hundreds of square miles of a peaceful, dormant landscape of dairy farms. Bobby Cutts—young, heartbroken, and unable to sleep—enters the family barn to tend to the beasts within… and encounters the last nightmare of his life. Suddenly and explosively surrounded by bolts of fire racing in all directions, Bobby and the entire herd perish in a searing, stampeding, Hellish circle of flames. Called to the scene to investigate, Joe Gunther instantly recognises arson. But why, and by whom? And for what possible reason? There is little insurance, the family is loving and tightly knit, and there are few neighbourhood animosities. But murder this is, and Gunther quickly discovers it’s just one of a series of recent barn-related arson. Someone is wreaking havoc across the bucolic farmlands surrounding the town of St. Albans, and before Joe can discover who that is, he must dissect the social fabric of the community, the soul of Bobby’s family, and the complex, cut-throat business of farming lurking under its placid exterior. This journey will take Joe and his sidekick, Willy Kunkle, from the country to gritty Newark, New Jersey, where they will get lessons in the ways of both big city cops, old-time Mafia soldiers, and the power of money. Before it is all done, Joe will engage in a deadly game of chess that transcends mere police work, and confront at last an opponent with nothing to lose, whose final mission in life is to destroy the woman closest to Joe’s heart. And when the Oberfeldt case takes a turn for the unexpected, Joe realises that he is faced with a politically perilous situation—and a possibly lethal one personally."

3. People Who Knock on the Door by Patricia Highsmith. Patricia Highsmith is an interesting author. Besides the Ripley series, she basically writes one of mysteries and each (at least those I've read) deals with psychological aspects of the protagonists. This one did look interesting. This is the synopsis.
" When small-town insurance salesman Richard Alderman becomes a born-again Christian, his once tight-knit family quickly begins to rip apart at the seams. He and his youngest son, Robbie, embrace their newfound faith, while his elder son Arthur rejects it. Caught in the middle of the ensuing web of lies, his wife, Lois tries to keep the family together, but when the church elders start to interfere in Arthur's love life, events spiral toward violence. In this masterful late work, Highsmith weaves a powerful tale about blind faith and the peculiar ideas of justice that lie underneath the veneer of respectability."

4. The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken by Tarquin Hall (Vish Puri Number 3). I've read one of this series and found it generally to be humorous and interesting. I've got the 2nd book still to read and was pleased to add number 3 to my bookshelf as well.
"Long-held secrets, deadly lies, a sports scandal, and a poisoned helping of butter chicken - all in a day's work for the head of Delhi's Most Private Investigators, in this latest book in the delightful Vish Puri detective series. When the father of a Pakistani star cricket player falls dead during a glamorous India Premier League dinner, clearly it isn't just a case of Delhi Belly. But which of the VIPs at the victim's table is responsible for poisoning the man's butter chicken? And was the victim killed for his involvement with a gambling syndicate that controls cricket's illegal billion-dollar betting industry? The answers seem to lie across the border in Pakistan - the one country Puri swore he would never set foot in. Or do they? For Puri's beloved Mummy-ji, who has a unique insight into the killing, believes there is much more to this murder than meets the eye. Puri and Mummy-ji's search for the truth will lead them to uncover decades-old secrets and tragedies thought best forgotten in their most compelling case yet."

5. Kittyhawk Down by Garry Disher (Inspector Challis #2). I have to admit I bought this one because I liked the cover. As well, I haven't read very many books set in Australia and this seemed to provide that opportunity.
"A missing two-year-old girl, and the body of an unidentified drowning victim have brought Homicide Squad Inspector Hal Challis, of the Peninsula Police Force, to Bushrangers Bay at the Australian seaside not far from Melbourne. All is not idyllic in this resort community; far from it. Cars are stolen and torched; letter boxes are being burned. Is it mischief, or the prelude to even more serious crimes? A good friend, attractive Kitty Casement, runs an aerial photography service and flies a Kittyhawk. Challis is restoring a 1935 Dragon Rapide aeroplane; their mutual interest has brought them together. Each of them prefers to soar alone, high above the earth. And then one of Kitty Casement's aeroplanes suffers malicious damage." The once-peaceful beach resort becomes the site of multiple murders. Are all the crimes linked? It is up to Inspector Challis to find out before more innocent people are killed."

6. The Chase by Clive Cussler (Isaac Bell #1). This book was also a chance selection. One of my goodreads friends has been reading Clive Cussler and enjoyed the Isaac Bell series so I thought I'd give this a try.
"April 1950: The rusting hulk of a steam locomotive rises from the deep waters of a Montana lake. Inside is all that remains of three men who died forty-four years before. But it is not the engine or its grisly contents that interest the people watching nearby. It is what is about to come next . . . 1906: For two years, the western states of America have been suffering an extraordinary crime spree: a string of bank robberies by a single man who cold- bloodedly murders any and all witnesses and then vanishes without a trace. Fed up by the depredations of the "Butcher Bandit," the U.S. government brings in the best man they can find-a tall, lean, no-nonsense detective named Isaac Bell, who has caught thieves and killers coast to coast. But Bell has never had a challenge like this one. From Arizona to Colorado to the streets of San Francisco during its calamitous earthquake and fire, he pursues what is quickly becoming clear to him is the sharpest criminal mind he has ever encountered, and the woman who seems to hold the key to the bandit's identity. Using science, deduction, and intuition, Bell repeatedly draws near only to grasp at thin air, but at least he knows his pursuit is having an effect. Because his quarry is getting angry now, and has turned the chase back on him. The hunter has become the hunted. And soon it will take all of Isaac Bell's skills not merely to prevail . . . but to survive. Filled with intricate plotting, dazzling signature set pieces, and not one but two extraordinary villains, this is the work of a master writing at the height of his powers."

7. Hour Game by David Baldacci (King & Maxwell #2). King and Maxwell was one of the more entertaining TV mystery series that Jo and I have watched. It was disappointing when it was cancelled. So I want to start reading the series and see if it is as entertaining.
"A woman is found murdered in the woods. It seems like a simple case but it soon escalates into a terrible nightmare. Someone is replicating the killing styles of the most infamous murderers of all time. No one knows this criminal's motives...or who will die next. Two ex-Secret Service agents, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, have been hired to defend a man's innocence in a burglary involving an aristocratic family. Then a series of secrets leads the partners right into the frantic hunt that is confounding even the FBI. Now King and Maxwell are playing the Hour Game, uncovering one horrifying revelation after another and putting their lives in danger. For the closer they get to the truth, the closer they get to the most shocking surprise of all."

8. Stolen by Kelley Armstrong (Women of the Otherworld, #2). This was my only fantasy purchase. Jo and I have really started to enjoy Bitten, the TV series based on the books and I did enjoy the first in the series. I thought it would be good to try the others as well.
"Even though she's the world's only female werewolf, Elena Michaels is just a regular girl at heart -- with larger than normal appetites. She sticks to three feasts a day, loves long runs in the moonlight, and has a lover who is unbelievable frustrating yet all the more sexy for his dark side. Like every regular girl, she certainly doesn't believe in witches. Then again, when two small, ridiculously feminine women manage to hurl her against a wall, and then save her from the hunters on her tail, Elena realises that maybe there are more things in heaven and earth than she's dreamt of. Vampires, demons, shamans, witches -- in Stolen they all exist, and they're all under attack. An obsessed tycoon with a sick curiosity is well on his way to amassing a private collection of supernaturals, and plans to harness their powers for himself -- even if it means killing them. For Elena, kidnapped and imprisoned deep underground, separated from her Pack, unable to tell her friends from her enemies, choosing the right allies is a matter of life and death."

9. The Reckoning by Rennie Airth (John Madden #4) - This is one series that I've made some headway with, excellent historical crime series from between the Wars, set in England, with John Madden as the protagonist. The stories have been getting better as I've read one through three.
"On a quiet afternoon in 1947, retired bank manager Oswald Gibson is shot in the head while fishing. In Scotland, a respectable family doctor is killed in the same  manner, and with the same gun. What is the connection? Scotland Yard’s Detective Inspector Billy Styles and local detective Vic Chivers are baffled until a letter from Gibson is discovered that might shed some light on the case—a letter concerning former Scotland Yard detective John Madden. Despite Madden’s legendary memory, he has no recollection of meeting Gibson or any idea of what their relationship might have been. Madden is happily retired from police work, but agrees to help his former protégé Styles and the clues they uncover only deepen the mystery. When a third man is killed in a similar fashion, Madden and Styles find themselves in a race against time to find the killer before another man ends up dead."

So there you go. Any interest you? :0)

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