Saturday, April 6, 2013

Review: Keeping up with mystery series

As most of you know, when the going gets tough, Tutu turns to mysteries, particularly those that come in series. Recently, I've discovered these two, and can't seem to stop reading them.

Title: A Dedicated Man
Author: Peter Robinson
Publisher: Scribner (2001) , 352 pages
Genre: mystery -  police procedural
Subject: murder
Setting: Yorkshire England
Series: Inspector Peter Banks
Source: Public Library
Why did I read this book now? A friend recommended the series.

Peter Robinson published the first Inspector Banks mystery back in 1988.  Since then, there have a been many more- the 21st was just published in January of this year!   Since Dedicated Man is only #2, I have a ways to go, but I am already excited when I know that I can look forward to meeting characters who grow with each book.  It's refreshing to be able to read an "old-fashioned" mystery story - no instant DNA analysis, no cell-phones, no CSI, etc.  Banks is a steady, sure and intelligent plotter of facts, a listener who puts as much faith in what he doesn't hear from those he's interviewing as in what they say.  His solving of the puzzle is not instantaneous, but rather slow, measured, and finally correct.  It's a series I'm definitely going to continue.
Title: The House at Seas End
Author: Elly Griffiths
Publisher: Mariner Books paperback reprint 2012, 384 pages;
      also audio : Audio Go Ltd, 2011 10 hrs, 45 min
Genre: mystery - forensic detective work
Subject: unidentified bones
Setting: Norfolk England
Series: Ruth Galloway
Source: public library
Why did I read this book now? I'm hooked on this series.

Elly Griffith's Ruth Galloway series has been compared to Kathy Reichs' books, although I like Ruth much better than Temperance Brennan.  Ruth is middle-aged and overweight, an academic, a forensic archaeologist with a precocious one year old daughter (Kate) and no husband. The only reason she's excited to be involved with police work is her attraction to Kate's father Harry Nelson, who is married to a drop-dead gorgeous woman he's still in love with.  The Norfolk England setting in the salt-marshes is fantastic, the range of characters from professors, to detectives, to druids, to English aristocracy, makes for a wonderful blend of motives, raising red-herrings galore as Ruth and Nelson try to ascertain the origin of six skeletons unearthed on a ragged cliff overlooking the sea.  Were they German soldiers?  Did they invade during World War II?  How did they come to be buried in this spot?  Great suspense, wonderful human interest, and you bet I'm looking forward to the next one because she has a 5th coming out later this year!


  1. two of my very favorite series there!
    I am pretty caught up on them both, which is saying a lot since Robinson has written a lot of books..most I which I read one after the other. in backward order.

  2. I haven't read either of these series but I plan to correct that soon. Although we watch "Bones" on TV, I haven't read Reichs either and I think I'll leave it that way. I know the books would ruin the TV series or vice versa.

  3. Both are new to me, don't know if I should thank you or not!! :) I am much the same way, especially in winter, and turn to mysteries to fill-in between other titles I may be waiting for.


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