Which comes first, the mystery or the murder?

Our family mystery is how did so much water get into the family room, bedrooms, storage room and furnace room of our house. It's an ongoing issue, so no story arc yet--no sense of completion. But at least I've got my computer up and running again, except I have to put it away to feed people since it's sitting on the kitchen table.

In between disposing of soggy boxes bursting with ruined memorabilia, watching sons cut up and drag away soaked carpet and underlay, moving furniture, panicking about surge protectors that clearly didn't protect (perhaps they didn't have water surges in mind when they designed them), ..., I have on occasion sat down and lost myself (and my woes) in a mystery novel. Such novels are good for losing yourself (and your woes). They helped a lot (as did amazing family and friends -- you know who you are; I couldn't possibly have coped without you!). So here are some reviews. If your coffee maker's not plugged into the same socket as your computer, pour a mug of favorite brew and see what you'd like to read next. Meanwhile, I will hope you don't have too many woes.

The damp, I supposed, reminds me of cold damp places like the Shetland Isles. So my first two reviews are for books two and three of Ann Cleve's Shetland Quartet. White Nights introduces the concept of being depressed because of too much sun rather than too little. In the gray of an Oregon winter, it's almost hard to imagine, but the author brings those nights of endless day to vivid life with mysteries hidden in the mist. Then the third book, Red Bones creates a cool blend of murder mystery and family drama. They're both thoroughly satisfying reads, whether or not you're following the TV series, best enjoyed with well-balanced, full-flavored three-star coffee.

Killer Christmas, an Emma Wild Mystery by Harper Lin is the first mystery in a romantic holiday themed collection. It's a short, fast, enticing Christmas read with pleasing family relationships and recipes! Enjoy with some lively easy-drinking two-star coffee and a plate of Christmas cookies (if you have any left over).

Then there are the ghostly cat paws in Leighann Dobbs' Ghostly Paws. Cozy with a touch of paranormal, Mystic Notch looks like being a fun series and I'd love to read more. The cats are great, and their point of view is very pleasingly rendered, as is that of Wilhelmina, struggling with her curious inheritance and the mystery of a sweet lady's death--oh, and the fact that the sweet lady's ghost wants her murderer found. Enjoy this lively mystery (especially if you love cats) with some lively, easy-drinking two-star coffee.

And finally, since I also love dogs, I have to include one more mystery in this collection--The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club by Duncan Whitehead. It's kind of a cross between Pushing Up Daisies and James Bond - slightly detatched narration, oddly detatched characters with quirks and horrors and more, and a murderer hiding in a high-class park where sweet dogs walk. The dogs' owners probably aren't sweet old ladies though, and this is a cool tale filled with clues that find and lose the scent, very civilized murders and betrayals, and great good humor.

Enjoy, and I'll post some more reviews when I switch the computer back on, after making lunch perhaps... Life is lived in the kitchen!


Jean Harkin said…
Amazing how you slogged through your disaster and have been able to keep up with reading, writing, reviewing, and blogging. Blogging and slogging!
Sheila Deeth said…
I like that phrase - blogging and slogging - thank you. I will remember it and smile when I get around to putting up my next post. This has certainly been a long slog.
Uvi Poznansky said…
Oh my! Now I know how the deluge must have felt like (did they have computers back then? lol)
Hope all dries up soon, and thanks for the great book reviews.
Sheila Deeth said…
All is dry now, but putting things back together may take quite a while. Thanks for the good wishes.

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