THE FOREVER WITNESS by EDWARD HUMES

Pulitzer Prize Winner, Edward Humes, brings us a true crime story. How Genetic Genealogy Solved A Cold Case Double Murder.

This is a true story of murder in the Pacific Northwest. When two young people leave Canada to run an errand in the U.S., they never return. Searches were extensive, but the evidence was sparse.

This was a very cold case until Detective Jim Scharf with a lot of help from a genealogist tracked down a killer and made an arrest.

This is the story of Tanya Van Cuylenborg and Jay Cook. Murdered in the 1980s during a trip to Seattle. No murder weapon, no suspects, and no witness. The only clue was a palm print on the back window.

With the lack of any evidence, they are pretty sure it isn’t the first time the killer has done this. This person is good at cleaning up a crime scene.

At the time, genealogy just wasn’t advanced enough to be of help. But with the help of all of the genealogy kits popping up people are finding out information they never thought possible. And then there are the ethical questions. I think however if you upload your results online, you aren’t going to expect privacy.

There are over 250,000 unsolved murders in this country. Could we help solve those with DNA? Maybe. Just know that your genetic material could be used to identify a criminal. I wonder if that makes people less apt to participate?

This was a really good look at all aspects of DNA usage.

NetGalley/November 29th, 2022 by Dutton



THE RISING TIDE by ANN CLEEVES

A Vera Stanhope Novel #10

Since I have recently finished binge-watching the BritBox series Vera, I was happy to receive a copy of this newest DCI STANHOPE novel!

We are back on Holy Island for this one. Fifty years ago a group of high school kids and their young teacher went on a retreat there and stayed at the one-time convent with a nice chapel. A place to sit and be still.

They formed that tight bond that teenagers do, feeling everything so deeply. But on their first reunion, one of the girls argues with one of the guys and leaves in a huff, none of them worrying about the tides. And that is a death that ties them together. The priest, the playboy turned novelist, the broken woman who lost a husband and a baby, the strongest couple who now is the weakest. They all have secrets. No one is telling the truth.

When one of them is found hanging from a beam in his room, Vera and her team step in. Vera has no qualms about digging for answers in sensitive matters. Even though the man had recently been fired because of sexual misconduct, he didn’t seem upset about it. So why is he dead?

What are all of these people hiding? And Vera needs to figure that out quickly or there will be more deaths.

As in all good Vera stories, there was laughter, confusion, tears, and a few gasps!

Cleeves always gives us good mysteries!

NetGalley/ September 06, 2022, St. Martin’s Press

THE PLAYING FIELDS by STELLA CAMERON

An Alex Duggins Cotswolds Mystery

When two bodies are discovered within six weeks of one another, it would appear that a serial killer is at large in the sleepy Cotswold village of Folly.

DCI Dan O’Reilly is settling in to his new home with boxes still unpacked when a body is found on the old playing fields near the cricket club. The scene looks staged but no one saw or heard anything. Six weeks later another body is discovered in the tithe barn, which is used for plays now. This body is staged as well. It would seem a serial killer is at work.

In due course his investigation lands him at Alex’s pub, the Black Dog. Dan makes it clear to her and her partner, veterinarian, Tony, that he does not want them involved in his case. But have we ever known Alex to keep her cute little nose out of things?

Alex is the person everyone confides in when they don’t want to go to the police themselves. This time she may be on her own as Tony has just received an e-mail from his dead wife. Yes, a dead wife.

So, instead of finalizing their wedding plans, they are investigating murders and ignoring the dead wife.

When Tony himself becomes a victim, Alex forgets her promise to Dan and heads right into the killer’s lair.

This one had some seriously creepy characters in it. It’s always a mystery with this good series!

NetGalley/ Canongate/Severn  November 2nd ,2021 

THIEF OF SOULS by BRIAN KLINGBORG

Thief of Souls: An Inspector Lu Fei Mystery (Inspector Lu Fei Series Book 1)
An Inspector Lu Fei Mystery #1

“On the night the young woman’s corpse is discovered, hollowed out like a birchbark canoe, Inspector Lu Fei sits alone in the Red Louts bar, determined to get gloriously drunk.”

Lu Fei has all the credentials of a top-notch Inspector and yet he is living in a small town in the north of China,where life isn’t very exciting. At least until the day a young woman is found dead, organs gone and something stuck in her mouth.

Such a high-profile murder is big news even in Beijing where the CID is taking over the case. The head of the CID has aspirations to be more than a cop and in China where there is so much political and economic instability, a murder of a girl isn’t top priority.

With little help from the CID, Fei will be digging into this bizarre case alone it looks like. There was so much going on here. Communist Party bigwigs, Corrupt politicians and business owners. China is very corrupt it seems.

But digging too far may leave the inspector in a lot of danger.

I liked the idea of this story more than the story.

NetGalley/ Pub Date: 04 May 2021 St. Martin’s/Minotaur

The Darkest Evening by ANN CLEEVES

The Darkest Evening (Vera Stanhope, #9)

I love the Vera series! And this time we meet more of her family.

As DI Vera Stanhope is on her way home the first big snow of the winter is blowing so hard she can barely find her turnoff point. The one thing she can see is a car with the driver’s door open slid off the road.

Vera checks it out and finds of all things a baby in the backseat. Assuming the driver has gone for help she leaves her business card and a note. Taking the baby to the closest house. Her relatives.Harriett and Julia Stanhope.

Brockburn is the family home and though it is pretty much crumbling around them, Julia’s husband Mark, has a plan to save it by turning it into a place for theater types and artists. Which seems a bit odd in Northumberland.

When she pulls up to the house it is clear some type of party is going on. Lights are blazing and everyone is drinking and none of them have any idea a murder has occurred on the property.

The blizzard is in full swing and everyone is staying put. Is their a killer under their roof? This is the house Vera’s father grew up in but Vera and her father were not close with them. Now she may find out more than she imagined in the secrets they were all keeping!

This is one of my favorite series and characters! Always a good mystery with the unconventional Vera!

NetGalley/ September 8th, 2020 by Minotaur Books



THE MOLTEN CITY by Chris Nickson

Molten City (A Tom Harper Mystery Book 8) by [Chris Nickson]

Detective Superintendent Tom Harper senses trouble ahead when the prime minister plans a visit. Can he keep law and order on the streets while also uncovering the truth behind a missing child?

Detective Superintendent Tom Harper has a bad feeling about the Prime Minister making a stop in Leeds. It’s September of 1908 and everyone is on edge. Whether it’s the Suffragettes or the massive amount of unemployed men, Tom has a feeling this is not going to turn out well.

As if that isn’t enough, someone has dropped him a letter claiming that a young boy, Andrew, was stolen from his family fourteen years prior. Looking into the case he finds very little in the file. In the middle of trying to hold off a riot over the Prime Ministers visit, he is also in the middle of a child abduction ring and some of the people involved do not intend to be captured.

Will Tom get things under control before the entire city goes up in smoke?

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/ Severn House July 7, 2020

 

 

 

THE SECRETS THEY LEFT BEHIND by Lissa Marie Redmond

The Secrets They Left Behind

 

Shea O’Conner is a twenty-three-year-old cop in Buffalo, a regular patrol officer, who looks more like a teenager than an adult, and, who is still recovering emotionally and physically from the wounds inflicted by a sadistic killer in a case none of her co-workers even know about.

When she is asked to go undercover at a small college in a town where three freshmen mysteriously disappeared over Christmas. The three girls had last been seen at a party and had left together. Cell phones, purses, even coats are still in the living room. But the girls are gone and the trail is cold.  With a new last name and an ‘uncle’ as the Chief of Police of Kelly’s Falls, Shea enrolls in school and starts embracing her new role as a college student.

There were a lot of secrets in this little town. And someone has no problem killing to keep them that way. While Shea is getting in with the students and families of the girls, she also is aware of someone watching her. And the closer she gets the more danger she is in.

Will she make it out of this one alive? I really enjoyed this one. Just goes to show, you don’t really know anyone.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ April 7th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books 

THE LADY OF THE LAKE BY PETER GUTTRIDGE

The Lady of the Lake

When a body is found in a lake belonging to Nimue Grace, a reclusive actress, DI Sarah Gilchrist and her partner DS Bellamy Heap are on the case.

The dead man, Major Rabbitt was not well-liked by any stretch of the imagination. He was a pig. His ex hated him, his business rivals hated him. And no one said it but I’m pretty sure his own kids did not like him.

There was a lot going on here. There were so many suspects I had no idea who the killer was. At one point I thought it was an ostrich. Yes. Or the drug dealer. Or the ex. And on and on!  That gets extra points because I didn’t guess right at all!!

Good Job!

NetGalley/March 3rd, 2020 by Severn House Publishers

 

 

 

TEN DAYS GONE by Beverly Long

Ten Days Gone (A.L. McKittridge, #1)

Most of the police procedurals I have read have been set in the UK. This one is set in Wisconsin with bits of Minnesota and Illinois. This is the first in a series and I am so glad I read it.

In Baywood, Wisconsin, A.L. McKittridge and Rena Morgan have a big problem. Four women dead in forty days. One killed every ten days. All found dead, naked, with clothes folded neatly. No signs of a struggle. It is a race against time to find the killer before they find another body.

This was a twisty, evil, puzzle of a tale! The best type! I think we have a winner here and I hope we see more!

NetGalley/ February 18th, 2020 by MIRA

 

 

Shatter the Night (A Detective Gemma Monroe Mystery) by Emily Littlejohn

Shatter the Night (Detective Gemma Monroe #4)

Detective Gemma Monroe is back in the fourth installment of this series. This time it’s Halloween in Cedar Valley and not everyone is giving out treats!

When Gemma stops in to say hello to a retired judge, Caleb Montgomery, in his offices, she finds him upset and tells her about threatening letters he has been receiving. Gemma is still thinking about his odd behavior when his car explodes with him in it. Who in the world would have wanted Caleb dead?

Suspects abound and just as quickly as Gemma and her team clear one, another pops on the scene. As her investigation takes her into the judge’s old cases, there is one that sticks out. Making the trek to Belle Vista Penitentiary, Gemma doesn’t know what to think about the supposed stone-cold killer and the way he takes the news of Caleb’s death.

Soon enough another body is added to the pile and a major clue. This isn’t the first murder like this. Gemma and her team have themselves what looks like a copycat killer.

And if history repeats itself, there will soon be a lot more bodies! With the new playhouse in town, the opening night would be the perfect time for the last send-off.

Will Gemma and her team uncover the killer as it uncovers a lot of secrets and corruption right here in the police department?

You’ll have to read it! And then wait for the next one.

NetGalley/ December 10th, 2019 by Minotaur Books