The Black Tower P.D. James
This was a selection of our Mystery Book Group (which I haven’t attended all summer, guilt guilt). I had read P. D. James before and didn’t care for her book for some reason.
I enjoyed this one enough so I will as time go back and read her other books, particularly the ones in this series.
This is part of a series featuring Commander Adam Dalgliesh. Dalgliesh is recuperating from an illness and responds to a request for help from an old friend who is a priest at a remotely located nursing home for people with profoundly disabling diseases called Toynton Grange.
The theme of disability and how it affects the individual and those who care for them runs throughout the novel. Since there are deaths, some of the severely disabled individuals die helplessly, and some are suspects in the murders. It just puts such an odd twist on things. Our hero is also very weak, often helpless to do what he wishes he could do to solve the murders.
Staying at his friends cottage at the Grange, Dalgliesh begins to suspect that his old friend was murdered.
There are many suspects, motivations abound. The real reason behind the murders comes as a vast surprise, and is cleverly laid out throughout the novel.
Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin
The third John Rebus mystery has detective Rebus working to solve the case of The Edinburgh Strangler. The killer targets little girls. He is able to separate them quickly from their increasingly vigilant parents, and disposes of them in different parts of the city.
Police know there must be something they all have in common but they can’t see what it could be.
Rebus is undone by the case even before his own daughter is targeted and abducted. Racing against time and plagued as always by memories from his time spent in the Army, fragile Rebus works to find his little girl and stop the killer.
A Death in Lionel’s Woods by Christine Husom
A Death in Lionel’s Woods is part of the Winnebago County Mysteries featuring Sergeant Corky Alekson. These are set in what is a fictional representation of Wright County Minnesota. I can see the landscapes and the people in these novels so vividly because they are so well known to me.
The Corky character is just the sort of police officer you would want to come and help you. Smart, caring, brave, absolutely determined to solve the crime.
A woman’s is found in an isolated spot in a woods wearing a long dress, thin, emaciated. Under her body they find Baggies full of money and a photograph of what may be the woman in healthier days with two small children.
The landowner who called in the report of the dead woman’s body knows nothing about her or how she may have gotten in his woods. He is hiding something though, that is evident to Corky right away, but she can’t imagine what it might be.
Corky, who may have made a few enemies over time has someone stalking her at her home out in the country where she lives alone.
Oddly tied to the main crime of the novel is a neighbor’s sighting of a young boy who is seen cleaning dishes and a kitchen in the middle of the night each night, in a household that only has a little girl, no boys.
Lots of plot threads and twists, the most suspenseful novel in the series so far.