Book 84: Val McDermid — Killing the Shadows
Another doorstop of a crime novel from McDermid, this one about a statistics-based psychological profiler who will no longer work with the Met after they ignored her advice because it wasn’t what they wanted to hear, and went with another profiler whose advice led to the collapse of the case.
Fiona Cameron still works with other police departments. But one case comes only too close to home, with a serial killer who is stalking… crime writers who write about serial killers. And Fiona’s boyfriend is on the list of novelists set to meet the same fate as their own characters. It has the potential to be a very silly conceit, but McDermid’s far too skillful to let it slip into silliness. Instead it’s used to ratchet up the tension in a very convincing way, in a dazzling display of meta commentary. Wonderful piece of work.
Book 85: Carola Dunn — Damsel in Distress
Book 86: Carola Dunn — Dead in the Water
Book 87: Carola Dunn — Styx and Stones
Books 5, 6 and 7 of the Daisy Dalrymple mystery series. I’d never read any of the series before, but these worked perfectly well without having read earlier books in the sequence. The series is set in the 1920s, and Daisy is a young member of the aristocracy who works for a living rather than take an allowance from the cousin who inherited the estate after the death of both her brother and her father. She has an unfortunate habit of stumbling over murders… Gentle cosies with some entertaining characters, and slow but steady growth in the background story of the main characters. They’re not at the top level of mysteries, but they’re an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours and I’ll be looking for more of them.
Book 88: Leslie Charteris — The Saint Meets the Tiger
The first of the Saint books, and one that Charteris himself occasionally disowned as not being up to standard. Yes, it’s corny, but it’s a competent enough piece of work for someone not yet 21 when he wrote it, and it’s great swashbuckling fun.
(and I need to add my recently acquired Saint collection to LibraryThing…)