Reviewlets of Mysteries

And here are reviewlets featuring 3 mysteries I read at the end of 2012:


Sacrilege (Giordano Bruno #3)
by S.J. Parris

Published in 2012
13:51 hours
narrated by John Lee
A gripping historical thriller set in sixteenth-century England and centered on the highly secretive cult of Saint Thomas Becket, the twelfth-century archbishop murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.
London, summer of 1584: Radical philosopher, ex-monk, and spy Giordano Bruno suspects he is being followed by an old enemy. He is shocked to discover that his pursuer is in fact Sophia Underhill, a young woman with whom he was once in love. When Bruno learns that Sophia has been accused of murdering her husband, a prominent magistrate in Canterbury, he agrees to do anything he can to help clear her name.
In the city that was once England’s greatest center of pilgrimage, Bruno begins to uncover unsuspected secrets that point to the dead man being part of a larger and more dangerous plot in the making. He must turn his detective’s eye on history—on Saint Thomas Becket, the twelfth-century archbishop murdered in Canterbury Cathedral, and on the legend surrounding the disappearance of his body—in order to solve the crime.
As Bruno’s feelings for Sophia grow more intense, so does his fear that another murder is about to take place—perhaps his own. But more than Bruno’s life is at stake in this vividly rendered, impeccably researched, and addictively page-turning whodunit—the stability of the kingdom hangs in the balance as Bruno hunts down a brutal murderer in the shadows of England’s most ancient cathedral. [Goodreads]
This series on Giordano Bruno is so very good! And I encourage you to listen to them: the voice of John Lee is so perfect for the task: very engaged, great and mysterious when the suspense gets really high. You feel like running with Giordano, you see with him, you feel trapped with him! This is the 3rd book in the series, and I listened also to #1 and 2: Heresy and Prophecy.
In this book, while trying to protect an old friend, or is she a friend?, Giordano gets entangled in the messy and most bloody feuds between Christians in 16th century England. I liked the way this was connected to world of sainthood and relics. Very smart and fun historical novel!

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot #10
by Agatha Christie

published in 1934
336 pages

“The murderer is with us – on the train now…”
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.
Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again… [Goodreads]


I decided to end 2012 with a great and fun mystery. The 2 mysteries  by Agatha Christie I had recently read (And Then There Were None (1939)
and The Man In The Brown Suit
(1924) were really good. So it was high time to read this classic. I was not disappointed, and was kept on the edge of my seat all along. I have always loved traveling by train, so that added some spice to it. I appreciated the little chart at the beginning of the book, to keep track of who was in which section of the train.
Of course I could not guess what had happened, and was surprised by the very smart solution. Agatha Christie was so creative, with so many diverse tricks to keep you read! And now it is finally time to watch the movie!

Christmas at the mysterious bookshop

Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop
by Otto Penzler (ed.)

published in 2010
245 pages

Each year, for the past seventeen years, Otto Penzler, owner of the legendary Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, has commissioned an original story by a leading mystery writer. The requirements were that it be a mystery/ crime/suspense story, that it be set during the Christmas season, and that at least some of the action must take place in The Mysterious Bookshop. These stories were then produced as pamphlets, 1,000 copies, and given to customers of the bookstore as a Christmas present.Now, all of these stories have been collected in one volume—Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop. Some of the tales are humorous, others suspenseful, and still others mystifying. This charming one-of-a-kind collection is a perfect Christmas gift, appropriate for all ages and tastes. [Goodreads]


Give till it hurts / Donald E. Westlake
Schemes and variations / George Baxt
The theft of the rusty bookmark / Edward D. Hoch
Murder for dummies / Ron Goulart
As dark as Christmas gets / Lawrence Block
The holiday fairy / Jeremiah Healy
I saw Mommy killing Santa Claus / Ed McBain
The grift of the Magi / S.J. Rozan
My object all sublime / Anne Perry
Christmas spirit / Michael Malone
The lesson of the season / Thomas H. Cook
Yule be sorry / Lisa Michelle Atkinson
The long winter’s nap / Rupert Holmes
Cold reading / Charles Ardai
The killer Christian / Andrew Klavan
The 74th tale / Jonathan Santlofer
What’s in a name? / Mary Higgins Clark


I also thought I would combine the spirit of Christmas with the great world of bookshops. I was actually a bit disappointed by this collection: a few stories are great, but most of them really don’t cut it. It is a hodgepodge of great to less than good according to my standards, though I thought the basic idea was really cool, and I would absolutely to want and visit this bookstore!



2 thoughts on “Reviewlets of Mysteries

  1. Pingback: Book review: Treachery | Words And Peace

  2. Pingback: Book review: The Sleeping Car Murders | Words And Peace

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