Tag Archives: mystery

llp’s CBR III Review 24: The Pyramid by Henning Mankell

Years ago I read Mankell’s The Return of the Dancing Master (not a Wallander mystery) and found it enormously dark and well written. I have recently watched the excellent Wallander television series, starring Kenneth Branagh with support from the delightful Tom Hiddleston, and subsequently picked up the only Mankell book left on the library shelves. The Pyramid is a collection of short stories about Wallander’s early years, from about age 21 until his mid-forties – it is a good book and would likely be a good introduction to the Wallander mysteries.

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Mswas’ CBR-III Review #30-33 – the Chet and Bernie series by Spencer Quinn

Well I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t finish reviewing my full 52 this year. I was behind when I took on NaNoWriMo, and then I took on coordinating next year’s Cannonball Read. So reviews fell by the wayside.

However, this series I just had to sit down and write about because it was thoroughly delightful.

Check out my review of the first four mysteries in the Chet and Bernie series.

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #155: Catch me by Lisa Gardner

CBR III Review #155: Catch me by Lisa Gardner

This title will be released on February 7, 2012.

I absolutely love it when a book I was going to read anyways shows up in my netgalley. Now I don’t have to wait for it to show up on overdrive! 


If you have read Lisa Gardner you know what to expect by now and her formula doesn’t change much with her latest addition.  I did however, love all the call backs to her past book characters as D. D. Warren tried to solve the latest and greatest mystery.

Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant is convinced she is going to be murdered in four days.  In the last two years her best friends were murdered on the same day, at the same time, in different locations, and via the same method.  Her first childhood friend was killed two years ago, her second childhood friend last year, and now Charlene is the last person that made up their childhood trio. However, as D.D. starts to investigate Charlie becomes the number one suspect for a vigilante who is shooting pedophiles.  Is Charlene really in danger or is she a much bigger threat?

I really enjoy the D.D. Warren series and this is no exception.  I do think it may be time for Gardner to retire the series and come up with a batch of new characters. Warren doesn’t have much more room to go personally or professionally and even though I’m still enjoying the cases I think I’m ready for a new heroine, but if  you enjoy Lisa Garnder books this novel follows the same formula with all the twist and turns you can learn to expect.

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Siege CR3 #93: A Broken Vessel by Kate Ross

In which Siege reads another entertaining and engaging mystery featuring British dandy Julian Kestral.

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #140: Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

CBR III Review #140: Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

I picked up this book because I loved the movie Memento and this book follows the same type of premise.  Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is or even how old she is.  She is jolted when she looks in the mirror expecting a 20 something young woman looking back at her and encounters a woman well into middle age. Every morning her new life is a mystery to her and her husband Ben explains what happened to her and who she is and who he is.  However, Christine starts to keep a journal of her every day activities and starts to realize that her husband isn’t always telling her the truth.

This started off with great promise and having the mystery unravel was lots of fun to read.  I thought it would become repetitive because of Christine’s illness, but I didn’t find that to be the case.  My only gripe was “the big reveal” and how it came about seemed incredibly impossible…but I read zombie novels.  I would say I really enjoyed the novel up until the last chapter or so, but I don’t hold it against the novel too much.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (June 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062060554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062060556
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #127: What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

CBR III Review #127: What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

I’m so far behind on my reviews I don’t remember reading this book.  The cover looks familiar.  Damn.

Okay I read the description on Amazon and I remember the plot….kinda. A woman gets into an car accident and she flees the scene.  The police find her and take her to the hospital for her injuries but she refuses to tell anyone who she is.  After some prodding she claims she is a kidnap victim from 30 years ago.   The story begins thirty years prior when two sisters disappear from a shopping mall.  They were never seen again and no bodies were ever found…that is until the present day when this woman claims to be one of the missing sisters.

I remember I loved the premise of the novel but the execution fell a bit flat.  There was a lot of shifting between characters point of view and a lot of jumping around on the time line.  At times I had a hard time remember which character I was currently reading and what year it was suppose to be.  I wish I had more to say on the book but it kinda fell flat.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1ST edition (March 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061128856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061128851
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #123: Shelter by Harlan Coben

CBR III Review #123: Shelter by Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben has started to write young adult novels!  If you hadn’t read the latest Myron Bolitar novel then you may want to skip this review there will be a few mild spoilers.

Mikey Bolitar, Myron’s nephew is now living with his uncle while his mom goes through rehab.  Mickey only met his uncle for the first time a few week prior to the new living situation so the atmosphere is strained. Mickey starts out at a new high school making enemies as he goes and very few friends.  However, he does meet a sweet funny and attractive girl named Ashley.  They immediately begin dating but a few weeks into the school year she simply vanishes.  Mickey, using the Bolitar trademark charm and wit launches his own investigation to find out what happened to Ashley.  He soon finds out Ashley wasn’t the girl she pretended to be.

I’m a sucker for a new Harlan Coben novel so I was excited he was starting a new series, but I didn’t enjoy his young adult series as much as I do the Myron Bolitar novels.  Myron is a bit more sarcastic and Mickey a bit more jaded. I think I prefer the adult series a bit more  because I like the secondary characters a  lot more, but this is still a new series so I bet it’s just trying to find the right pace and appropriate mysteries for a high school student to become involved in.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile; First Edition edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399256504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399256509
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #117: Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay

CBR III Review #117: Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay

Out of the Barclay novels I read this week Fear the Worst was probably my least favorite.  It is still a fun novel with lots of twist and turns and a great mystery, but I enjoyed No Time for Goodbye so much I felt Fear the Worst just didn’t hold up as well.

Syndey Blake is a normal teenage girl who is spending the summer living with her dad and working at a hotel to earn some shopping money.  Except one day she doesn’t come home and hre father, Tim, is devastated but determined to get to the bottom of what happened to his teenage daughter.  This book reads a lot like the TV Show “Disappeared” on the crime channel.

Barclay’s novels are a quick read and almost impossible to put down.  I think the novel does a great job of depicting a parent’s worst nightmare.  The ending of the novel becomes a bit absurd, but since it was still a fun read It didn’t bother me too much.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (August 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553807161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553807165
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #116: No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay

CBR III Review #116: No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay

Fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge woke up to a empty house.  Her mother, brother, and father were nowhere to be found. There was no note to explain where they had went.  Her family simply disappeared. Twenty Five years later her family still has not been found and Cynthia is still as desperate for answers as she was 25 years previously.

Cythnia, now a wife and mother, has agreed to appear on a TV crime show in hopes that the answers to what happened to her family would finally be discovered.  Cythnia was not prepared, however, for mysterious gifts, hang up calls, and strange cars following her and her family.  Was her family kidnapped?  Murdered?  Did they decide to start a new life without her?

No Time for Goodbye is packed with twist and turns and is a wonderful mystery.  I enjoyed every second of it and this was a story where I didn’t see the ending coming and didn’t end up feeling like the author just pulled something out of thin air to make the ending unpredictable.   Barclay’s novels are as character driven as they are plot driven and have been a lot of fun to read.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (September 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055380555X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553805550
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #113: The Accident by Linwood Barclay

 CBR III Review #113: The Accident by Linwood Barclay

It’s a husband’s worst nightmare, sitting at home watching the minutes tick by waiting for his wife to come home only to have the worst case scenario come to life.  Glen, a contractor, has had a tough time with the recent economy so his wife has started to take night classes in hopes of landing more work.  But one night Shelia does not come home.  Glen awaits anxiously for Shelia to arrive home, their 8 year old daughter fast asleep.  Unfortunately, Glen soon finds out that Shelia has been in a car accident and she did not survive.  To make matters worse they claim that Shelia had been drinking and driving and caused the death of two other individuals as well.

Glen not believing that Shelia would ever get behind the wheel of the car while so intoxicated launches his own investigation and starts to unravel the neighborhoods deepest darkest secrets.


The Accident is a wonderful tightly paced mystery.  It reminds me a lot of Harlan Coben’s novels, just without the almost too witty dialogue (which I love).  The only problem is the final reveal was a little hard to believe.  The whole thing could have easily been avoided if a phone call had been put off a few hours (don’t worry this sentence wont make sense until you reach the last few pages).  I did enjoy the novel I just felt the last few chapters kept it from being one of my favorite books of 2012.

The Accident is reminiscent of the news story that occurred a few years back where a woman driving while apparently intoxicated caused an accident that killer her, the other drivers, and her children. I always felt horrible for the husband who claimed his wife was not the type to drink and drive and this story puts you directly in the husband’s shoes.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553807188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553807189
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  

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