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Karen Charlton, MURDER IN PARK LANE

This is the fifth book in the Detective Lavender series. Set in the early 1800’s in England, this series features Detective Stephen Lavender and Constable Ned Brooks. As with all of the other books in this series that I have read so far, the plot is complex but well thought through, and the sense of time and place is accurate without being intrusive.

The main characters are well developed, and their personal and family lives evolve throughout the series. If you enjoy historical fiction and mysteries, these are books well worth considering.

Joy Ellis, THE MURDERER’S SON

This is the first novel is a series that is so far composed of five books featuring DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans. Jackman is a well-off, smart, and extremely organized leader, who does a good job of getting the most out of his team. Evans is a widow. Her husband was killed in a motorcycle accident. The two are good friends, but as a nice change from such situations, there is no romantic relationship. Other members of the team have recurring roles in the novels. The stories frequently involve serial murders, but are more focused on solving the crimes than delving into the minds of the mentally ill. I have read all five of the novels in this series, and would highly recommend them. Then have a wonderful sense of place, and over the course of the series many of the police characters were extremely well developed. The plots are clever and often contain a surprise twist.

Lori Rater-Day, Under A Dark Sky

If you like your mysteries with a lot of backstory, an anxious protagonist, and a complex plot, this could be the novel for you. Eden Wallace’s life has been one of anguish and sorrow since the death of her husband in an automobile accident. So when she finds that her husband has reserved a week at a dark sky park, where you go to observe the stars, she decides to go.

There she is forced to share her cottage with a group of folks in their late twenties, all fixated on their college friendships of years before. When one of the friends is murdered, everyone becomes a suspect, including Eden. As the story unfolds we find that nothing is as it appears to be with the friends, with Eden, or with the deceased husband.

Those who like rather literary mysteries with lots of angst will find this enjoyable.

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