Newcomer: Japanese intrigue

Japanese crime fiction is very different to its British and American counterparts, and this devious murder-mystery is definitely unconventional – and delightfully indulgent. The newcomer of the title is Sergeant Kaga, a compassionate and perceptive detective who’s recently arrived in Tokyo. While the lead policemen rush and bluster to solve the violent death of a…

The Lady Killer: Japanese whodunnit

An artful, old fashioned murder mystery which merrily leads its investigators (and the reader) along a convoluted pathway scattered with clues. Even the title is a masterful play on words, open to several interpretations… more than one of which may be correct. The Lady Killer isn’t as outright bizarre as more modern Japanese crime fiction,…

The Book Of Mirrors: a warped whodunnit

An intriguing investigation into an unsolved cold case, The Book Of Mirrors deals with fragments of memory, conflicting perceptions, a whole host of unreliable narrators and a good old-fashioned murder in the library with a decent list of potential suspects. The author uses the format of a writer-writing-about-publishing which normally encourages me to flick to…

Winter Downs: classic English crime

This wartime murder-mystery takes place on an old-fashioned, home counties, English country estate – where centuries of tradition are being overturned by the conflict on the Continent. The unconventional heroine, Bunch Courtney, refuses to believe that her childhood sweetheart might have committed suicide. But if he didn’t kill himself, then who is responsible for his…

The Body In The Parking Structure

A rapid read which mixes murder with medical biochemistry, ‘The Body…’ feels like a 21st century interpretation of a traditional English private investigation, relocated to hip-n-swinging Los Angeles. The detecting is done by married couple Roger and Suzanne with assistance from their sexy male nanny, Roger’s previous police colleagues (he’s a professional turned PI), off-stage…

The Axeman’s Jazz: not the NOLA that I know…

Writing historical crime fiction is no easy task: you have all the challenges of contemporary crime – a convincing plot and characters and a credible ending; suspense, tension, threat and so on – and you’ve also got to get those factual ducks in a row so that the time and place feel authentic and convincing.…