[Reviews] All the Pretty Hearses

Daheim has proven in the past that she can write great mysteries, but this particular one is a bit of a mess.

[Reviews] Whose Body

The first novel from the infamous Dorothy L. Sayers was good, but not good enough to explain her literary notoriety.

[Reviews] Unnatural Causes

Adam Dalgliesh tries to take a vacation but lands right in the investigation of one very strange death.


I actually rather like formulaic fiction, especially if the result is a good story. I like a dead body at the start of a mystery, which leads quickly into an investigation with a mild subplot that doesn't produce a slow in forward momentum. I like smart dialogue, clever but credible twists, and a sense of place. Mystery novels work best for me when they're comfortable escapes from a stressful world.

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Death of a Chimney Sweep

"Death of a Chimney Sweep" is the 26th book in a series, and I've read each one that preceded it. For that reason, I feel an attachment to the characters and setting that newer readers won't. Even so, I have to admit that the novel, like the ones that most recently preceded it, are lacking a certain something.

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Death of a Valentine

"Death of a Valentine" is another recent M. C. Beaton novel about Scottish police constable Hamish Macbeth. Sadly, the "recent" part of that description means that it's a bit of a disappointment, as the series seems to have lost its way at this point.

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Death of a Witch

"Death of a Witch" is the 25th book in M. C. Beaton's popular series, and unfortunately, it does nothing to break away from the recent downward slide toward general mediocrity. I love the setting and characters, but the stories are starting to lose their appeal.

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