Ann Cleeves: The Raging Storm

Two Rivers #3

Ann Cleeves goes from strength to strength.  The third novel in her Matthew Venn series finds Matthew investigating a crime in a village he’d visited as a child. The book opens with the raging storm of the title, and no one is better than Ann Cleeves at setting the stage using nature as a backdrop.  The coastal town where the story takes place gets a “callout” – the volunteer coast guard heads out to see what’s up with an abandoned boat in the middle of a storm.  They find the boat, and inside, the body of a man. read more

Allison Montclair: The Lady from Burma

Sparks & Bainbridge #5

July has been almost too delicious for words.  First was the long awaited return of Sujata Massey’s Perveen Mistry series; and then, just as eagerly anticipated (by me) is the new book in Allison Montclair’s Sparks and Bainbridge series. Five books in, fans of the series know that Gwen Bainbridge and Iris Sparks run The Right Sort marriage bureau in postwar London.  Iris did undercover work during the war; Gwen lost her husband, fell apart, and was literally declared a lunatic by her husband’s family, who have custody of her child and have put the portion of the family company she’s inherited from her husband under the control of the lunacy court.  It looks like, in book five, that the form of purdah Gwen finds herself in is about to be lifted. Her lawyer is hopeful and so is Gwen. read more