Monthly Archives: December 2014

Murder in the Rue Dumas, M.L. Longworth

Murder in the Rue Dumas (A Verlaque and Bonnet Mystery, #2)

When the Director of Theology at the Universite d’Aix is murdered the motive is unclear. What does the murder have to do with a fake of a valuable vase and his secretary’s death? Can Judge Antoine Verlaque and his girlfriend Professor Marine Bonnet find the truth?

This leisurely paced mystery immerses the reader in the food and feel of Provence. Verlaque is intelligent and able to read people, but also struggles to grow in his relationship with Bonnet. All of the suspects have imperfections that make them suspect without making them hated. The characters handle normal aspects of life -such as food and family- along with the mystery. This enhances a connection to the characters and Provence. The mystery has a dash of police procedural, but is mostly a cozy mystery. The tone is gentle with hints of compassion for the characters and humor in the plot. Murder in the Rue Dumas offers cozy mystery, procedural mystery, a story set in France, and interesting characters.

Want more books like Murder in the Rue Dumas?

A detective must unravel a murder amidst the sights and sounds of a French Mediterrean town in Summertime, All the Cats Are Bored by Phillipe Georget.

A winemaker searches for the motive behind sabotage of a vineyard in Treachery in Bordeaux: A Winemaker Detective Mystery by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen.

Intrigued by Provence? Books such as The Rough Guide to Provence & the Côte d’Azur by Neville Walker and Greg Ward provide information and pictures of the region.

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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages by Tom Holt

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages (J. W. Wells & Co., #7)Polly doesn’t mind work being mysteriously completed but coffee being stolen is different. Things become crazier when her office problems are related to a threat to all of existence. Can Polly unravel the truth before existence unravels?

Teasing about how humans act is one aspect of this story’s humor. For instance, “I think it’s [‘magic’] only a deadly secret because nobody’s found out how to get rich with it” (p.193). Humor is also found in absurd events such as chickens hotwiring a truck. Polly and most of the characters are non-adventurous types forced into facing craziness. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages offers reluctant protagonists as well as insightful humor amidst absurd situations.

Want other books like Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages?

Arthur Dent learns lessons such as always have a towel when traveling the galaxy in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Leonard’s calm life handling pizza complaints is disrupted by a dangerous quest in A Highly Unlikely Scenario, Or A Neetsa Pizza Employee’s Guide to Saving the World by Rachel Cantor.

A lawyer helps save the universe in Numbers Don’t Lie by Terry Bison.

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Rasputin’s Shadow by Raymond Khoury

Rasputin's Shadow (Templar, #4)

The secret of Grigory Rasputin’s rise to power disappears with his death. Now: FBI agent Sean Reilly investigates the disappearance of a Russian immigrant. When Sean finds the secret behind Rasputin’s power can he prevent it from devastating the present?

Rasputin’s Shadow is a fast paced subgenre blend thriller that blends espionage, crime, history, and technology thriller elements. It also mixes violent action scenes with thought provoking elements. Frightening technology advances mixes with curiosity over Rasputin’s secrets. The espionage element of multiple groups with different agendas also comes into play. Sean Reilly’s character is an interesting blend of intuition and rationality. Rasputin’s Shadow offers a subgenre blend thriller, action mixed with thought provoking elements, a look at Rasputin, and interesting characters.

Want other books like Rasputin’s Shadow?

Intelligence agent Kate Morgan must find out how the centuries old mystery of playwright Christopher Marlowe’s death relates to a series of deaths in the present in The Intelligencer by Leslie Silbert.

A lawyer tasked with checking the background of Romanov claimant finds events of the present are linked to a mysterious prophecy by Rasputin in The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry.

Want to learn more about Rasputin? Books such as Rasputin: The Untold Story by Joseph Fuhrmann look into the life of this mysterious figure.

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Odysseus: The Oath by Valerio Massimo Manfredi

Odysseus: The Oath

Odysseus has lived on for centuries in the Iliad and the Odyssey. What of his life before the legends? How did he feel living through the siege on Troy? What tales does Odysseus have to tell?

Odysseus has multiple layers. He cares for peace but embraces war, shows compassion and cruelty, is humbly wise but also prideful. Manfredi, and translator Christine Feddersen-Manfredi, use a compelling style that is descriptive of human emotion, timeless horror of battle, and wonders of the past. Details such as weaponry and customs also make the tale feel real. The descriptive style makes it easy to imagine hearing the story from a storyteller. Odysseus: The Oath offers a look into the time ancient Greek myth, Odysseus, a dramatic tale of battle, and a tale about humanity.

Want other books like Odysseus: The Oath?

Prince Odysseus hones his crafty mind as he struggles to save his family’s throne in King of Ithaca by Glynn Iliffe.

An Ithacan bard and friend of Odysseus tells of the Trojan War in The War at Troy by Lindsey Clarke.

Return to  the Trojan War by taking a look at Homer’s The Iliad. Opinions on which translation are best vary but Robert Fagles is one of the recommended translations.

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