Sunday, October 23, 2016

Holmes and Watson Search for a Stolen Secret Weapon

It’s a busy time at 221B Baker Street. First Lucy James, Holmes daughter from a brief affair, comes to the flat with a newspaper telling of the death of a banker who was involved in a German assassination plot. Holmes foiled the plot, but now the banker has been murdered.

The second visitor is Inspector Lestrade. He stumbles into the flat badly beaten having been grabbed right on Holmes doorstep. He needs Holmes help to find a super weapon that has been stolen. He believes the Germans have it.

Holmes takes the case, and he and Watson travel to German to try to recover the weapon. Lucy also arrives in Germany, an actress with the D’Oyly Carte Troupe, and is instrumental in helping to solve the murders.

The novel takes place in the arms race building up to WWI. Both Germany and Britain were looking for the weapon that would give them the ultimate advantage. I found the historical detail quite accurate and the description of Germany at that time was well done.

I didn’t think the characters did justice to the original Holmes and Watson. For Holmes there is an astonishing lack of the logical deduction that he is famous for. Lucy is an interesting character, but she seems to steal the show from the men. Her logic is good often quoting Holmes about not drawing conclusions from insufficient evidence.

I can’t recommend this book. It’s a convoluted mystery that is hard to follow at times, and if you’re a serious Sherlock Holmes fan, you may be disappointed.

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Teenage Boy Outdoes the Police in Finding a Killer

Stacey Shaw is leaving work late. After an unpleasant encounter with a co-worker, she gets to her car only to find it won’t start. Things were going well. Her husband, Michael, will soon be home, and she’s excited about the baby. Michael calls while she’s in the car, but not wanting to disturb him, she doesn’t tell him it won’t start. She decides to walk home through the park, but never reaches the other side.

Jack Stratton wants to be a policeman. He was a foster child, dumped by his mother. It makes him feel like he’s no good. To relieve his feeling of inferiority, he wants to help people.

A boy in the neighborhood where his foster mother, Aunt Hattie, lives, is arrested for Stacey’s murder. This is one person Jack doesn’t want to help, but Aunt Hattie convinces him to try. Unfortunately, this puts Jack in conflict with Detective Vargas, the detective investigating the case, and nearly lands him in jail.

If you enjoy Jack Stratton novels, this is a must read. Seeing Jack as a teen, gives you an enhanced idea of his character. Jack and his friends, Chandler and Kelly, are well fleshed out characters. The author makes the teenagers come to life and the dialog is realistic.

The plot will keep you guessing and rooting for Jack. He’s up against a detective who doesn’t want assistance from a teenager and is ready to toss Jack in jail to prove it. The scenes between Jack and Detective Vargas felt very much like a contest between good and evil.

I recommend this book if you like a good mystery where the clues have to be teased out and don’t just fall into the hero’s lap.

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

A Presidential Election from Hell

Erica Sparks, top news anchor at GNN, is struggling to be both a star journalist and a perfect mother. She knows she’s not succeeding very well when her boss tells her that her ratings are slipping and she has to do something about it. Likewise, she always seems to be disappointing her daughter, Jenny.

It’s the season of the presidential election. Erica is attending an appearance of both candidates, Fred Buchanan and Senator Mike Ortiz. Erica is positioned near the entrance. The Ortiz’s stop to speak to her, and Erica notices that Mike constantly looks at his billionaire wife, Celeste, for approval. This raises Erica’s suspicions that something isn’t right. When the Buchanan’s arrive they also pause for a moment. A man bursts through the crowd, drops a satchel, and suddenly there’s an explosion that kills the Buchanans and several bystanders.

Erica’s instincts are thoroughly aroused. She has to find out what bothers her about Mike Ortiz. It turns into a twisted tale that results in the deaths of the people helping her. Now Erica feels she must find the answer.

The second book in the Newsmakers series is filled with intrigue and violence, particularly at the end. I thought this book was better than the first book. Erica is more comfortable as a journalist and takes risks to unravel a mystery that affects the whole country.

The theme of the plot is how outside interests try to control a presidential election and ultimately the country. It was very pertinent at this season with the presidential election underway. I recommend this book if you enjoy a good political mystery. The characters are engaging. The book is fast paced, and it’s hard to guess the underlying motivations until the very end.

I received this book from Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for this review.  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

An Insecure Artist Finds Love and Family in Italy

Emily Price works as a restorer. She loves to fix things, but in her heart, she wants to be an artist. Her paintings are technically well done, but she seems unable to capture the essence of the subject.

She is working on a restoration assignment when Chef Benito Vassallo comes into her life. The attraction is immediate. He’s in the US for a short time and is trying to revitalize his aunt and uncle’s restaurant. Wanting to spend more time with him, Emily volunteers to be part of the project.

The remodeled restaurant is a success, but now Ben must leave. When instead he proposes marriage, she says “Yes,” and begins a new and frustrating life in Italy.

Emily’s character is sensitively drawn. She’s very talented, but she can’t quite accept her gifts. When Ben comes into her life she has trouble accepting that he loves her and wants to be with her. Ben is almost too good to be true in the first half of the book. He’s charming and considerate, the kind of lover any woman would be glad to have. When he returns to his native environment and work in Italy, he becomes more human.

The plot is a subtle character study. Although you know what must happen, you keep reading to find out whether Emily will be able to grow into her new family, or the dream will disappear.

I highly recommend this book. It’s a gentle love story with characters you won’t forget.

I received this book from Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for this review.

Life in the Country is Not as Quiet as Promised

When Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Flo Armstrong, take a house in the country, Lady Hardcastle tells Flo that the country is quiet. They will get a good rest after their adventures in the Orient. Flo is skeptical. When on their first morning, they take a walk and find a body hanging from a tree in the woods, Flo appears to be proved right.

The police believe the death is a suicide, but when Lady Hardcastle, shows them that the log from which the suicide supposedly jumped is several inches below his feet, they are forced to revise their opinion. That doesn’t mean they’re on the right track to find the killer, so Lady Hardcastle and Flo feel it’s their duty to help them out.

If you enjoy historical mysteries in an English country village, this is a good one. Fannie and Flo are eccentric characters and their dialog is amusing. I thought their exchanges were the best part of the book. In fact, all the characters are somewhat eccentric. Flo, as the narrator, gives us her view of them, and it is not always complementary.

The plot was a bit of a disappointment. The solution to the first murder is fairly obvious. However, the police do little to solve it, and Flo and Lady Hardcastle seem to happen on clues without doing a great deal of detecting. However, the setting was well done and the characters interesting, so I recommend it if you enjoy British mystery novels.

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.  

Easy to Make Delicious Southwestern Recipes

If you enjoy Southwestern food, this is a cookbook you need to add to your collection. The recipes include appetizers, breads, soups, salads and main dishes. There are also desserts and rice and pasta dishes. Before each section, the author discusses some history of the recipes. Knowing where the recipes originated was very informative.

The book opens with a short discussion of ingredients and preparations. The section on chilies is excellent. I’m not a particular fan of really hot chilies, so it was helpful to know how to choose the more mild ones. There is also an extensive discussion of how to parch fresh chilies. It seems quite easy when described by Jane, but I suspect it takes some practice.

My favorite Southwestern food is guacamole. I checked out the recipes, of which there are several. My favorite is Perfect Guacamole. It’s delicious and Jane has a good tip at the end. Sprinkle some ascorbic acid mixture on the guacamole to keep it from turning brown.

I highly recommend this book if you enjoy Southwestern food.

I received this book from Turner Publishing for this review.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

An Informative Guide To A Little Known Region Producing French Wines

The Faugeres appellation refers to the wines produced by a collection of seven villages. I’m familiar with several of the wine growing regions in France, but I had not come across Faugeres. Apparently, many people in the United States are also unfamiliar with these wines. I selected this book because I wanted to learn more about this region.

I wasn’t disappointed. The book is beautifully written and very informative. Starting with a description of the region, it makes you feel that you are taking a trip through a beautiful and interesting area. In addition, the author describes the history of the region.

Each village is discussed not only from the scenery, but from the the wines that grow there and how they differ. It’s a very comprehensive treatment telling not only what wines are produced by each chateau, but also how the winemakers approached the task of making fine wines.

If you’re interested in wine, I highly recommend this book. It made me want to visit the region, walk the hills,
and sample the wines.

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

The Importance of Mind in Shaping our World

The author’s thesis is that beliefs are the key to understanding how we view the world and how they shape the way we act. Mind is amazing and complex. Beliefs are formed by the mind, and they in turn shape our actions, and the way we view the world. Understanding how we form beliefs, is the primary investigation in this book.

Galloway, tackles the problem of mind vs. brain. This is a long standing philosophical debate, but drawing on modern science and current developments in psychology, he gives a new focus to the old problem.

Philosophy is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re interested in the mind and human civilization, it’s well worth reading. I found the book fascinating. The author weaves together scientific and religious ideas using examples from the sciences and the humanities. It’s an elegant exposition of the origin
of who we are and how we create the world we live in.

I recommend this book if you are interested in the mind. You may not agree with all Galloway’s ideas, but they are articulate and well presented. I particularly liked the illustrations, and quotations supplementing the text. After reading a number of intense pages, the pictures illuminated the text and were a welcome break. This is Book One. I’m looking forward to Book Two.

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.   

Monday, October 17, 2016

An Enigmatic Man with a Mission

The alcoholic piano player living in the basement hears Knottspeed move in. He goes upstairs and is shocked by the Knottspeed’s condition. He’s badly smashed up, lying on a ratty couch under a single blanket.

Knottspeed may be down, but he wants to do things. He co-opts the piano player into becoming his companion and off they go to find food, entertainment and clothes. The whole trip, particularly the scene in the clothing store is reminiscent of the Keystone Kops.

This is the pattern for the novel. Knottspeed co-opts people into helping him achieve his objectives, but he helps them also. He’s a very unique character.

This is definitely a character driven novel. It’s filled with unusual people who interact in unusual ways. The characters are interesting, but I found the plot difficult to follow. Knottspeed has a mission, but it’s not easy to figure it out until the very end. He changes situations and people. His plans may be hard to follow, but people become involved with him, and it changes their lives for the better.

If you enjoy character driven novels, this is an interesting one. It’s not the type of book I usually enjoy so I can’t recommend it. However, it has a particular charm because the story is off-beat.

I received this book from Turner Publishing for this review.  

A Brilliant Physicist Ignored by the World

In the late 1800s well brought up young women were expected to be wives and mothers, not scientists or mathematicians. Mileva (Mitza) Mari was a brilliant child. Teased by her classmates she gained strength from her father, who encouraged her desire to be a physicist. She gained a place at the Polytechnic Institute in Zurich where she studied physics and m
athematics, the only woman in her classes.

In Zurich, she boarded in a house with several other young women, who aspired to be scientists or teachers. For the first time, she had friends and enjoyed life. An impulsive, young man, Albert Einstein, barged into this existence. At first Mitza avoided him, but he drew her into a circle of scientists that she enjoyed, wooed her, and eventually, over her parents objections, they wed. But that’s not the end of the story. Married life was not kind to Mitza.

This fictionalized account of Einstein’s first wife is based on letters between the two and a letter between Mitza and her friend, Helene. Although there is no evidence to support the idea that they collaborated on scientific projects after they were married, the author takes the view that they did and that Mitza was partially responsible for Einstein’s ideas that led to his winning the Nobel Prize.

I enjoyed the book, but found it difficult to accept that Mitza was treated so badly by Einstein, more like a handmaiden than a collaborator. However, the author does an excellent job of bringing the scenes in Serbia and Zurich to life.

I recommend this book if you are interested in the woman behind the man. I reserve judgment on the accuracy of the portrayal, but it’s a well written book that presents a unique hypothesis.

I received this book from Sourcebooks for this review.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Victim or Vigilante

Flora is out for a good time. A guy is buying her drinks, and the band is sensational. Sounds like a typical pick up, but is it?

Flora is not a typical girl at a singles bar. During spring break five years ago she was kidnapped. For 472 days she was kept prisoner in a plywood box, but she survived. Her mother and brother don’t quite to make of her now that she’s back. Flora has changed, but in what ways and how much?

The pick up doesn’t go as planned. The guy is threatening her, calling her a tease when suddenly the hunky bartender appears. Flora thinks she’s being rescued whether she needs it or not, but he has different ideas. He kidnaps Flora, strips her, and handcuffs her in his garage, but Flora is a survivor and he’s the one who doesn’t live through the encounter.

Detective Sargent D.D. Warren is assigned to the case. Flora certainly looks like the victim, but her kidnapper is dead, and D.D. isn’t convinced that Flora didn’t intend that result. She plans to keep a very close eye on the would be victim.

This is a great book. On the surface, Flora is a young woman with a traumatic past trying to get her life back together, but there’s so much under the surface. As Flora’s story unfolds, you feel horror, but also respect for someone who could survive the trauma.

D.D. Warren is a terrific character. She looks at Flora and believes that there is more to her story than the surface facts. D.D. is tough and fair and dealing with her own demons. She’s confined to a supervisory role because damage to her right arm makes her unable to draw a gun. Battling her frustration at being sidelined and feeling that Flora is more complex than she appears gives the story a dramatic tension that keeps you reading.

I highly recommend this book. If you’re a Lisa Gardener fan, it’s a must read. If you’re unfamiliar with Gardener, but love a good mystery. I encourage you to try it.

I received this book from Dutton for this review.  

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Brainy Detective Fights Crime in Los Angeles

The crime rate in East Long Beach is sky high and the police aren’t having much success. Isaiah Quintabe, IQ, is a brilliant high school dropout trying to do what he can to help his neighbors. He solves crimes for those who can’t pay except with a cake or a casserole. However, Isaiah needs money for his other projects, and his bank balance is getting low.

When his ex-roommate, Dodson, turns up with a case that could pay big bucks, Isaiah doesn’t want to take it, but finally he’s persuaded. Black the Knife, a well-known rapper, is terrified for his life. A big black dog found his way into the rapper’s house and tried to kill him. It’s an unusual murder weapon. Isaiah is hooked, takes the case, and he and Dodson form an uneasy partnership to protect the rapper and solve the crime.

A detective and his sidekick is a usual pairing in mysteries, but Isaiah and Dodson are somewhat unique, if only for the setting. Isaiah solves crimes by thinking logically about what he sees. Dodson is a conman. He’s more intuitive and makes a good counterpart for Isaiah.

The story is told in two time periods, the present and scenes from Isaiah’s early life. Although I often find stories told in two different times become boring because events in one time are much more interesting than those in the other, the author does a good job moving quickly between time periods to keep the action going. The introduction of Isaiah’s early life is important to understand his desire to solve crimes and his relationship with Dodson.

The plot features a creative killer who tries odd ways to get to his victim. I thought that was one of the best parts of the story.

I recommend this book if you enjoy a detective who searches for clues and a fast paced plot.

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Medical Examiner is Stalked by her Former Husband

Seven years ago, Dr. Annabelle, although she prefers Anna, Schwartzman, left Spencer, her abusive husband. Starting over was a struggle, but she finished medical school and now has a job in Seattle as a medical examiner. She loves helping the homicide team solve cases. Being part of a team makes her feel safe, but when one of the cases brings back the horror of her married life, she panics.

The murdered woman looks like her, and when a necklace exactly like the one she always wears is found around the woman’s neck, she can’t control her fear. The homicide team rallies around her, but Anna no longer feels safe and the coincidences leading to Spencer escalate.

The plot is gripping. Spencer seems to have almost super human powers to frighten Anna. The story moves swiftly from one encounter with his machinations to the next. With that sort of stalker, Anna is justified in feeling panicked. However, I thought her reactions were over the top in some instances. She is always on the edge of hysteria and sometimes doesn’t show good judgment. When confronted by an individual the police want to talk to, she lets her walk away from her office. That keeps the action moving but it, and other instances, seem contrived to keep the story moving rather than enhance the character.

I found the use of technical medical language to be extreme. I doubt even medical personnel think about their lungs in terms of a textbook description. The author apparently did a lot of research, but it isn’t necessary to show it all off in one novel.

If you enjoy a plot that features a medical examiner, you may like this one. It’s not in the same class with Patricia Cornwell’s books, but it’s interesting.

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Bodies Pile up in an Upscale Consignment Shop

Irene Seligman enjoys her job as Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, but when her mother's latest husband dies leaving her only a mansion in need of repair, Irene comes home to Santa Fe. At first the idea of a consignment shop selling couture clothing seems like a no lose proposition. Her mother has friends who would be willing to sell some of their older outfits, and Irene knows how to run a business.

Setting up the store is progressing well, and Irene is happy to be back in Santa Fe, but on opening day, she enters the back room to find one of her mother's friends dead. Finding the body attracts attention to the store, but when Irene finds herself a person of interest, she's not sure the notoriety is worth it. When another body is found, she worries that her mother is in danger and with one of her mother's friends investigates the killings.

The is a fun cozy mystery. Irene is a strong character, capable of running a store, taking care of her mother, and finding a killer. The author has populated the book with ethnic characters and sophisticated ladies. Although it's amusing for awhile, the antics of these characters becomeannoying by the end of the book.

Scenes of Santa Fe are well done. I thought the setting was one of the best parts of the book, particularly when the investigators go back into the hills to check out a palatial hunting lodge.

If you like cozy mysteries, this is a good one.

I received this book from Alibi for this review.  

A Controlled Serial Killer Almost Outwits the FBI

Dr. Iris Ballard, a former FBI profiler, watched her dearly loved husband brutally murdered and nearly lost her life at the same time. For the past two years, since she left the FBI, she's been teaching at a local college and using her free time to drink. When her episodes become public, even the teaching job is put at risk.

At this low point, Luke Hudson, her former FBI partner, comes back into her life. He's working a particularly ugly case. Young, single mothers are being brutally murdered and left in the woods in the water. This has earned the killer the nickname of the Woodsman. At first, Iris wants nothing to do with the case, but Luke leaves her the files over night. The case intrigues her and in the morning she begs Luke to let her work with him.

This story is psychologically challenging, but rather gory. The killer is a total control freak, not only able to control the young women he murders, but his colleagues as well. Unlike most detective novels, the identity of the killer is revealed about half way through the book. From that point on, the action focuses on catching him.

I enjoyed this book. It's well written. Iris and Luke are characters you can empathize with, and the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat. My only reservation is that it is rather gory, so if that bothers you, this may not be your book. However, if you like a gripping psychological thriller, I recommend this one.

I received this book from Alibi for this review.   

Friday, October 7, 2016

A Town in Turmoil

Mammoth is a sleep little town, but this morning there's an earthquake followed by radio broadcasts that have the residents fleeing. One person, who doesn't think it's so bad, is Billy. He and his friends have targeted the town to rob the local bank. With no people in town this looks like an easy job.

Tori, Billy's daughter, is attending a camp for long distance runners outside of town. The earthquake shakes up the camp, but there seems to be no immediate danger until Billy and his friends show up. They can't get out of town because of all the residents clogging the roads, so they decide to go over the mountain where the camp is located.

The story moves between Billy and his gang, Tori, and the local police trying to figure out what is happening. The chapters are short, but moving back and forth quickly between so many characters can make the book hard to follow.

The novel is character driven and the author does a good job of showing us the character's hopes and dreams and how their perception of the world leads them to act the way they do. However, with so many characters, it's hard to become involved with one and be interested in their development.

I wasn't surprised by the incident driving the plot, it seemed quite obvious from the beginning. The only question was why
it happened. The issue isn't resolved until the end and by then it has become almost irrelevant.

I can't recommend this book unless you enjoy character driving novels that involve lots of characters. I found the book difficult to get into. I think I would have enjoyed it more if he had concentrated on only one of two characters.

I received this book from PR by the Book for this review.

The Rootlets Save Plantasy Land

The Rootlets are looking forward to a day at Plantasy Land. Each year when the park opens Mr. Fungo Fungi, owner of the park, plans special surprises. This year the surprise will be to have the magician, The Great Zucchini, make something big disappear. When the Rootlets arrive at the park, something is wrong. The flag is drooping and the rides are cracked and broken. Luckily, their super powers help them fix the problems.

The illustrations and the characters with vegetable characteristics are delightful. I'm sure four to seven-year-olds will enjoy it. Eight and nine-year-olds may be able to read it for themselves. The message is a good one. Gardens need love and care. Even if they're damaged they will grow back. The book is well made with heavy paper. Young children will be able to enjoy it without worrying about damage.

I received this book from PR by the Book for this review.

A Pancake Breakfast Teaches Ethan About the Environment

Ethan loves pancakes before he goes fishing. His mother explains to him how animals, plants and people combine to give him the pancakes he loves, and he leaves to go fishing feeling thankful for his world. However, wanting to make a big splash in the lake where he fishes, he throws in an oil can and things begin to go dreadfully wrong.

Children, particularly three to five-year-olds, should enjoy this book, although children as old as nine may like it. The pictures are colorful and the story is easy to understand. It is also easy to read for the older children.

My only disappointment with the book is that the solution presented to the problem of pollution is simplistic and unrealistic. Parents or teachers should be ready to talk with the children about the problem of cleaning up pollution and how it is not an easy process.

I received this book from PR by the Book for this review.   

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Teenage Romance and an Unsolved Murder

Ashton is back in Gilt Hollow. Four years ago he was sentenced to Juvenile Detention for a murder he didn't commit. His parents didn't stand by him, and he thought he'd lost the support of his best friend, Willow. Now he wants to know who did kill Daniel, the boy he as accused of murdering.

Willow has had a difficult four years. She's been defending Ashton, but since she hasn't heard from him in spite of all the letters she wrote, she's no longer sure what to believe. It's her senior year, and things seem to be getting better. She has a new friend, Lisa, and Brayden, one of the popular boys in school, wants to date her. But once she sees Ashton, she feels the same pull that made them best friends.

Soon it becomes clear that someone wants Ashton out of town and is trying to frame him to get him sent back to prison. Willow is still convinced Ashton is innocent and together they work to find out who did kill Daniel.

The book is filled with eccentric characters who paint, make pottery, and wear strange clothes and dreadlocks. These characters make an interesting contrast with the more traditional Willow and Ashton. Not all the townspeople are harmless eccentrics. The chief of police seems to have it in for Ashton and will bend rules to get him out of town.

Ashton and Willow are sympathetic characters. You can't help but feel Ashton's pain and Willow's indecision. Their struggles are very real.

My only disappointment was that it took almost half the book begin solving the mystery. The first half was devoted to Willow and Ashton reconnecting. However, once they start looking for clues, the pace picks up and the resolution is quite unexpected.

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers for this review.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Death Stalks a Civil War Reenactment

Old World Wisconsin is a living history site devoted to telling the story of the German Immigrants to Wisconsin. The site is beautifully designed with farms showing how the settlers lived from the earliest immigrants to those after the Civil War.

Chloe Ellefson is a Curator at Old World Wisconsin and very proud of the living history museum. She is planning a major event about the Civil War and wants to highlight the lives of the individuals, but her boss has different ideas. He wants to stage a reenactment of a Civil War battle. Chloe is against it, but he insists believing it will bring more visitors. However, when a reenactor's body turns up on one of the farms and Roelke, a policeman and Chloe's boyfriend, suspects murder, the celebration becomes more complicated.

The story takes place on two levels. One is the present day celebration; the other is a tale of tho early settlers Klaus and Rosina, who are Roethe's forebears. The book follows both stories weaving the plots together with the historic site.

The author knows a great deal about the technical aspects of reenactments. I found it fascinating. The historical detail is also well done. The story of Klaus and Rosina has a tragic aspect that highlights the reality of the settler's lives where marriage was often a matter of convenience rather than love.

I did feel that the search for the murderer contained too much redundant information. It seemed that the characters kept repeating the same information over and over. However, the inclusion of the Civil War love story keeps the tension high.

If you enjoy a good mystery with a historical context, you may enjoy this one.

I received the book from Net Galley and Midnight Ink for this review.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Maggie Hope Faces a Copycat Jack the Ripper in WWII London

Maggie Hope is back in London after her trip to the United States in Mr. Churchill's party. While waiting for the release of her sister, Elise Hess, from Ravensbrook, Maggie is working at SOE, the Special Operations Executive Office. Maggie's boss is a frustrated little man who treats her as someone fit only to get tea for the men. Maggie has other ideas and keeps pushing for equal pay and pensions for the women in SOE.

Terror stalks the streets of wartime London in the form of a beast who murders young women. His profile suggests that he is someone who resents women getting jobs outside the home and taking the place of men. When young SOE volunteers are murdered. Maggie is caught up in helping to solve the case.

I have enjoyed all the Maggie Hope books, but I think this is one of the best. Maggie gets the opportunity to work with a competent police detective who, in contrast to her boss at SOE, respects her skills. I cringed at the way Maggie and the other women were treated in the SOE, but it gave Maggie a chance to highlight the prejudice against women and fight back.

Elise is trapped in her idealism. She's offered release from Ravensbrook in exchange for testimony against her associates, who were killing defective children. She refuses and although she knows she could die in the concentration camp, she would rather face that than testify.

This is the sixth Maggie Hope mystery. All take place during World War II highlighting various phases of the war effort behind the lines in Germany as well as in Britain and the United States. If you like a good mystery or are interested in WWII, I highly recommend these books.

I received this book from Random House for this Review.