Are you in the mood for a good Georgian mystery? I plucked this title off the shelf with no prior knowledge of this author’s work. This purchase was strictly for the cover. Besides, it looked like a good read, too and lucky me, it was a good read indeed. The Complaint of the Dove (2003) by Hannah March is a surprisingly wonderful historical mystery read that seems to be low-key or what we readers term a “buried treasure” read.
The protagonist is Mr. Robert Fairfax. He is a private tutor employed by the Helmsley’s to educate their son, Matthew, on the finer points of London life. The boy’s father wants to make sure that his son understands the power of having the right connections. So, Robert and Matthew travel to London to further Matthew’s education. It is there that they meet actress Lucy Dove through a mutual friend.
The job of an actress is not a respectable one in London. However, Ms. Dove has her share of fans and she is a very popular actress on the London stage. Robert is somewhat wary of Matthew’s association with the actress because Matthew’s father would highly disapprove of his son’s association with such lowly folk. Unfortunately, Matthew is already smitten by Ms. Dove and it is this ill-fated attraction that leads to his being accused of murder. Thus, Mr. Robert Fairfax must don the hat of amateur sleuth in order to save his pupil from hanging. Otherwise, he’ll be out of a job. Continue reading
Studio Sex (1999) written by Liza Marklund with translation by Kajsa von Hofsten is also known as Studio 69 elsewhere in the world. This is the first book in the Annika Bengzton series. It’s not available in the US at the time of this writing. There are a total of 8 books in the series and the author doesn’t write them in chronological order. Availability in digital is spotty and costly. My thoughts overall: somewhat entertaining yet uneven novel. Full details below for those interested.
I’m very interested in reading Scandinavian crime fiction at the moment. It’s the main reason why I set up this blog. So, a lot of the books I read and review here will probably not be available in the U.S. Having said that, I’ve been interested in reading Liza Marklund since I first heard about her books last year. She’s been mentioned in most if not all the mystery forums I lurk in. Only when I saw that she co-wrote a book with the ubiquitous James Patterson on The Postcard Killers (that ranked #1 on the NYT bestseller list last year). I made it my business to read her this year. Camilla Lackberg is next.
Liza Marklund’s protagonist in this series is crime reporter, Annika Bengzton, who works for the Kvällspressen tabloid newspaper in Stockholm. She’s a young, ambitious journalist who’ve moved from the county to the big city in order to build a successful career for herself. Annika gets that opportunity when she receives an anonymous tip from the hot line aka the Creepy Calls line about a dead body found in Kronoberg Park. Continue reading
The Three Evangelists (Vintage 2007) written by Fred Vargas and translated by Sian Reynolds. The Three Evangelists is set in Paris, during the mid-1990′s. The story introduces three historians turned amateur sleuths. The author herself is an historian and archeologist. You see how she utilizes both in her characters and setting.
The Three Evangelists was a good read that started off well enough. The mood is immediately sinister and it involves a tree. Ex-Greek opera singer, Sophia Simeonidis, discovers a beech tree planted in her yard. She has no idea who put it there. Her husband, Pierre, isn’t as upset about it like she is though. Considering that she was once a famous opera singer about ten years ago, she’s had her share of crazy fans. Continue reading