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Mystery

Panthers Play for Keeps by Clea Simon

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Panthers Play for Keeps by Clea Simon

Pru Marlowe is a pet consultant -- she works walking and training dogs, giving owners advice and helping out the local vet. But more than that, she's a pet psychic, and her animal clients can communicate with her, sometimes in words, sometimes in images and feelings. Pru's newest client is a guide dog-in-training, focused completely on protecting his walker until he finds something strange in the nature preserve. It's the body of a young woman, maulled by some large animal that isn't native to the area. Pru knows her animals, and something about the attack is off, but her strained relationship with the police detective in the small town makes it difficult for Pru to know as much about the investigation as she'd like. On top of that, the guide dog seems unusally stressed and his owner is acting strange everytime the incident comes up.

This isn't the first book in the Pru Marlowe mystery series, but it is the first one I've read. It was a quick, light-hearted mystery, and wasn't difficult to follow even without reading the previous books. The mystery drew me in and I plan on picking up more from this series.

Number of Pages: 
243

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

James Watson is a descendant of the great John Watson, partner to Sherlock Holmes and recorder of all their mysteries. But really, Jamie is just a teenage boy, sent from London to attend a boarding school in Connecticut on a rugby scholarship. Jamie's only hope is that he can meet Charlotte Holmes, the many times great granddaughter of his ancestor's counterpart. His mother warned him that all Holmes are trouble, and to stay away, but Jamie can't help wondering about the mysterious Charlotte. When Jamie awkwardly introduces himself and then fights another boy over something said about Charlotte, their relationship is off to a rocky start. Unfortunately, the boy turns up dead, and suspicion immediately falls on the pair. Charlotte is determined to clear their names, and Jamie, still fascinated, is dragged along in Charlotte's investigation.

I thoroughly enjoyed this fun, light-hearted YA mystery. It had the right amount of drama to drag me in, but not so much to be a thriller, or ridiculous. The two main characters are very fully developed, neither being shown as entirely flawless.

Number of Pages: 
321

Deader Homes and Gardens by Angie Fox

Deader Homes and Gardens by Angie Fox

Verity Long, reluctant ghost hunter, is back in the fourth book of the series! She's finally trying to embrace the powers to see spirits that an old mobster ghost, Frankie, shares with her, and make a living as a ghost hunter rather than a graphic designer. Unfortunately, her declaration of seeing spirits has done nothing for her reputation in her small southern town, and she has yet to be hired. When a neighbor afraid to live in his own family home calls her desperate, Verity feels she has no choice but to accept the job, needing whatever he can pay her. Frankie is more cautious, remembering seeing ghosts there during his living years, and Verity must strike a bargain to be able to finish the job.

Deader Homes and Gardens is the fourth book in the Southern Ghost Hunter Mystery series. The first book in the series is called Southern Spirits. Their author, Angie Fox, lives in St. Louis! The series is fun and light-hearted, making them easy reads but still highly entertaining.

Number of Pages: 
198

And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

When Silla is fourteen years old and Nori is four, life with their abusive father in London gets so bad that they have no choice but to escape to live with their Aunt Catherine. She lives in a large manor alone in the woods, and though their mother hinted that she might be crazy, life there seems perfect and safe. Silla worries that everything is not quite right when Cath tells a few scary stories about the woods, and life only gets worse when Cath retreats to the attic and refuses to come back down. Silla does her best to take care of the young, carefree Nori, but when they begin to run out of food and are still afraid to pass through the woods, this home too feels more like a prison.

By the time a young man comes through the trees, it has been years. Nori is growing up, Silla is struggling to find food in the dead earth and Cath is pacing, always pacing in the attic. Silla doesn't trust anyone -- not the world inside the manor or the trees outside. All the digging in the garden brings up is roots, and each time the trees seem a little closer, until Silla is sure they're watching. Are these things really happening? Is she going mad like her aunt? Is any of the manor safe anymore?

Number of Pages: 
341

The Body in the Woods by April Henry

The Body in the Woods by April Henry

Alexis, Ruby and Nick all joined the Portland County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team for different reasons: Alexis needs an extracurricular to get into college, Ruby wants an outlet where her obsession with true crime is "normal" and Nick wants to prove he can be a hero like his father. But the three are still just teens beginning their training when they get sent out together to find a man who wandered into the woods and instead find the body of a girl their own age. Though Alexis has her own problems to deal with, Ruby investigates the death and is determined that it is the work of a serial killer, and that the wrong person has been arrested. Ruby drags Nick and Alexis into her own investigation, which takes them into the homeless community of Portland.

This is one of those mysteries where you get bits of both sides -- as the teens try to solve the crime, the reader also sees the killer picking his new victims. The mystery was interesting but not very complex, and it was a quick, not too creepy, read.

Number of Pages: 
263

A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain

A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain

Kendra Donovan is a young FBI agent just beginning her career. But when a mission goes bad and many members of her team are killed by a traitor, she's done following the rules. She refuses to accept that the US government would trust the man responsible to bring them intel and takes justice into her own hands. While tracking him down, Kendra makes a fall through time and ends up working in a castle until she can understand what has happened. Everything changes when a young woman shows up dead there too and Kendra must break the gender and class boundaries of the time to use her 21st century thinking to find a killer.

Number of Pages: 
498

Death Sworn by Leah Cypess

Death Sworn by Leah Cypess

A position teaching at a school of assassins isn't a job that seventeen year old Ileni wants, but with her formly strong magic disappearing, and her one relationship having fallen apart, she feels she has no choice. But since the last two magic instructors died mysteriously, Ileni isn't really there to teach the assassins magic -- she's just trying to find out what killed the past two teachers before someone has a chance to kill her too. But can she pretend to teach magic she barely has and still have time to investigate and protect herself?

Number of Pages: 
346

Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge

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Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge

Someone is kidnapping people two at a time, and giving them the choice to either both starve to death, or for one to kill the other and be allowed to live. It isn't something every detective would believe, but after hearing the desperation and guilt from the first "killer", Helen Grace must follow her instincts and investigate. She's has solved many crimes, but after the second time this happens, she realizes that she is dealing with her first serial killer. But what is the connection between all these people? Is the killer trying to make a point or just cruel?

This mystery drew me in and was an easy, quick read with its very short chapters, but I'm not sure about all the characters yet. I often find it difficult to connect to the main characters during the first book in a mystery series, so I may try the next one. The concept was interesting, and the bits of memories that give clues into the final answer kept me wanting to understand.

Number of Pages: 
420

The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Gray

The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Gray

Katherine and her brother have grown up working a farm in Virginia, but after an estranged relative dies and leaves the two a fortune, they have to begin a new life in England. Switched from farmgirl to lady, Katherine has trouble relating to anyone in her new life, except the servants and her brother. But when a mysterious accident takes him away from her, Katherine's new life seems much more dangerous than the old. No one believes her, and without any allies, Katherine is soon alone, looking for someone to turn to. Will she be able to find her brother's killer and save herself, or is it already too late?

Number of Pages: 
245

The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths

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The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths

The Woman in Blue is the newest of Griffiths' series about archaeologist Ruth Galloway. Ruth's friend Cathbad sees a woman in the cemetary near where he's housesitting, assumes she is just a vision, but then she shows up murdered the next day. DCI Nelson is on the case, but Ruth becomes involved as an old friend in town for a conference reconnects. Ruth tries her best not to interfere with the investigation or Nelson's shaky home life, but she becomes worried about her friend and does a bit of research on her own.

Though the mystery surrounds a historic town and its religious origins, this mystery is slightly different than her others. Though Ruth follows the case, there isn't as direct of an archaeological connection as in previous mysteries, and the story follows DCI a bit more. It was still a fast-paced, easy but slightly creepy read, it just had a slightly different feel than earlier books.

Number of Pages: 
358