by Sandra Murphy
This week we have another fun group of mysteries to review as we once again play catch up! We have Murder on Wall Street: A Gaslight Mystery by Victoria Thompson, Deadly Editions: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by Paige Shelton, and Death at the Salon: A Daisy Thorne series by Louise R. Innes. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of all 3 books and links to purchase them at the end of each review–you may not be able to see the Amazon links if you have ad blocker on.
Murder on Wall Street: A Gaslight Mystery by Victoria Thompson
Review by Sandra Murphy
Frank Malloy used to be a police detective. He was good at it but not popular since he wanted to solve crimes, not to take bribes from the rich to ignore their transgressions and possibly frame the poor for the misdeed.
Luckily, he inherited a large amount of money and won the love of Sarah Brandt, a true socialite who became a midwife. They’ve patched together a family with Frank’s son, an adopted daughter, a nanny who is a business partner, a former cop (Italian, hated even more than the Irish), Frank’s mother, and Sarah’s parents. Frank takes cases as a private investigator, not being suited to the life of an idle, wealthy man.
Jack Robinson is a gangster going straight. He longed for a respectable life and enlists Frank and Sarah’s help. Now Jack’s married and they’re expecting their first child. When a hated banker, Hayden Norcross, is killed in his own office, Jack’s sure he’ll become a suspect and with good reason. He hires Frank to find the real killer before suspicion points his way.
The more Frank and Sarah learn about Hayden, the more suspects there are. Hayden had unsavory habits which meant he dealt with criminals. He lied, cheated, and abused women. It’s not a matter of why was he killed or who wanted him dead, but more a question of who got to him first. When a second death occurs, Frank and Sarah know they have to find the killer and fast.
This is book twenty-four in the series. Sarah and Frank are a perfect couple in that they both distance themselves from society life unless it will help a case. Their family ground them in reality and are interesting characters themselves. Sarah’s mother enjoys her occasional assignments during a case just a little too much! For a look back to a time when automobiles were thought to be a whim, class and status mean everything, and crimes are often ignored, this is a perfect series.
Deadly Editions: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by Paige Shelton
Review by Sandra Murphy
Delaney Nichols is American by birth but Scottish by marriage. She works at the Cracked Spine, an unusual bookstore. Her husband, Tom, has his own small pub. She’s surprised when a messenger arrives at the store, inviting her to meet Shelagh O’Conner, a rich woman and something of a kook, more politely said as eccentric. Delaney is invited to take part in a treasure hunt of sorts. There are four hunters involved and each will receive payment for participating. The winner will receive a rare first edition of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson, plus the contents of Shelagh’s extensive library.
One of the other hunters is Birk, a friend of Delaney’s. They decide to work together to solve the clues. Jacques, a relation of some sort to Shelagh is another, with a local librarian making up the fourth. When she was younger, Shelagh dressed as a beggar and would prowl the streets at night. During that time, there were several burglaries and, ultimately, a murder. She was cleared, but the legend and suspicion remain.
Now burglaries are happening again and another murder, and Shelagh is nowhere to be found. Is she on the run or is she a victim too? Delaney and her friends will have to decipher more clues to not only win the books but to save their lives.
This is book six of the series. Delaney and Tom are a delightful pair, loving and adapting to life as newlyweds. The other employees of the bookstore are unique but no matter what, they are a team, including Hector, the dog. The local pubs and The Cracked Spine Bookstore are characters as much as the people. For a visit to Scotland without leaving home, Delaney makes a perfect tour guide.
The Burning Pages, the next installment of the Cracked Spine series, is coming in April, 2022. Shelton also writes the Alaska Wild mysteries, two so far, both reviewed here. Look for Dark Night, coming in December, available for pre-order now. Previously, she wrote six Farmers’ Market books, five in the Cooking School series, and three Dangerous Type mysteries, many reviewed for KRL.
Death at the Salon: A Daisy Thorne series by Louise R. Innes
Review by Sandra Murphy
In the village of Edgemead in Surrey, England, Daisy owns the Ooh La La salon. As the only salon in town, her schedule is busy, especially now that she offers manicures, too. Mel Haverstock was one of Saturday’s customers, there for an updated look that was voted a success by all who saw it.
It was short-lived, though, because Mel was found dead in the alley behind the shop at closing time. Daisy found the body, Mel was stabbed with Daisy’s scissors, Daisy has Mel’s DNA on her gloves and coat, and Mel stole Daisy’s boyfriend when they were back in school. Flimsy as that may be as a motive, DCI Paul McGuinness arrests Daisy on suspicion of murder. When he’s forced to release her, Daisy feels it’s in her best interests to investigate on her own. While the handsome DCI and Daisy shared one date, it’s been a while and there’s been no move on his part to continue.
First, Daisy must narrow the field of suspects by remembering when she used her scissors last and who had the opportunity to take them. Next, what was the motive? Either the people who had access to the scissors didn’t have a motive or the strength to use the scissors as a weapon or the people who might have been glad to see Mel dead were nowhere near the salon. Was Daisy deliberately framed or just an easy way out for the killer?
This is book two in the series. Daisy is an engaging character, down to earth, and caring for her employees and clients. DCI Guinness has a hard time solving a case with her so involved—it’s obvious he’s torn between caring for her and following the evidence, which sadly, points right at Daisy.
Coming in September, Death at Holly Lodge gives Daisy a chance to solve yet another crime, this one Christmas themed.
To enter to win a copy of all 3 books, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “memorial day” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 5, 2021. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT MAY TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. A new episode went up this week.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.