General, Mystery

Recent Reads

The Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva – This is the first Silva book I’ve tried and I found it quite good. I am always attracted to mysteries/suspense stories involving art and art restoration, which was my original plan for a career. This time, the art restorer also happens to be a semi-retired Israeli spy who is asked by a friend to find a previously unknown Rembrandt that has been stolen out of another restorer’s studio, where the said restorer was killed. The plot then widens to include a Holocaust survivor, a hidden list of names and Swiss bank account numbers recording Jewish family fortunes that were looted by the Nazis, and a multi-billionaire financier whose own fortune was built on those stolen assets. Throw in cascading centrifuges at the heart of a hidden Iranian uranium enrichment program, and you’ve got a fast paced, suspenseful ride. I will seek out earlier Silva books after this one.

Murder on Bank Street by Victorian Thompson – another entry in Thompson’s Sarah Brandt series, this time focusing on an attempt to solve the murder of Sarah’s doctor husband four years earlier. Dr. Brandt was researching “Old Maid’s Disease” which involves the victim, usually an older unmarried woman, fixating on a man and developing intricate stories of their imagined life together. The outcome of this story was disturbing, but as usual Thompson writes about late 19th century New York with authority and good detail. Not a bad addition to the series.

A Cast-Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell – I truly enjoyed this lighthearted romp set in San Francisco. The story features witch Lily Ivory, who owns a vintage clothing store in the Haight/Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco. She’s asked to exorcise a ghost in the SF School of Design and gets a lot more than she bargained for when she discovers that not only has a sad ghost but also a seductive demon in residence in the school. A fun and light mystery.

Pride and Prescience by Carrie Bebris – Mr. and Mrs. Darcy solve a mystery! Pride & Prejudice fans will enjoy this series that takes up shortly after the Darcy’s wed. Wonderful dialog and a good mystery to boot.

The Night Villa by Carol Goodman – The search is on for a truck of ancient documents buried in a villa during the eruption that buried Pompeii. Great descriptions of archaeological digs in Italy, good Greek and Roman history, and lovely descriptions of the mosaics found in these recovered villas. The storyline involving an ancient cult of mysteries adds interest to an already suspenseful story. Very good.