So, here we are…this will be the first time I review more than one novel on a Friday but I promise to keep these reviews short. Of course, they will still have all the wonderful content you are used to but there will be just a small blurb instead of a more in depth plot summary.
A big shot out to Iona Whishaw and her publisher Tori Elliot with Touchwood Editions. I received an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) of the sixth book in this mystery series (which comes out April 23, 2019) and they were kind enough to provide me with the first five as well so that I would be caught up on the relationships and everything. Thanks!
A Killer in King’s Cove
The first in this series set in 1946, we are introduced to Lane Winslow, a young ex-spy who leaves for Canada to start a new life. She truly enjoys the idyllic life until she finds a dead body near her home. King’s Cove is a tight-knit, secretive community and something like this has never happened before. When evidence begins turning up that points to her, Lane decides to take it upon herself to prove her innocence.
The story makes jumps in time, location and point of view and much like an Agatha Christie novel, the minute you think you know what’s happening, Whishaw let’s you know you are dead wrong. The narrative is wonderful and I love how snarky Lane Winslow is, especially when it comes to Police Inspector Darling, the man who arrested her. I also love how she touches on the patriarchy in not-so-subtle ways and how even the smartest women were never on equal standing with men.
Death in a Darkening Mist
Death begins when Lane and her friend go and visit a natural hot spring in the dead of winter. While they are there they come face to face with an old man with an odd bullet wound in his head. The friend who accompanied him only speaks Russian and so when the police arrive, Lane is forced to translate. Death truly becomes her because she decides to help the detectives once again instead of focus on the novel she claims she is writing. The dead man, a Russian man, is not who he claimed to be and the bullet wound is from a gun that only spies carry….it’s all very compelling. Add to that a suitor who can’t take the hint and you get a wonderful mix of interwoven tales and a bit of tragedy as well.
This book is by far my favorite in the series. It is amazing! It brings in racial prejudice mainly for Japanese and Russian immigrants. I love how Whishaw’s work isn’t just the ordinary all-about-mystery novel. It isn’t utterly romantic or anything like that but her characterization is outstanding. I truly feel as though I have met and sipped tea with everyone living in King’s Cove, along with Inspector Darling and Constable Ames who are working the case.
An Old, Cold Grave
The Hughes women, a family you’ll have met earlier in the series, live by themselves and are quite self-sufficient. One day, Gwen the elder daughter goes into their root cellar and while she is cleaning discovers a small skeleton, no bigger than that of a child. Her sister Mabel, seems to be acting strange lately and since the skeleton is so old, the citizens of King’s Cove are asked to remember those who have moved in and out since before the Great War, back when most were in their teens and twenties. No one is sure who the skeleton could belong to and it is up to Lane and the police to find out.
While the relationships in this novel were even beyond what I was expecting, the suspense just wasn’t as palpable as I had come to expect. However, I will tell you that something pretty awesome happens in this novel. Yet, I give this one a lower overall score because I have grown to expect an awful lot from Iona Whishaw and wanted more mystery in this mystery. I do understand that she is probably laying a great foundation for the next three books which I will also review here in time for the April release but still…
All in all, I highly suggest these books. Check me out on Goodreads as well for a bit more into why I recommend this series to anyone that enjoys mystery novels. Have a question? Comment? Want a little more? Let me know down below! Also, I would be honored if you followed this blog as well as followed me on Instagram!