Every publishing season brings us new installments of favourite mystery series.
This spring we had the publication of A Death in Rembrandt Square the 4th novel by Anja de Jager featuring Lotte Meerman. I like this series most for it’s Amsterdam setting, and though Lotte Meerman sometimes irritates me, I find I am always drawn into the story and glad I read the book. This time Lotte actually seems to take more control of her emotions and makes great strides in dealing with her personal demons and her relationship with her lover, in a much more sensible manner than she has in the past. The investigation involved is one that relates to a murder that took place ten years earlier. Some believe the man convicted and imprisoned, now released, was innocent. When he is killed the case is re-opened and all of those involved find themselves in a complicated investigation that makes for a very satisfying murder mystery novel!
Elly Griffiths brings us the 11th in her Ruth Galloway Mystery series, The Stone Circle. I quite like Ruth and her circle of friends and colleagues, but I felt there was too much filling in of the background at the beginning of this novel, and I wondered if my days with Ruth were over – until I got into the current story. This installment has echoes of a past case – one that has haunted all of those involved for many years. The fear that, once again, a child will die is overwhelming for both Ruth and DCI Nelson. Anyone who reads a series of novels becomes attached in some way to the main characters, as we do with Ruth and Nelson, and of course their personal lives continue along with the investigation. This time, finally, perhaps, they will take some control over their future - together or apart.
Most readers of mystery novels are very familiar with Ann Cleeves and her series of books set in Shetland, featuring Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, and her series set in Northumberland with Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope. In the last of the Jimmy Perez series, Wild Fire, we saw Jimmy heading off in a new direction where we hope he finds happiness. Readers will miss him! We’ve become very attached to the characters Ann Cleeves has created and made real, and I hope she continues to write more in the Vera series.
In the meantime, Ann Cleeves is introducing a new character, Detective Matthew Venn, and the first book in a new series, The Long Call, was published this fall. As with any new series and new detective, the book begins with some chapters that give us a sense of the man himself and his background before the story really takes off. By the end of the novel you will be as attached to Matthew Venn as you are to Jimmy Perez and Vera Stanhope, and can now only wait for the next installment.
Ann Cleeves is a seasoned writer and knows well how to plot a mystery novel, and how to slowly but perfectly move the story forward, through confusion and danger, to a satisfactory conclusion with the bad guys apprehended and the good guys ready to move on to some quiet time at home before the next case comes along.
Enjoy the fall and all of the new books – including many mystery novels – being released at this time of year!