Clara Maynard's blog

The Black Box

In 1992, during the L.A. riots, Harry and his partner investigated the murder of a young Danish journalist, Anneke Jespersen. The investigation was too brief for Harry’s taste, as there were lots of murders during the riots. All they had time to do was gather a spent bullet. Now 20 years later, investigating cold cases, Harry is able to pinpoint the gun that killed her. Determined as always, and flaunting authority as usual, he looks for the “black box” of the case. Just like the black box on a plane, The Black Box in a murder case unlocks the story to Harry. Back then, it was thought Anneke was a victim of the random violence. But Harry uncovers what really happened. 

The Black Box

The Drop and other stories

Well I’m continuing on the Harry Bosch series. In The Drop, Harry is working on a 1989 rape and murder case, when he is called out to investigate the apparent suicide of a councilman’s son. The councilman, Irvin Irving, is a long time enemy of Harry’s and yet he asks for Harry specifically to investigate this death. Of course, Harry wonders why. The 1989 murder case has DNA evidence but the suspect would have been 8 years old at the time! As usual, Harry has his work cut out for him. He is also dealing with his role as a single dad, and dating a new lady. 

The Drop


I also read Manhattan Mayhem which is a collection of mystery short stories from the Mystery Writers of America. Mary Higgins Clark is the editor. Each story is set in a specific Manhattan neighborhood. I didn’t realize how big Manhattan was and I didn’t know it included places like Little Italy or Chinatown. So I learned a lot about Manhattan and I enjoyed the stories. Mary Higgins Clark is the editor. 


 

The Forgiveness of Sins

I’ve fallen in love with the Grantchester series by James Runcie. I like the fact that that each book is a series of short stories. That makes them easy to read in between longer books. In the stories, Sidney Chambers, a Church of England priest, is also a part time detective. He doesn’t mean to get involved in local crimes and murders, but he does have a talent for solving mysteries. In The Forgiveness of Sins, Sidney deals with a confessed murderer who has taken refuge in his church. Other stories include Sidney’s friend, Amanda, receiving hateful mail, and a piano accidently falling on the local music teacher! Just as in Agatha Christie’s books, things are not what they seem in these quiet English villages.


Cover of The Forgiveness of Sins

 

What I've Read This Summer

This summer has included a lot of traveling for one reason or another. As I sat in airports or in the passenger seat of the family car, I caught up on my reading. Here's what I've read so far:

Nine Dragons 


cover of Nine Dragons

212


cover of 212

 

The Brass Verdict

I just finished reading The Brass Verdict. This is one of the Harry Bosch mysteries, but it’s also one of the author’s Mickey Haller novels. The first novel to feature Mick was The Lincoln Lawyer. Mick is a defense attorney who works out of his car, usually a Lincoln. He has just gotten back from a year of rehab after being shot and getting addicted to pain killers. He’s hoping to start his life over, and is surprised to learn that he has inherited several cases from a deceased colleague. His colleague was killed in the parking garage of his office and Harry Bosch is the investigating dectective. Harry is in the story, but the focus is on Mickey. He has to figure out how to best defend his client while trying to protect himself. I enjoyed reading The Lincoln Lawyer and I really enjoyed The Brass Verdict. It’s neat to see the character of Harry in a new light and Mickey’s character is likeable and charming. It’s a lighter read than the Harry Bosch mysteries, so it’s a nice change of pace. 


cover of The Lincoln Lawyer

 

Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death

I recently started watching a PBS Masterpiece Mystery series called The Grantchester Mysteries. The show was so charming that I decided to read some of the books. The TV series covers the first book in the series, Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death. Canon Sidney Chambers is a young Anglican priest and his church is in the village of Grantchester, quite near Cambridge. He loves jazz, complicated women and solving crimes.

The Overlook

I’m continuing on with the Harry Bosch series. In The Overlook, Harry is called out to his first case since he joined the Homicide Special squad. Dr. Stanley Kent has been murdered and it looks like a terrorism case. Dr. Kent had access to medical radioactive substances, used to treat cancer patients. As the case unfolds, it looks like someone invaded his home, tied up his wife, and then sent threatening pictures to his phone. He was sent a message to retrieve the radioactive substances and bring them to the Mulholland Drive overlook, or else his wife was going to be killed. Now his body is lying there and Harry has to figure it out. Of course, the FBI is involved, and Harry’s former lover, Rachel Walling, is one of the FBI agents he has to work with. I enjoyed reading about Harry and his struggles. I wasn’t surprised upon finding out who the murderer was, but I enjoyed the story. 


Cover of The Overlook

 

Murder Past Due

Murder Past Due is the first entry in the Cat in The Stacks mystery series. It has a librarian, who owns a Cat and solves mysteries. How could I resist this? Normally, I read procedurals and “darker” mystery novels, but once in a while, I like to read a cozy mystery. The hero is Charlie Harris who has recently relocated to his hometown of Athena, Mississippi. Charlie works at the local library and owns a Mane Coon tabby named Diesel who is a major character in the book. Godfrey Priest, big time author and home town boy, returns to give a speech. However, it is not long before he is killed and Charles and Diesel start to work on solving the mystery. This is a nice relaxing read and I enjoyed it very much. I’ll be checking out the other books in the series. 

Murder Past Due cover

 

The Fugitive

I had to make a long road trip so I grabbed The Fugitive to listen to on the way. I had been meaning to try one of Margolin’s books for a while. Although it was predictable in spots, it was entertaining and suspenseful. Charlie Marsh fled the US twelve years ago when he was accused of murder. He’s been living in the African country of Batanga, but has gotten in trouble with the mad, violent dictator of the country. Seems he doesn’t appreciate Charlie sleeping with his favorite wife. Figuring facing trail in the US is better than being tortured in the basement of the dictator’s house, Charlie comes back and turns himself into the District Attorney. Beforehand though, he promises World News magazine an exclusive interview as long as they arrange legal representation. Amanda Jaffe, young lawyer, is ready to take on the case. But there’s a lot of danger and suspense along the way. 

cover of The Fugitive

 

Hush Hush

Just finished reading Laura Lippman's newest book, Hush Hush. This is the newest in her series of Tess Monaghan mysteries. Tess is now a new mom and trying to juggle detective work and her family's hectic schedule. Her mentor, lawyer Tyner Gray, calls her in to do security for a old friend. This old friend, Melisandre Harris Dawes, locked her baby in a car and sat outside under a tree while the infant died. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity and admits that she was insane then. But now, 15 years later, she's back and wants to be reunited with her surviving daughters. Tess is torn between sympathy and suspicion towards this new client. 

cover of Hush Hush

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