A Bird in the Hand by Ann Cleeves
I discovered this author’s Vera series and enjoy it quite a lot. When I was looking her up, I found out that she had written an earlier series (starting in the 1980s) that revolves around a retired couple who are involved in bird-watching. The library didn’t have these, but the e-book section has recently added them, so I am starting at the beginning--this is the first book. I am not familiar with bird watching culture, so that is one interesting aspect of the book. It’s a pleasant cosy mystery with an unexpected (to me, anyway) ending. I enjoyed it and have the next two in the series on reserve.
The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist
I do not remember where I read about this book, but once I did, I requested it from the library. I am so glad I came across it. It was one of those books that, once I’d finished it, left me unsettled and a little bit dazed. There were a lot of things to think about here, but one of the things that kept popping up was the dangers of complacency in a democracy. We learn from the narrator that at some point, some fringe political group came up with the idea that all women over 50 and men over 60 who do not have children or work in some capacity that is ‘useful’ should be brought to units where they have every material thing they could wish for, but who are then asked to ‘do their part’ by taking part in medical experiments and donating body parts. Eventually, this idea moved from the fringe to the mainstream. People in the book, when challenged about the ethics of certain things, would frequently respond that it must be OK, because they live in a democracy. The Atlantic has a good detailed review of the book here, so rather than go into greater detail here, I will refer you to that. This was not a fun read, but it was definitely worth reading.
Silent in Finisterre by Jane Griffiths
The latest poetry collection from this poet. Poems inspired by landscape and houses, esepcially those from childhood. I came across the book while scrolling through the library’s e-book section.
The Ambleside Alibi by Rebecca Tope
This is the second book in the author’s Lake District series. Windermere Witness, which I read earlier this month, is the first. Bill found this one at a pop-up charity shop. Persimmon (called ‘Simmy’) is a newbie in a small village and a florist who has an unfortunate new habit of inadvertently getting involved in murder investigations. In this one, she delivers a birthday bouquet of flowers with a mysterious message to an elderly woman. Not long after, another elderly woman in the same town meets an untimely end. Everyone is connected in the small village and there are many secrets from the past that won’t be secrets forever. I have already downloaded the next two books in the series from the e-book section of the library website.
Come Death and High Water by Ann Cleeves
This is the second in the cosy mystery series featuring George and Molly Palmer-Jones in which bird watching is an ongoing theme. I quite like this series and the author’s Vera series, so I plan to read this one until I reach the end and the other as new books are published. In this book, a group of amateur bird people converge on an island observatory for an annual meeting. The owner of the island announces his plans to sell it, but he is not around long enough to follow through.
Murder in Paradise by Ann Cleeves
This is the third in the Palmer-Jones series. George arrives on the island of Kinness for an annual visit with his friend, the schoolteacher and keen birdwatcher. He comes in on the same boat as Sarah and Jim, the latter a native of the island and the former his new wife. She is excited to be starting a new life on the island. It’s not long before secrets start to bubble up and trouble arrives.
The Consiton Case by Rebecca Tope
The third in the Lake District series of cosy mysteries featuring Simmy, the florist, and a cast of small town characters. This one seemed a bit convoluted with mysterious flower orders leading to misunderstandings, anger, and hurt feelings. But do they have anything to do with murder?