The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad #5) by Tana French

A year ago a boy was found murdered at a girls boarding school, and the case was never solved. Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to join Dublin’s Murder Squad when sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey arrives in his office with a photo of the boy with the caption: “I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.” Stephen joins with Detective Antoinette Conway to reopen the case. With the clues leading back to Holly’s close-knit group of friends, to their rival clique, and to the tangle of relationships that bound them all to the murdered boy, the private underworld of teenage girls turns out to be more mysterious and more dangerous than the detectives imagined. –Penguin Books, 2015

Book Review: 

The storytelling is split between present-day first-person of the career climbing Detective Stephen Moran and third-person, following Holly Mackey and her friends in the events that lead up to Chris Harper’s death.  Puberty sucked the first time I went through it myself, but to watch these teenage girls go through it is intolerable.  Not just because growing bodies, social status, and random dick pics are annoying, but the girls’ point of view isn’t interesting and could have been left out. I’m sure it was added to create character depth for the girls’ and the murder victim, but that was already artfully done with the detectives’ interrogation and did nothing, but slow down an already long investigation.

French does not romanticize detective work, which gives the investigation a real and tangible quality. But the unadvertised splash of the supernatural takes the story out of the real world and into an off-brand Craft ripoff that drove the sinking ship of a story deep into the glade of no return.–(Very Low) Borrow it

Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon (Meg Langslow, Book #4) by Donna Andrews

The unflappable ornamental blacksmith-turned-detective Meg Langslow returns in this latest bird mystery by award-winning author Donna Andrews. Afficionados of MURDER WITH PEACOCKS and REVENGE OF THE WROUGHT-IRON FLAMINGOS will revel in Andrews’s trademark dry humor, offbeat characters, and disastrous events unfolding at another classic American setting. And we get to peek in on fresh developments in Meg’s romance with her college professor beau Michael, her intrepid partner in detection. Despite the fact that detectives always seem to attract as many murders as they solve, Andrews’s buzzards and loons make for delightful and cozy reading – and a new take on the meaning of birdwatcher. Put on your deerstalker cap, get out your magnifying glass, and pull up an overstuffed chair.—Minotaur Books; 2004

Review:

After sustaining a blacksmith related injury, Meg is offered a position as a switch board receptionist at her brother Rob’s computer gaming company; Mutant Wizards. In addition to answering calls, keeping frenzied fans away and caring for the one winged buzzard that sits in the reception area, Meg is also supposed to investigate ‘something fishy’ that is going on in the office, which is never explained. The something ‘fishy’ ends up being the murder of Ted, the office practical joker. Strangled and left to ride around the automated office mail cart until discovered.

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