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Jenna Hart has commented on (17) products.

Breaking Faith: A Brodie Farrell Mystery
Breaking Faith: A Brodie Farrell Mystery

Jenna Hart, November 28, 2007

In Dimmock, England, Brodie Farrell, who runs the business Looking for Something? explains to her friend nerdy Daniel Hood what demon rock is. Her current client, demon rock star Jared Fry, lead singer of the Souls for Satan, is proving impossible to satisfy as even realtors failed to come up with the right home for him, but for 2.5 million pounds she will find Dracula a blood bank. Thankfully Jared's manager Eric Chandos is working with Brodie although they must adhere to the rock star's impossible mega list.

They find the perfect place, a rundown former inn changed into flats, The Diligence although Jared whines that he needs a pool. A builder begins digging up the ground only to find a Jane Doe who has been buried for several years. The locals assume that the corpse is either runaway Sasha Wade or Michelle Rollins who allegedly left town with a truck driver. Brodie's lover, Detective Superintendent Jack Deacon investigates while she goes undercover with Eric.

This is an intriguing English police procedural in which the interaction of the cast to include the almost decade old deceased is more interesting than the investigation. The story line follows Brodie who is attracted to Eric though she is seeing Jack while her best friend Daniel wants to keep her safe though she probably could take him. Throw in eccentric suspects on top of zany outsiders and the audience will have a fun time while pondering who at the climax will end up in bed with Brodie rather than wondering who the killer is.
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The House in Amalfi by Elizabeth Adler
The House in Amalfi

Jenna Hart, November 28, 2007

In Chicago, though two years have passed since her beloved husband Alex died in a car crash, Lamour Harrington still mourns her loss. Lamour sees the irony that he was the second man in her life to die in a tragic accident as her father Jonathon was killed in a boating incident off Italy's Amalfi coast. To survive she buries herself in her work as a landscape architect, but refuses to allow anyone even a dog or cat into her life because loved ones die. Only her childhood friend Jammy Mortimer pushes Lamour to join the living; her spouse Matt coaxes Jammy to tell the total truth to Lamour about Alex.

Already thinking of returning to the place she was happiest, Amalfi, Jammy's revelation is the final impetus to get her to move. Lamour travels to Italy to learn what led to her beloved artistic father's death and to recapture the magical happiness that has left her bereft. The truth may be freeing, but in spite of meeting Lorenzo Pirata and his adult son, Lamour is unsure that she wants to know the secrets of her heart and that of the HOUSE IN AMALFI.

Whether it is Tuscany, Province or now Amalfi no one serves as a better tour guide of Mediterranean Europe than Elizabeth Adler is. Readers feel they are seeing lush gardens, sharing wine or eating pizza in a remote village cafe as she paints a fabulous landscape. The characters are fully developed with Lamour severing as a terrific focus to the Amalfi tour while the support cast either provides insight into her or into the locale. Once again readers will be transported to another place by the magic of Ms. Adler.
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Anatomy of a Murder: 25th Anniversary Edition by Robert Traver
Anatomy of a Murder: 25th Anniversary Edition

Jenna Hart, November 28, 2007

In Thunder Bay, Michigan, hotel and bar manager Barney Quill violently rapes Laura Manion. Laura's spouse Army Lieutenant Frederick Manion explodes into a rage; he fires five shots at Quill killing him. Witnesses saw the homicide and Manion confesses to the crime. The police arrest Manion for murder

Former county Prosecutor Paul Biegler heads up the defense team; his opponent is the lawyer who replaced him as the prosecutor, Mitch Lodwick, also assisted from the Michigan Attorney general's Office. Knowing his client is guilty of the act and in spite of also loathing Manion, Paul hopes to legally defend the murder in the minds of twelve strangers. His plan is to claim his client suffered an "irresistible impulse", an insane rage to get back at the violator of his wife. However, as Paul digs deeper into the background, he begins to uncover other information that puts a different light on the deadly triangular relationship between his client, his client's wife, and the deceased.

This reprinting of a terrific 1950s legal thriller that some insist established the sub-genre (Christie aside) holds up nicely five decades after its initial publishing and movie were made. The story line focuses for much of the first half of the insightful plot on the defense team investigation and building its plea, but though interesting is slow as readers see first hand the strategy and discourse they take; the latter half is the trial with both sides verbose as they make points. Though incredibly perceptive with what happens on a highly charged murder case, talking is not as exciting as performing. Still the tale retains its discerning insider's look at the legal process.
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The Perfect Paragon (Agatha Raisin Mysteries) by M C Beaton
The Perfect Paragon (Agatha Raisin Mysteries)

Jenna Hart, November 28, 2007

In the Cotswolds, figuring she might as well get paid for having someone try to kill her, Agatha Raisin turned pro, opening up Raisin Investigations. After working a dangerous case in which she almost died (see THE DEADLY DANCE), Agatha hires new office help that she hopes is a bit friendlier and safer than her previous assistant.

A new client snooty Robert Smedley hires Agatha to prove that his wife Mabel is cheating on him. Though she fears a domestic investigation, Agatha accepts the case because she needs the money, but finds Mabel seems to be a paragon of society. She shows no indiscretions, goes to church, and volunteers her time. Agatha wonders if Ms. Smedley is human as she finds nothing on Mabel. The sleuth locates the corpse of teenager Jessica Bradley. Feeling good will while wondering if Mabel is rubbing off on her (God forbid) Agatha volunteers to investigate the murder; positive publicity being a virtue. However, when someone murders her client (thank goodness she received an advance) she drops the case since no one can pay her expenses or fee that is until the widow hires Agatha to prove she did not murder her late husband.

Agatha Raisin is her usual crusty, in your face self in this fabulous entry of the long running series refreshed by her turning pro. Unlike most of the literary sleuths who feel obligated to solve a client's murder, Agatha stays true to character seeing no economic gain by wasting her time on a non-paying job until THE PERFECT PARAGON hires her. M.C. Beaton is at her best with this fine tale filled with twists but kept together by the irascible uncouth Agatha.
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Jenna Hart, November 28, 2007

At the Berebury Golf Course, female "Rabbit" Helen Ewell plays with her friend Ursula Millwood when she sinks a shot into a bunker on the sixth hole. As she struggles to dig out of the sand trap she uncovers the head of a dead person. Hysterical she tells Ursula she thinks she may have stroked an eyeball out of the trap.

Calleshire County Police Superintendent Leeyes is at the links on his day off. He calls his chief of Criminal Investigation Division Detective Inspector Sloan to get over to the country club "quicker than soonest". Sloan begins to investigate the homicide with the help of dimwitted Crosby and astute "pretty Polly" Perkins.

The pastoral setting of the country club in which the two ladies slowly (and the plot like wise) play a poor woman's brand of golf lulls the reader into expecting a serene village cozy. However, once Helen makes her chip shot, the British police procedural moves through eighteen fast holes. The story line is humorous at times but never loses sight that first and foremost is that there is an official investigation into who killed and buried the head in the sand. Catherine Aird's latest Sloan story is a fine entry in a strong series.
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(8 of 18 readers found this comment helpful)

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