Showing posts with label mystery novel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mystery novel. Show all posts

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Rough Country by John Sandford - Book Review

 A Virgil Flowers Novel

Image of a Minnesota Lake
John Sandford is the author of the Prey Series starring Lucas Davenport. He has written 32 books in this series since 1989.

In 2007, Sandford introduced his readers to a new character, Virgil Flowers. To date, he has written 12 novels starring Virgil. This is my review of Book #3 in the series ~ Rough Country

Review of the Main Character, Virgil Flowers

Virgil is a tall, lean cop in his late thirties, three times divorced, hair too long for a cop. He is very casual in his attire, usually wearing jeans, a band T-shirt from one of his favorite Indy bands, and cowboy boots.  He was a cop with the St. Paul, MN police for several years and was enticed by Lucas Davenport to join the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension with the promise that “we’ll only give you the hard stuff.” The reason Lucas wanted him was because, despite his casual dress and unusual style of investigating, Virgil has a very high ‘solve’ rate when it comes to crimes.

In Rough Country, Virgil encounters a ‘hard case’ that is like none he has had before. 

Synopsis of Rough Country

As Rough Country begins, Virgil is on vacation competing in a fishing tournament in northern Minnesota. Lucas Davenport (his nominal boss) calls him to investigate a murder in a nearby resort where a woman has been shot. No one else is available and Virgil is nearby, so he has to go, despite preferring fishing to investigating. 

The biggest problem with the investigation is that there are too  many suspects and they all seem to have secrets. Is the murderer among the woman’s work force at an ad agency in Minneapolis she is soon to take over and where she plans to fire several people? Or is it her live-in lover whom she was about to break up with? Then there are several people in the town near where this peaceful wooded resort on a Minnesota lake is located who have their own agendas and would benefit from the elimination of this woman. A suspenseful mystery that will keep you guessing as the story unfolds. 


I have been enjoying all John Sandford books for many years (and own them all). I really like Lucas Davenport in the Prey Series, but I have to admit that Virgil Flowers has moved to the top of my favorites list. He is a delightful character and the humor sprinkled among the suspense is such fun to read. Murder and mayhem and humor makes for a very enjoyable read. 

*Book Review of Rough Country is written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Birthday Mystery Reviewed

Cooking For A Birthday Can Be Deadly

birthday mystery
Mystery at a birthday party
Last night, I finished reading The Birthday Mystery by Faith Martin. I would like to offer my review to you this morning.

This book is the first in a newer series by the author known for her DI Hillary Greene series that spans back some thirty years or so. Ms. Martin does not disappoint with her new concept for a good old fashioned whodunit. 

Our sleuth in The Birthday Mystery is Jenny Starling. Jenny travels around the British countryside cooking for different clients. She has been hired to cook the dinner and birthday cakes for a party being given for Justin and Alicia, an upper-class set of twins who will turn 21 in a few days. As she arrives at the home of the twin's parents, something is already amiss. A body has been found in the pond on the residence. Jenny really does not want to get involved and plans to start preparing the plans for the meal and cakes. 

As reluctant as she is, Jenny can't help but overhear conversations that make her curious as to what is really going on in this home. The resident staff do not take well to her being there and give her a hard time whenever they can. She feels there is something off with the family dynamics but can't quite put her finger on it. Justin the birthday boy is a bit pompous and yet she can't help but like him in an odd sort of way. Alicia is beautiful but spoiled and demanding. 

I found this to be a fun reading experience with plenty of twists to the plot. The concept of a traveling cook was interesting and Jenny's sleuthing skills were impressive. The characters were well thought out and the mystery flowed along nicely. It reminded me a bit of the style of Agatha Christie and her Miss Marple which was enjoyable. 

I highly recommend The Birthday Mystery to those of you who enjoy a good old fashioned murder mystery that is not predictable at to "whodunit". To find out who dies at the birthday celebration and more importantly who caused the death, you will have to read the book. I do not think you will be disappointed. 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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