Friday, January 23, 2015

More Bouchercon reviews

I was able to acquire two books by Catriona McPherson at Bouchercon. I purchased As She Left It, a non-series novel published in 2013. Midnight Ink was giving away ARCs of Come to Harmanother standalone to be published in May 2015, and I was lucky enough to score one.


In As She Left It, 20-something Opal Jones moves back to her mother's cottage in Leeds after leaving at the age of 12 to live with her father and stepmother.  Nicola had died two months earlier, and a mysterious someone had been paying the rent and utilities on the place until Opal could return.  

Opal doesn't expect any of the old neighbors to still be in residence, but almost immediately she sees neighborhood gossip Mrs. Pickess and then Mrs. Josh and her son Doolal, with whom she'd gone to school.  Before long, she spots the Mote Street Boys, the four jazz  musicians who'd already been old when she was a kid.  

Then her favorite old neighbor Mrs. Reid invites her over for tea and tells her the tragic story of her grandson Craig, who had disappeared ten years earlier, at the age of three, and was never found.  Mrs. Reid's daughter Karen hasn't spoken to her parents since then.

Remembering that she used to look after Craig before she moved away, Opal determines to stay in the old house and find out what happened to the little boy. This leads to some major changes in her life, and the discovery of more secrets than she could possibly have imagined.


Come to Harm is a completely different sort of story, though just as fascinating and suspenseful.  

Keiko Nishisato, a student from Tokyo, has received a scholarship to study in Edinburgh. which includes large flat in small town of Painchton, not far from the city.  

Keiko doesn't anticipate how different it will be from her home.  Not just being away from her family, but the buildings, the weather, the food, even the air!  The people are kind, though. The townspeople take turns inviting her for meals, and have even filled up her cupboards and refrigerator for her.

She soon makes friends with a couple of the younger residents, and she feels herself settling in.  But she still wonders why there are so few young women in the town.  And then she finds a scrap of paper with what appears to have been part of a threatening note.  

Why is her landlady, Mrs. Poole, so nervous?  And what's going on in the little building behind in the back of the property?  

Keiko is a smart and resourceful young woman, but will she learn the answers before  something happens to her?

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