13 December 2008

Light up your houses, read more crime fiction too

We are never organised enough to do this but I do admire people who do, and I get great enjoyment in driving around the suburban streets looking at the creations of others.

If you are from Adelaide, here is a list of the houses to visit.

Here are some crime fiction titles to look for too.

THE DEVIL'S COMPANION, John Misto, rating 4.0
On Christmas Eve, three-year-old Anna Brennan disappears from a crowded church during midnight mass. She is kidnapped, believed murdered. Twenty years later, in the process of a burglary investigation, a startling piece of evidence accidentally comes to light. Could Anna still be alive? If so, who abducted her, and why? Detective Constable Greg Raine is assigned the task of solving the case and reuniting Anna with her parents. But a nightmare of treachery and murder lies ahead. In a shattering climax, the detective unearths the secret behind Anna’s disappearance … and it’s a discovery that comes at a terrifying price.

A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY, Anne Perry, rating 4.1
A novella rather than a full novel. With the London season over, Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould like most of her peers is now looking forward to the Christmas holidays. Vespasia's husband is abroad on business and her children remain in London while she attends a party at Applecross, home of friend Omegus Jones. Vespasia feels good about life in general, but hers in particular as she reflects that her nation is prospering in the peace of the middle of the century though rumors fly that war in the Crimea is imminent. However, at a gala, Vespasia's friend Isobel Alvie's behaves is rather spiteful and nasty especially towards widow Gwendolyn Kilmuir. The next day, Gwendolyn is found dead, apparently having jumped off a bridge. Everyone blames the tragedy on acrimonious Isobel due to her cruel words so no one will talk to the "culprit" except Vespasia. A despondent remorseful Isobel accompanied by her only loyal friend Vespasia journey to Scotland to offer sympathy to Gwendolyn's mother where they will learn the truth behind the suicide and the true meaning of friendship.

PAST REASON HATED, Peter Robinson, rating 4.7
Susan Gay, newly appointed Detective Constable at Eastvale, her second day on the job in D.I. Bank's team, is called to a murder scene. It is 22 December, Christmas is approaching, and the rest of the team are at D.S. Hatchley's wedding celebrations. The victim Caroline Hartley lies stretched out on the lounge in front of the fire, with multiple stab wounds in her throat and chest, and blood drenching her whole body. She is part of the cast of a local dramatic production of Twelfth Night, and right from the beginning it seems as if there are far too many suspects.

LIGHT ON SNOW, Anita Shreve, rating 4.7
Thirty years old Nicky looks back at the event that changed her and her father from gloom and depression to hope for the future. Just prior to Christmas 1983 in New Hampshire, twelve years old Nicky Dillon and her father Robert walk in the woods when they find an abandoned newborn female with the umbilical cord still attached. They take the blood drenched infant to the nearest hospital while the police search for the parents. The incident shakes both Dillons to the core because it serves as a fragile reminder of life; two years ago Nicky's mother and her one-year-old sister died in a car crash in Westchester County. Not a mystery, but a good read none-the-less.

FROST AT CHRISTMAS, R. D. Wingfield, rating 4.7
Ten days to Christmas. 8 year old Tracey Uphill disappears on her way home from Sunday School. D.I. Jack Frost has been assigned a new helper, the Chief Constable's nephew, D.C. Clive Barnard. As Christmas approaches, Frost is typically behind with his paper work and the trail to Tracey seems cold. His investigations unearth information about the vicar, about a teacher who regularly visits Tracey's prostitute mother, and about a robbery that was committed a long time ago.

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