Friday, June 16, 2017

The Cold Blue Blood, The Marx Sisters, and Unwelcome Guests

I have spent the past week fighting tiny ants in my kitchen. All of a sudden there was one, then two, then a swarm. (To me, any gathering of bugs over two is considered a swarm.) Mostly I was just smashing the one or two scurrying about, but recently I have had to resort to Bug Spray. 

In the mean time, I began two new mystery series. One by an author I already know and like — David Handler — and another by new-to-me author Barry Maitland.

Image result for the cold blue blood by david handler

Mr. Handler, if you remember, is the creator of the Hoagy and Lulu series that I wrote about here. In The Cold Blue Blood he has created the unlikely duo of Mitch Berger, film critic, and Lieutenant Desiree Mitry of the Connecticut Major Crime Squad.

It is summer and Mitch, who is grieving the death of his young wife, has rented a cottage on a private island off the coast of Connecticut. Desiree enters the picture when Mitch unearths a body in the cottage garden plot. It turns out to be Niles, the man everyone thought had run off with his wealthy wife's money and his new girlfriend. Desiree is already investigating the murder of a woman who, as it turns out, is the girlfriend of the murdered Niles. 

I already like Mitch and his infinite knowledge of movies and actors. Desiree is a graduate of West Point and rescues and finds homes for feral cats. She also has a secret passion for rendering in charcoal crime scene photos. She doesn't show them to anyone. It is just her way of processing the gruesome sights she comes upon in her job. She is an intriguing character.

Image result for the marx sisters

The Marx Sisters introduces the team of Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla and Scotland Yard Chief Inspector David Brock. 

When the elderly Meredith Winterbottom is found dead in her apartment in London's Jerusalem Lane, it looks as if she simply died in her sleep - until DS Kolla discovers a plastic bag in the garbage that contains hair and saliva of the dead woman. Was Mrs. Winterbottom smothered because she was the last property owner on the historic lane who refused to sell to the development company? Or was she murdered for the collection of papers she had in her possession that were written by Karl Marx?

There is no shortage of suspects and this one gets more and more entertaining the further along I read.

Both series are most promising. I do love a good mystery.

Now, a third mystery. Where are those pesky ants coming from?


  1. Two very intriguing series. Perhaps you need one of those investigators to find the source of the ants. It's funny that you mention them (the ants) because I've had an influx of teeny bugs myself, and they're so small I wasn't sure if they were ants. I haven't seen one for a few days, so I hope they are done. Good luck ridding your house of the pesky buggers.

    1. I like both these books and their characters, Kathy. I just finished 'The Cold Blue Blood'. A few twists and turns and a satisfying ending. As to the ant mystery, I haven't seen any for two days so I hope they have found someone else to bother. Hope yours have moved on as well!

  2. We had ants many years ago and none since. Putting a solid line of dried crushed mint along the door sills worked well. And smelled really good!

    1. Thanks for the tip, Joan! I was thinking there was some sort of 'natural' barrier but didn't know what that was. The ants seem to have moved on, but I will have some dried mint handy if they return.