The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths (2021)
(13th in the Ruth Galloway series)
Audio narration by Jane McDowell
(9 hrs 20 min)
some time at another university, we find Ruth (a forensic archaeologist) back in North Norfolk
again in this book, and in a new position at the university there. 'The
Night Hawks' is a
group of metal detectorists, searching for buried treasure on the
beaches. On one of their searches they come across not only a hoard of Bronze Age weapons,
but also a dead body; which means that Ruth
and DI Nelson (father of Ruth's daughter Kate) once again get together
on a job. A lot of the charm with this series of books lies with the
recurring main characters and the development of the relations between
them. (Not just Ruth and Nelson, but also their colleagues, friends and
families.) But I also really like the balance between archaeology (mysteries of
the past) vs present time detective work.
Silent Tears by Kay Bratt (2011)
Audio narration by Shannon McManus
In February I wrote a separate review of a series of novels by Kay Bratt, The Scavenger's Daughters, set in China. Silent Tears is not a novel but a documentary, based on her personal experiences of four years of volunteer work at an orphanage in China.
When her family relocated to rural China in 2003, Kay Bratt was thrust into a new world, one where boys were considered more valuable than girls and poverty and the one-child policy had created an epidemic of abandoned infants. As a volunteer at a local orphanage, Bratt witnessed conditions that were unfathomable to a middle-class mother of two from South Carolina.
I was interested to learn more about the author and what inspired her novels; but if you haven't read the novels, I would recommend starting with those rather than with this book.
Death Beside the Seaside
(Lady Hardcastle mysteries #6)
by T.E. Kinsey (2019)
Audio narration by Elizabeth Knowelden (10 h)
I read four previous books in this series last year (read in September, reviewed in December); so when this one as well recently turned up at low price, I thought "why not"...
It is July 1910, and Lady Hardcastle and her maid/companion Flo decide they deserve a holiday at the seaside. But of course they stumble straight into another mystery to solve. Another guest at their hotel disappears, and so does a strongbox with unknown content. And that's only the first mystery in a series of events to follow - also involving Lady Hardcastle's brother, who is a Secret Service agent. I have to admit I found the plot in this book a bit hard to follow, but that may be because I mostly listened to it at bed-time... I might give it another go some time when I feel a bit more alert. The narrator of the audio books is very good and a pleasure to listen to.
The Art of Inheriting Secrets
by Barbara O'Neal (2018)
Audio narration by Stina Nielsen
(12 hrs 50 min)
Olivia lives in California and writes about food for a magazine. When her mother, a well-known artist, dies, she is astonished to learn that she has inherited an old estate in England, which she knew nothing about - and a title to go with it. She travels to England to sort out the legal details (intending to sell the place), but also to try to understand why her mother never told her anything about her past. The estate, Rosemere, turns out to be an impressive old manor in a state of disrepair. And although she has never seen it before, Olivia finds that the house and its surroundings also seem strangely familiar to her - from her mother's art.
As she begins to look into what can be done to restore the building to its former glory, she also learns more about the past, and gets to know some people living in the village now. And of course a romance develops too...
The novel has its charms but somehow I felt that the story lost pace along the way and turned too predictable before the end. (Plus a love-scene or two that sort of felt "added" rather than essential to the plot.)