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Nails by Peter Bowen

Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur ISBN: 0312312075 

Reviewed by Donna Padilla, New Mystery Reader

Gabriel Du Pre is a whiskey sipping, fiddle playing puzzle solver who eats up the long lonesome Montana highways at 100 miles an hour.  When a group of Texas bible thumpers move into the area and a young girl he has never seen before is found naked and dead in a bar ditch by the road, Du Pre starts sorting out the pieces if the puzzle and trying to put them together.

It is always a thrill when a new Peter Bowen novel hits the bookshelves.  He entertains you with humor and crime solving logic.  He knows how to build a plot that flows smoothly and drops the clues in at the appropriate time.  He makes you feel the lonesomeness of the Montana countryside.  I hope Gabriel Du Pre lives as long as his medicine man friend Benetsee and keeps showing up on the bookshelves on a regular basis.

 

 

Murder on the Oceanic by Conrad Allen

Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur ISBN: 0312342853

Reviewed by Donna Padilla, New Mystery Reader 

In the early 1900s George Dillman and Genevieve Masefield are detectives for the White Star Cruise Line, a couple who go undercover and who just happen to be married.  Their current assignment is the ship Oceanic, which has had nothing but bad luck since it was launched.  On this trip one of the passengers is J. P. Morgan.  When the objects de arte which Morgan has purchased in Europe are stolen and his bodyguard murdered, Dillman begins to search for the killer, while Genevieve is caught up in a series of thefts among the first class passengers.  But soon their cases merge in ways that just might be dangerous for this duo of detectives.

What a charming mystery Allen has written.  He allows you to sail the high sees in first class accommodations and introduces you to a cast of characters with very diverse personalities.  Some are warm and loving, while others can be greedy, cranky, lecherous and downright evil.  But Dillon and Mansfield are dedicated to their jobs and let nothing get in the way of achieving success, adding much delight to this cozy tale of mystery and murder.