Siri Mitchell, State of Lies

Delightful, improbable, curious thriller peppered by just the right amount of domesticity. Imagine a woman baffled by the sudden death her husband. Slowly, spontaneously, she discovers one thing after another that her husband had done or planted that make no sense. Her son is sure that his father is in a worm hole. At school he draws pictures of black men he calls ‘the Firm’. Her father is about to be secretary of defense, her neighbors are eager to help….

The plot sleds into a not so credible ending. The stakes are too high, the crimes too catastrophic, and the characters themselves start melting. But the next one will be a treat….

Lea Wait, Thread and Gone read by Christina Delaine

Stitched into textiles by young girls in the early 19th century, some terribly bored,  are poems.  These needlepointed poems are featured as epigraphs in  another “cozy” mystery about a woman who returns to Maine.  Life in a small town in Maine is mostly monotonous and cold.  It is also cumulative. For some, local accumulations are the stuff of identity; for others they are the stuff of profit. For Lea Wait  they are the stuff of mystery.

Shards of Murder by Cheryl Hollon

A daughter who inherits her father’s  glass studio, as well as his friends, his neighbors and his dog, stays on in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has trouble trying to be like her father.    The second murder mystery consists of  some technical details about glassmaking, some comforting facts about St Pete, little or no information about the victim, and a silly search for someone to take the blame.

Lane by Peter Grainger read by Henrietta Meire

Grainger has a way of ‘teasing out’ the most annoying characteristics of altogether too familiar personality types (aka ‘too old intransigent & traditional to live’, ‘career girl with delayed children’, ‘bureaucratic ox’, ‘resentful government serf’, ‘the thug who will not die’, ‘the devotedly inattentive son’…) and presenting them in living glory under a perfectly charming Cornish sun.

As in the Charlie Gallagher books where threats to family are used to manipulate police and criminals alike, Lane tells the story of a detective’s oldish mother, some thugs who want to punish her, and the inscrutable neighbor that comes for a visit just as trouble begins.

This is not so much about Cops and Their Mothers but rather about Two Women of Different Ages, and what they become when confronted by an odd and evil circumstance…