Friday 3 November 2023

Two previous series reads that somehow got missed: Blue Moon by Lee Child and The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley

While following up on some of the series I read, I noticed gaps for two them where I seemed to have missed a book. I've taken them out of the library, but as soon as I started reading them I remembered them. I've searched all my notes and don't seem to have written reviews, which is very odd for me. They both date from the same time period, published in late 2019 read either in late 2019 or early 2020 and I guess that I missed them in the busyness of other things at the time. So here they are, now.

Blue Moon by Lee Child, read by Scott Brick

This is the 24th book in the series and once it again it begins with Reacher on a Greyhound bus in the middle of America. He assists an older man after the man is attacked in the street after exiting the bus, and one thing leads to another as he first helps him to the place where the payment the older man needs to do is to take place, and later to his home. The man and his wife are worried about their daughter whose story unfolds for him. He soon finds himself impersonating the old man, and getting between the Ukrainian and Albanian gangs who run the town and are vying for expansion under the new police commissioner in the small city. 
As each gang makes moves and Reacher makes some to protect himself and the older couple, there is luck that happens, as they say, once in a blue moon. Reacher's investigations lead him into the world of paid healthcare in the U.S., IT startups successes and failures, money trails and extortion rings. 
This is classic Jack Reacher, satisfying for the little guy, with the bad guys in deep trouble. 

The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley

This is the 10th book in the Flavia de Luce series. Her oldest sister Ophelia is getting married as the book opens, but there's a shocking item in the wedding cake when she slices it. Flavia is quick on her feet and manages to take the item while the focus is on Ophelia's hysterics. 
Flavia has also teamed up with her father's valet, Dogger, as a private investigation firm. The wedding discovery turns out to be the start of their first case, leading them to a special railway for the dead, a visit from missionaries, and a client who dies before the case is resolved. 
Dogger serves as a guide for Flavia's enthusiasm, putting her on the right track, and encouraging her good ideas. To their clients and the police they present a team that can put things together faster than the officials can. 
This isn't my favourite of the series, but it does offer some interesting scenes, and cousin Undine plays a larger role than in earlier books. 

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