Painting in the Shadows by Katherine Kovacic (Echo, 2019); audiobook read by Casey Withoos (W.F. Howes, 2020) Though the mystery and its investigation are quite slight, Kovacic concocts a cosy and somewhat fraught intrigue throughout. The text shines with passion for art, while Alex and John’s female/male friendship shows real Australian personality. Hogarth the Irish Wolfhound remains a delight.
Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz, 2013); audiobook read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Isis, 2013) Aaronovitch weaves an intriguing scenario around covert magic use and modern-day policing, but then continually dilutes it with unrelated (if laudable enough) class activism. Holdbrook-Smith tries hard to build impetus and make the extraneous detail sound compelling, but can’t quite manage it.
The Kingdom of Bones by Stephen Gallagher (Shaye Areheart, 2007); audiobook read by Jonathan Keeble (Oakhill, 2013) A slow-moving but enthralling story of murder and redemption in three acts. Stephen Gallagher does full justice to England in the late 19th and America in the early 20th century. Jonathan Keeble definitively captures the characters of Sebastian Becker and Tom Sayers. …
Jonathan Creek, Series 1 by David Renwick (BBC, 1997) Jonathan Creek is a detective with Holmes-like deductive abilities, cajoled and manipulated into sleuthing by a self-serving journalist less sympathetic than any Watson figure. The protagonist is quietly compelling and the mysteries beguiling, albeit at times through an improbable marrying of circumstances.