Thomas Enger: Inborn Tuesday, Mar 12 2019 

Thomas Enger’s Inborn is a subtley-wrought thriller that centers on one young man and his first taste of love.

Seventeen-year-old Even is in love with Mari Lindgren. When her body is found at their school’s music room, along that of another teen, Johannes Eklund, in the stairwell, he’s a natural suspect.

Mari had just broken off their budding relationship without giving Even a reason. Johannes’s death, despite being killed with a different method, is tied to hers. Gossip is rampant and far-reaching; soon social media is ablaze with accusations against Even.

With the action alternating between Even giving testimony and his thoughts going back over his actions leading up to this time, he soon realizes there is more at simmering beneath the surface.

A decade ago Even’s father was killed in a car accident that injured his mother, who survived. Even and his brother live with their mother in the house inherited from his grandmother. With his mother frequently absent at her lover’s home, Even keeps an eye on his reclusive, gamer brother, Tobias. An uncle, Imo, is helpful to the boys and involved in their lives.

So where did it all go wrong and who is keeping secrets in this small town? Was it Mari or is it Even or someone else? And then a third death occurs and the tension, already high, escalates.

With surprising twists and an ending readers won’t see coming, this is a chilling thriller from the Norwegian author that Auntie M read in one day.

Deanna Raybourn: A Dangerous Collaboration Tuesday, Mar 12 2019 

Deanna Raybourn continues her Veronice Speedwell series with the compelling entry A Dangerous Collaboration.

The fourth in the Victorian-era mysteries to follow the intrepid lepidopterist, Veronica and her colleague Stoker, the adventurous brother of a titled Lord. When said brother, Tiberius, asks Veronica to accompany him to a house party thrown by his oldest friend in Cornwall, Veronica readily accepts with the promise of a rare species of butterfly to add to her vivarium. She’s turned her attention to preserving the species instead of pinning them.

That she must pretend to be Tiberius’s fiancee` for the Catholic Lord Malcolm Romilly doesn’t bother the broad-minded and modern Veronica, until Stoker shows up and she finds her self juggling the brothers and their egos.

It soon becomes clear that under the guise of a house party, Lord Romilly has assembled several of his extended family who were present on his wedding day when his bride disappeared, wedding dress and all. Locals on the remote Cornwall island are only too happy to invoke the piskies and other spirits that might have taken the lovely Rosamund away, but Veronica knows the woman’s disappearance has a more human culprit.

It’s not quite the party Veronica had imagined, but the island is ruggedly beautiful and the locals gossip easily, twigging her sleuthing antenna. Soon she enlists Stoker’s help. Before it’s over, there will be deeply-held secrets revealed that affect them all, as well as seances destined to bring out the spirit of the presumed-dead Rosamund.

With a nicely twisted plot and more than a touch of romance, the era’s details are accurate and pleasing, as is Veronica’s independence. She’s an intelligent woman to admire, as well as a daunting sleuth.

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