Auntie M is a huge fan of UK author Kate Rhodes, with her longer-running Alice Quentin series and now her second, set on the Isles of Scilly. Here are one in each for your reading pleasure to seek out, with great reading ahead of you~each of these is rated Highly Recommended.

The sixth suspense thriller featuring forensic psychologist Alice Quentin, Fatal Harmony has a premise that strikes too close to home for Alice.

Adrian Stone is a psychotic narcissist who’s been in Rampton’s high security unit for nine years. A child prodigy in music, piano his specialty, Adrian’s goal was to be the world’s most famous and adulated pianist that London’s Royal College of Music had seen. But the rearing of his tendencies coupled with misgivings of several of the faculty found his parents sending him to school. His response was to murder both parents and his older sister, resulting in his incarcertion.

But Adrian has escaped, and the ruthless killer has two concrete goals. He must follow his musical path, but he also wants to kill those who took part in taking him out of the music college. A master of changing his appearance, when the bodies begin to pile up, Alice is brought in to consult on the case.

But Alice knows Adrian from early on, and soon realizes her name is on his list. Now the case not only becomes one of stopping Adrian from killing more, but of protecting her own life. And as he’s on the run but compelled to perform, Adrian has picked up a young, naive girl to aid him in his cover.

Alice’s boyfriend, DI Don Burns, is on the case, and with their relationship running alongside the tense investigation, there will be a twist there readers won’t see coming.

This is filled with the history of music that London contains, from Mozart and Handel to the Royal College for Music, from Queen Victoria to the Albert Hall, only one of the many edifices the grieving queen created in her husband’s memory. Rhodes takes readers inside them all while hunting a mad genius.

Ruin Beach is the second mystery featuring the Scilly Isles’ Deputy Police Chief, Ben Kitto, a native from the area who’s returned home. Introduced in Hell Bay, Kitto’s youth spent on the isolated islands make them a vastly different area to police from his days in London’s murder squad.

Rhodes thoughtfully provides a map of each island featured in the stories, more helpful than she might realize, that helps readers follow Ben’s investigation when an experienced diver, Jude Trellon, is found on the rocks of a cave on the island of Tresco.

Once it’s established this wasn’t an accident, Ben has the difficult task of questioning her family. Her partner has isolated himself with their little girl, but whether out of grief or because he’s hiding something remains to be seen. Jude’s brother and parents are also struggling with her loss, yet each has secrets they are keeping.

Small, enclosed communities like those on these islands often close off when questioned, as Ben finds to his chagrin. Stories are half told; details are kept from him. It’s frustrating as he means to find out the truth about who would have wanted Jude dead, and why.

But his knowledge of the islands also gives him an edge that he will use to figure out why Jude Trellon needed to die.

A compelling series that’s very different from the Alice Quentin’s, yet just as intriguing. What the two have in common is a strong sense of setting, though each of those is vastly different, coupled with compelling and vivid characters. Toss in great storylines and you have a recipe for great reading.