Sylvia Maughan


Books reviewed by Sylvia Maughan

Revenge in a Cold River

Commander Monk is called to look at a corpse that has been fished out of the Thames. Not only was the man drowned but he had also been shot in the back. Why is it so important for Monk to investigate?

Reviewed on 18 March 2017 by Sylvia Maughan

The Penny Heart

Peter and Michael, two 18th century gentlemen, are duped at a Manchester public house. Michael catches the criminal, a young woman called Mary Jebb, who is subsequently deported to Botany Bay. How sweet is her revenge for this cruel punishment.

Reviewed on 04 March 2017 by Sylvia Maughan

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions

Auntie Poldi decides to move to Sicily. When she discovers the body of her handyman on the beach, shot through the head, she decides to investigate.

Reviewed on 04 February 2017 by Sylvia Maughan

The Hunter of the Dark

Marcus is a man who can see evil, but he has amnesia. In the past he appears to have been an investigator for an ancient holy order. The torso of a young woman is found within the Vatican walls. Before Marcus can investigate properly there are other murders, starting with two young lovers in a car.

Reviewed on 21 January 2017 by Sylvia Maughan

Blade of Light

Inspector Montalbano is called to investigate the mystery of a house which appears to have had a door removed. It is eerily similar to a dream he had had the previous night. Later he receives a report of an attack on a woman. Will his dream turn out to be a prophesy of these events?

Reviewed on 12 November 2016 by Sylvia Maughan

The Narrow Bed

Two pairs of friends are murdered shortly after each received a small white book containing matching lines of poetry.  The question is whether Simon Waterhouse and his team will solve the crimes before there are any further deaths.

Reviewed on 29 October 2016 by Sylvia Maughan

Corridors of the Night

Hester Monk is working in a local hospital one night when a small girl accosts her and begs Hester to follow her down an unfamiliar corridor. What Hester finds is quite shocking.

Reviewed on 15 October 2016 by Sylvia Maughan

Broken Chord

A brutal murder occurs in a family villa in Italy. With everyone under suspicion the murky side of each character gradually unfolds. Will Inspector Dragonetti be able to cut through all this to find the culprit?

Reviewed on 01 October 2016 by Sylvia Maughan

A Game For All The Family

Justine has left her job and moved with her family to a large house in Devon. Once there she begins to receive threatening phone calls from someone who pretends to know her.

Reviewed on 06 August 2016 by Sylvia Maughan

The American

A body is found hanging under the Ponte Sant’Angelo. Who is he and why are there similarities to the death of Roberto Calvi all those years ago? Inspector Scamarcio has his work cut out to solve this one.

Reviewed on 23 July 2016 by Sylvia Maughan

A Banquet of Consequences

A well-known feminist is found dead in a hotel room by her PA. Her editor is subsequently found almost lifeless by DS Barbara Havers. Barbara needs a successful case in order to put off her imminent transfer to Berwick-on-Tweed.

Reviewed on 09 July 2016 by Sylvia Maughan

Game of Mirrors

Inspector Montalbano notices his neighbour, Mrs Lombardo, looking under the bonnet of her car.  It turns out that the car has been deliberately damaged.  Meanwhile a bomb has exploded in town, all giving Montalbano a lot to think about.

Reviewed on 25 June 2016 by Sylvia Maughan

Treachery At Lancaster Gate

Thomas Pitt is called to a house where two policemen are dead and three badly injured by a bomb – but is it the work of anarchists or a common criminal?

Reviewed on 11 June 2016 by Sylvia Maughan

Bryant & May: London's Glory

A collection of short stories recounting some of the cases of the two detectives, Bryant and May, of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, based in London, spanning the period from the start to the finish of their work together.

Reviewed on 28 May 2016 by Sylvia Maughan

Big Bad Wolf

The body of a young woman is found on a river bank. Chief Detective Superintendant Pia Kirchoff has no lead to follow up, although a brief visit to an old school reunion results in more than she expects.

Reviewed on 23 April 2016 by Sylvia Maughan

The Vanished Ones

Following a bad experience in the past, Mila Vasquez, a police officer, has chosen to be employed in the Missing Persons Bureau of the Federal Police. One day, unusually, she is asked to attend the scene of a massacre – against her will. Why is she asked?

Reviewed on 12 March 2016 by Sylvia Maughan

And She Was

Brenna Spector is a PI with a condition that gives her an enhanced memory. She is hired to find the wife of a man called Nelson Wentz but runs into trouble when she finds her body.

Reviewed on 13 February 2016 by Sylvia Maughan

A New York Christmas

Jemima is accompanying her friend Delphinia to New York to help her with her wedding to the son of a wealthy and influential American family. When Delphinia’s long-estranged mother makes an appearance, Jemima is drawn into a dangerous search to try to prevent her spoiling the wedding.

Reviewed on 16 January 2016 by Sylvia Maughan

Falling In Love

A well-known opera singer is upset when she is inundated with flowers after each performance in Venice. Hundreds appear on stage, in her dressing room and some even outside the apartment in which she is staying. Then Commissario Brunetti is called to see a young woman in hospital who has been attacked. Is there a connection?

Reviewed on 12 December 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

The Few

Detective Scarmarcio of the Rome police force is given a job secretly by his boss and told to deal with it without telling anyone else. Then a young man is found dead and a young girl goes missing on Elba.

Reviewed on 21 November 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

By Its Cover

A theft of pages torn from some ancient books is reported by a library in Venice. Commissario Brunetti is called in to investigate. The suspicion is that an American researcher may be involved.

Reviewed on 12 September 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

Closer Than You Think

Faith Frye is driving over to the old house that she has recently inherited from her grandmother, when a young woman appears in the road. Faith swerves and crashes her car.  She survives the accident but appears to have stumbled upon a horrendous mystery which leaves her in mortal danger.

Reviewed on 18 July 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

Bryant and May: The Burning Man

A burned body is discovered on the steps of a London bank whilst a mob runs amok in the city, protesting at the actions of the bankers. Soon more individuals are killed, always through the medium of fire.

Reviewed on 04 July 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

Death Under a Tuscan Sun

Chief Superintendent Ferrara is dismayed to hear that two dangerous prisoners have escaped from jail in Pisa. Later, a well-known lawyer and his wife are found murdered in their gated community a few miles from Florence.

Reviewed on 20 June 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

Second Life

Julia has looked after her sister Kate’s son most of his life although Kate wanted him back. When Kate is murdered, Julia takes over Kate’s online life to try to find her killer. Can she cope with the consequences?

Reviewed on 06 June 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

Murder on High Holborn

An important ship explodes and sinks as it glides serenely up the Thames, and a member of the Court of Charles II is found murdered. Thomas Chaloner, intelligencer to the Lord Chancellor, the Earl of Clarendon, is dismissed by him in order to infiltrate a group thought to be planning an uprising.

Reviewed on 23 May 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

The Venetian Venture

Rosie Gilchrist is sent by her boss at the British Museum to Venice to try to track down an important old volume of poems by Horace. Whilst there she comes across old friends, Felix and Cedric, and between them, encounter numerous difficulties, including a murder or two.

Reviewed on 08 May 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

The Soul of Discretion

Chief Superintendant Simon Serrailler is selected to go undercover to try to identify the members of a paedophile ring. His mission begins in a treatment centre for convicted offenders but takes on a more dangerous line when his prime target decides to escape.

Reviewed on 18 April 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

Angelica's Smile

A series of burglaries occur in the home town of Inspector Montelbano. During his investigations he meets a young woman, but fact and fiction become mixed up in his mind. Will he be able to solve the mystery of the burglaries before there are any tragic consequences?

Reviewed on 04 April 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

After I'm Gone

Felix Brewer knows how to make money, but not always legally.  When the law catches up with him he decides to disappear, leaving family and friends behind.

Reviewed on 07 March 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

Judges

Three Italian judges in three different areas each have similar ideals and are differently equipped to achieve them. Will any of them ever succeed in overcoming the established criminal societies with their associated collaborators in the field of the law?

Reviewed on 21 February 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

The Monogram Murders

Hercule Poirot is sitting in a coffee house in London when in flies a young woman in a state of panic. Later three bodies are discovered in a local hotel, each carefully laid out in a particular way. Are the two incidents linked? Poirot and sidekick Catchpole from Scotland Yard investigate.

Reviewed on 24 January 2015 by Sylvia Maughan

A Christmas Hope

Claudine Burroughs attends a party at which a young woman is badly injured. An eccentric poet is accused of the attack but Claudine suspects him to be innocent. She sets out to establish the truth.

Reviewed on 27 December 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

The Axe Factor

Jimm Juree, an attractive ex-journalist, is sent to interview a British writer in his house in Thailand. His apparent obsession with axes is worrying especially when Jimm learns that his first wife has disappeared. What follows is completely unpredictable.

Reviewed on 29 November 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

The Telling Error

A personal ad appears on a website, describing a murder in detail. Meanwhile Nicki, a suburban mum, panics on seeing a familiar policeman when she is on her way to pick up her child from school. She seems to have a guilty secret. Is she involved in the murder?

Reviewed on 20 September 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

Atonement of Blood

An assassination attempt is made on Colgu, King of Cashel. Fidelma, his sister, decides to try to find out who did it. A long journey ensues in which she makes good use of her skills as a lawyer.

Reviewed on 06 September 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

Speedy Death

A member of a house party does not appear for dinner. A search of the house uncovers a body in the bath. Mrs Bradley is intrigued and begins to investigate.

Reviewed on 26 July 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

Watch Your Back

Detective Stevie Mazzetti is recovering slowly from having been shot whilst working on a previous case, but someone is still out to kill her. When her daughter is also made a target she agrees to be hidden until the shooting stops. But will it?

Reviewed on 12 July 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

Gold, Frankincense and Dust

Parma is enveloped in a thick mist for several days. The badly burned body of a young woman is discovered dumped at the bottom of a motorway embankment. A complex investigation is needed before her identity can be discovered.

Reviewed on 14 June 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

Available Dark

Cass Neary is a photographer who is in trouble with the law in the States. In order to get away she accepts a job in Finland and becomes caught up with a violent gang, leading to a series of unexpected encounters in Iceland.

Reviewed on 31 May 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

A Little Murder

Rosy’s Aunt Marcia is found murdered. Rosy was not close to her and despite her best efforts to keep out of the fuss she inevitably gets drawn in.

Reviewed on 03 May 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

Death on Blackheath

Some blood and hair is found on the doorstep of an important family in London. Subsequently a body is found in a gravel pit nearby. Inspector Pitt as Head of Special Branch gets involved and investigates what has happened.

Reviewed on 22 March 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

Lie Still

Emily and husband Mike have moved to Texas due to Mike’s new job as police chief.  Emily tries her best to forget her difficult past and to take part in the local social life, but things become very problematic when a woman goes missing.

Reviewed on 08 March 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

The Treasure Hunt

Inspector Montalbano is short of work – so when a friend asks if a young student might study the inspector’s methods of solving crimes the inspector feels he has no option but to agree. Subsequently he enlists the young student’s help when the crime rate starts to pick up.

Reviewed on 05 March 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

Just One Evil Act

One of DS Barbara Haver’s neighbours, a child, is abducted and her mother is also missing. The child’s father takes extreme measures to try to retrieve her while Barbara lets her emotions control her actions.

Reviewed on 22 February 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

Death in St. James's Park

Thomas Chaloner, spy for the Earl of Clarendon, comes across a wood cart primed to explode outside the General Letter Office. Contrary to the norm, he is not given the job to investigate it but instead is diverted to investigate poisoned birds in St James’s Park. What is afoot?

Reviewed on 08 February 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

And When She Was Good

Helen’s childhood with a violent father leads her into a life with many risks.  When a so-called suburban madam in a neighbouring county is found murdered and other signs of danger appear, Helen realises that she needs to make some changes to her life, but can she?

Reviewed on 25 January 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

Inferno

Professor Robert Langdon wakes up injured, evidently in Florence, to find himself being chased.  His attempts to remember what he was doing before this event require him to identify the violent images he keeps seeing. 

Reviewed on 11 January 2014 by Sylvia Maughan

The Governor's Wife

Bode Bonner, Governor of Texas, has become a self-satisfied and cynical politician. His wife has retained her caring side and takes an opportunity to get involved in a medical enterprise on the Mexican border. The two lifestyles inevitably collide with devastating consequences.

Reviewed on 28 December 2013 by Sylvia Maughan

The Kennedy Conspiracy

Who killed John F Kennedy? A British journalist was there and saw it happen.  He subsequently overhears something that put his own life and that of others in danger. The truth must come out.

Reviewed on 14 December 2013 by Sylvia Maughan

Did You Miss Me?


The son of an American state attorney goes missing with his girlfriend, and his mother and FBI friend lead the hunt.

Reviewed on 20 September 2013 by Sylvia Maughan