Sins of fathers; suffer the children

The first crop of December reviews are up at Euro Crime. My contributions are Sins of the Fathers by Sally Spencer, "sixteenth in a series of novels featuring a team of Lancashire detectives headed by Detective Chief Inspector Woodend, and set in the 1960s. I had not read any of the previous novels, but this didn’t stop me enjoying this well-plotted and brisk police-procedural" ; and Suffer the Little Children by Donna Leon: "Ultimately, I found the mystery aspect of the book quite weak. There are too many strands of plot, few of which reach a rounded conclusion. Donna Leon’s books are always interesting just because of what they convey about the minutiae of life in her chosen setting, but this particular episode is somewhat pale compared to her best."

Other Euro Crime reviews last weekend are Laura Root on Grief Encounters by Stuart Pawson; and Terry Halligan on Jessica Mann’s excellent The Mystery Writer, of which more later.

Incidentally, if you are one of those people who, like me, enjoys different reviewers’ perspectives of the same book, Laura Root’s Euro Crime review of Sins of the Fathers is here.

And while on the subject of Euro Crime, the current competition is a real opportunity — win a copy of Colin Cotterill’s Thirty-Three Teeth, the second in his coroner Siri Paiboun series. This one, you have to try, being full of elephants, bears, puppets and an animal so strange I’d never heard of one before. Mind you, the question is even more fiendishly difficult to answer than one of Declan Burke’s — though more politely put of course ;-).