Four recent e-book reads: Kevin Wignall, Margot Kinberg, Christina Philippou & Alan M A Friedmann

I’ve recently bought a Kindle Paperwhite to replace the first generation kindle that has lain unused in my desk drawer for years. To be honest, the new version isn’t much different to the old except for the touch screen and the light that I can use to read in bed. It has, however, prompted me to read some authors whose books were either easier to find on kindle or had been sitting on my e-reader for a while.

27810589First up was Kevin Wignall whose A Death in Sweden I’d heard great things about. It has a cracking opening chapter: a bus crash where one of the victims, Jaques Fillon, is proved never to have existed despite living in plain sight a small rural community in northern Sweden. A former CIA hitman, Dan Henricks, is asked to uncover Fillon’s real identity. However, former colleagues are being assassinated and Henricks is both hunter and hunted. I have a penchant for well-written spy thrillers and this one definitely fits the bill.  Wignall doesn’t fall into the Brits in Scandinavia trap. Descriptions of the landscape serve to push along the narrative not hinder it with needless prose and I enjoyed the taut narrative.

pasttensekinbergMargot Kinberg is one of the most popular US crime fiction bloggers and her website, Confessions of a Mystery Novelist, is the best around. I reviewed one of earlier books, Publish or Perish, a few years ago and I was delighted to see that she had a new novel out. Past Tense once more takes place at Tilton University where former detective turned professor, Joel Williams, investigates the discovery of bones on a construction site. Kinberg’s books are examples of how American mysteries don’t have to fit in the ‘noir’ or ‘cosy’ category. Past Tense is an excellent tale with a disturbing crime at its core and a perfect winter read.

29502191Christina Philippou is a debut author whose book,  Lost in Static, has an interesting premise. There are four different versions of one story. Who is telling the truth?  Philppou has an strong writing style. To differentiate the characters she switches from first person to third and from present tense to past. The subject matter is hard-hitting and like Doug Johnstone’s recent novel, I enjoyed the protagonists being younger than you normally read. Phlippou is a talented writer who has a promising career ahead.

32710813‘Cosy’ is a term that comes with a variety of connotations but they can be great fun to read. Alan MA Friedman (the nom de plume of a writing duo) describe their debut novel, The Sorrowful Woman, as ‘Tartan Blanc’. Julia Flowers is an Oriental antique specialist who investigates the death of a former diplomat. The tone of the book is light-hearted and humorous and there’s good balance between the professional detective, Inspector Bland and Julia, the enthusiastic amateur. There’s a strong Scottish sense of place to the setting and The Sorrowful Woman is an enjoyable start to what I’m sure will be a great new series.

Can you recommend any e-books for my next kindle reads?


10 thoughts on “Four recent e-book reads: Kevin Wignall, Margot Kinberg, Christina Philippou & Alan M A Friedmann

  1. Thanks for the great reviews – I really enjoyed reading about the books and might well add at least one to my Xmas list! I don’t know if I’m allowed to nominate my own book for future review (if not feel free to zap, shoot or otherwise delete me) but if so, you could try Raise the Blade. It’s a novella so wouldn’t take you too long to read at a super-busy time of year. 🙂


  2. Margot Kinberg

    Thank you so much, Sarah! I’m very glad you enjoyed the book. This means a lot to me… And of course, I was really happy to see that you enjoyed the others, too. The Friedman, especially, looks good.


  3. Hi Sarah,

    I have ‘The Sorrowful Woman’ on my TBR pile for a couple of books time, so I am looking forward to that, as I have read good ratings and reviews from the blogging community.

    I am adding ‘Death In Sweden’ to my own list, it sounds great!

    I am also taking part in the blog tour for ‘Scared To Death’ by Rachel Amphlett, so I’m going to recommend that one. I haven’t read it myself yet, but once again, it is a book that is receiving rave reviews.

    I am still working off my trusty first generation Kindle, on the basis that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. I know the new generation models have a lot more bells and whistles, but I am still trying to keep the balance between ebooks and the ‘real thing’, so I don’t want an ereader which is too sexy and will distract me 🙂



    1. Thanks, Yvonne. I’m taking part in Rachel’s blog tour too. She’s such a talented writer. I was a little disappointed in my new kindle to be honest. It’s not that different to my old one. I think I just prefer paper books.


  4. tracybham

    I enjoyed Margot’s book a lot, Sarah. Wignall’s spy thriller sounds good, I will have to look for that one. I don’t do well reading on an e-reader, but I have lots of books on the Kindle so I need to give it another try.


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