‘Case Histories’ by Kate Atkinson

Crime fiction is something I read occasionally. When the mystery is part of a series and the protagonist is familiar,  it becomes a great thing to pick up when headed for a lazy day in the sun and sand.  This one does feel very much like a beach read.

Case Histories is first of the Jackson Brodie books and takes place in Britain. It is also a popular TV series there. Atkinson has written several other mysteries that are not part of this series.

The book begins with three seemingly random cases at the beginning which set up the story. Of course they become inevitably intertwined by the end.  Atkinson did a good job of making me care about the people in the story as well as looking for the whodunits. There are lots of clues along the way but they get thrown in unexpectedly so you have to pay attention. There is some violence, and some rather blunt, rough language so if that bothers you, stick to Miss Marple.  The tone that was set by doing that though, seemed to fit the atmosphere of the novel which has a quirky, comic feel to it, despite some very serious circumstances.

Jackson Brodie, the private eye, has a haunting history of his own to deal with and his own problems to solve. His adventures continue in One Good Turn, When will There be Good News, and Started Early, Took my Dog.

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