Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Place to Die by Dorothy James (Book Review and Blog Tour)

Title: A Place to Die
Author: Dorothy James
Publisher: Author Solutions

About the book: Eleanor and Franz Fabian arrive from New York to spend Christmas with Franzs mother in her sedate retirement home in the Vienna Woods. Their expectations are low: at best, boredom, at worst, run-of-the-mill family friction. But when the wealthy, charming Herr Graf is found dead in his apartment with an ugly head wound, the Fabians are thrust into a homicide investigation.

Some residents and staff have surprising connections to the dead man, but who would have wanted to kill him? Inspector Buchner tracks down the murderer against a backdrop of Viennese history from the Nazi years to the present day. Witty, suspenseful, lyrical, this is a literary whodunit that will keep you guessing till the last page.

My thoughts: This was just not a good week for me to read this book.  I had numerous interuptions to my normal schedule so did not get a lot of good reading "chunks" of time.  Because of that, this book started out confusing to me with the cast of characters.  It was set at the Haus im Wald in Austria, basically on old folks home - or, as the title implies, A Place to Die.  In addition to the inhabitants of the home, there was also some visitors and the staff that all were pulled into the investigation. 

Once I was able to start to sort out the characters, the story started to move along for me.  I really liked Eleanor Fabian. She had really only come a long with her husband out of a sense of duty that she felt toward her own parents.  There was no love left between her and her husband and neither one of them could probably tell you why they were still together.  She develops a little crush on the Inspector and insinuates herself into helping with the investigation. 

There is also more than one mystery going on, and lots of buried relationships and secrets.  It was more like a Peyton Place than a retirement home! Regardless of age, passions and jealousies can still run strong.  I would read another Inspector Buchner mystery, but would prefer less personal distractions until I get immersed in the story! 

About the author:  Dorothy James was born in Wales and grew up in the South Wales Valleys. Writer, editor, and translator, she has published short stories as well as books and articles on German and Austrian literature. She has taught at universities in the U.S., England, and Germany, makes her home now in Brooklyn and often spends time in Vienna and Berlin.

She wrote A Place to Die in her attic apartment on the edge of the Vienna Woods. She has travelled far from Wales, but has not lost the Welsh love of playing with language; she writes poems for pleasure as does Chief Inspector B├╝chner, the whimsical Viennese detective who unravels the first mystery in this new series of novels.

~I was provided a complimentary e-copy of this book from Tribute Books in exchange for my honest review.~

There are all sorts of places where you can find out more about A Place to Die and Dorothy James.

Dorothy James' web site:

Dorothy James' blog:

A Place to Die Facebook:

Dorothy James' Twitter:

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:

A Place to Die blog tour site:

Publisher/Publication Date: Author Solutions, April 2010
ISBN: 9781450082709
436 pages


Dorothy James said...

Thanks a lot, Kristi, for presenting the book on the blog-tour. Glad you got somewhat into it, even in a bad week!

Tribute Books said...

Kristi - I loved your comment that - "It was more like Peyton Place than a retirement home!" Very true, people are people regardless of age, right? I'm glad you're looking forward to reading another one of Dorothy's mysteries.


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