First up, The Three Evangelists by Fred Vargas:
Fred Vargas is best known for her Commissaire Adamsburg series, set in France. The Three Evangelists is book one of another series of the same name, also set in France. I really enjoyed this quirky story of three historians trying to get to the bottom of this tricky mystery. Three historians... but what I learnt from this book is how much historians of different periods dislike each other. Of course it's probably good-natured dislike, but I wasn't always sure. In this book we had someone who specialised in prehistoric man, someone who specialised in the middle ages and someone who loved WW1. All very different characters and all very well drawn in my opinion. My favourite character though was the ex-policeman and godfather, Vandoosler, steering the investigation, offering advice and so on. The outcome was a real susprise too so that was an added bonus. Very impressed with Fred Vargas and her books and I already have two more on my library pile.
Lastly, Killing Grounds by Dana Stabenow.
For my money there was just a bit too much detail about commercial fishing in this one. For anyone interested in the subject there probably wouldn't be, but I personally found myself skipping small sections. It was actually quite a while before the murder occurred too, easily a third of the way in, so I had that thing where I was constantly waiting for the body to turn up. Nevertheless there was, as always, a very strong sense of Alaska in this story. I enjoyed the 'fish camp' setting later on, the four elderly aunts are always inscrutable and thus a fun element. Not the strongest Kate Shugak instalment but the books are never less than readable.