Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 2)

CITY OF JACKALS by Parker Bilal
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 7, 2016

"This fifth case for Makana (The Burning Gates, 2015, etc.) again deftly wraps a whodunit around an eloquent, character-driven look at recent history."
One missing student from South Sudan is a puzzle; a second South Sudanese student found decapitated points to something altogether more disturbing. Read full book review >
HEART OF STONE by James W. Ziskin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 7, 2016

"Ziskin plants clues so conscientiously that most readers will beat the heroine to the killer. What makes this case stand apart is its sensitively nuanced evocation of the conflicts that swirl around the artsy Jewish milieu of the early 1960s."
Upstate reporter Ellie Stone's perfect 1961 Adirondack vacation is spoiled by everything from a skinny-dipping aunt to a pair of deaths that may or may not be accidental. Read full book review >

BLACK HAMMOCK by Michael Wiley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 2016

"Neither as scary nor as suspenseful as most of Wiley's Florida gothics but harrowing in its own peculiar way, even if it poses no threat to its Aeschylean model."
Something completely different—meaning surprisingly familiar—from Southern noir specialist Wiley: a revenge tragedy with strong intimations of the Oresteia. Read full book review >
MELODY OF MURDER by Stella Cameron
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 2016

"As for the heroine's sleuthing prowess, the man who loves her puts it best: 'You haven't done all that much, but you do show up whenever something's happening.'"
The family of a celebrated young pianist that's betaken itself to Alex Duggins' Cotswolds village over the pianist's strenuous objections must add sudden death to its other woes. Read full book review >
MURDER AT THE LOCH by Eric Brown
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 2016

"Though it's set in the mid-1950s, Brown's third (Murder at the Chase, 2014, etc.) is a typical golden age whodunit whose limited number of motive-rich suspects will neither break new ground nor raise your blood pressure."
Snow isolates a Scottish Highland castle, providing the perfect setting for a murder mystery. Read full book review >

WRITTEN IN RED by Annie Dalton
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 2016

"Dalton's warmth may mislead readers into thinking people who are attacked always recover (they don't). But even if her single-story risks sometimes falter, her long-term-plot risks pay off."
Unwelcome discoveries about a friend's past force her two closest companions to dig up details in order to protect her from things they don't know. Read full book review >
SHADOWED by Karen E. Olson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 2016

"The second in this electrifying series is an addictive page-turner with a stunner of a finale."
An addicted hacker can't outrun her past. Read full book review >
TRAIL OF ECHOES by Rachel Howzell Hall
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 31, 2016

"The third and best of a finely wrought series (Skies of Ash, 2015, etc.) that gives voice to a rare figure in crime fiction: a highly complex, fully imagined black female detective."
Talented African-American teenagers from a poor LA neighborhood are targeted by a serial killer. Read full book review >
A CAST OF FALCONS by Steve Burrows
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 31, 2016

"Burrows' bird-watching expertise lends authenticity to an excellent mystery whose conflicted protagonist faces hard decisions."
A police detective with a tough case is distracted by moral ambiguities in his own life. Read full book review >
Dead Is Dead by John Lansing
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 31, 2016

"The laudable protagonist once again guides readers through a robust detective story."
Lansing's latest thriller (The Devil's Necktie, 2015, etc.), the third outing for Jack Bertolino, finds the private investigator searching for a killer whose assassination of a known criminal results in a child's accidental death. Read full book review >
BACK LASH by Chris Knopf
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 30, 2016

"Though Knopf (Cop Job, 2015, etc.) keeps the pot steadily simmering, this seventh case, middling for the series, is more notable for its human relationships than its whodunit."
Sam Acquillo tackles a cold case that arouses his warmest feelings: the murder of his father 40 years ago. Read full book review >
MURDER, BY GEORGE by Jeanne Quigley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 18, 2016

"As chatty and replete with hometown detail as Quigley's debut (All Things Murder, 2014). But gentle humor and an amiable lead make up for all those digressions."
A contested case of finders keepers turns deadly in upstate New York. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Chris Cleave
June 14, 2016

In bestseller Chris Cleave’s latest novel Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, it’s London, 1939. The day war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war—until he learns his roommate Alistair Heath has unexpectedly enlisted. Then the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright, and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is—bewilderingly—made a teacher, she finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget. Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary. And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams. “Among all the recent fictions about the war, Cleave’s miniseries of a novel is a surprising standout,” our reviewer writes, “with irresistibly engaging characters who sharply illuminate issues of class, race, and wartime morality.” View video >