Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 3)

THE MAJOR CRIMES TEAM by Graham Smith
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"This neo-pulp series debut from Smith reads like a cycle of short stories, a brisk, gritty, entirely apt way to introduce his cop squad."
A squad of Scottish detectives probes diverse cases while working under a cloud of well-earned suspicion for their maverick methods. Read full book review >
TUNDRA KILL by Stan Jones
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"The delightfully off-speed Alaska lore—the authorities offer two free nights in jail for information about the missing snowblower—is supplemented this time by a compelling portrait of a female Alaskan governor too monstrous to be anything but wholly fictitious."
Murder is the least of Nathan Active's problems when he tangles with Alaska's high-maintenance governor. Read full book review >

DETECTIVE FICTION by William Wells
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 30, 2016

"Waggish Jack is good company, and he's appealingly aware of how deeply unoriginal a vehicle Wells (Ride Away Home, 2014) has given him. Maybe next year."
A Chicago cop retired to Fort Myers Beach lands a consulting contract with a neighboring police force that's a pipe dream from the first puff to the last. Read full book review >
A PRISONER IN MALTA by Phillip DePoy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Ebullient persiflage spiced with high-level intrigue, a covey of double and triple agents, and enough action scenes for a summer movie. Eat your heart out, James Bond."
The chronicler of Georgia folklorist Fever Devilin (December's Thorn, 2013, etc.) turns to the dawn of Christopher Marlowe's espionage career.Read full book review >
BROOKLYN ON FIRE by Lawrence H. Levy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"Again Levy does a fine job of mixing historical characters and situations with his feisty, liberated detective."
A turn-of-the-20th-century Brooklyn detective must find a killer to save her brother. Read full book review >

PRESUMED PUZZLED by Parnell Hall
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"One of the Puzzle Lady's best outings. The often dislikable heroine is portrayed at her scheming best in a mystery full of tricks and treats."
Will the Puzzle Lady solve her latest case or go directly to jail? Read full book review >
EVEN DOGS IN THE WILD by Ian Rankin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"Rankin (The Beat Goes On, 2015, etc.) takes his time setting up all these plots. But it's well worth the wait to see how the latest entry in this celebrated series fits all the pieces together."
Veteran cop John Rebus emerges from retirement to look into a pair of parallel cases of revenge. Read full book review >
THE GODDAUGHTER CAPER by Melodie Campbell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"This caper from Campbell is just that: ridiculous relatives running around and covering up crime after crime. A good read if you don't take it too seriously."
Leaving a life of crime isn't easy when your kooky mob family keeps inundating you with the dead. Read full book review >
THE CASE OF THE FICKLE MERMAID by P.J. Brackston
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 15, 2016

"The no-nonsense heroine has grown quite the sarcastic tongue since the days of the breadcrumb trail, and the blend of fantasy and murder isn't a perfect recipe. But credit Brackston (Once Upon a Crime, 2015, etc.) with imagination, if not consistency."
A grown-up Gretel and her wastrel brother, Hans, take to the seas in their third crime-solving adventure. Read full book review >
WHERE IT HURTS by Reed Farrel Coleman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Fans who find Gus' 'portable dark cloud' appealing will be glad to know that Coleman (Robert B. Parker's The Devil Wins, 2015, etc.) plans to build a new series around him. Bring on the gloom and doom."
Where does it hurt? Everywhere you can possibly imagine, if you're a Long Island ex-cop pressed into taking a dead-end case on behalf of a dead client. Read full book review >
CUT ME IN by Ed McBain
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"As a bonus, fans can savor 'Now Die in It,' a moody, overwrought 35-page case for disgraced detective Matt Cordell, who also headlined the story appended to So Nude, So Dead (2015). If this sounds like your cup of bourbon, it most definitely is."
Another vintage case from the days in the early 1950s before McBain created the 87th Precinct and broke away from the pack. Read full book review >
HOUR OF THE WOLF by Håkan Nesser
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"No frills, no subplots, no unnecessary moving parts: an autumnal procedural that illustrates what superior results you can get by stripping away the extras."
Now that he's retired from the Maardam CID, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren (Münster's Case, 2012, etc.) gets to try on an unwelcome new role: grieving father.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >