Myers’ eighth in the Jack Colby series, one of her best, has a surfeit of suspects, a complicated back story filled with...

CLASSIC AT BAY

A simple job turns into a tricky case for Jack Colby, Car Detective.

Danny Carter, manager of the Jaguar collection Adora Ferne keeps in the Lair, has engaged Jack to persuade Gabriel Allyn, Earl of Storrington, to sell his 1937 SS 100 2.4 litre Jaguar to Adora. His Lordship promptly turns Jack down in no uncertain terms. Adora is a legendary singer who’s received 12 classic Jaguars as gifts from lovers and husbands and is determined to add a 13th to her collection. She insists that the unwilling Danny show Jack the collection installed in the Lair. Each magnificent vehicle is displayed with a picture of Adora and the car’s donor. Adora tells Jack that Danny will explain another job she wants done. She’s received threatening letters about burning down the Lair and killing her. When Danny is murdered in the Lair, Jack, who often works with the police on cases involving cars (Classic in the Pits, 2014, etc.), is hired to investigate. His inquiries lead him back to the Three Parrots, a club where Adora sang 50 years ago. Many of her husbands and lovers were involved with the club, which closed soon after the unsolved murder of Lance Benny, a race-car driver cast as Adora’s next husband, who had just departed from the club before his body was found nearby. The son and daughter from two of Adora’s marriages are appalled to learn that she planned to leave everything to Danny, who, it turns out, was collecting money every year from the former lovers in the guise of funding a charitable foundation. Jack’s conviction that the answer lies in the past is bolstered when another of Adora’s former admirers is found murdered in the Lair.

Myers’ eighth in the Jack Colby series, one of her best, has a surfeit of suspects, a complicated back story filled with quirky characters, and a surprise ending.

Pub Date: July 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7278-8608-8

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Severn House

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2016

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Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be...

BADLANDS

Box takes another break from his highly successful Joe Pickett series (Stone Cold, 2014, etc.) for a stand-alone about a police detective, a developmentally delayed boy, and a package everyone in North Dakota wants to grab.

Cassandra Dewell can’t leave Montana’s Lewis and Clark County fast enough for her new job as chief investigator for Jon Kirkbride, sheriff of Bakken County. She leaves behind no memories worth keeping: her husband is dead, her boss has made no bones about disliking her, and she’s looking forward to new responsibilities and the higher salary underwritten by North Dakota’s sudden oil boom. But Bakken County has its own issues. For one thing, it’s cold—a whole lot colder than the coldest weather Cassie’s ever imagined. For another, the job she turns out to have been hired for—leading an investigation her new boss doesn’t feel he can entrust to his own force—makes her queasy. The biggest problem, though, is one she doesn’t know about until it slaps her in the face. A fatal car accident that was anything but accidental has jarred loose a stash of methamphetamines and cash that’s become the center of a battle between the Sons of Freedom, Bakken County’s traditional drug sellers, and MS-13, the Salvadorian upstarts who are muscling in on their territory. It’s a setup that leaves scant room for law enforcement officers or for Kyle Westergaard, the 12-year-old paperboy damaged since birth by fetal alcohol syndrome, who’s walked away from the wreck with a prize all too many people would kill for.

A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be welcome to return and tie up the gaping loose end Box leaves. The unrelenting cold makes this the perfect beach read.

Pub Date: July 28, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-312-58321-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: April 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2015

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