The fourth in this excellent series (A Woman of Consequence, 2012, etc.), beautifully written in the style of Jane Austen,...

READ REVIEW

A PLACE OF CONFINEMENT

A Regency lady must prove a man innocent of murder if she is to have any chance of future happiness.

Clever, independent Dido Kent chafes under the strictures of caring for her wealthy Aunt Manners, who’s visiting her childhood home of Charcombe Manor. The task is Dido’s punishment for refusing an offer of marriage from a cleric with a pack of children after she had already received an offer from William Lomax. Although she loves William, she has given him no answer because she fears that her self-reliance might jeopardize their marriage. Upon their arrival at Charcombe, they discover that Letitia Verney, a wealthy heiress, is missing and that William’s son Tom is suspected of spiriting her away, even though he is to be found in the neighboring town. The annoying George Fenstanton and his charming nephew Lancelot, who owns Charcombe, have a good deal of money invested in a new town they are building at the nearby seaside, and Miss Verney’s fortune would certainly be a help to their scheme. Dido can see that both George’s daughter and Miss Verney’s best friend are hiding secrets. Even her Aunt Manners is acting strangely. When a man bringing information about the disappearance is found murdered, Tom Lomax is arrested, and although his father does not want Dido putting herself in danger by investigating, she knows that any chance of a marriage between them will be over if Tom is not proven innocent.

The fourth in this excellent series (A Woman of Consequence, 2012, etc.), beautifully written in the style of Jane Austen, will leave even die-hard mystery mavens puzzled until the final chapters.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-250-02967-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: July 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

Creepy, violent, and propulsive; a standout gothic mystery.

THINGS IN JARS

Lady detective Bridie Devine searches for a missing child and finds much more than she bargained for.

Bridie Devine is no stranger to the seedy underworld of Victorian London. An accomplished detective with medical training, she sometimes helps the police by examining bodies to determine the cause of death. Bridie recently failed to find a lost child, and when she’s approached about another missing child, the daughter of Sir Edmund Berwick, she isn’t enthusiastic about taking on the case. But Christabel Berwick is no ordinary child. Sir Edmund has hidden Christabel away her whole life and wants Bridie to believe this is an ordinary kidnapping. Bridie does a little digging and learns that Christabel isn’t his daughter so much as his prized specimen. Sir Edmund believes Christabel is a “merrow,” a darker and less romanticized version of a mermaid. Bridie is skeptical, but there are reports of Christabel’s sharp teeth, color-changing eyes, and ability to drown people on dry land. Given that Bridie’s new companion is a ghost who refuses to tell her why he’s haunting her, Bridie might want to open her mind a bit. There’s a lot going on in this singular novel, and none of it pretty. Bridie’s London is soaked with mud and blood, and her past is nightmarish at best. Kidd (Mr. Flood’s Last Resort, 2018, etc.) is an expert at setting a supernatural mood perfect for ghosts and merrows, but her human villains make them seem mundane by comparison. With so much detail and so many clever, Dickensian characters, readers might petition Kidd to give Bridie her own series.

Creepy, violent, and propulsive; a standout gothic mystery.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-2128-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more