A spunky heroine, a tense romance and red herrings galore make Weaver’s debut a pleasant read for nostalgia buffs who miss...

READ REVIEW

MURDER AT THE BRIGHTWELL

A lovely seaside hotel is the backdrop for murder.

England, 1932. Young, beautiful and wealthy, Amory Ames has a dashingly handsome, equally wealthy husband and an unhappy marriage. Milo Ames is seldom home, and when he is, their relationship is, to put it politely, strained. So when Amory's former fiance, Gilmore Trent, begs her to go to the Brightwell Hotel with him to help break up his sister Emmeline’s romance with Rupert Howe, she agrees, even though her joining Gil may create a scandal. Upon their arrival, Amory and Gil run into Yvonne Roland, a society gossip who jumps to the conclusion that they’re a couple. There’s quite a mixed group vacationing at the Brightwell, but when Howe is found dead at the base of a cliff, it’s Gil who’s suspected of killing him. Amory, still in love with Milo, feels guilty about dumping Gil. She’s quite fond of him and determined to prove him innocent despite warnings from DI Jones that her sleuthing could prove dangerous. When Milo arrives on the scene, their brittle conversations don’t tell Amory whether he’s motivated by jealousy or just looking for excitement. Snooping in the room of the bullying Nelson Hamilton, the pair is forced to hide in a wardrobe when he suddenly returns to take a bath. Attempting to sneak away, they find him dead in the bathtub. Despite her unhappiness and confusion in her relationships, Amory is still determined to save Gil, even if her snooping puts her on the killer’s to-do list.

A spunky heroine, a tense romance and red herrings galore make Weaver’s debut a pleasant read for nostalgia buffs who miss Agatha Christie.

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-04636-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Great storytelling, a quirky hero, and a quirkier plot make this a winner for adventure fans.

CROOKED RIVER

FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast finds evil afoot in his latest action-filled adventure (Verses for the Dead, 2018, etc.).

Imagine Florida beachcombers’ shock when they discover a shoe with a severed foot inside. Soon they see dozens more feet, all in identical shoes, bobbing toward the beach. Police and FBI ultimately count more than a hundred of them washing up on Sanibel and Captiva Islands' tranquil shores. Pendergast teams up with the junior Special Agent Armstrong Coldmoon to investigate this strange phenomenon. Oceanographers use a supercomputer to analyze Gulf currents and attempt to determine where the feet entered the ocean. Were they dumped off a ship or an island? Does each one represent a homicide? Analysts examine chemical residues and pollen, even the angle of each foot’s amputation, but the puzzle defies all explanation. Attention focuses on Cuba, where “something terrible was happening” in front of a coastal prison, and on China, the apparent source of the shoes. The clever plot is “a most baffling case indeed” for the brilliant Pendergast, but it’s the type of problem he thrives on. He’s hardly a stereotypical FBI agent, given for example his lemon-colored silk suit, his Panama hat, and his legendary insistence on working alone—until now. Pendergast rarely blinks—perhaps, someone surmises, he’s part reptile. But equally odd is Constance Greene, his “extraordinarily beautiful,” smart, and sarcastic young “ward” who has “eyes that had seen everything and, as a result, were surprised by nothing.” Coldmoon is more down to earth: part Lakota, part Italian, and “every inch a Fed.” Add in murderous drug dealers, an intrepid newspaper reporter, coyotes crossing the U.S.–Mexico border, and a pissed-off wannabe graphic novelist, and you have a thoroughly entertaining cast of characters. There is plenty of suspense, and the action gets bloody.

Great storytelling, a quirky hero, and a quirkier plot make this a winner for adventure fans.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5387-4725-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how...

THE A LIST

A convicted killer’s list of five people he wants dead runs the gamut from the wife he’s already had murdered to franchise heroine Ali Reynolds.

Back in the day, women came from all over to consult Santa Clarita fertility specialist Dr. Edward Gilchrist. Many of them left his care happily pregnant, never dreaming that the father of the babies they carried was none other than the physician himself, who donated his own sperm rather than that of the handsome, athletic, disease-free men pictured in his scrapbook. When Alexandra Munsey’s son, Evan, is laid low by the kidney disease he’s inherited from his biological father and she returns to Gilchrist in search of the donor’s medical records, the roof begins to fall in on him. By the time it’s done falling, he’s serving a life sentence in Folsom Prison for commissioning the death of his wife, Dawn, the former nurse and sometime egg donor who’d turned on him. With nothing left to lose, Gilchrist tattoos himself with the initials of five people he blames for his fall: Dawn; Leo Manuel Aurelio, the hit man he’d hired to dispose of her; Kaitlyn Todd, the nurse/receptionist who took Dawn’s place; Alex Munsey, whose search for records upset his apple cart; and Ali Reynolds, the TV reporter who’d helped put Alex in touch with the dozen other women who formed the Progeny Project because their children looked just like hers. No matter that Ali’s been out of both California and the news business for years; Gilchrist and his enablers know that revenge can’t possibly be served too cold. Wonder how far down that list they’ll get before Ali, aided once more by Frigg, the methodical but loose-cannon AI first introduced in Duel to the Death (2018), turns on them?

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how little the boundary-challenged AI, who gets into the case more or less inadvertently, differs from your standard human sidekick with issues.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5101-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more