Plenty of plausible suspects make this one of the best in Allan’s long-running series, which is always humorous and full of...

READ REVIEW

ANTIQUES RAVIN'

An antiques dealer finally lands a job that suits her unique skills.

After a long string of sleuthing successes (Antiques Ho-Ho-Homicides, 2018, etc.), Vivian Borne, who runs an antiques shop in Serenity, Iowa, with her daughter, Brandy, has managed to snag the position of county sheriff. Although Vivian is a thespian whose flamboyant style is not best suited to the sheriff’s job, she’s about to tackle a difficult case with Brandy and her diabetic Shih Tzu, Sushi, at her side. Vivian’s lost her license to drive, so Brandy’s her unpaid chauffeur when she’s called to Antiqua, a town dedicated to antiques shops, where the launch of Edgar Allan Poe Days, a three-day festival that offers the public clues to the location of a valuable association item hidden in one of the many shops, has been upended by a series of break-ins. The mayor and council, all of them antiques dealers, set the sleuthing trio up in a vintage Pullman car parked behind a charming cottage. Burglary yields to murder when Sushi leads Brandy to a mausoleum where she finds Morella, a discontented waitress, dead inside a sarcophagus. The graveyard is attached to the church belonging to Pastor Creed, who minces no words about his disapproval of the Poe festival. As they investigate Morella’s murder and the break-ins, Vivian and Brandy find that their best suspects are all antiques dealers. An emerging pattern suggests that someone is using Poe’s works as a template for murder. Even though Brandy’s boyfriend, Tony Cassato, police chief of the town of Serenity, does his best to keep them on the straight and narrow, Vivian and Brandy insist on following their own path to solve cases. They know they’re on the right track when someone tries to kill them.

Plenty of plausible suspects make this one of the best in Allan’s long-running series, which is always humorous and full of tips for antiques hunters.

Pub Date: April 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4967-1140-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Kensington

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A kicky, kinky, wildly inventive 21st-century mashup with franker language and a higher body count than Hamlet.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

SHAKESPEARE FOR SQUIRRELS

Manic parodist Moore, fresh off a season in 1947 San Francisco (Noir, 2018), returns with a rare gift for Shakespeare fans who think A Midsummer Night’s Dream would be perfect if only it were a little more madcap.

Cast adrift by pirates together with his apprentice, halfwit giant Drool, and Jeff, his barely less intelligent monkey, Pocket of Dog Snogging upon Ouze, jester to the late King Lear, washes ashore in Shakespeare’s Athens, where Cobweb, a squirrel by day and fairy by night, takes him under her wing and other parts. Soon after he encounters Robin Goodfellow (the Puck), jester to shadow king Oberon, and Nick Bottom and the other clueless mechanicals rehearsing Pyramus and Thisby in a nearby forest before they present it in celebration of the wedding of Theseus, Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, the captive Amazon queen who’s captured his heart, Pocket (The Serpent of Venice, 2014, etc.) finds Robin fatally shot by an arrow. Suspected briefly of the murder himself, he’s commissioned, first by Hippolyta, then by the unwitting Theseus, to identify the Puck’s killer. Oh, and Egeus, the Duke’s steward, wants him to find and execute Lysander, who’s run off with Egeus’ daughter, Hermia, instead of marrying Helena, who’s in love with Demetrius. As English majors can attest, a remarkable amount of this madness can already be found in Shakespeare’s play. Moore’s contribution is to amp up the couplings, bawdy language, violence, and metatextual analogies between the royals, the fairies, the mechanicals, his own interloping hero, and any number of other plays by the Bard.

A kicky, kinky, wildly inventive 21st-century mashup with franker language and a higher body count than Hamlet.

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-243402-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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?

more