Sure to appeal to readers who treasure the Maine coast, Ross’ latest continues the lives and minor dramas of her...

READ REVIEW

STEAMED OPEN

A Maine harbor town and clamming community is rocked by a new resident bent on upholding private property over community interests.

Bartholomew Frick, the grandnephew of beloved and recently deceased Busman’s Harbor elder Lou Herrickson, has inherited not just the Herrickson House, but also the surrounding beachfront land on Herrickson Point. The newbie hardly ingratiates himself when he makes a literal boatload of townspeople wait aboard the Jacquie II while he moves his flashy new sports car off the town pier in search of a legal parking spot before climbing aboard for a memorial to his aunt. Local clammers in the community-focused little town are aghast when Bartholomew erects a fence to make the formerly public beach private. It’s been traditional for them to dig at the beach, and Lou would never have wanted to keep people out. Though she’s not a clammer herself, Julia Snowden’s family clambake will be at risk if she can’t get her hands on a bivalve supply, so she goes to the mansion to talk some sense into Bartholomew. After an unproductive exchange, Julia isn’t sure about her next steps. Luckily, she doesn’t have long to ponder before the police alert her that Bartholomew’s been killed. While his departure may solve the clam supply problem, Julia was on the scene too recently to the murder for police to rule her out as a suspect, though they’ve tangled with her enough in the past to fear that she may decide to “help” with the investigation (Stowed Away, 2017, etc.). Julia’s indeed too curious not to nose around, particularly because Lou’s longtime live-in help, Ida Fischer, is likely to be accused, and Julia’s certain that Ida’s innocent, though she’ll have to find the real murderer to convince the police.

Sure to appeal to readers who treasure the Maine coast, Ross’ latest continues the lives and minor dramas of her fictionalized version of Boothbay Harbor with amiable characters and minimal fuss.

Pub Date: Dec. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4967-1794-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Kensington

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

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