Crider’s sadly final entry provides a twisty mystery and plenty of the gentle humor and quirky characters fans have come to...



Dan Rhodes’ last case.

The sheriff of Blacklin County, Texas, has nothing against state-of-the-art forensics, but he’s found that just talking to people often gets results. Stopping to help two cars pulled over by the side of the road, he's surprised to find himself facing a pistol held by local bad boy Kenny Lambert, who’s run another man off the road while high on meth. Disarming Kenny, Dan talks to the other man, who identifies himself as Cal Stinson, a Clearview resident heading to Thurston to look at the old school building that’s the center of a major controversy among local families. Dan’s next call finds him driving to Thurston, where Wanda Wilkins has reported a dead body in the old school. The dead man told Wanda his name was Bruce Wayne, but Dan recognizes him as Cal Stinson. Meanwhile, annoyed by a gossip blog, the mayor of Clearview hires Dan’s friend Seepy Benton, a college teacher and part-time detective whose computer skills have often helped Dan out (Dead to Begin With, 2017, etc.), to identify the blogger. Seepy suspects that it's Roger Prentiss, but Prentiss reveals that he's been working with his former college roommate, Lawrence Gates, who's gone missing—and sometimes uses aliases. Lawrence seems to have been obsessed by the Thurston schoolhouse, and it turns out that he's the dead man. Wanda tells Dan that three wealthy families are involved in the school controversy: those of Charlie Reese and the Falkners, who want the school torn down, and the Hunleys, a father and son known for their heroism in several wars, who want to save it. Dan has the feeling Kenny Lambert knows something, but by now he and his friend are hiding from two other troublemakers who have it in for them. Dan soon has more problems on his hands, but he quietly pursues several leads until he has it all figured out.

Crider’s sadly final entry provides a twisty mystery and plenty of the gentle humor and quirky characters fans have come to love.

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-16562-6

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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


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


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

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