WATERY GRAVE

Months after the storm at sea in which Captain Josiah Markham perished, H.M.S. Adventure returns to England. Aboard her—among 150 rowdy seamen—are Tom Durham, stepson of Bow Street Court Magistrate Sir John Fielding, and acting captain Lt. James Hartsell, bursting with an accusation quite recently lodged: That he saw Lt. William Landon push Capt. Markham overboard. Drawn into the case by his interest in Tom, a former criminal remitted two years ago to the Adventure, and by the entreaties of his old friend Vice-Admiral Sir Robert Redmond, Landon's uncle, for his expertise in examining witnesses, blind Sir John (Murder in Grub Street, 1995, etc.) finds himself outside his jurisdiction and his authority. The harder he works to vindicate dispirited Landon, the more Sir Robert seems to set his face against the accused. The search for witnesses who can refute Hartsell's story takes Jeremy Proctor, Sir John's boy Friday, from ship to shore, through eye-opening conversations with lascars and bawds and Black Jack Bilbo's surprisingly delicate lecture on the facts of life. But the story runs out of steam and surprises long before the end, leaving only those two old lions Sir Robert and Sir John to settle their differences. Period buffs may savor Alexander's 1769 take on A Few Good Men. Even fans of Sir John, however, will probably judge his third outing his weakest.

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 1996

ISBN: 0-399-14155-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1996

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DEATH ON THE NILE

A HERCULE POIROT MYSTERY (HERCULE POIROT MYSTERIES)

One of her best. Poirot, again on vacation, falls foul of a murder on board a Nile river steamer, followed by two successive murders, obviously connected. A sophisticated group, an ingenious plot, clever deduction, swift-paced narrative. A little romance on the side lends glamour. First rate entertainment.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 1938

ISBN: 0062073559

Page Count: 354

Publisher: Dodd, Mead

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1938

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

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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

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