by Carrie Doyle ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 3, 2016
An appealing, three-dimensional heroine and some clever plot twists make this an enjoyable, quick read.
Awards & Accolades
In this mystery novel, somebody’s been killing the proprietors of a prestigious inn, and the newest innkeeper is determined to find out why before she becomes the next victim.
Doyle (The Infidelity Pact, 2008, etc.) is a self-described “foodie” and an avid cheerleader for the quaint village of East Hampton, New York, and she indulges both of these passions in this first installment of her new Hamptons Murder Mysteries series. Recently transplanted from California following a nasty divorce, 35-year-old protagonist Antonia Bingham has bought the Windmill Inn from the estate of Gordon Haslett, who died suddenly, apparently from a heart attack. An inventive, passionate chef, Antonia has just reopened the inn’s restaurant when she learns from two of her regulars, Len and Sylvia Powers, that the circumstances surrounding Gordon’s death were suspicious. Worse, he wasn’t the first owner of the inn to experience an untimely death. Now, strange things are happening to Antonia—someone removes a stepladder while she’s installing a light bulb, someone locks her in a supply closet, and more. Her new buddy, Joseph Fowler, a 60-something widower, joins in the amateur sleuthing as they try to sort out the possible motives of a multitude of suspects; Gordon, they discover, was universally disliked. Doyle is an enthusiastic guide for Long Island’s East End village; she details each street and shop, the spectacular beaches, and the unique play of sunlight that has been a siren call to artists for more than a century. She also gives readers plenty of opportunities to vicariously indulge in every mouthwatering bite that Antonia and her restaurant patrons consume—especially if the item is loaded with butter, sugar, or some other comforting dietary no-no. Doyle also pays careful attention to housing décor, wardrobe selections, and the hairstyles of every character, which perhaps stems from her experience as a screenwriter (Intern, 2009). The generally smooth prose maintains a gentle pace, although there are one or two unnecessarily awkward lead-ins, such as “an odd incident occurred that unnerved Antonia and once again gave her pause about her own mortality.” The dinner-table gathering of suspects isn’t an original device, but it’s fun and satisfying nonetheless.An appealing, three-dimensional heroine and some clever plot twists make this an enjoyable, quick read.
Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2016
Page Count: 410
Publisher: Dunemere Books
Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2016
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Kathy Reichs ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 17, 2020
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
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020
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by James Patterson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 5, 2003
As in summer movies, a triple dose of violence conceals the absence of real menace when neither victims nor avengers stir...
Dr. Alex Cross has left Metro DC Homicide for the FBI, but it’s business as usual in this laughably rough-hewn fairy tale of modern-day white slavery.
According to reliable sources, more people are being sold into slavery than ever before, and it all seems to be going down on the FBI’s watch. Atlanta ex-reporter Elizabeth Connolly, who looks just like Claudia Schiffer, is the ninth target over the past two years to be abducted by a husband-and-wife pair who travel the country at the behest of the nefarious Pasha Sorokin, the Wolf of the Red Mafiya. The only clues are those deliberately left behind by the kidnappers, who snatch fashion designer Audrey Meek from the King of Prussia Mall in full view of her children, or patrons like Audrey’s purchaser, who ends up releasing her and killing himself. Who you gonna call? Alex Cross, of course. Even though he still hasn’t finished the Agency’s training course, all the higher-ups he runs into, from hardcases who trust him to lickspittles seething with envy, have obviously read his dossier (Four Blind Mice, 2002, etc.), and they know the new guy is “close to psychic,” a “one-man flying squad” who’s already a legend, “like Clarice Starling in the movies.” It’s lucky that Cross’s reputation precedes him, because his fond creator doesn’t give him much to do here but chase suspects identified by obliging tipsters and worry about his family (Alex Jr.’s mother, alarmed at Cross’s dangerous job, is suing for custody) while the Wolf and his cronies—Sterling, Mr. Potter, the Art Director, Sphinx, and the Marvel—kidnap more dishy women (and the occasional gay man) and kill everybody who gets in their way, and quite a few poor souls who don’t.As in summer movies, a triple dose of violence conceals the absence of real menace when neither victims nor avengers stir the slightest sympathy.
Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2003
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2003
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