Perhaps the finest hour yet for a fictionalized heroine who defends herself against undue prejudice in favor of a supremely...



Now that he’s seen her through six murder cases (Café Europa, 2015, etc.), Ifkovic turns sleuthing novelist/playwright Edna Ferber loose on the biggest game of all: the Lindbergh kidnapping.

Everyone who’s anyone seems to have come to Flemington, New Jersey, to watch Bruno Richard Hauptmann go on trial for having caused the death of Little Lindy, the infant he’s accused of taking from his nursery. The real-life celebrities in attendance include Damon Runyon, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Sheilah Graham, Ginger Rogers, Dorothy Kilgallen, and, most influentially, Walter Winchell. The New York Times has added to the mix of “scribbling gladiators in a Jersey Circus Maximus” by sending Edna and her Algonquin Round Table frenemy Alexander Woollcott to nose out human-interest stories and file columns. Woollcott is only too happy to join the crowd baying for the German immigrant’s blood. But while Woollcott fiddles, Edna burns. Though she deplores the spectators’ rush to judgment on Hauptmann, she’s less interested in the question of his innocence or guilt than in the press’ shameful neglect of Annabel Biggs, the Cockney waitress in the local cafe apparently strangled to death by her boyfriend, guileless Newark bumpkin Cody Lee Thomas, and her roommate, Peggy Crispin, whose fears about being stalked and having her room searched were silenced for good when she froze to death a few nights later. Ifkovic’s interweaving of these two neglected fatalities and the celebrated Lindbergh case is more workmanlike than inspired. So is the solution he propounds to the kidnapping. But the rounds between Edna and Woollcott draw real blood, and Edna’s jaundiced view of American journalistic justice is both troubling and unsettlingly timely.

Perhaps the finest hour yet for a fictionalized heroine who defends herself against undue prejudice in favor of a supremely unpopular defendant by saying, “I have taken no position—except doubt.”

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4642-0541-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Poisoned Pen

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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


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.


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?