Viets’ fans should enjoy her latest corpse-filled outing.


Missouri death investigator Angela Richman investigates the demise of a powerful developer.

Tom Lockridge built much of the commercial real estate in Chouteau Forest, amassing a vast fortune in the process. In order to share his wealth, he married his office manager, Cindy, who grew up in Fairdale Manor Mobile Home Park. Seeking to fit into Tom’s upscale lifestyle, Cindy remakes herself as Cynthia Lockridge, a budding socialite who drives a red Jaguar and hosts lavish parties at their vacation home in Lake of the Ozarks. She’s in the office of her spacious home, trying to figure out how to give their attendees at the upcoming Chouteau Forest Christmas Ball the steak dinners they deserve while still making millions for charity, when her husband is killed with three shots to the head in the bedroom wing. Naturally, she’s Detective Jace Budewitz’s leading suspect in the murder, especially when he hears rumors of her affair with attorney Wes Desloge. Angela isn’t so sure. She’s swayed by Fairdale manager Shirley Rawlins, who describes Cindy as a hardworking teenager who avoided the park’s more unsavory residents. As Angela helps Jace with his investigation, the body count soars. A dog walker is shot by a vigilante with an assault weapon, a bank teller is run over by a drunk octogenarian, and Lockridge’s new bookkeeper is poisoned. Not all the deaths she investigates stem from the Lockridge murder, but whatever their origin, steady, efficient Angela makes sure no detail is overlooked.

Viets’ fans should enjoy her latest corpse-filled outing.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7278-5028-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Severn House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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Richly evokes the estates, house parties, and diversions of the Victorian period.


Against a backdrop of upper-class Victorian life, a quiet young woman turns out to be a talented sleuth.

A second collaboration between the Duchess of York and historical romance writer Marguerite Kaye focuses on the younger sister of their original creation, again a real person about whom very little is known. The book proceeds in a series of episodes set between 1872 and 1877, over which time the romance between Lady Mary Montagu Douglas Scott, age 21 at the outset, and one Col. Walter Trefusis, is sparked and proceeds to its real-life outcome. This time out, the imaginary nature of these episodes seems more noticeable. The plot hinges on Lady Mary's unusual ability to sense the character and thoughts of others, enabling her to solve domestic mysteries of one sort and another. The most well-developed and believable of these incidents is the first, in which Lady Mary, with Col. Trefusis' support, finds a noblewoman's missing brooch, presumed stolen. Though Trefusis and she clearly begin to fall in love, stubborn obstacles in their own personalities will (of course) keep them apart. A woman as out of kilter with the conventions of her time as was her older sister, Mary is determined to avoid matrimony in any case. "Can't you understand, Mama? I don't want to be a dutiful wife. I don't want to have to love, honour and obey a husband at any price. I don't wish to be an—an appendage to my husband. I want to be something more than simply a wife." She will get her chance. In a final incident, Lady Mary gets theatrical training and goes undercover to solve a theft of documents of national importance lost by her friend the colonel in the course of his mysterious employment. This giddy episode includes some fun moments with a Victorian girl gang and its scar-faced, carrot-topped leader, Queenie Divers.

Richly evokes the estates, house parties, and diversions of the Victorian period.

Pub Date: March 7, 2023

ISBN: 9780063216822

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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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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