Something for everyone: activists, romantics, mystery lovers, and feline fanciers.

LADY RIGHTS A WRONG

Lady Cecelia Bates investigates the death of a suffragette.

Cecelia truly loves Danby Hall and the beautiful Yorkshire countryside that surrounds it. But the intelligent and curious daughter of Lord and Lady Avebury wants more out of life than presiding over the bring-and-buy tent at the annual church bazaar. Fortunately, Annabel Clarke, the fashionable American heiress who hopes to marry Cecelia’s brother, Patrick, proves an eager and valued companion for Lady Avebury to bring along on her many social engagements. With Annabel to distract her, Lady Avebury’s efforts to get her daughter well married dwindle to occasional references to how handsome Mr. Brown, the young village vicar, looks at Sunday service. Her mother’s preoccupation with Annabel also gives Lady Cecelia time to slip away and attend a rally held by the Women’s Suffrage Union at the village guildhall, accompanied by Annabel’s maid, Jane Hughes. The union’s president, Amelia Price, an inspiring speaker as well as a canny one, immediately recognizes Lady Cecelia as someone who could be of great help to the cause. The friendship between Mrs. Price and the avid young woman is just beginning when the activist is found dead at the bottom of the staircase in her rented home. None of the suffragettes sharing her quarters, not even her daughter, can say when or how Mrs. Price died, so it’s not even clear that she’s been murdered. But the heroine of Lady Takes the Case (2019) is suspicious, and she enlists the help of quick-witted Jane and Jane’s perceptive cat, Jack to make sure justice is served.

Something for everyone: activists, romantics, mystery lovers, and feline fanciers.

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0390-0

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Not the best of Connelly’s procedurals, but nobody else does them better than his second-best.

DESERT STAR

A snap of the yo-yo string yanks Harry Bosch out of retirement yet again.

Los Angeles Councilman Jake Pearlman has resurrected the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit in order to reopen the case of his kid sister, Sarah, whose 1994 murder was instantly eclipsed in the press by the O.J. Simpson case when it broke a day later. Since not even a councilor can reconstitute a police unit for a single favored case, Det. Renée Ballard and her mostly volunteer (read: unpaid) crew are expected to reopen some other cold cases as well, giving Bosch a fresh opportunity to gather evidence against Finbar McShane, the crooked manager he’s convinced executed industrial contractor Stephen Gallagher, his wife, and their two children in 2013 and buried them in a single desert grave. The case has haunted Bosch more than any other he failed to close, and he’s fine to work the Pearlman homicide if it’ll give him another crack at McShane. As it turns out, the Pearlman case is considerably more interesting—partly because the break that leads the unit to a surprising new suspect turns out to be both fraught and misleading, partly because identifying the killer is only the beginning of Bosch’s problems. The windup of the Gallagher murders, a testament to sweating every detail and following every lead wherever it goes, is more heartfelt but less wily and dramatic. Fans of the aging detective who fear that he might be mellowing will be happy to hear that “putting him on a team did not make him a team player.”

Not the best of Connelly’s procedurals, but nobody else does them better than his second-best.

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-48565-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

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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