Given the challenge of matching her first novel’s gorgeous premise, Cosimano does a remarkable job. What next?


Fresh from a debut in which she kept getting offered money to kill people who then fortuitously died, novelist Finlay Donovan goes another round with murder most absurd.

Somebody besides Finn must be unhappy with her ex, sod farmer Steven Donovan, because a message-board poster identifying herself only as FedUp broadly hints that she’d pay $100,000 to anyone who’d dispose of him. As Finn looks on in virtual horror, another poster, EasyClean, accepts the proposition. Run ragged as she already is by the usual domestic problems—caring for her two small children, juggling hot law student Julian Baker and Nicholas Anthony, the Fairfax County detective who’s still interested in her despite what she put him through in Finlay Donovan Is Killing It (2021), struggling to get started on her next suspense novel—Finn tries to rescue Steven, who deserves execration but not execution, by hiring a teenage network expert named Cam to identify EasyClean. When Cam comes up empty, the only other thing Finn can think of is to volunteer to do the hit herself for half the price. Unfortunately, she makes her cut-rate offer using a public Wi-Fi connection, exposing herself and her nanny/sidekick, endlessly resourceful accounting student Veronica Ruiz, to all manner of perils. The discovery that the message board is secretly owned by Feliks Zhirov, the mobster Finn’s last adventure ended up sending to prison, just increases the riotous complications. Long after everything has apparently spiraled out of control or even comprehension, the author springs one last revelation that, if it doesn’t pull everything together, goes a long way toward justifying the bumpy ride.

Given the challenge of matching her first novel’s gorgeous premise, Cosimano does a remarkable job. What next?

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-2502-4218-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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One of the most successful of Box’s increasingly ambitious have-it-all thrillers.


The Wyoming winter brings maverick game warden Joe Pickett poachers, murderers, spies, and some ferocious bad weather.

Seeking a wounded elk and a marauding wolf during a brutal snowstorm, Joe is amazed to discover a human corpse sticking halfway out of a metal outbuilding on the Double Diamond ranch. While he’s conscientiously photographing the crime scene, somebody starts shooting at him. Ranch foreman Clay Hutmacher refuses to say anything about the building’s purpose until he checks with billionaire ranch owner Michael Thompson; Gov. Colter Allen abruptly orders Joe off the case; and departing Twelve Sleep County Sheriff Scott Tibbs, the boss who’d do anything to avoid having Joe make waves, reports that there’s no body at the place he described. Meanwhile, Joe’s old friend Nate Romanowski, an outlaw falconer, is approached by ex–Army Ranger Jason Demo, who’s trying to attract anti-government malcontents to join the secessionist Sovereign Nation, and Joe realizes that his predatory mother-in-law, Missy, is neglecting her fifth or sixth husband, attorney Marcus Hand, who’s dying of pancreatic cancer, to cozy up to Allen, who plans to launch his campaign for reelection at the public library headed by Joe’s wife, Marybeth. What does the death of University of Wyoming engineering professor Zhang Wei, if that’s really who the dead man was, have to do with all of this malfeasance? Like a patient spider, Box plays out plotline after plotline, balancing his sympathies adroitly between anti-establishment libertarians who’ve had enough of the coastal elites and officers sworn to serve and protect their communities, before knotting them all together with a climactic revelation that for better or worse will leave you gasping.

One of the most successful of Box’s increasingly ambitious have-it-all thrillers.

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2023

ISBN: 9780593331309

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

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A compelling take on the classic whodunit.

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The shocking murder of a public figure at a high-end hotel has everyone guessing who the culprit might be.

Twenty-five-year-old Molly Gray, an eccentric young woman who's obsessed with cleaning but doesn't quite have the same ability to navigate social cues as those around her, loves working as a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. Raised by her old-fashioned grandmother, who loved nothing more than cleaning and watching Columbo reruns, Molly has an overly polite and straightforward manner that can make her seem odd and off-putting to her colleagues despite her being the hardest worker at the hotel. After her grandmother's death, Molly's rigid life begins to lose some of its long-held balance, and when the infamous Mr. Charles Black, a rich and powerful businessman suspected of various criminal enterprises, is found murdered in one of the rooms she cleans, her whole world gets turned upside down. Before Molly knows what's happening, her odd demeanor has the police convinced she's guilty of the crime, and certain people at the hotel are a little too pleased about it. With the help of a few new friends (and while fending off new foes), she must begin to untangle the mystery of who really killed Mr. Black to get herself off the hook once and for all. Though the unusual ending might frustrate some readers, this unique debut will keep them reading.

A compelling take on the classic whodunit.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35615-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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