Kooky characters, Southern charm, recipes.

MURDER IN THE BAYOU BONEYARD

Halloween festivities turn deadly for a rural Louisiana family.

Like most owners of large properties in and around picturesque Pelican, the Crozats are feeling the pinch. Young entrepreneurs like Gavin Grody, CEO of Rent My Digs, are cutting into their short-term rental business by buying up older homes and leasing them online under the guise of “home-sharing.” To boost business at their B&B, Tug and Ninette Crozat team up with the owners of the Belle Vista Plantation Resort to offer a Pelican’s Spooky Past package. Belle Vista’s offerings include a mystery play directed by local attorney Quentin MacIlhoney; in addition, the Crozats open a spa, complete with massage, skin care, and a clairvoyant. To mix business with pleasure, the Crozats invite Susannah and Doug MacDowell, distant relatives from Canada, to join them for the length of the promotion. Susie, a trained masseuse, agrees to work in the spa to subsidize their stay. Tug and Ninette’s daughter, Maggie, gives up her art studio for the duration so that the cousins and Doug’s adult children can have plenty of room during their stay but quickly realizes that the Canadians have their eyes on more than one building on the Crozats’ property. Soon the bodies start to pile up, and Maggie, who’s engaged to Pelican Police Department detective Bo Durand, decides that she’d better start another round of sleuthing if she doesn’t want to celebrate her wedding day behind bars.

Kooky characters, Southern charm, recipes.  

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-460-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE

In December 1926, mystery writer Agatha Christie really did disappear for 11 days. Was it a hoax? Or did her husband resort to foul play?

When Agatha meets Archie on a dance floor in 1912, the obscure yet handsome pilot quickly sweeps her off her feet with his daring. Archie seems smitten with her. Defying her family’s expectations, Agatha consents to marry Archie rather than her intended, the reliable yet boring Reggie Lucy. Although the war keeps them apart, straining their early marriage, Agatha finds meaningful work as a nurse and dispensary assistant, jobs that teach her a lot about poisons, knowledge that helps shape her early short stories and novels. While Agatha’s career flourishes after the war, Archie suffers setback after setback. Determined to keep her man happy, Agatha finds herself cooking elaborate meals, squelching her natural affections for their daughter (after all, Archie must always feel like the most important person in her life), and downplaying her own troubles, including her grief over her mother's death. Nonetheless, Archie grows increasingly morose. In fact, he is away from home the day Agatha disappears. By the time Detective Chief Constable Kenward arrives, Agatha has already been missing for a day. After discovering—and burning—a mysterious letter from Agatha, Archie is less than eager to help the police. His reluctance and arrogance work against him, and soon the police, the newspapers, the Christies’ staff, and even his daughter’s classmates suspect him of harming his wife. Benedict concocts a worthy mystery of her own, as chapters alternate between Archie’s negotiation of the investigation and Agatha’s recounting of their relationship. She keeps the reader guessing: Which narrator is reliable? Who is the real villain?

A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8272-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

The first of Woods’ many collaborations to be unquestionably inferior to his solo performances.

JACKPOT

CIA operative–turned-killer Teddy Fay, aka Hollywood producer Billy Barnett, gets his fifth sort-of-starring role in a splashy, muddled thriller set in Macau.

Centurion Studios president Ben Bacchetti and his partner, director Peter Barrington, see no reason why their visit to the Macau Film Festival should be all business. They’re dismayed when their visit to a baccarat table at the Golden Desert Casino and Resort is used as material for a deep-fake video that seems to show them cheating. The video, which has evidently been engineered by Bing-Wen “Bingo” Jo, bids fair drag them into the iron grip of fearsome media/casino mogul Arrow Donaldson, for whom Bingo works off the books on matters concerning digital technology and violence. But Centurion producer Teddy, who’s every bit the equal of Bingo and Donaldson fixer Zhou "Ziggy" Peng put together, is on the case. His improbable sometime partners are Li Feng, the heiress and CFO of QuiTel who’s fighting to keep her company exempt from the U.S. blacklist of competing Chinese telecom corporations suspected of spying, and Millie Martindale, a CIA administrator who’s a lot more resourceful than most administrators you’ll ever meet. The first partnership between Woods and Quertermous is full of casino underlings, biddable cops, fake shootings, and doubles living and dead. But the plot never thickens, and readers confident that Teddy will live to fight, pressure, cheat, and kill another day may be indifferent to the fate of the nefarious forces arrayed against him.

The first of Woods’ many collaborations to be unquestionably inferior to his solo performances.

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-18845-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

more