Giving Jane more spark than readers have seen in a while, Hart (The Lost Women of Lost Lake, 2011, etc.) brings new life to...

REST FOR THE WICKED

Her partner’s enforced stay in the hospital won’t stop a newly minted private eye from investigating the murder of his nephew.

Now that she’s officially licensed as a private investigator, Jane Lawless is ready to get down to the business of, well, investigating rather than focusing on managing the club and restaurant she owns. If only her first case didn’t involve her partner, A.J. Nolan, whose government name is “Alfonse Jasper.” Nolan needs help when his nephew, DeAndre Moore, is knifed outside of GaudyLights, Minneapolis’ local strip joint. The bullet lodged for some time in Nolan’s back has begun to migrate at an unfortunate time, leaving him bedridden and unable to investigate. GaudyLights isn’t quite what Jane was expecting. Owner Vince Bessetti tries to convince Jane to buy into the business; friendly law student/stripper Georgia gets a little too friendly; and the club’s food service is run by Shanice Williams, the cook Jane fired from her own kitchens. The murder appears solved when club dishwasher Elvio Ramos steps forward to take the blame, but a little digging from Jane suggests that there’s more to the story. She relies on the help of bartender Avi Greenberg to flesh out the situation a bit more, but since it’s been some time since Jane had a main squeeze, her mind is soon on Avi’s flesh itself. Jane’s closest companion, theater guru Cordelia Thorn, is in rare form, throwing out sassy one-liners as if she were on the stage rather than in the wings.

Giving Jane more spark than readers have seen in a while, Hart (The Lost Women of Lost Lake, 2011, etc.) brings new life to an aging series and hope for future installments.

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-250-00186-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

A KILLER EDITION

Too much free time leads a New Hampshire bookseller into yet another case of murder.

Now that Tricia Miles has Pixie Poe and Mr. Everett practically running her bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, she finds herself at loose ends. Her wealthy sister, Angelica, who in the guise of Nigela Ricita has invested heavily in making Stoneham a bookish tourist attraction, is entering the amateur competition for the Great Booktown Bake-Off. So Tricia, who’s recently taken up baking as a hobby, decides to join her and spends a lot of time looking for the perfect cupcake recipe. A visit to another bookstore leaves Tricia witnessing a nasty argument between owner Joyce Widman and next-door neighbor Vera Olson over the trimming of tree branches that hang over Joyce’s yard—also overheard by new town police officer Cindy Pearson. After Tricia accepts Joyce’s offer of some produce from her garden, they find Vera skewered by a pitchfork, and when Police Chief Grant Baker arrives, Joyce is his obvious suspect. Ever since Tricia moved to Stoneham, the homicide rate has skyrocketed (Poisoned Pages, 2018, etc.), and her history with Baker is fraught. She’s also become suspicious about the activities at Pets-A-Plenty, the animal shelter where Vera was a dedicated volunteer. Tricia’s offered her expertise to the board, but president Toby Kingston has been less than welcoming. With nothing but baking on her calendar, Tricia has plenty of time to investigate both the murder and her vague suspicions about the shelter. Plenty of small-town friendships and rivalries emerge in her quest for the truth.

An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0272-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

OUT OF RANGE

Crime-fighting Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett outdoes himself during a temporary transfer from sleepy Saddlestring to fashionable Jackson Hole.

Will Jensen, the Jackson game warden, was a great guy and a model warden, but once his wife left him six months ago, he spiraled into madness and suicide, and now Joe’s been called to replace him. The transition is anything but smooth. There’s no question of Joe’s family coming with him, so he’s reduced to hoping he can get a signal for the cell-phone calls he squeezes into his busy schedule. En route to his new posting, Joe has to pursue a marauding grizzly. He arrives to meet a formidable series of challenges. Cantankerous outfitter Smoke Van Horn wants to go on attracting elk with illegal salt licks without the new warden’s interference. Animal Liberation Network activist Pi Stevenson wants him to publicize her cause and adopt a vegan diet. Developer Don Ennis wants to open a housing development for millionaires who like their meat free of additives. Ennis’s trophy wife Stella simply wants Joe—and he wants her back. As he wrestles with these demands, and with a supervisor riled over Joe’s track record of destroying government property in pursuit of bad guys (Trophy Hunt, 2004, etc.), Joe slowly becomes convinced that Will did not kill himself.

Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

Pub Date: May 5, 2005

ISBN: 0-399-15291-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2005

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