Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

AFTER DISASTERS by Viet Dinh
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"A strong debut from an author capable of immersing the reader in a foreign world."
In his debut novel, Dinh explores the complicated world of aid workers and the many ways people can be drawn to work that is dangerous, demanding, and often thankless. Read full book review >
Triple Love Score by Brandi Megan Granett
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"An entertaining romance novel with an engrossing plot, a conflicted heroine, and a couple of surprising, poignant takeaways."
A young poetry professor debates whether to follow her heart or mind. Read full book review >

MR CAMPION'S FAULT by Mike Ripley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"The mystery is slight but pleasing, and packing Margery Allingham's notoriously fey hero, whom advancing age has appropriately subdued, off to Yorkshire is an inspired coup, tapping effectively into the class conflicts that power the story."
An untimely death summons Albert Campion's son and daughter-in-law to a boys' school in the Yorkshire coal-mining village of Denby Ash, where they're soon followed by their famous father, a relic of golden age detection, and his long-suffering wife. Read full book review >
OUT OF NOWHERE by Susan Dunlap
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"Dunlap's creation of occupations for side characters that seem to exist solely to help her heroine (Switchback, 2015, etc.) makes sense given that her writing focuses more on ends and means than enjoying the journey."
A stunt double and Zen student adds sleuthing to her resume as she asks what might have driven her brother out of town. Read full book review >
DRAGON FRUIT by Karen Keskinen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"Keskinen (Black Current, 2014, etc.) seldom treats her characters with the gravity they merit, thrusting them into strange situations and making weighty decisions about their fates with little warning."
A private eye reluctantly signs on to help a transgender Mexican immigrant look for the daughter she fathered. Read full book review >

PLAYING WITH FIRE by Gerald Elias
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"Readers who aren't unduly put off by the hero, whose fictional ancestors include both Sherlock Holmes and Ebenezer Scrooge, will enjoy a most unseasonal fable of the little insurance fraud that grew and grew. Merry Christmas."
Christmas 1992 brings blind violinist Daniel Jacobus (Death and Transfiguration, 2012, etc.) a mystery that creeps ever nearer his Berkshires retreat. Read full book review >
A SHOCKING ASSASSINATION by Cora Harrison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"The second in Harrison's historical series (A Shameful Murder, 2015) paints a fascinating picture of life in Ireland as it makes the painful transition to a republic. A vexing mystery and a clever sleuth cap it off."
The burning and looting may have subsided, but Ireland's struggle for independence has left the city of Cork still very much on edge in the 1920s. Read full book review >
DANGEROUS CARGO by Pauline Rowson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"The investigator's second outing is even more muscular than his debut, as Rowson edges her detective puzzles ever closer to thriller territory."
Ex-commando Art Marvik (Silent Running, 2015) tracks down the killer of a man who died twice. Read full book review >
FINAL ACT by J.M. Gregson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"An appealing cast of characters both on set and off makes Gregson's latest outing a pleasure for procedural buffs."
Lambert and Hook (A Necessary End, 2015, etc.) are stymied by an array of suspects who all make their living by deception. Read full book review >
WHEN YELLOW LEAVES by James Reiss
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"When Reiss' novel clicks, it works as both a strange vision of our own world and an evocative landscape unto itself; when it doesn't, the result is flatter and less insightful about the present day."
The protagonist of this satirical and borderline-dystopian novel must navigate familial crises, natural disasters, and the reach of a boorish, omnipresent head of state. Read full book review >
Coulrophobia & Fata Morgana by Jacob M Appel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"An ambitious and provocative grouping of stories filled with peculiar characters."
A collection of short stories plumbs the depths of the human psyche. Read full book review >
HEY, LIBERAL! by Shawn Shiflett
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"An imperfect but admirably frank exploration of the challenges of integration in the late 1960s."
The white son of a minister active in the civil rights movement is forced to question the values he grew up with after he begins attending a mostly African-American high school in turbulent 1969 Chicago. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Andrea Beaty
August 30, 2016

In Andrea Beaty and David Roberts’ new picture book Ada Twist, Scientist is like her classmates, builder Iggy and inventor Rosie: scientist Ada, a character of color, has a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. Not afraid of failure, she embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble! Inspired by real-life makers such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, Ada Twist, Scientist champions girl power and women scientists, and brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science. “Cool and stylish,” our reviewer writes. View video >