Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

Kingdom of Speculation by Barbara Goldberg
Released: Feb. 15, 2015

"Poetry that excites and mystifies in all the best ways."
Goldberg pulls hard truths from simple tropes in this superb collection of verse. Read full book review >
Phoenix Mistress by Frank  Wadleigh
Released: April 17, 2015

"A tug of war between a first-person account of Vietnam and an espionage thriller; inconsistent and oddly structured but well-written and undeniably riveting."
In Wadleigh's historical thriller, a civilian intelligence analyst in Vietnam is horrified when his covert CIA gig leads him to suspect unlawful arrests and torture of anti-war protestors. Read full book review >

Clarion Call of the Last Kallus by Peter  Krass
Released: June 1, 2015

"This clever mystery will particularly delight hard-core wordophiles—and send them scrambling for the dictionary."
In Krass' (Carnegie, 2011, etc.) novel, a National Security Agency assassin finds that things aren't what they seem after he carries out orders to kill a fellow agent. Read full book review >
Incoming by Vic Amato
Released: March 31, 2015

"An uneven collection with a few pieces that make it worth a look.
Fictional tales of men facing challenges involving fidelity, fatherhood, military service, violence, and athletics. Read full book review >
THE GREAT SWINDLE by Pierre Lemaitre
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"The battlefield and hospital scenes convey Lemaitre's mastery of imagery, but his characters—Edouard in particular—fail to arouse much empathy in readers."
The battlefields of World War I give birth to two different, but related, schemes to swindle grieving French families out of their money. Read full book review >

THE GILDED HOUR by Sara Donati
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Page-turning and atmospheric, Donati's novel leaves readers with plenty of questions, perhaps signaling a sequel to come."
Another meticulously researched period drama with dashes of mystery and romance from Donati, this time set in 1880s New York. Read full book review >
PRIVATE LIFE by Josep Maria de Sagarra
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"In this casual, colloquial translation, Barcelona between the wars is full of tawdry vitality, much like the novel itself."
First published in 1932 and newly translated into English, this is a satirical, multigenerational saga about the intricate relationship between Barcelona's fading aristocracy and the city's sordid demimonde. Read full book review >
MOURNER'S BENCH by Sanderia Faye
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"An astute coming-of-age tale set against an all-too-relevant background."
In her debut novel, Faye sensitively explores the turbulence of the civil rights movement in small-town Arkansas through the eyes of a young African-American girl grappling with her religious beliefs. Read full book review >
PILLOW by Andrew Battershill
Released: Sept. 21, 2015

"A darkly humorous novel about a boxer with some fight in him."
A punch-drunk enforcer for a small-time crime syndicate tries to pull off a getaway score when his on-again, off-again girlfriend gets pregnant. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 21, 2015

"Quietly compelling."
In this slim novel, Danish author Juul's first to be translated into English, the conceits of crime fiction frame a lonely woman's disorienting struggle with loss and the treacheries of navigating emotional relationships. Read full book review >
A BEAM OF LIGHT by Andrea Camilleri
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Montalbano's 19th outing has a more melancholy tone than his previous cases (Game of Mirrors, 2015, etc.) but also boasts a nifty, twisty mystery at its core."
A full plate of unsolved crimes is not enough to prevent a veteran Sicilian police inspector from flirting with disaster. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A compelling and entertaining mix of sexy, complicated romance and menacing suspense."
After Gabi Masini rejects billionaire Hunter Blackwell as a client of her elite matchmaking service, he blackmails her into becoming his temporary wife, setting in motion a series of events that will endanger their lives and, to his surprise, his heart. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Beatriz Williams
June 23, 2015

In Beatriz Williams’ latest novel Tiny Little Thing, it’s the summer of 1966 and Christina Hardcastle—“Tiny” to her illustrious family—stands on the brink of a breathtaking future. Of the three Schuyler sisters, she’s the one raised to marry a man destined for leadership, and with her elegance and impeccable style, she presents a perfect camera-ready image in the dawning age of television politics. Together she and her husband, Frank, make the ultimate power couple: intelligent, rich, and impossibly attractive. It seems nothing can stop Frank from rising to national office, and he’s got his sights set on a senate seat in November. But as the season gets underway at the family estate on Cape Cod, three unwelcome visitors appear in Tiny’s perfect life. “A fascinating look at wealth, love, ambition, secrets, and what family members will and won’t do to protect each other,” our reviewer writes. View video >