Next book


A tale based on historical facts that’s perfect for lovers of classic British mysteries.

A mysterious letter plunges a London detective into a world of myths and murder.

After the death of her husband in World War I, Kate Shackleton started a detective agency with the help of former police officer assistant Jim Sykes and her multitalented housekeeper, Mrs. Sugden. In July 1930, she gets a letter from someone named Ronald Creswell, an up-and-comer at Salts Mill in Yorkshire whose parents work as caretakers at Milner Field, a mansion with a checkered past. He asks Kate to journey to the South Lodge at Milner Field, where his family lives, so he can tell her a story that he thinks will be of interest. Curious, she agrees after doing some research on the town of Saltaire, the mill, and the mansion. Unfortunately, just after she arrives at the Lodge, Ronnie’s friend David Fairburn shows up with the news that he's found Ronnie's body floating in the mill's reservoir. There had been some conflict: Ronnie and Pamela Whitaker, a mill owner’s daughter, had been planning to marry despite opposition from both families. Pamela’s mother is determined that she marry wealthy Kevin Foxcroft, whose family business meshes with their own, though her father had developed a secret fondness for Ronnie. Pamela, who blames her parents’ opposition for Ronnie's death, has moved to her grandmother’s home, but she trusts Kate to find the truth. Mr. Whitaker hires Kate to look into the death, clear Fairburn, get the mansion ready for an auction, and look into industrial espionage at the mill. Accordingly, Mrs. Sugden organizes a cleaning team for the neglected mansion; Sykes looks into possible espionage; and Kate hunts Ronnie’s killer. The ill-fated mansion was built over an Elizabethan manor house with a well reputed to hold the bones of a murdered woman. Past and the present both come under investigation before the truth emerges.

A tale based on historical facts that’s perfect for lovers of classic British mysteries.

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 9781643857602

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

Next book


Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Next book


This book and its author are cleverer than you and want you to know it.

In this mystery, the narrator constantly adds commentary on how the story is constructed.

In 1929, during the golden age of mysteries, a (real-life) writer named Ronald Knox published the “10 Commandments of Detective Fiction,” 10 rules that mystery writers should obey in order to “play fair.” When faced with his own mystery story, our narrator, an author named Ernest Cunningham who "write[s] books about how to write books," feels like he must follow these rules himself. The story seemingly begins on the night his brother Michael calls to ask him to help bury a body—and shows up with the body and a bag containing $267,000. Fast-forward three years, and Ernie’s family has gathered at a ski resort to celebrate Michael’s release from prison. The family dynamics are, to put it lightly, complicated—and that’s before a man shows up dead in the snow and Michael arrives with a coffin in a truck. When the local cop arrests Michael for the murder, things get even more complicated: There are more deaths; Michael tells a story about a coverup involving their father, who was part of a gang called the Sabers; and Ernie still has (most of) the money and isn’t sure whom to trust or what to do with it. Eventually, Ernie puts all the pieces together and gathers the (remaining) family members and various extras for the great denouement. As the plot develops, it becomes clear that there’s a pretty interesting mystery at the heart of this novel, but Stevenson’s postmodern style has Ernie constantly breaking the fourth wall to explain how the structure of his story meets the criteria for a successful detective story. Some readers are drawn to mysteries because they love the formula and logic—this one’s for them. If you like the slow, sometimes-creepy, sometimes-comforting unspooling of a good mystery, it might not be your cup of tea—though the ending, to be fair, is still something of a surprise.

This book and its author are cleverer than you and want you to know it.

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-06-327902-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Mariner Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

Close Quickview