A fun farce that will either anger or delight the throngs of hopeful Larsson fans.



Readers hungry for more Stieg Larsson will find much to laugh about in this clever, tongue-in-cheek adventure starring Gotilda Salamander and Jerker Rhindtwist.

When Olaf Gedda is found dead in his rose garden, his friend and fishing buddy Salamander is arrested and accused of firing the fatal shot. Her prints were found on the bucket of worms beside the body, so who else could it be? Salamander’s old flame, journalist Rhindtwist, makes some inquiries and discovers that a few others had motive as well—the lawyer Manfred von Otter, the butler Henrik Paulsson and the business partner Gunnar Hakanson. Salamander escapes from jail to better conduct an investigation of her own via computer, and manages to snare the murder weapon while trying to take a break from the stress of being a hunted criminal. With the help of solid research on Rhindtwist’s part, and well-planted karate kicks on Salamander’s, the efficient duo finds its way to justice, Swedish style. Groome has done substantial homework and adeptly recreates the quick pace and clipped tone of Larsson’s supremely popular books. He proves himself clever at planting the same type of benign character clues—the copious amounts of coffee consumed, the frequency of sex between Rhindtwist and his managing editor—that Larsson also uses to excess. The few times Groome’s characters branch off their worn paths feel slightly false, such as when Salamander cries in front of the police. Also, Groome shows his writerly hand too much when he follows certain plot lines—“Salamander was stumped and thought that spending a little time fishing might clear her head.” (Her prototype would never have admitted to being stumped.) Groome’s spoof highlights what millions love about the Larsson books—fast-paced action and smart, unconventional heroes—and pays tribute to what drove at least a few of those fans a little crazy—occasionally flat dialogue and tedious moments of explanatory connection.

A fun farce that will either anger or delight the throngs of hopeful Larsson fans.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0979741524

Page Count: 47

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: March 10, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

Creepy, violent, and propulsive; a standout gothic mystery.


Lady detective Bridie Devine searches for a missing child and finds much more than she bargained for.

Bridie Devine is no stranger to the seedy underworld of Victorian London. An accomplished detective with medical training, she sometimes helps the police by examining bodies to determine the cause of death. Bridie recently failed to find a lost child, and when she’s approached about another missing child, the daughter of Sir Edmund Berwick, she isn’t enthusiastic about taking on the case. But Christabel Berwick is no ordinary child. Sir Edmund has hidden Christabel away her whole life and wants Bridie to believe this is an ordinary kidnapping. Bridie does a little digging and learns that Christabel isn’t his daughter so much as his prized specimen. Sir Edmund believes Christabel is a “merrow,” a darker and less romanticized version of a mermaid. Bridie is skeptical, but there are reports of Christabel’s sharp teeth, color-changing eyes, and ability to drown people on dry land. Given that Bridie’s new companion is a ghost who refuses to tell her why he’s haunting her, Bridie might want to open her mind a bit. There’s a lot going on in this singular novel, and none of it pretty. Bridie’s London is soaked with mud and blood, and her past is nightmarish at best. Kidd (Mr. Flood’s Last Resort, 2018, etc.) is an expert at setting a supernatural mood perfect for ghosts and merrows, but her human villains make them seem mundane by comparison. With so much detail and so many clever, Dickensian characters, readers might petition Kidd to give Bridie her own series.

Creepy, violent, and propulsive; a standout gothic mystery.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-2128-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet