An intricate, lively detective novel with a wink.


The Case Files of Roderick Misely, Consultant

An aspiring lawyer scrapes together a living as a Renaissance man and amateur sleuth in Rieger’s witty debut.

Roderick Misely has dreams of joining the legal profession, but his father’s tarnished name has prevented any of the lawyers in the 1950s town of Elk Neck from taking him on as an apprentice. So Misely does whatever he can to skirt as close to the legal profession as possible as an all-purpose consultant. Chasing down lost dogs for the reward and taking on menial typing jobs with the municipal government are only a few of the tasks that keep a can of stew on his hot plate or enough change in his pocket for a meal at the local Greek restaurant. His specialty, however, is solving seemingly unsolvable mysteries, from the theft of expensive jewels at the local museum to the blackmail of a town official. Sometimes, Roderick acts at the request of a desperate client, but other times he hangs his hopes on meddling without invitation of a possible payday. Each chapter is a glimpse into one of those cases and the variety of creative but legally fuzzy methods that Roderick employs to crack them. These bite-sized whodunits toe the line between the zany and dangerous without reading over-the-top—a savvy mixture from which even more seasoned writers could learn a thing or two. All the while, Rieger’s writing is effortlessly funny, with deadpan humor coloring even the most mundane moments: “The two shook hands. Misely could have sworn he was handling a live, wet eel. Instinctively, he looked around for a towel, but of course, there was no towel.” Roderick himself is fairly humorless but is nonetheless a refreshing take on the 1950s gumshoe. He’s a smooth talker and skillful investigator, with none of the cool glamor or idealized independence of some other fictional private eyes. Eschewing friends, he’s certainly out for himself, but his freedom comes with a healthy dose of reality. Life hasn’t turned out the way he expected; he struggles to make ends meet and sleeps on a cot in his cluttered “eyesore” of a suite. Clever and comical, this page-turner will have readers furrowing their brows one minute and laughing out loud the next.

An intricate, lively detective novel with a wink.

Pub Date: April 25, 2013

ISBN: 978-1593308186

Page Count: 342

Publisher: Aventine Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

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A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.


In Walsh’s American debut, a woman desperately tries to find out why the man she spent a whirlwind week with never called.

Sarah has just separated from her American husband and is visiting her hometown in England when she meets Eddie. He’s kind and charming, and although they only spend one week together, she falls in love. When he has to leave for a trip, she knows they’ll keep in touch—they’re already making plans for the rest of their lives. But then Eddie never calls, and Sarah’s increasingly frantic efforts to contact him are fruitless. Is he hurt? Is he dead? As her friends tell her, there’s a far greater likelihood that he’s just blowing her off—she’s been ghosted. After trying to track Eddie down at a football game, Sarah starts to become ashamed of herself—after all, she’s almost 40 years old and she’s essentially stalking a man who never called her. But as Sarah slowly learns, she and Eddie didn’t actually meet randomly—they both have a connection to an accident that happened years ago, and it may have something to do with why he disappeared. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of Eddie’s and Sarah’s pasts are revealed, and the truth behind their connection is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. The barriers between Sarah and Eddie seem insurmountable at times, and although their issues are resolved in a tidy manner, the emotions behind their actions are always believable. Walsh has created a deeply moving romance with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of grief at its heart.

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

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A withdrawn graduate student embarks on an epic quest to restore balance to the world in this long-anticipated follow-up to The Night Circus (2011).

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a typical millennial introvert; he likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. But when he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he's unnerved—and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger, and Zachary must decide whether to trust the handsome stranger he meets at a highflying literary fundraiser in New York or to retreat back to his thesis and forget the whole affair. In a high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. Clocking in at more than 500 pages, the novel requires patience as Morgenstern puts all the pieces in place, but it is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion. As in The Night Circus, Morgenstern is at her best when she imagines worlds and rooms and parties in vivid detail, right down to the ballroom stairs "festooned with lanterns and garlands of paper dipped in gold" or a cloak carved from ice with "ships and sailors and sea monsters...lost in the drifting snow." This novel is a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54121-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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