An edgy tale replete with searing instances of wartime terror and the desperation it drives people to.

DOLLMAKER

Winter 1943. Under orders from Admiral Doenitz, the offbeat detecting duo of Gestapo Hauptsturmführer Herman Kohler and Sûreté Chief Inspector Jean-Louis St-Cyr (Kaleidoscope, 2001, etc.) travel to Brittany in Occupied France to investigate the murder of a widely loathed shopkeeper. Préfet Kerjean has arrested U-boat captain Johann Kaestnes for the crime, but Paulette, the shopkeeper’s abused daughter, announces that her father knew a secret about the relationship between stunning Madame Charbonneau and the Préfet and the Captain. Madame’s stepdaughter hates her, her concert-pianist husband is dementedly digging up artifacts in the hills, and bits of an antique doll belonging to her family have been found near the shopkeeper’s corpse. Could that doll have anything to do with the missing funds the shopkeeper and Kaestnes were going to use to open a doll-making business? While Kohler concentrates on the German confederates of Kaestnes, St-Cyr inquires into the disappearance of Kerjean’s son—and runs afoul of a protective husband, clandestine shipping, and blackout restrictions on the reading of old press clippings. Palming a cyanide tablet conveniently left available, St-Cyr succeeds in stopping a suicide, but Kohler is too late to rescue Paulette and her wheelchair-bound mother. Nazis loom. A Jew is uncovered. In the end, Kohler and St-Cyr barely have time to absorb the tragic resolution of the case before they’re assigned to yet another murder.

An edgy tale replete with searing instances of wartime terror and the desperation it drives people to.

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-56947-285-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Soho

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2002

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AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

This ran in the S.E.P. and resulted in more demands for the story in book form than ever recorded. Well, here it is and it is a honey. Imagine ten people, not knowing each other, not knowing why they were invited on a certain island house-party, not knowing their hosts. Then imagine them dead, one by one, until none remained alive, nor any clue to the murderer. Grand suspense, a unique trick, expertly handled.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 1939

ISBN: 0062073478

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Dodd, Mead

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1939

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The parts with Nero Wolfe, the only character Goldsborough brings to life, are almost worth waiting for.

ARCHIE GOES HOME

In Archie Goodwin's 15th adventure since the death of his creator, Rex Stout, his gossipy Aunt Edna Wainwright lures him from 34th Street to his carefully unnamed hometown in Ohio to investigate the death of a well-hated bank president.

Tom Blankenship, the local police chief, thinks there’s no case since Logan Mulgrew shot himself. But Archie’s mother, Marjorie Goodwin, and Aunt Edna know lots of people with reason to have killed him. Mulgrew drove rival banker Charles Purcell out of business, forcing Purcell to get work as an auto mechanic, and foreclosed on dairy farmer Harold Mapes’ spread. Lester Newman is convinced that Mulgrew murdered his ailing wife, Lester’s sister, so that he could romance her nurse, Carrie Yeager. And Donna Newman, Lester’s granddaughter, might have had an eye on her great-uncle’s substantial estate. Nor is Archie limited to mulling over his relatives’ gossip, for Trumpet reporter Verna Kay Padgett, whose apartment window was shot out the night her column raised questions about the alleged suicide, is perfectly willing to publish a floridly actionable summary of the leading suspects that delights her editor, shocks Archie, and infuriates everyone else. The one person missing is Archie’s boss, Nero Wolfe (Death of an Art Collector, 2019, etc.), and fans will breathe a sigh of relief when he appears at Marjorie’s door, debriefs Archie, notices a telltale clue, prepares dinner for everyone, sleeps on his discovery, and arranges a meeting of all parties in Marjorie’s living room in which he names the killer.

The parts with Nero Wolfe, the only character Goldsborough brings to life, are almost worth waiting for.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5040-5988-6

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Mysterious Press

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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