Guest’s fifth adventure (Troubled Bones, 2011, etc.) again provides a lively tale of historical interest smoothly combined...

BLOOD LANCE

Despite being disgraced and living by his wits, a former knight cannot forget his vows.

Crispin Guest, aka the Tracker, is wearily returning home when he sees someone falling from the London Bridge. His plunge into the icy waters is to no avail, for the man was dead before he hit the water. Although many claim that the armorer was a suicide, Guest thinks otherwise and, with help from his loyal servant and assistant, Jack, is soon embroiled in the man’s dubious affairs. The beautiful Anabel Coterel claims to have been the armourer’s betrothed. Though at first she too says his death was suicide, she changes her mind and begs Guest to help her and her father, an often-inebriated tailor, recover their stolen rent money before they’re turned out of their house. A visit from Sir Thomas Saunfayl drags Guest deeper into a dangerous situation. Saunfayl, a friend from Guest’s former chivalric life, is accused of deserting and will die unless he can prevail in a jousting competition. Desperate to ensure his victory, he has paid a fortune to procure the Spear of Longinus, a religious relic he believes will give him that power—a relic apparently stolen from the armorer, who was acting as a go-between. When Geoffrey Chaucer, another friend from the past, arrives on the scene searching for the mysterious spear and Guest is harassed by knights loyal to the earl of Suffolk, King Richard’s chancellor, Guest wonders if his search for the relic and the murderer will be his last case.

Guest’s fifth adventure (Troubled Bones, 2011, etc.) again provides a lively tale of historical interest smoothly combined with a worthy mystery.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-250-00018-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how...

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THE A LIST

A convicted killer’s list of five people he wants dead runs the gamut from the wife he’s already had murdered to franchise heroine Ali Reynolds.

Back in the day, women came from all over to consult Santa Clarita fertility specialist Dr. Edward Gilchrist. Many of them left his care happily pregnant, never dreaming that the father of the babies they carried was none other than the physician himself, who donated his own sperm rather than that of the handsome, athletic, disease-free men pictured in his scrapbook. When Alexandra Munsey’s son, Evan, is laid low by the kidney disease he’s inherited from his biological father and she returns to Gilchrist in search of the donor’s medical records, the roof begins to fall in on him. By the time it’s done falling, he’s serving a life sentence in Folsom Prison for commissioning the death of his wife, Dawn, the former nurse and sometime egg donor who’d turned on him. With nothing left to lose, Gilchrist tattoos himself with the initials of five people he blames for his fall: Dawn; Leo Manuel Aurelio, the hit man he’d hired to dispose of her; Kaitlyn Todd, the nurse/receptionist who took Dawn’s place; Alex Munsey, whose search for records upset his apple cart; and Ali Reynolds, the TV reporter who’d helped put Alex in touch with the dozen other women who formed the Progeny Project because their children looked just like hers. No matter that Ali’s been out of both California and the news business for years; Gilchrist and his enablers know that revenge can’t possibly be served too cold. Wonder how far down that list they’ll get before Ali, aided once more by Frigg, the methodical but loose-cannon AI first introduced in Duel to the Death (2018), turns on them?

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how little the boundary-challenged AI, who gets into the case more or less inadvertently, differs from your standard human sidekick with issues.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5101-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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The loose ends that make this the least satisfactory of Joe’s three cases to date still don’t inhibit Box’s gift for nonstop...

WINTERKILL

The latest in an award-winning series set in the Bighorn Mountains (Savage Run, 2002, etc.).

Minutes after Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett arrests Lamar Gardiner, District Supervisor for the Twelve Sleep National Forest, for firing into a herd of elk, killing seven animals and blindly continuing to reload with cigarettes after he runs out of shells, Gardiner manages to handcuff Joe to his steering wheel and bolt off into a winter storm, only to turn up pinned to a tree with a pair of arrows, his throat cut. And things get even messier from that point on. The attack on a federal agent, together with reports that the Nation of the Rocky Mountain Sovereign Citizens has established an encampment in Twelve Sleep, brings gung-ho US Forest Service investigator Melinda Strickland and FBI sharpshooter Dick Munker, a veteran of Waco and Ruby Ridge, to town. Strickland maintains that she’s just trying to get justice for a murdered official, but she seems awfully eager to tie the perp to the Sovereigns. By the time Joe arrests one of Gardiner’s disappointing killers and identifies the other, Strickland and Munker are already planning an all-out attack on the encampment. The prospect is a personal nightmare for Joe, since Jeannie Keeley, the drifter whose abandoned daughter April Joe and his wife have been trying to adopt, has reclaimed April and spirited her off to the dubious shelter of the Sovereigns.

The loose ends that make this the least satisfactory of Joe’s three cases to date still don’t inhibit Box’s gift for nonstop action and his ability to see every side of the most divisive issues in the West.

Pub Date: May 12, 2003

ISBN: 0-399-15045-5

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2003

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