Top-drawer evidence that a practiced hand can still ring memorably creepy changes on the classic whodunit.

DON’T LOOK BACK

Murder strikes a placid Norwegian village in this deceptively understated novel, the first of veteran Fossum’s to appear in the US.

The quietly nasty surprises begin when nice young Raymond Låke, who has Down’s Syndrome, picks up little Ragnhild Album and takes her to his incapacitated father’s farm to visit the rabbits. As the police search for the girl, experienced readers will be holding their breath in pained anticipation, but all for naught; Ragnhild returns home none the worse for wear except for a tale about a teenaged schoolgirl she and Raymond saw lying up near Serpent Tarn. The girl was naked except for an anorak covering her still body. Medical evidence indicates that Annie Holland drowned without a single mark of violence, and that she would have died anyway within a few months from ovarian cancer that had spread to her liver. So why would someone have taken the trouble to kill her, undress her after death, and arrange her peacefully at the side of the lake? Inspector Konrad Sejer, a family man still mourning his late wife, proceeds methodically by questioning Annie’s neighbors and friends, but although no one has a harsh word for her, they all seem to have secrets of their own, from a traumatic family suicide to a long-buried conviction for rape. Which of those secrets was worth killing to preserve?

Top-drawer evidence that a practiced hand can still ring memorably creepy changes on the classic whodunit.

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-15-101032-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2004

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DEATH ON THE NILE

A HERCULE POIROT MYSTERY (HERCULE POIROT MYSTERIES)

One of her best. Poirot, again on vacation, falls foul of a murder on board a Nile river steamer, followed by two successive murders, obviously connected. A sophisticated group, an ingenious plot, clever deduction, swift-paced narrative. A little romance on the side lends glamour. First rate entertainment.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 1938

ISBN: 0062073559

Page Count: 354

Publisher: Dodd, Mead

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1938

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An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

A KILLER EDITION

Too much free time leads a New Hampshire bookseller into yet another case of murder.

Now that Tricia Miles has Pixie Poe and Mr. Everett practically running her bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, she finds herself at loose ends. Her wealthy sister, Angelica, who in the guise of Nigela Ricita has invested heavily in making Stoneham a bookish tourist attraction, is entering the amateur competition for the Great Booktown Bake-Off. So Tricia, who’s recently taken up baking as a hobby, decides to join her and spends a lot of time looking for the perfect cupcake recipe. A visit to another bookstore leaves Tricia witnessing a nasty argument between owner Joyce Widman and next-door neighbor Vera Olson over the trimming of tree branches that hang over Joyce’s yard—also overheard by new town police officer Cindy Pearson. After Tricia accepts Joyce’s offer of some produce from her garden, they find Vera skewered by a pitchfork, and when Police Chief Grant Baker arrives, Joyce is his obvious suspect. Ever since Tricia moved to Stoneham, the homicide rate has skyrocketed (Poisoned Pages, 2018, etc.), and her history with Baker is fraught. She’s also become suspicious about the activities at Pets-A-Plenty, the animal shelter where Vera was a dedicated volunteer. Tricia’s offered her expertise to the board, but president Toby Kingston has been less than welcoming. With nothing but baking on her calendar, Tricia has plenty of time to investigate both the murder and her vague suspicions about the shelter. Plenty of small-town friendships and rivalries emerge in her quest for the truth.

An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0272-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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