Though sometimes there’s so much going on that you lose sight of the high-stakes main event, Garrett continues to build an...

HOLLYWOOD ENDING

From the Detective by Day series , Vol. 2

An oddly assembled crew digs into the depths of Hollywood’s elite in an effort to solve crimes for cash.

Still savoring the sweet taste of success from her last case, which netted her $1,000 (Hollywood Homicide, 2018), Dayna Anderson’s ready to continue her crime-solving streak. Or, at the very least, her money-earning streak, which is especially welcome since she hasn’t worked as an actress since her Chubby’s Chicken commercial almost two years ago. Dayna’s near-accidental path as an amateur detective and bounty hunter for the LAPD tip line is bolstered by her friendship with uncharismatic, unromantic Aubrey S. Adams-Parker, an ex-cop who backs up Dayna’s Hollywood hunches with law and order. The real fun begins when Dayna teams up with her friends as sidekicks. Sienna’s determined to make it as an Instagram star; Emme’s a computer whiz with maybe too much time on her hands. Dayna’s latest case is the fatal shooting of Lyla Davis, a publicist for the Silver Sphere Organization. While Lyla’s death looks like collateral damage in an ATM holdup, Dayna’s savvy and digging suggest that someone could have wanted to keep a secret Lyla was in on. Dayna knows Hollywood secrets all too well. After all, she’s been living one ever since she hooked up with childhood friend Omari Grant, whose publicist doesn’t want it getting around that Omari’s with some average girl. But Dayna’s sleuthing and ad hoc team make her anything but average, and she cuts to the truth around Lyla’s death quickly but without thinking about the ramifications that secrets kill.

Though sometimes there’s so much going on that you lose sight of the high-stakes main event, Garrett continues to build an appealingly quirky crime-solving team.

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7387-5297-6

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Midnight Ink/Llewellyn

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

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

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One protest from an outraged innocent says it all: “This is America. This is Wyoming.”

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LONG RANGE

Once again, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett gets mixed up in a killing whose principal suspect is his old friend Nate Romanowski, whose attempts to live off the grid keep breaking down in a series of felony charges.

If Judge Hewitt hadn’t bent over to pick up a spoon that had fallen from his dinner table, the sniper set up nearly a mile from his house in the gated community of the Eagle Mountain Club would have ended his life. As it was, the victim was Sue Hewitt, leaving the judge alive and free to rail and threaten anyone he suspected of the shooting. Incoming Twelve Sleep County Sheriff Brendan Kapelow’s interest in using the case to promote his political ambitions and the judge’s inability to see further than his nose make them the perfect targets for a frame-up of Nate, who just wants to be left alone in the middle of nowhere to train his falcons and help his bride, Liv Brannon, raise their baby, Kestrel. Nor are the sniper, the sheriff, and the judge Nate’s only enemies. Orlando Panfile has been sent to Wyoming by the Sinaloan drug cartel to avenge the deaths of the four assassins whose careers Nate and Joe ended last time out (Wolf Pack, 2019). So it’s up to Joe, with some timely data from his librarian wife, Marybeth, to hire a lawyer for Nate, make sure he doesn’t bust out of jail before his trial, identify the real sniper, who continues to take an active role in the proceedings, and somehow protect him from a killer who regards Nate’s arrest as an unwelcome complication. That’s quite a tall order for someone who can’t shoot straight, who keeps wrecking his state-issued vehicles, and whose appalling mother-in-law, Missy Vankeuren Hand, has returned from her latest European jaunt to suck up all the oxygen in Twelve Sleep County to hustle some illegal drugs for her cancer-stricken sixth husband. But fans of this outstanding series will know better than to place their money against Joe.

One protest from an outraged innocent says it all: “This is America. This is Wyoming.”

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-53823-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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