Simple, with sweet treats like Wisconsin’s Cozy Kringle, but with a couple of neat twists.

DEADLY DELIGHTS

A cooking contest goes kaput when the lecherous head judge is dispatched.

Teddie St. John loves sharing her baked goods with others. So, naturally, she’s determined to win the Lake Potawatomi Bake-Off championship this year even though she also loves sharing tips with her competitors, who really put the friendly in friendly competition. But all that friendliness can’t make up for the ick factor of bake-off judge Lester Morris’ overfriendliness. Les thinks he’s Wisconsin’s answer to Paul Hollywood, but the only thing the two have in common is their age. Teddie isn’t about to let Les distract her from showing off her prize cherry pie, but she loses that choice when Les is found dead in the competition tent with Teddie’s family heirloom rolling pin conveniently by his side as the likely murder weapon. Now Teddie has to delve into Les’ yucky life to find out who else won’t miss him too much and might even be the murderer. Ably assisted by her best buds, Char Jorgensen and Sharon Hansen, Teddie resolves to get to the bottom of things immediately. Well, right after she figures out what’s been going on with her mother, who seems to be having an affair with a married man. No! Teddie and her mom have never been close, so Teddie’s got to dig in secret. This may be a case where truth is stranger than fiction.

Simple, with sweet treats like Wisconsin’s Cozy Kringle, but with a couple of neat twists.

Pub Date: June 8, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64385-592-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A fierce 13-year-old girl propels this dark, moving thriller.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

WE BEGIN AT THE END

A police chief who never grew up and a girl who never had a childhood try to solve the murder of someone they love.

A tiny, picturesque town on the California coast is an emotional prison for the characters of this impressive, often lyrical thriller. Its two main characters are a cop with an improbable naïveté and a child too old for her years. Walk (short for Walker, his last name) is chief of the two-person police department in Cape Haven and a native son. He’s kind and conscientious and haunted by a crime that occurred when he was a teenager, the death of a girl named Sissy Radley, whose body Walk discovered. Duchess Radley is that child’s niece, the daughter of Star Radley, the town’s doomed beauty. Most men lust after Star, including several of her neighbors and perhaps a sinister real estate developer named Dickie Darke. But Star is a substance abuser in a downward spiral, and her fatherless kids, Duchess and her younger brother, Robin, get, at best, Star’s benign neglect. Walk, who’s known Star since they were kids, is the family’s protector. As the book begins, all of them are coming to terms with the return to town of Vincent King. He’s Walk’s former best friend, Star’s former boyfriend, and he’s served a 30-year prison term for the death of Sissy (and that of a man he killed in prison). Someone will end up dead, and the murder mystery structures the book. But its core is Duchess, a rage-filled girl who is her brother’s tender, devoted caretaker, a beauty like her mother, and a fist-swinging fighter who introduces herself as “the outlaw Duchess Day Radley.” Whitaker crafts an absorbing plot around crimes in the present and secrets long buried, springing surprises to the very end.

A fierce 13-year-old girl propels this dark, moving thriller.

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-75966-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more