A prime character-driven procedural with the added allure of Iceland.

A FULL COLD MOON

A Buffalo cop adds yet another bizarre case to her string of bad-luck investigations.

Police detective Lauren Riley’s badly injured partner, Shane Reese (The Murder Book, 2019, etc.), is recovering in Lauren’s home while she’s transferred from working cold cases to Homicide till he returns. Lauren’s stuck working with a detective soon to retire in what looks to become the tricky case of Gunnar Jonsson, from Reykjavik, found beaten to death with a brick near his upscale hotel. Although Buffalo has its share of murders, few of the victims are foreign citizens, so the FBI quickly becomes involved. A search of Jonsson’s room reveals DNA test results that explain his reason for visiting Buffalo: his discovery of the father he never knew. The product of a one-night stand, Gunnar has a half brother in Iceland and two newly discovered American half siblings, Brooklyn and Ryan, whose seriously ill father, John Hudson, had recently won a multimillion-dollar settlement that gives all his relatives a very good motive for murder. Lauren’s FBI partner, Special Agent Matthew Lawton, a computer expert with no real crime-solving experience, pitches in, and they turn up a new lead when the hotel’s daytime desk manager reveals that Gunnar was sharing a room with a Mr. Steinarsson, whom she assumed was his husband and who checked out the day of Gunnar’s murder. Pressed by the Icelandic government and the wealthy Mr. Hudson, the police and FBI send Lauren and Matt to Iceland looking for more clues while their colleagues keep after Brooklyn, a drug addict, and Ryan and his wife, who still seem like the best bet. In Iceland they partner with Berg Arnason as they seek out Steinarsson, a wealthy, well-connected businessman so determined to evade them that they begin to wonder what he’s hiding.

A prime character-driven procedural with the added allure of Iceland.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0727889874

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Severn House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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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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Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

OUT OF RANGE

Crime-fighting Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett outdoes himself during a temporary transfer from sleepy Saddlestring to fashionable Jackson Hole.

Will Jensen, the Jackson game warden, was a great guy and a model warden, but once his wife left him six months ago, he spiraled into madness and suicide, and now Joe’s been called to replace him. The transition is anything but smooth. There’s no question of Joe’s family coming with him, so he’s reduced to hoping he can get a signal for the cell-phone calls he squeezes into his busy schedule. En route to his new posting, Joe has to pursue a marauding grizzly. He arrives to meet a formidable series of challenges. Cantankerous outfitter Smoke Van Horn wants to go on attracting elk with illegal salt licks without the new warden’s interference. Animal Liberation Network activist Pi Stevenson wants him to publicize her cause and adopt a vegan diet. Developer Don Ennis wants to open a housing development for millionaires who like their meat free of additives. Ennis’s trophy wife Stella simply wants Joe—and he wants her back. As he wrestles with these demands, and with a supervisor riled over Joe’s track record of destroying government property in pursuit of bad guys (Trophy Hunt, 2004, etc.), Joe slowly becomes convinced that Will did not kill himself.

Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

Pub Date: May 5, 2005

ISBN: 0-399-15291-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2005

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