The partners dance around their powerful feelings in a stunning Irish landscape, making this far more than an ordinary...


Two Buffalo detectives have yet another brush with death.

Lauren Riley and her partner and housemate, Shane Reese, have an intense and complex relationship on the cusp of being sexual. They are such stars at solving cold case murders that they’ve earned the enmity of Buffalo Police Department higher-ups annoyed with their fame. Forced to have her annual physical, Riley is bummed when she’s put on medical leave after refusing to admit she hasn't fully recovered from having been stabbed in another high-profile case. Bored, she renews her private investigator’s license and waits for an interesting case, which promptly appears when Sharon Whitney hires her to go to Ireland to find a Picasso that was stolen 40 years ago, while she was still married to Howard Whitney. Although the couple divorced and split the insurance payment of $3 million, the painting is now worth $20 million, and they both want it badly. Nothing was proven against the lead suspect, handyman Jimmy Breen, and he returned to Ireland. Riley convinces Reese to join her for a working holiday, and they arrive at a B&B in Keelnamara to learn that the Garda have ruled Breen’s recent death a murder and his tiny house has been trashed. When someone scours their room at the B&B, they realize that the painting has yet to be found. Since everyone in the small community knows about the missing painting, even the local Garda is suspect. The stakes are raised when a pub owner is tortured and killed. Riley and Reese keep a step ahead of the Garda and solve the complicated case, but their relationship and Riley’s prospects are still far from certain.

The partners dance around their powerful feelings in a stunning Irish landscape, making this far more than an ordinary procedural.

Pub Date: July 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7278-9131-0

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Severn House

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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Sprawling and only intermittently suspenseful till that last act: below average for this distinguished series.


No oceans in Minnesota, you say? That won’t stop Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers, who are clearly determined to burn through their bucket list on the federal government’s dime.

The murders of three Coast Guard officers chasing a suspicious boat in Florida waters by crooks who set fire to the boat moments after abandoning it send shock waves through the DEA, the FBI, and eventually the U.S. Marshals Service. In short order Lucas and his colleague and pal Bob Matees find themselves on a task force Florida Sen. Christopher Colles convenes to find the drugs the fugitives managed to dump into the Atlantic before they shot their pursuers and arrest everyone in sight. The duo’s modus operandi seems to be to talk to everyone who’s seen anything, and then talk to everyone they’ve mentioned, and so on, taking regular breaks to drink, reminisce, and swap wisecracks. Everything is so relaxed and routine that fans of this long-running series will just know that Sandford has something more up his sleeve, and he does. Eventually the task force’s net widens to make room for Virgil, who, working with Marshal Rae Givens, hires himself out to the criminals as a diver who can retrieve those drugs while Lucas and his allies work their way higher and higher up the food chain of baddies. The cast is enormous and mostly forgettable, but Sandford manages to work up a full head of steam when Lucas realizes that his scorched-earth tactics have put Virgil and Rae in serious danger.

Sprawling and only intermittently suspenseful till that last act: below average for this distinguished series.

Pub Date: April 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-08702-2

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.


In December 1926, mystery writer Agatha Christie really did disappear for 11 days. Was it a hoax? Or did her husband resort to foul play?

When Agatha meets Archie on a dance floor in 1912, the obscure yet handsome pilot quickly sweeps her off her feet with his daring. Archie seems smitten with her. Defying her family’s expectations, Agatha consents to marry Archie rather than her intended, the reliable yet boring Reggie Lucy. Although the war keeps them apart, straining their early marriage, Agatha finds meaningful work as a nurse and dispensary assistant, jobs that teach her a lot about poisons, knowledge that helps shape her early short stories and novels. While Agatha’s career flourishes after the war, Archie suffers setback after setback. Determined to keep her man happy, Agatha finds herself cooking elaborate meals, squelching her natural affections for their daughter (after all, Archie must always feel like the most important person in her life), and downplaying her own troubles, including her grief over her mother's death. Nonetheless, Archie grows increasingly morose. In fact, he is away from home the day Agatha disappears. By the time Detective Chief Constable Kenward arrives, Agatha has already been missing for a day. After discovering—and burning—a mysterious letter from Agatha, Archie is less than eager to help the police. His reluctance and arrogance work against him, and soon the police, the newspapers, the Christies’ staff, and even his daughter’s classmates suspect him of harming his wife. Benedict concocts a worthy mystery of her own, as chapters alternate between Archie’s negotiation of the investigation and Agatha’s recounting of their relationship. She keeps the reader guessing: Which narrator is reliable? Who is the real villain?

A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8272-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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