Another twisty, entertaining entry in this cozy series featuring an appealing investigator.


From the Harley Henrickson Cozy Mystery series , Vol. 3

A Tennessee whiskey distiller puts her sleuth hat on again in this third installment of a mystery series.

Notchey Creek has seen a lot of drama for a little Appalachian town, and 26-year-old whiskey distiller Harley Henrickson has been in the thick of it, investigating murders and solving mysteries while inventing cocktails. Now, with Valentine’s Day celebrations afoot, several kinds of trouble are stirring up. Harley discovers a burned-out car with a body inside; the sheriff thinks it’s an accidental death, but she’s not so sure. Other conflicts include blackmail, romantic rivalries, and a messy divorce between Ryan and Jessica Westlake, two of the town’s wealthiest residents. Then there’s Ryan’s rumored affair with Bethany Carmichael, 26, who writes devastating reviews of local establishments for the Notchey Creek Telephone, a newspaper owned by Ryan. Jane Merriman blames her husband’s fatal stroke on Bethany’s scathing column, which led to their restaurant’s failure. The latest victims of Bethany’s vitriol are Harley’s best friend, Tina Rizchek, also 26, and her bakery/cafe, Tina’s Treats. When Bethany dies from eating a poisoned cupcake, Tina is the chief suspect—but given the reviewer’s reputation, not the only one. Although it’s a tangled web, Harley is the woman to unravel it. In her latest series entry, Andrews again does a fine job of keeping the mystery’s solution in suspense until the end while offering a charmingly folksy setting and eccentric characters. Harley’s great-uncle and his friend, for example, hope to attract bidders at a bachelor auction by highlighting such skills as “Can pee the alphabet in snow.” The more colorful aspects of Harley’s life (like her fashionista pet pig) are given depth by her intelligent, determined sleuthing as well as romantic yearnings complicated by self-doubts from a painful childhood.

Another twisty, entertaining entry in this cozy series featuring an appealing investigator.

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2021

ISBN: 979-8-70-114726-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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


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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Darkly essential reading for every genre fan who’s ever considered sending a swab to a mail-order DNA testing service.

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A first-rate case for Connelly’s third-string detective, bulldog journalist Jack McEvoy, who’s been biding his time since The Scarecrow (2009) as Harry Bosch and the Lincoln Lawyer have hogged the spotlight.

The consumer-protection website FairWarning can’t hold a candle to the LA Times, where Jack once plied his trade. The real problem this time, though, is that the cops come to Jack rather than vice versa, as a person of interest who had a one-night stand a year ago with Christina Portrero, whose latest one-night stand broke her neck. In fact, Jack quickly discovers, Tina was only the most recent among a number of women who died of atlanto-occipital dislocation—several of them erroneously listed as accidents, all of them clients of the genetic testing firm GT23. Why would sending out your DNA for genetic information put you at enormously increased risk of falling victim to a brutal killer who calls himself the Shrike? The answer to the question of how “predators now can custom-order their victims,” which lies in the DRD4 gene, is guaranteed to make even the most hard-bitten readers queasy. Throughout his pursuit of the killer, the LAPD’s pursuit of him, and his unwilling partnerships with fellow journalist Emily Atwater and former FBI agent Rachel Walling, Jack works the case with a dogged professionalism, a mastery of detail, and a scarred but oversized heart that puts most of his police procedural cousins to shame.

Darkly essential reading for every genre fan who’s ever considered sending a swab to a mail-order DNA testing service.

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-31653-942-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2020

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