DUTCH ME DEADLY

A tour guide leaves a trail of violent death in her wake as she escorts seniors on journeys abroad. 

You’d think Emily Andrew-Miceli’s group of Iowa golden-agers, including her grandma, would be put off by the fact that all the trips she escorts (Norway to Hide, 2007, etc.) lead to murder. But they actually seem to relish the chance to play amateur sleuths. This time out they’re visiting Holland, sharing a bus and tour guide with a group from Maine who are celebrating a class reunion. The tour guide is a martinet whose death by bicycle isn’t entirely unwelcome. The fatality seems like an accident, but Emily is suspicious. The group from Maine are bickering and seem to be hiding a secret from their shared past. Not to be outdone, Emily’s crew face disaster when they accidentally imbibe drug-laced desserts and spend a wild night in Amsterdam’s red-light district. The arrival of Emily’s ex-husband, a flamboyant transsexual currently teaching life skills to an aspiring writer, adds to her anguish. As more deaths follow, Emily and her texting-obsessed geriatric helpers realize that they’ll have to take prompt and decisive action before their whole trip is ruined. A bit of humor, a bit of travel information and a bit of mystery add up to some pleasant light reading.

 

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7387-2704-2

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Midnight Ink/Llewellyn

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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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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AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

This ran in the S.E.P. and resulted in more demands for the story in book form than ever recorded. Well, here it is and it is a honey. Imagine ten people, not knowing each other, not knowing why they were invited on a certain island house-party, not knowing their hosts. Then imagine them dead, one by one, until none remained alive, nor any clue to the murderer. Grand suspense, a unique trick, expertly handled.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 1939

ISBN: 0062073478

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Dodd, Mead

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1939

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