Giordano’s wit and his formidable heroine's wisdom combine to make this debut a smash.

READ REVIEW

AUNTIE POLDI AND THE SICILIAN LIONS

From the Auntie Poldi series , Vol. 1

An ex-pat from Munich finds love and murder in Sicily.

When Isolde Oberreiter decides at age 60 to move from Munich to Sicily “to drink herself comfortably to death with a sea view,” her decision makes a crazy kind of sense. Winters in Munich are not for the faint of heart. Her ex-husband, Peppe, now deceased, was from Catania, and his three sisters, Luisa, Teresa, and Caterina, welcome her to join them there. But Isolde, known to her family as Poldi, always flies to her own compass. Instead of Catania, she buys a villa in tiny Torre Archirafi, down the street from the Bar-Gelateria Cocuzza . Because even intrepid Poldi can’t manage a villa on her own, she recruits Valentino Candela, a local jack-of-all-trades, to help with the restoration. Valentino is a great worker until he disappears. Suspecting foul play, Poldi invades Femminamorta, a local estate Valentino mentioned just before vanishing. Valérie Raisi di Belfiore, the estate’s young owner, takes to Poldi, inviting her to dinner with her elderly cousin, Domenico Pastorella di Belfiore, owner of a still larger estate. Charmed as she is by Sicilian high society, Poldi isn’t getting any closer to finding Valentino. And she isn’t finding people with whom she really clicks—that is, until she crosses paths with police detective Vito Montana. Poldi is an irresistible newcomer with a mature voice and a vision of who she is and who she never will be, not afraid to take chances, and willing to fail. She's grateful to the universe for what it offers and accepting when it doesn't provide more. A drama queen who isn't fooled by her own production, she knows the value of living deeply.

Giordano’s wit and his formidable heroine's wisdom combine to make this debut a smash.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-908-52469-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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?

THE MIDNIGHT CLUB

Patterson's thrillers (Virgin, 1980; Black Market, 1986) have plummeted in quality since his promising debut in The Thomas Berryman Number (1976)—with this latest being the sorriest yet: a clanky and witless policer about a criminal mastermind and the cop sworn to take him down. Aside from watching sympathetic homicide dick John ("Stef") Stefanovich comeing to terms with a wheelchair-bound life—legacy of a shotgun blast to the back by drug-and-gun-running archfiend Alexandre St.-Germain—the major interest here lies in marvelling at the author's trashing of fiction convention. The whopper comes early: although St.-Germain is explicity described as being machine-gunned to death by three vigilante cops in a swank brothel (". . .a submachine gun blast nearly ripped off the head of Alexandre St.-Germain"; "The mobster's head and most of his neck had been savaged by the machine-gun volley. The body looked desecrated. . ."), before you know it this latter-day Moriarty is stepping unscathed out of an airplane. What gives? Authorial cheating, that's what—thinly glossed over with some mumbling later on about a "body double." Not that St.-Germain's ersatz death generated much suspense anyway, with subsequent action focusing on, among other items, the gory killings of assorted mob bosses by one of the vigilante cops, and Stef's viewing of pornographic tapes confiscated from that brothel. But readers generous enough to plod on will get to read about the newly Lazarus-ized St.-Germain's crass efforts to revitalize and consolidate the world's crime syndicates ("the Midnight Club"), Stef's predictable tumble for a sexy true-crime writer, and how (isn't one miracle enough for Patterson?) at book's end Stef walks again and gets to embrace a rogue cop who's murdered several people. Ironsides with a badge and a lobotomy.

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 1988

ISBN: 0446676411

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1988

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more