Wiley spins a florid plot as disinhibited, and ultimately as exhausting to deal with, as his hero.


A wacko theft launches a second case for a private eye who just can’t shut up.

The shot that retired Sam Kelson from the Chicago PD in Trouble in Mind (2020) left him unable to lie or filter his thoughts, or sometimes even recognize himself in the mirror. Despite these disabilities, attractive business owner Genevieve Bower thinks he’s the one to recover all the knockoff Jimmy Choos that 1980s-music DJ Jeremy Oliver ended their nine-day fling by walking off with. (The client might have thought twice if she’d seen what Kelson did the moment their initial meeting ended.) Meanwhile, one-armed bookkeeper Marty LeCoeur, Kelson’s old friend,  is being pressed by the brain trust at G&G Private Equity—wealthy Harold Crane, his cold-eyed daughter, Sylvia, and Chip Voudreaux—to do some creative accounting that will leave them even wealthier. Marty won’t do it, but his nephew Neto, a young hacker who already has a record, is willing. Bad mistake. Moments before Neto completes the transaction, a bomb smuggled into the library where he’s working kills homeless Afghan War vet Victor Almonte and Amy Runeski, an unemployed mother suing for divorce, and sends Neto to the hospital with a dire diagnosis. Against every rule but that of formula fiction, the two cases turn out to be connected through a hush-hush thumb drive that was the real prize stolen from Kelson’s client. Can he avoid telling the many supporting crooks who press him for information exactly how much he knows for long enough for them to wipe each other out?

Wiley spins a florid plot as disinhibited, and ultimately as exhausting to deal with, as his hero.

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7278-8982-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Severn House

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2020

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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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Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

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Horrormeister King follows a boy’s journey from childhood to adolescence among the dead—and their even creepier living counterparts.

Jamie Conklin sees dead people. Not for very long—they fade away after a week or so—but during that time he can talk to them, ask them questions, and compel them to answer truthfully. His uncanny gift at first seems utterly unrelated to his mother Tia’s work as a literary agent, but the links become disturbingly clear when her star client, Regis Thomas, dies shortly after starting work on the newest entry in his bestselling Roanoke Saga, and Tia and her lover, NYPD Detective Liz Dutton, drive Jamie out to Cobblestone Cottage to encourage the late author to dictate an outline of his latest page-turner so that Tia, who’s fallen on hard times, can write it in his name instead of returning his advance and her cut. Now that she’s seen what Jamie can do, Liz takes it on herself to arrange an interview in which Jamie will ask Kenneth Therriault, a serial bomber who’s just killed himself, where he’s stowed his latest explosive device before it can explode posthumously. His post-mortem encounter with Therriault exacts a high price on Jamie, who now finds himself more haunted than ever, though he never gives up on the everyday experiences in which King roots all his nightmares.

Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7890-9649-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Hard Case Crime

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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