Art theft is a hot topic on the mystery scene, and no one’s heist is livelier than Longworth’s.

THE MYSTERY OF THE LOST CEZANNE

Recently returned from holiday (Murder on the Île Sordou, 2014), examining magistrate Antoine Verlaque is confronted with a dead postman, a mysterious painting, a beautiful professor, and a short-tempered lover.

Managing a small apartment building in the old city of Aix-en-Provence is not easy. But Mme. Chazeau handles the tenants of 23 rue Boulegon, famous as the last residence of Paul Cézanne, with aplomb. That is, until the discussion of who should have use of the small débarras on the first floor. Dr. Pitavy, a podiatrist, wants to use it for spare equipment. Mme. Joubert, who rents her two flats to students, wants one of her tenants to be able to keep her bicycle there. Eric and Françoise Legendre, having just moved in, have no opinion. But when retired mailman René Rouquet learns that the building's deed names him owner of the small storeroom, he goes postal, leaving the meeting and then quarreling on the street with Pierre Millot, who runs out to retrieve him. This disagreement is all the more uncomfortable for young Millot when Rouquet turns up dead. But even more uncomfortable is Rebecca Schultz, the striking African-American art historian who's standing in Rouquet's apartment, over his corpse, when Verlaque discovers it. Now Verlaque is charged not only with solving René’s murder, but with unraveling the mystery of the painting he left behind: a portrait painted with Cézanne’s characteristic brush strokes, but not of the artist's somber mistress, Hortense. Instead, it’s an image of a smiling young girl in colorful Provencal garb. Who's the girl? Is the painting a Cézanne? Verlaque tackles these puzzles, all the while struggling with a coldness growing between him and longtime love Marine Bonnet.

Art theft is a hot topic on the mystery scene, and no one’s heist is livelier than Longworth’s.

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-14-312807-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Penguin

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

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Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

OUT OF RANGE

Crime-fighting Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett outdoes himself during a temporary transfer from sleepy Saddlestring to fashionable Jackson Hole.

Will Jensen, the Jackson game warden, was a great guy and a model warden, but once his wife left him six months ago, he spiraled into madness and suicide, and now Joe’s been called to replace him. The transition is anything but smooth. There’s no question of Joe’s family coming with him, so he’s reduced to hoping he can get a signal for the cell-phone calls he squeezes into his busy schedule. En route to his new posting, Joe has to pursue a marauding grizzly. He arrives to meet a formidable series of challenges. Cantankerous outfitter Smoke Van Horn wants to go on attracting elk with illegal salt licks without the new warden’s interference. Animal Liberation Network activist Pi Stevenson wants him to publicize her cause and adopt a vegan diet. Developer Don Ennis wants to open a housing development for millionaires who like their meat free of additives. Ennis’s trophy wife Stella simply wants Joe—and he wants her back. As he wrestles with these demands, and with a supervisor riled over Joe’s track record of destroying government property in pursuit of bad guys (Trophy Hunt, 2004, etc.), Joe slowly becomes convinced that Will did not kill himself.

Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

Pub Date: May 5, 2005

ISBN: 0-399-15291-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2005

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An undisciplined but powerfully lacerating story, by an author who knows every block of the neighborhood and every hair on...

MYSTIC RIVER

After five adventures for Boston shamus Patrick Kenzie and his off-again lover Angela Gennaro (Prayers for Rain, 1999, etc.), Lehane tries his hand at a crossover novel that’s as dark as any of Patrick’s cases.

Even the 1975 prologue is bleak. Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus are playing, or fighting, outside Sean’s parents’ house in the Point neighborhood of East Buckingham when a car pulls up, one of the two men inside flashes a badge, and Sean and Jimmy’s friend Dave Boyle gets bundled inside, allegedly to be driven home to his mother for a scolding but actually to get kidnapped. Though Dave escapes after a few days, he never really outlives his ordeal, and 25 years later it’s Jimmy’s turn to join him in hell when his daughter Katie is shot and beaten to death in the wilds of Pen Park, and State Trooper Sean, just returned from suspension, gets assigned to the case. Sean knows that both Dave and Jimmy have been in more than their share of trouble in the past. And he’s got an especially close eye on Jimmy, whose marriage brought him close to the aptly named Savage family and who’s done hard time for robbery. It would be just like Jimmy, Sean knows, to ignore his friend’s official efforts and go after the killer himself. But Sean would be a lot more worried if he knew what Dave’s wife Celeste knows: that hours after catching sight of Katie in the last bar she visited on the night of her death, Dave staggered home covered with somebody else’s blood. Burrowing deep into his three sorry heroes and the hundred ties that bind them unbearably close, Lehane weaves such a spellbinding tale that it’s easy to overlook the ramshackle mystery behind it all.

An undisciplined but powerfully lacerating story, by an author who knows every block of the neighborhood and every hair on his characters’ heads.

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2001

ISBN: 0-688-16316-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

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