Mystery & Crime Book Reviews

THE BAKER STREET JURORS by Michael Robertson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 19, 2016

"Robertson, who seems to command an unlimited stream of clever ideas for recycling the Holmes legend without resuscitating the great man, outdoes himself in the most effervescent of his five Baker Street cocktails to date."
It was only a matter of time, and now it's happened at last: Sherlock Holmes gets called to jury duty. Read full book review >
OUTFOXED by David Rosenfelt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 19, 2016

"Perhaps the weakest outing for Rosenfelt, who cuts back and forth between his ebullient hero and the nefarious criminals arrayed against him as if waiting in vain for mystery and suspense to break out. There's not even much about dogs."
Dog-loving, work-averse New Jersey attorney Andy Carpenter (Who Let the Dog Out?, 2015, etc.) is dragged back into the courtroom to defend a client who escapes from a minimum security prison hours after hearing that he'll certainly be paroled. Read full book review >

THE MONSTER'S DAUGHTER by Michelle Pretorius
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 19, 2016

"A promising effort that gets buried under the weight of the past."
A young police officer in modern South Africa investigates a murder with deep roots in the past in Pretorius' debut mystery. Read full book review >
DARK ROAD HOME by Anna Carlisle
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 12, 2016

"Though Carlisle's series debut is a bit too pat to hit the mark, there's room for her writing to grow even if the same can't be said for her characters."
A medical examiner returns to her small-town home to investigate the death of her sister, a task as personally as professionally demanding. Read full book review >
MEDEA'S CURSE  by Anne Buist
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 12, 2016

"Overplotted and overdramatic; Buist's heroine never seems to have a normal half-hour. But readers who aren't put off by the unsparing accounts of women placed in extremis by themselves or wicked men will cheer the arrival of an authentic dragon slayer."
Australian mental health specialist Buist's first novel features (wait for it) an Australian mental health specialist whose caseload, it's to be hoped, is a lot more volatile than her author's. Read full book review >

THE INNOCENTS  by Ace Atkins
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 12, 2016

"The rough-and-tumble relationship between two tough-as-nails law officers and the place they love provides plenty of action, well-developed characters, and an ending that will more likely leave you disgusted than surprised."
Even snakes are straighter than many of the denizens of Tibbehah County, Mississippi. Read full book review >
ARSENIC WITH AUSTEN by Katherine Bolger Hyde
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 12, 2016

"Although first-time novelist Hyde's middle-aged heroine has wretched instincts about whom to trust, she and her lost-and-found lover make an amiable team."
A legacy turns deadly in a series debut. Read full book review >
THE GRAVEYARD OF THE HESPERIDES by Lindsey Davis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 12, 2016

"Davis' fourth case for her heroine (Deadly Election, 2015, etc.) is long on drollery, unpacking its tricky murder puzzle piecemeal."
An ancient Roman sleuth balances a tricky murder investigation with the new challenges of her approaching nuptials. Read full book review >
VITA BREVIS by Ruth Downie
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 12, 2016

"The seventh adventure for Downie's physician hero (Tabula Rasa, 2014, etc.) masterfully draws out its suspense, painting a vivid portrait of ancient Rome that feels persuasive and authentic."
An idealistic doctor who moves to the big city with his family finds a nest of corruption—and corpses—literally on their doorstep. Read full book review >
Caged Lightning by Brent Rock Russell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 12, 2016

"While not thematically deep, this first installment in a series featuring Stryker delivers testosterone-driven escapist literature at its best: fast, furious, and fun."
A California physician investigates a politician's death in this debut thriller that incorporates military and medical elements. Read full book review >
ROOTS OF MURDER by R. Jean Reid
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 8, 2016

"Reid's exciting debut, filled with action and philosophical musings about the enduring weight of the past, will make you both sad and mad."
Bigotry, hate, avarice, murder: it's all front-page news for a little weekly paper in Mississippi. Read full book review >
SOMEONE ALWAYS KNOWS by Marcia Muller
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 5, 2016

"Fans can expect the workmanlike, uninspired plotting typical of the franchise (The Night Searchers, 2014, etc.), with lots of room for the heroine's and hero's ubiquitous friends and contacts and a particularly neat solution to the opening problem."
Sharon McCone's latest case resurrects a miscreant long thought dead with plenty of mischief left in him. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >