Mystery & Crime Book Reviews

MURDER, BY GEORGE by Jeanne Quigley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 18, 2016

"As chatty and replete with hometown detail as Quigley's debut (All Things Murder, 2014). But gentle humor and an amiable lead make up for all those digressions."
A contested case of finders keepers turns deadly in upstate New York. Read full book review >
HOLLOW CRIB by BJ Bourg
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 18, 2016

"Bourg (But Not Forgotten, 2015), a veteran law enforcement officer, starts off slowly but eventually produces a tense procedural with some interesting twists."
Two separate police cases may actually be related. Read full book review >

IN THE CLEARING by Robert Dugoni
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 17, 2016

"Back in the present, the recent killing is wrapped up equally predictably but a lot more quickly, having led fans of this heartfelt series (Her Final Breath, 2015, etc.) through a long slog alongside the heroine with little to show for the effort."
Seattle PD Detective Tracy Crosswhite's third case takes her back 40 years to a crime everyone concerned keeps telling her isn't a crime at all. Read full book review >
ZIGZAG by Bill Pronzini
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 17, 2016

"Proficient but routine work."
Two brand-new novellas and two reprinted short stories test the semiretired Nameless Detective's ability to close cases—and the gentle reader's taste for new wine in old bottles. Read full book review >
THE SINGER FROM MEMPHIS by Gary Corby
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 17, 2016

"Corby's latest is brisk, cheeky, and full of well-researched historical tidbits."
A wry sleuth accompanies a historian on the brink of fame to Egypt, where rebellion, murder, and wisecracks are in full flower in 450 B.C.E. Read full book review >

BOAR ISLAND by Nevada Barr
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 17, 2016

"After the razor-sharp focus of Destroyer Angel (2014), Barr's latest is a surprisingly hot mess, awash in scattered crimes whose perpetrators' behaviors defy belief. There's not even much about Acadia National Park."
Ranger Anna Pigeon, sent from the Rockies to Maine's Acadia National Park for a three-week stint, finds the brief interval more than long enough for another round of murder and assorted skulduggery. Read full book review >
LOST AND GONE FOREVER by Alex Grecian
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 17, 2016

"Grecian (The Harvest Man, 2015, etc.) spares no gruesome detail in this fifth installment about the hunt for England's most famous serial killer. If you're up for one more tale about him and you can stand the gore, you're in for quite a ride."
Jack the Ripper meets his psychopathic equal in this macabre tale of late Victorian England. Read full book review >
ROCK-A-BYE BONES by Carolyn Haines
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 17, 2016

"As usual, Haines crams a lot into her latest cozy (Bone to Be Wild, 2015, etc.), aiming at readers with a taste for levity rather than restraint."
A Mississippi detective must dig down deep into the roots of a town when a newborn is left on her doorstep even though her business partner may want to keep the baby for herself. Read full book review >
MURDER FRAMES THE SCENE by Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 15, 2016

"Despite some sharp exchanges between the fiances, Kneubuhl (Murder Leaves its Mark, 2011) evokes Charlie Chan more than Nick and Nora, with exotic locale and period setting at the forefront."
Even in paradise, murder can disrupt the lives of the upper class. Read full book review >
THE STRINGS OF MURDER by Oscar de Muriel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 15, 2016

"De Muriel's debut offers nonviolinists ghostly, ghastly apparitions, unappealing accounts of unspeakable pub meals, and a steady drip of Had-I-But-Known foreshadowing and backshadowing. A series seems inevitable."
As Jack the Ripper plies his sanguinary trade in 1888 Whitechapel, Inspector Ian Frey, his boss and patron ousted from Scotland Yard, is dispatched to Edinburgh to help solve what turns out to be an equally gruesome series of murders. Read full book review >
SEE ALSO DECEPTION by Larry D. Sweazy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 10, 2016

"In truth, Sweazy gets by on the merest wisp of mystery, along with a severe economy of incidents of any kind."
Now that she's lost her nearest neighbors, the Knudsens, to a killer (See Also Murder, 2015), it's time for North Dakota indexer Marjorie Trumaine to lose her closest professional connection—the local librarian she constantly calls to check facts—the same way. Read full book review >
WALLEYE JUNCTION by Karin Salvalaggio
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 10, 2016

"A dedicated detective and a grieving daughter find strength in teamwork in this bleak procedural."
Abduction, murder, and scandal mar the beauty of cherry-blossom season in a small Montana town. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >