Mystery & Crime Book Reviews

WOMAN WITH A SECRET by Sophie Hannah
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Hannah, who plots rings around most of the competition, shares Ruth Rendell's shivery conviction that there are still darker secrets than whodunit, how, and why."
The murder of a heat-seeking online columnist provides DC Simon Waterhouse and his wife, DS Charlie Zailer, with perhaps too many suspects—including a leading suspect so overburdened with guilt that she's almost too convenient. Read full book review >
THE DROWNED BOY by Karin Fossum
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Minimalist but compelling work from the author who seems to have inherited the late Ruth Rendell's gift of spinning the darkest complications out of what might seem like nothing at all."
Norway's Inspector Konrad Sejer, back from his hiatus (I Can See in the Dark, 2014, etc.) and feeling his mortality more acutely than ever, leads the inquiry into the death of a toddler with Down syndrome.Read full book review >

A CHORUS OF INNOCENTS by P.F. Chisholm
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"One of Chisholm's best Elizabethan mysteries (An Air of Treason, 2014, etc.), combining all the historical information readers have come to expect with a swiftly moving story featuring a strong woman whose romantic aspirations have yet to be fulfilled."
This time out, it's Sir Robert Carey's unhappily married love, Elizabeth, who solves a murder steeped in political intrigue. Read full book review >
DANTE'S DILEMMA by Lynne Raimondo
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Although Mark is either distracted or benighted in his third case, Raimondo (Dante's Poison, 2014, etc.) has invested him with all his customary wit, courage, and honesty."
A battered wife finds an ally in a visually challenged expert witness. Read full book review >
UNLEASHED by Eileen Brady
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Kate's second (Muzzled, 2014) is a treat for animal lovers. The plethora of suspects keeps you guessing."
Now that curiosity has killed the cat, will it kill the veterinarian? Read full book review >

PUREBRED DEAD by Kathleen Delaney
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 2015

"The many characters imported from Delaney's food-based cozies (And Murder For Dessert, 2007, etc.) are supplemented by plenty of suspects and a charming cast of canines."
The murder of a disgraced veterinarian opens a Pandora's box of iniquities. Read full book review >
BEST SERVED COLD by Sally Spencer
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 2015

"Spencer's lively take on the old victim-everyone-hated chestnut isn't Monika's best outing but still has enough thrills to please fans of the franchise."
Paniatowski's in a pickle when the Whitebridge Players' reunion performance turns deadly. Read full book review >
TWO BRONZE PENNIES by Chris Nickson
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 2015

"Another of Nickson's excellent police procedurals with a social conscience."
The Christmas Eve killing of a Jew exposes the depth of anti-Semitism in 1890s Leeds. Read full book review >
THE DEVIL'S MONK by Sara Fraser
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 2015

"Although Fraser (The Drowned Ones, 2010, etc.) continues to provide social commentary and vivid descriptions of the harsh realities of the early 1800s, the mystery this time is weak."
A village constable is nothing less than a bloodhound on the trail of murder. Read full book review >
MIDNIGHT ON THE MISSISSIPPI by Mary Ellis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2015

"Ellis, best known for her Amish series (A Widow's Hope, 2009, etc.), starts her new Secrets of the South mystery series with a pleasant love story but not much mystery."
A newly minted private eye bids to enter the big time in the Big Easy. Read full book review >
CLOSE QUARTERS by Adrian Magson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2015

"Prolific Magson's second round for Portman (The Watchman, 2014, etc.) delivers in the clinch, with gripping, authentic action scenes. The stateside segments are distinctly less memorable."
A rugged CIA contractor encounters enemies from all sides when he tries to rescue a State Department wonk held captive in Ukraine. Read full book review >
A Long Way Back by J. Everett  Prewitt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 30, 2015

"A fresh re-examination of race in the military."
Prewitt's (Snake Walkers, 2005) mystery confronts the wages of both war and racial conflict. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >