Mystery & Crime Book Reviews

TRAIL OF ECHOES by Rachel Howzell Hall
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 31, 2016

"The third and best of a finely wrought series (Skies of Ash, 2015, etc.) that gives voice to a rare figure in crime fiction: a highly complex, fully imagined black female detective."
Talented African-American teenagers from a poor LA neighborhood are targeted by a serial killer. Read full book review >
A CAST OF FALCONS by Steve Burrows
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 31, 2016

"Burrows' bird-watching expertise lends authenticity to an excellent mystery whose conflicted protagonist faces hard decisions."
A police detective with a tough case is distracted by moral ambiguities in his own life. Read full book review >

BACK LASH by Chris Knopf
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 30, 2016

"Though Knopf (Cop Job, 2015, etc.) keeps the pot steadily simmering, this seventh case, middling for the series, is more notable for its human relationships than its whodunit."
Sam Acquillo tackles a cold case that arouses his warmest feelings: the murder of his father 40 years ago. Read full book review >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Emma Straub
author of MODERN LOVERS
May 30, 2016

In Emma Straub’s new novel Modern Lovers, friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed. “Straub’s characters are a quirky and interesting bunch, well aware of their own good fortune, and it’s a pleasure spending time with them in leafy Ditmas Park,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >