Mystery & Crime Book Reviews

DUPLICITY  by Jane Haseldine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 28, 2017

"Haseldine (The Last Time She Saw Him, 2016) uses her experience as a crime reporter to bring authenticity to this exciting and gritty tale, though it has perhaps a few too many complications for a smooth flow."
A Detroit crime reporter is still haunted by a 30-year-old mystery in her own family. Read full book review >
THE NO. 2 FELINE DETECTIVE AGENCY by Mandy Morton
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 28, 2017

"The mystery is gossamer-thin, the detective work modest, the characterization ditto, and the puns—well, you already know how you feel about them. But everyone who suspects that cats have always run the world will be at least a bit curious about how that works out in an alternate reality."
Tired of watching Lilian Jackson Braun's Koko and Yum Yum get upstaged by that do-nothing Jim Qwilleran? Wish the sleuthing pets in Rita Mae Brown's tales had even more prominent roles? Morton's debut, featuring an all-feline cast running amok in something like modern England, is the answer to your prayers. Read full book review >

CONVICTION by Julia Dahl
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 28, 2017

"The novel's authenticity is enhanced by Dahl's painfully spot-on grievances about the deteriorating newspaper industry and her cogent observations about Brooklyn in both its post-millennium growth and its past lives—which somehow never seem all that far in the past."
Hard-bitten tabloid reporter Rebekah Roberts returns to investigate a decades-old triple murder case in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, finding not only a potential wrongful conviction, but also some disquieting revelations close to her own home. Read full book review >
A REALLY BIG LUNCH by Jim Harrison
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2017

"If this is the last we get from Harrison, it serves as a fitting memorial."
A celebration of eating well and drinking even better as a recipe for the good life. Read full book review >
ECHOES OF TERROR by Maris Soule
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 22, 2017

"Soule takes a break from her P.J. Benson series (Eat Crow and Die, 2015, etc.) for a hair-raising thriller that breaks no new ground but has all the excitement it needs to keep you reading."
An Alaska cop whose past is shrouded in secrecy must deal with a crime that revives all her horrifying memories. Read full book review >

MONKEY BUSINESS by Lois  Schmitt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 22, 2017

"Despite its title, Schmitt's debut offers few chuckles and fewer simians: the primates whose cages Kristy rattles are strictly human. Reptile and bird fans may enjoy the peeks into a zoo's handling of its less humanoid residents."
An aspiring Long Island journalist probes a killing at a zoo. Read full book review >
GIRL IN DISGUISE by Greer Macallister
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 21, 2017

"A celebration of a singular woman's life that's guided by facts but features some inviting imaginings."
The story of the very first female detective traces her growth from determined young woman to seasoned pro. Read full book review >
BAKER STREET IRREGULARS by Michael A. Ventrella
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 21, 2017

"Less notable as independent creations than as provocations to think about Holmes and the Sacred Canon in innovative ways bound to lead to next year's anthologies."
When has Sherlock Holmes changed so much that he's no longer Sherlock Holmes? In this aptly titled collection, 13 new adventures of Holmes and Watson, more or less, push the envelope far beyond Baker Street. Read full book review >
THE BLACK TORTOISE by Ronald Tierney
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 21, 2017

"A disappointingly perfunctory novella whose main revelation is that when the author of the hard-nosed Deets Shanahan stories (Killing Frost, 2015, etc.) takes off the edge, he takes off quite a bit more along with it."
A second case for forensic accountant Peter Strand (The Blue Dragon, 2015) ushers him into a San Francisco nonprofit to investigate rumored problems that get a lot bigger and more concrete shortly after his arrival. Read full book review >
MANGROVE LIGHTNING by Randy Wayne White
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 21, 2017

"White comes up with a novel way to re-examine historical crimes: reincarnate the criminals as fictional present-day killers. It's a crazy idea, and some crazy developments trail in its wake, but it works better than you might expect."
A 24th adventure for Marion "Doc" Ford (Deep Blue, 2016, etc.) interrupts his pursuit of a child pornographer to take him into even murkier waters: a kidnapping apparently haunted by a similar crime nearly a century ago. Read full book review >
MAN OVERBOARD by J.A. Jance
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 21, 2017

"Jance (Random Acts, 2016, etc.) can't seem to keep out of her own way or avoid sidelining the supposed heroine in this 15th franchise installment. But the character who does take the lead deserves to keep it, and the ending helps make up for the cumbersome plot."
A shipboard tragedy is prologue to a deadly cyberduel. Read full book review >
SERPENTINE by Peter Parkin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 15, 2017

"Parkin and Darby can't write a memorable sentence between them, but they do keep the paranoid complications coming fast and furious. Be warned: every explanation of how a particularly impressive bit of technology is supposed to work indicates that this time it won't."
A roller coaster run amok is only the curtain raiser in this blood-and-thunder tale of Americans doing what they do best: neutralizing domestic saboteurs who also happen to be Americans. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Laini Taylor
March 27, 2017

In bestselling YA writer Laini Taylor’s new fantasy novel, Strange the Dreamer, the dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever. What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving? “Lovers of intricate worldbuilding and feverish romance will find this enthralling,” our critic writes. View video >