Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 2)

CUSTOM BAKED MURDER  by Liz Mugavero
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 27, 2016

"A trimmer plotline might help Mugavero's future entries, but in this one, the tail definitely wags the dog."
A baker of doggie treats turns detective. Read full book review >
BELL, BOOK & CANDLEMAS by Jennifer David Hesse
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 27, 2016

"Half mystery, half chick lit, with a filigree of paganism, this is a cabin read: as lightly enjoyable yet forgettable as one of those beach reads, but in a wintry, woodsy setting."
Practicing attorney and Wiccan Keli Milanni (Midsummer Night's Mischief, 2016) investigates threats against the local magic shop at her own peril. Read full book review >

DEATH ON THE PATAGONIAN EXPRESS by Hy Conrad
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 27, 2016

"TV writer/producer Conrad provides mild mother-daughter tussling, an ingenious and highly improbable mystery, and suspects so forgettable that the culprit is even easier to spot than that telltale corpse."
A mother-daughter team of travel experts is invited on a luxury train trip across Patagonia during which Murphy's law reigns supreme. Read full book review >
ICED UNDER by Barbara Ross
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 27, 2016

"Ross (Fogged Inn, 2016, etc.) knows her Maine coast and her snowstorms. Both provide an atmospheric backdrop for a cozy that, though a little heavy on genealogy, picks up its pace when its focus returns to the living and the newly dead."
A costly necklace and a feuding family make for a murderous reunion in New England. Read full book review >
DEATH AT ST. VEDAST by Mary Lawrence
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 27, 2016

"Although the novel may be freighted with too much research for its own good, its no-nonsense heroine (Death of an Alchemist, 2016, etc.), like so many others of her ilk, propels the action very successfully by refusing to mind her own business."
Madness and death follow in quick order in 16th-century England. Read full book review >

NASTY CUTTER by Tim O'Mara
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2017

"A child could see where many of these complications are going, but the ex-cop hero takes quite a bit longer. Maybe the NYPD didn't lose such a great investigator with his departure after all."
A fourth demonstration that even if you take Raymond Donne out of the NYPD, you can't take him out of the criminal action in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood. Read full book review >
THE HERETIC'S CREED by Fiona Buckley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2017

"Buckley's storied heroine (A Perilous Alliance, 2015, etc.) has all too little chance to prove herself in her 14th adventure: too many of the critical scenes are either narrated to her or take place offstage."
A spy in skirts serves in Her Majesty's secret service, Tudor style. Read full book review >
A RUSTLE OF SILK by Alys Clare
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2017

"Although this series debut would have benefited from more showing and less telling, a thoughtful hero and a likable supporting cast make a promising beginning."
A country physician untangles a web of deadly crime in Jacobean England. Read full book review >
THE MURDER BOOK by Jane A. Adams
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2017

"The creator of Naomi Blake (A Murderous Mind, 2016, etc.) and Rina Martin (Forgotten Voices, 2015, etc.) launches a new series with a pair of murder specialists who are worthy additions to the world of period detection."
A murder detective from London stalks a killer in rural Lincolnshire. Read full book review >
DEATH NOTES by Sarah Rayne
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2017

"Rayne, author of the Nell West haunted house books (The Bell Tower, 2016, etc.), kicks off an ambitious new series. The complicated plot may be challenging for readers, but her atmospheric prose and sure-footed instinct for suspense add up to another page-turner."
In investigating the life of a notorious 19th-century Russian violinist, a researcher stumbles on a tangle of disturbing mysteries. Read full book review >
QUICK OFF THE MARK  by Susan Moody
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2017

"Moody (Quick and the Dead, 2016, etc.), who can't seem to make up her mind whether to be cozy or gritty, alternates actual wit with adolescent jokes and a parade of sliced-and-diced corpses."
An ex-detective resumes sleuthing in the grisly death of a childhood friend. Read full book review >
MYSTERY IN THE CHANNEL by Freeman Wills Crofts
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Veterans of golden-age whodunits will know that no one reads Crofts for his prose or his people. But the plot itself is watertight, if not exactly abounding in surprises, and the detection has dated surprisingly little."
A yacht adrift in the English Channel whose only passengers are two dead men poses a challenge for Scotland Yard's Inspector Joseph French in this reprint of a tale first published in 1931. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kendare Blake
November 16, 2016

Bestseller Kendare Blake’s latest novel, Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. The last queen standing gets the crown. “Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, elegant, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >