Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 4)

SIDNEY CHAMBERS AND THE DANGERS OF TEMPTATION by James Runcie
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 14, 2016

"The Swinging '60s give Runcie's sleuth in a cassock plenty of opportunity to stick his memorable nose in where it isn't wanted."
Six interrelated new stories about the crime-solving priest who struggles with his own frailties. Read full book review >
CHARCOAL JOE by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 14, 2016

"Less cluttered than Rose Gold (2014), though that's not saying much. But then you don't read Mosley for the throughline but for his matchless ability to present mosaic worlds in which even the most minor characters arrive burning with their own unquenchable stories."
Fasten your seat belts. It's time for another simmering tour of Los Angeles, this time in 1968, with Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins serving once more as the unwilling guide. Read full book review >

WRITTEN OFF by E.J. Copperman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 14, 2016

"Despite its quirky premise, this new series debut from Copperman (The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband, 2015, etc.) doesn't make its fictional/real-life hero compelling enough to warrant the double dose he offers the reader."
A mystery writer is flummoxed by a hero who just doesn't know his place. Read full book review >
YELLOWSTONE STANDOFF by Scott Graham
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 14, 2016

"A book by the numbers, balancing potential danger and shady characters without any great surprises."
Bears and wolves in Yellowstone's backcountry don't hold a candle to the danger posed by the people sent there to study them. Read full book review >
MURDER ON THE QUAI by Cara Black
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 14, 2016

"Rolling back the clock gives Black the chance to recast her heroine unencumbered by the baggage she's accumulated over the course of the series. It's not clear, though, where this prequel will take the franchise in the long run."
Black (Murder on theChamp de Mars, 2015, etc.) looks backward to discover the origins of Aimée Leduc, detective. Read full book review >

THE DEVIL'S COLD DISH by Eleanor Kuhns
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 14, 2016

"Kuhns' fifth dispatch from the early days of a new nation, faster paced than the last installment (Death in Salem, 2015), builds mounting sympathy for its beleaguered leading couple."
In the 1790s, a New England weaver tries to solve a murder made to look like his handiwork. Read full book review >
CHILD NOT FOUND by Ray Daniel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 8, 2016

"As usual, Daniel (Corrupted Memory, 2015, etc.) is more than generous with the violence, guilt, tweets, craft brews, and compassion."
A child's disappearance triggers a high-stakes mob turf war that Boston programmer Aloysius Tucker can only wish he had no part of. Read full book review >
NOT DEAD ENOUGH by Warren C. Easley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 7, 2016

"Since so many characters have skin in the game, it's virtually impossible to invest heavily in any of the players: too many suspects leaves little room for human connection."
A freelancing lawyer investigates a cold case involving a new friend's grandfather, who disappeared after a dispute over Native American lands. Read full book review >
CITY OF JACKALS by Parker Bilal
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 7, 2016

"This fifth case for Makana (The Burning Gates, 2015, etc.) again deftly wraps a whodunit around an eloquent, character-driven look at recent history."
One missing student from South Sudan is a puzzle; a second South Sudanese student found decapitated points to something altogether more disturbing. Read full book review >
HEART OF STONE by James W. Ziskin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 7, 2016

"Ziskin plants clues so conscientiously that most readers will beat the heroine to the killer. What makes this case stand apart is its sensitively nuanced evocation of the conflicts that swirl around the artsy Jewish milieu of the early 1960s."
Upstate reporter Ellie Stone's perfect 1961 Adirondack vacation is spoiled by everything from a skinny-dipping aunt to a pair of deaths that may or may not be accidental. Read full book review >
BLACK HAMMOCK by Michael Wiley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 2016

"Neither as scary nor as suspenseful as most of Wiley's Florida gothics but harrowing in its own peculiar way, even if it poses no threat to its Aeschylean model."
Something completely different—meaning surprisingly familiar—from Southern noir specialist Wiley: a revenge tragedy with strong intimations of the Oresteia. Read full book review >
MELODY OF MURDER by Stella Cameron
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 2016

"As for the heroine's sleuthing prowess, the man who loves her puts it best: 'You haven't done all that much, but you do show up whenever something's happening.'"
The family of a celebrated young pianist that's betaken itself to Alex Duggins' Cotswolds village over the pianist's strenuous objections must add sudden death to its other woes. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >