Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 4)

CHAPEL OF EASE by Alex Bledsoe
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Bledsoe may be overselling readers' curiosity about what lies beneath the chapel's grounds."
An actor travels to a rural town in Appalachia to learn more about the heritage, and the mystery, of his talented, recently deceased writer/director friend's final play. Read full book review >
THE HOMEPLACE by Kevin Wolf
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A humdinger of a first novel that brings together several gripping storylines, an appealingly flawed hero, and an intimate sense of life in small-town America."
A star athlete whose life has fallen apart finds that there's still no place like home. Read full book review >

CLOSED CASKET by Sophie Hannah
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"As in The Monogram Murders (2014), Hannah provides both less and more than Agatha Christie ever baked into any of her tales. But the climactic revelation that establishes the killer's motive is every bit as brilliant and improbable as any of Christie's own decorous thunderclaps."
A famous Irish author of children's mysteries announces that she's just disinherited her family before a gathering that includes those very family members—along with Hercule Poirot. Read full book review >
THE WHITE MIRROR by Elsa Hart
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"The second appearance for Hart's hero (Jade Dragon Mountain, 2015) rests firmly on romantic notions of the solitary scholar and intellectual curiosity. Elegantly written, though not to all tastes."
The discovery of a murdered monk prompts a scholar to defer an odyssey of self-discovery to search for justice, unearthing even deeper truths. Read full book review >
WHAT GOLD BUYS by Ann Parker
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Once again, the fifth from Parker (Iron Ties, 2013, etc.) is much better history than mystery, drawing the reader into the stunning beauty and harsh realities of life in 1880s Colorado."
A feuding couple returns to Colorado only to become embroiled in several murders. Read full book review >

APPRENTICE IN DEATH by J.D. Robb
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Not much state-of-the-fantasy-art high-tech this time, and no wonder: shaken readers will instantly recognize the contemporary American landscape, filled with trigger-happy vigilantes and the firepower they need to make themselves famous, beneath the futuristic trappings."
Lt. Eve Dallas, of the New York Police Security Department, celebrates January 2061 by tangling with an unusually well-organized mass murderer. Make that murderers. Read full book review >
A LONG TIME DEAD by Mickey Spillane
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"But you didn't really need to read a word of this, since Spillane is by any measure the most review-proof name in the genre, and you'll have known perfectly well from the get-go whether or not you want to plunge into these not-quite-new adventures."
Though midcentury publishing phenom Spillane died 10 years ago, his notorious hero Mike Hammer lives again in these eight reprints of short stories completed by his latter-day collaborator Collins (Kill Me, Darling, 2015, etc.) and published, mostly in the Strand Magazine, over the past eight years. Read full book review >
THE CURSE OF THE BRIDAL CHAMBER by Hunter Murphy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 5, 2016

"The heroine's second outing (Imogene in New Orleans, 2014), packed with zany characters, nicely captures the feeling of a Florida water park. But the mystery is scattershot, and it takes forever to unveil the killer."
A road trip to a Florida mermaid theme park goes terribly wrong. Read full book review >
FIRE IN THE STARS by Barbara Fradkin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 3, 2016

"Launching a new series, Fradkin (The Night Thief, 2015, etc.) scores low for mystery, high for wilderness adventure, and off the charts for her portrait of the bleak, beautiful Newfoundland landscape."
A Canadian aid worker returns from a deeply traumatic experience in Nigeria to find even more challenging adventures awaiting her in the wilds of Newfoundland. Read full book review >
PLAYING WITH FIRE by Gerald Elias
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"Readers who aren't unduly put off by the hero, whose fictional ancestors include both Sherlock Holmes and Ebenezer Scrooge, will enjoy a most unseasonal fable of the little insurance fraud that grew and grew. Merry Christmas."
Christmas 1992 brings blind violinist Daniel Jacobus (Death and Transfiguration, 2012, etc.) a mystery that creeps ever nearer his Berkshires retreat. Read full book review >
MR CAMPION'S FAULT by Mike Ripley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"The mystery is slight but pleasing, and packing Margery Allingham's notoriously fey hero, whom advancing age has appropriately subdued, off to Yorkshire is an inspired coup, tapping effectively into the class conflicts that power the story."
An untimely death summons Albert Campion's son and daughter-in-law to a boys' school in the Yorkshire coal-mining village of Denby Ash, where they're soon followed by their famous father, a relic of golden age detection, and his long-suffering wife. Read full book review >
FINAL ACT by J.M. Gregson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"An appealing cast of characters both on set and off makes Gregson's latest outing a pleasure for procedural buffs."
Lambert and Hook (A Necessary End, 2015, etc.) are stymied by an array of suspects who all make their living by deception. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jeff Chang
September 20, 2016

In the provocative essays in journalist Jeff Chang’s new book We Gon’ Be Alright, Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, personal writing, and cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. “He implores readers to listen, act, and become involved with today’s activists, who offer ‘new ways to see our past and our present,’ ” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” View video >