Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 4)

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 >

KILLING ADONIS by J.M.  Donellan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"A most unusual mystery, indeed."
A nurse is hired to care for a comatose patient. Read full book review >
THE RETURN OF THE RAVEN MOCKER by Donis Casey
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"The mystery comes in second (or maybe third) to history lessons and paeans to traditional American values in this folksy tale of small towns and big hearts."
Hardworking farm wife Alafair Tucker unravels more mysterious deaths among her Oklahoma neighbors (All Men Fear Me, 2015, etc.). Read full book review >
THE DEATH OF KINGS by Rennie Airth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"The fifth in Airth's series (The Reckoning, 2014, etc.) is an intelligent character study conducted at a crawl. The hero's fans will find him as thoughtful and principled as ever, but lovers of heart-pounding whodunits should look elsewhere."
Two ex-detectives' persistence throws new light on an old murder in postwar England. Read full book review >

CRIMSON SNOW by Martin Edwards
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Just the thing for readers who crave a retreat from their own rounds of obligatory social events and a rationale assuring them that attending Christmas parties can provide quite a shock to other people's systems."
Indefatigable author/editor Edwards (Serpents in Eden, 2016, etc.), diving once more into the past, dusts off 11 mostly forgotten seasonal reprints from the golden age of the detective story. Read full book review >
AN UNSETTLING CRIME FOR SAMUEL CRADDOCK by Terry Shames
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"A favorite of fans who like their police procedurals with a strong ethical center, Shames provides the back story of a Southern cop caught between his job and his culture."
A fire on the wrong side of the tracks starts an investigation that digs as deeply into the crime as it does into the people surrounding it. Read full book review >
THE DANGEROUS LADIES AFFAIR by Marcia Muller
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"The husband-and-wife authors (The Plague of Thieves Affair, 2016, etc.) manage the double plot with professional dexterity. Sadly, though, each of the separate cases peaks around the halfway point before ingenuity and interest fade. And shouldn't the title really be The Dangerous Ladies Affairs?"
The intrepid partners in Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services, land a pair of cases that both begin with adulterous affairs but take them in very different directions. Read full book review >
A FATAL TWIST by Tracy Weber
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 8, 2017

"Though Weber tries to liven up her lead's life in her latest (Karma's a Killer, 2016, etc.), she's less focused on fun than others in the dog/yoga/mystery genre."
A yoga instructor who wants the inner peace of knowing her student is innocent must get her hands dirty in a murder investigation. Read full book review >
THE ELUSIVE ELIXIR  by Gigi Pandian
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 8, 2017

"The unbelievable premise is no problem given the inventive powers of Pandian, whose alchemist series (The Masquerading Magician, 2016, etc.) is enriched this time by her sharper focus on developing her characters' back stories."
A gifted alchemist may have to choose between rescuing a friend and keeping her own identity secret. Read full book review >
THE BID by Adrian Magson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 8, 2017

"Much of the pleasure in reading this tangled yarn from the prolific Magson (Hard Cover, 2016, etc.) comes from putting the pieces together along with his pair of sleuths. Though the story unfolds predictably, they have nice chemistry and banter with aplomb."
With the stakes high and time running out, two security experts try to piece together the last hours of a missing client. Read full book review >
A PERILOUS UNDERTAKING by Deanna Raybourn
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"Although Raybourn's wit and whimsy veer dangerously close to the twee, you have to admire her self-sufficient heroine, who divides her attention so comfortably between lepidoptery and Victorian sexcapades."
An unconventional 19th-century sleuth and her equally eccentric sidekick uncover dark secrets of the upper class in this sequel to A Curious Beginning (2015). 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 >