Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 5)

TIPPING THE VALET by K.K. Beck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 9, 2015

"Beck is back, and lovers of the antic, the manic, and the just plain off-the-wall will revel in her return."
Beck (We Interrupt This Broadcast, 1997, etc.) takes another mordant look at the underemployed in this tale of a car jockey who drives everyone crazy. Read full book review >
THE MONET MURDERS by Terry Mort
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Stretches of moderately brisk dialogue are punctuated by absolute clunkers, like Mort's description of Ethel, who 'resembled a fire hydrant in both length and shape.' As Manny might say, there's just too much meshugas here."
Mort, author of volumes about Cochise, Custer, and Hemingway, takes a fictional look at Depression-era Hollywood. Read full book review >

THE LAST SEPTEMBER by Nina de Gramont
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A fine literary whodunit from an accomplished storyteller."
A moody murder mystery infused with love and grief—and a fascination with Emily Dickinson. Read full book review >
THE SCENT OF SECRETS by Jane Thynne
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"The first in a planned trilogy, which leaves many loose ends Thynne will doubtless explore in the sequel, paints a horrifying portrait of the madness that was Hitler's Germany from the viewpoint of women, who are mostly relegated to the kitchen and the bedroom."
An Anglo-German actress leads a dangerous life in prewar Germany. Read full book review >
Movie Game by Michael Ebner
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A fast-paced, humorous novel, but one that rarely offers any critique of its protagonist's actions."
Ebner's (All the Talk Is Dead, 2009) novel tells of a cinephile's search for family, sex, and laughs, wrapped in a mystery. Read full book review >

THE ZIG ZAG GIRL by Elly Griffiths
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Griffiths (The Ghost Fields, 2015, etc.) weaves a compelling tale rich with historical detail and a cast of eccentric characters."
A series of bizarre murders in post-World War II England appears to be connected to the Magic Men, magicians who were part of a special ops group during the war, in this whodunit set in the world of tricks and illusion. Read full book review >
COME HELL OR HIGHBALL by Maia Chance
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Despite her heroine's distinct lack of class, Chance (Snow White Red Handed, 2014) provides enough saucy characters and silly antics to encourage admirers, just like Lola herself."
A high-society gal who finds herself penniless turns to the odd bit of detective work in an attempt to settle her late husband's debts. Read full book review >
HER FINAL BREATH by Robert Dugoni
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"The results are professional, even exhaustive, but uninspired, with the unmasking of the nondescript culprit a particular letdown. It all reads like an expansive anthology of genre scenes you've encountered a hundred times before."
Detective Tracy Crosswhite goes after the killer who's hogtying Seattle's exotic dancers and watching them strangle themselves to death. Read full book review >
DISHING THE DIRT by M.C. Beaton
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"As usual, Agatha attracts and forfeits the attentions of a number of eligible bachelors while hunting a clever killer; a basket full of red herrings makes this one of her more interesting cases."
A private detective continues her search for love in all the wrong places. Read full book review >
ENTRY ISLAND by Peter May
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Bleak settings needn't be drab—Emily Brontë knew that. But May's transplanted Scots have given up the gloaming for the gloomy."
A Montreal cop reeling from his divorce confronts ancestral tragedy when he's sent to investigate a murder on a remote island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Read full book review >
SHANGHAI REDEMPTION by Qiu Xiaolong
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Chen's 10th outing is another complex, methodical police procedural as well as a multifaceted look at a powerful society in flux."
Demoted to a largely ceremonial post, a master Chinese investigator struggles to understand his reduced circumstances and find his footing. Read full book review >
THE MYSTERY OF THE LOST CEZANNE by M.L. Longworth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Art theft is a hot topic on the mystery scene, and no one's heist is livelier than Longworth's."
Recently returned from holiday (Murder on the Île Sordou, 2014), examining magistrate Antoine Verlaque is confronted with a dead postman, a mysterious painting, a beautiful professor, and a short-tempered lover.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >