Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 5)

KNOCK ON WOOD by Linda O. Johnston
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 2015

"Although Johnston (Bite the Biscuit, 2015, etc.) is as heavy-handed with references to luck as the Destiny citizens are in seeding their sidewalks with heads-up pennies, the over-the-top characterization works."
A newcomer to a town obsessed with luck tries to solve the murder of her friend's suitor while keeping her fingers crossed. Read full book review >
THE BIG DRUGSTORE by Patrick Irelan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 11, 2015

"Irelan (The Miracle Boy, 2013, etc.) plots as lackadaisically as Raymond Chandler, and Mike seems to think he's Philip Marlowe. He's not, but this first case could put the Quad Cities on the sleuthing map, especially since a sequel is reportedly in the works."
A shamus who plies his trade in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois, where "the best we could hope for was a day without toxic spills," lands a case that begins with the shoplifting of a tube of toothpaste and leads swiftly to multiple murder. Read full book review >

DEATH WEARS A MASK by Ashley Weaver
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Fans with fond memories of Georgette Heyer's mysteries set in the same period will be delighted with the gallery of suspects and the edgy romance."
A second murder investigation is in the cards for a 1930s society couple. Read full book review >
THE STAGES by Thom Satterlee
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Daniel's debut places the solution to a mystery in the hands of someone whose own mind is a mystery, most of all to himself. Here's hoping Satterlee will give Daniel another go."
An American translator in Copenhagen finds Kierkegaard's prose easier to understand than the workings of his own heart. Read full book review >
DARK RESERVATIONS by John Fortunato
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A fine debut from Fortunato, an FBI special agent who knows his way around police work. Plenty of red herrings, dark horses, and quirky characters hold your interest from beginning to end."
A disgraced police officer catches a cold case whose political overtones make it red hot. Read full book review >

THE DO-RIGHT by Lisa Sandlin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Despite plot pieces that fit together a little too snugly, Sandlin blends pathos, humor, and poetic prose in a strong debut."
A former oilman and a determined parolee form a detective team in Texas' bayou country. Read full book review >
SACRIFICE by Philip Freeman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 15, 2015

"Despite Freeman's earnest enthusiasm for his subject, this sequel to St. Brigid's Bones (2014) works marginally better as a mystery than as a historical novel."
It's druids versus Christians in a series of ritual murders that rend sixth-century Ireland. Read full book review >
YUCATÁN IS MURDER by Dirk Wyle
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 15, 2015

"Your nerdy uncle gets creepy, transforming his vacation travelogue into Raiders of the Lost Ark meets Eyes Wide Shut. Worth reading only if that uncle is your hero."
Modern and Mayan cultures clash in scientist Ben Candidi's sixth adventure (Bahamas West End is Murder, 2005, etc.).Read full book review >
CARTER & LOVECRAFT by Jonathan L.  Howard
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 20, 2015

"Fans of the original Lovecraft will have their rewards—Cthulu (spoiler alert) makes an appearance—but this series debut from Howard (Nightclubbing, 2015, etc.) shines brightest when keeping to his characters' easy banter and creepy deaths."
A former cop delves into the supernatural when he's teamed with one of H.P. Lovecraft's descendants to solve a crime. Read full book review >
NINE LIVES by Wendy Corsi Staub
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 26, 2015

"Though this new series from Staub (Blood Red, 2015, etc.) is being compared to Mary Higgins Clark, the story, for better or worse, is a good deal sweeter and gentler than Clark. No spirits were bruised in the writing of this tale."
A young widow stumbles on a town filled with psychic energy that encourages her to investigate an accidental death that may have been a murder. Read full book review >
MRS. ROOSEVELT'S CONFIDANTE by Susan Elia MacNeal
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"MacNeal (The Prime Minister's Secret Agent, 2014, etc.) paints an engrossing portrait of a country on the verge of war, with many laws suspended and prejudice rife—a world not that much different from today."
In 1941, Christmas offers hope for a beleaguered Great Britain but no peace for an English spy. Read full book review >
A BLOSSOM OF BRIGHT LIGHT by Suzanne Chazin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"Chazin's latest (Land of Careful Shadows, 2014) again deftly weaves some difficult and topical subjects into a police procedural."
A feeling of guilt spurs on a detective in a murder case. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >