Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 6)

PLAIN DEAD by Emma Miller
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 29, 2015

"Amiable Rachel's not at her best as she badgers friends and neighbors. Still, Miller's third report from Stone Mill achieves better balance than Plain Killing (2014), merging a well-informed look into the tranquil world of the Amish with a fairly edgy puzzler."
A nosy newsman sets the Amish world of Stone Mill on its ear. Read full book review >
Missing Girls by Larry Crane
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 23, 2015

"A dynamic novel about justice, betrayal, and the attachment that we feel to our darkest stories."
Crane's (Baghdad on the Wabash, 2013, etc.) novel uses true-crime fact to fuel tense, emotional fiction. Read full book review >

THE WOMAN WHO DID by Lou Allin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 16, 2015

"The latest from veteran Allin (Contingency Plan, 2012, etc.) is a mediocre mystery whose historical information makes it worth reading."
It's 1896 in British Columbia, and a young police officer is working a case that's deeply personal to him. Read full book review >
TRACKING THE BEAST by Henry Kisor
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 16, 2015

"In this fifth Martinez procedural (Hang Fire, 2013, etc.), Kisor's measured yet relaxed style is a very good match for the multidimensional case."
Sheriff Steve Martinez of Michigan's Upper Peninsula tackles a complex case that involves a cluster of competing law enforcement groups plus some mobsters from Detroit. Read full book review >
SHOW ME THE ASHES by Carolyn Mulford
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 16, 2015

"Phoenix's fourth provides both plenty of action and enough likely suspects to keep you guessing."
A former CIA agent must find a way to solve a cold case without hurting her best friend's feelings. Read full book review >

DEATH BY DUMPSTER by Karen Hanson Stuyck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 16, 2015

"Stuyck's follow-up to Lauren's debut (Fit to Die, 2006) fleshes out her heroine's profile, but it's still too early to tell whether Lauren is a keeper."
An out-of-work journalist ghosts a memoir only to risk becoming a spirit herself. Read full book review >
Where Lemons Bloom by Blair McDowell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 16, 2015

"A heartwarming, perceptive romance with just enough high-stakes drama to keep readers turning the pages."
A young woman falls in love with an ex-con who's desperately trying to clear his name in this charming romance-cum-mystery. Read full book review >
BRYANT & MAY AND THE BURNING MAN by Christopher Fowler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"Even though the ending fizzles this time, not even Arthur Bryant's alarming behavior can dampen the 12th installment in the most joyously inventive mystery series of our time."
As riots send London into flaming chaos, the Peculiar Crimes Squad fights to solve a series of daily killings that have slipped under everyone else's radar. Read full book review >
THE TREACHEROUS NET by Helene Tursten
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"The case reaching back in time is considerably more tangled and less urgent than the one that points disquietingly toward the future, threatening to claim new victims. Through it all, DI Irene Huss remains appealingly unflappable under pressure."
Göteborg's Violent Crimes Unit never has a nice day. But this summer they're especially hard-pressed by diminishing numbers and a caseload that's soared a lot faster than Swedish temperatures. Read full book review >
CINNAMON TOASTED by Gail Oust
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"Oust does the formula proud, adding a kick to this mystery/romance that's so piquant it might have come straight out of Piper's shop."
A divorcée helps her ex-mother-in-law evade murder charges. Read full book review >
RED ICON by Sam Eastland
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"Another rousing wartime thriller that gets its facts and its storytelling right."
A sixth entry from the case files of troubled Finnish detective Inspector Pekkala. Read full book review >
Cast the First Stone by James C. Paavola
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"A slow-paced entry that's buoyed by a durable detective and a seemingly never-ending dossier of crimes."
The saga of Memphis police detective Julia Todd continues with this rollicking fifth installment of Paavola's (Blood Money, 2013, etc.) series. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >