Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 6)

A TANGLED THREAD by Anthea Fraser
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"Once again, Fraser (The Unburied Past, 2013, etc.) uses complicated domestic relationships as the basis for a good mystery served up with plenty of family angst."
A murdered man in Blaircomrie, Scotland, seems to have no identity; then he has too many. Read full book review >
LIGHTS, CAMERA, MURDER! by Marie Celine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"A run-of-the-mill cozy with many too many confusing storylines."
A pet chef's dream job is derailed by murder. Read full book review >

DESERT CITY DIVA by Corey Lynn Fayman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"In a world where anything can happen, the most obvious answers are still the right ones, leaving little room for mystery in the plot. The worldbuilding, by contrast, is very mysterious indeed."
A young DJ who wants help finding her birth family hires a detective willing to ride her untrustworthy tales to the truth. Read full book review >
FATAL CATCH by Pauline Rowson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"The low-concept procedural, cluttered with nondescript suspects and forgettable clues, is little more than a distraction from Horton's continuing quest into his mother's disappearance. Pray that he solves the mystery before it undermines any more of his present-day cases."
Will an unsavory catch by a pair of Portsmouth fishermen be enough to take DI Andy Horton's mind off his mother's disappearance 30 years ago? Don't bet on it. Read full book review >
LOUISE'S CHANCE by Sarah R. Shaber
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"Louise's fifth outing (Louise's Dilemma, 2013, etc.) once again takes the smart and independent heroine into one of the lesser-known arenas of the war. Solid characterizations and a faithful re-creation of wartime life more than make up for the leisurely pace."
An intelligence agent gets more than she bargained for when she's promoted during the final days of World War II. Read full book review >

THE CASE OF THE MISSING MADONNA by Lin Anderson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"Anderson, who clearly intends Patrick (The Case of the Black Pearl, 2014) to come across as sophisticated and debonair, hasn't bothered to make him interesting, and the villains are right out of war surplus. Nothing new here, not even the highly competent undersea action."
Turning down a request from his former colleagues in Her Majesty's service, private inquiry agent Patrick de Courvoisier accepts another case instead, then finds himself banging heads with his old mates anyway. Read full book review >
THE LUZERN PHOTOGRAPH by William Bayer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"Nazis, sadomasochism, and psychoanalysis always provide a heady mix, and a little murder thrown in pushes Bayer's latest into the radioactive zone."
Edgar winner Bayer (The Dream of Broken Horses, 2002, etc.) continues his romance with psychoanalysis with a riff on Lou Andreas-Salomé's persona as analyst and femme fatale.Read full book review >
THE HERALD OF HELL by Paul Doherty
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"A cerebral, slowly unwinding whodunit rooted in history, packed with details of lives so wretched that it's no wonder revolution was in the air."
As a revolution brews amid the squalid streets of 1381 London, a murder fights for attention. Read full book review >
Haunting Investigation by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 31, 2015

"Engaging characters, one already dead, highlight this loving tribute to the classic detective story."
In Yarbro's (Sustenance: A Saint-Germain Novel, 2014, etc.) mystery/thriller, a journalist in 1924 investigates a possible murder with help from the ghost who's haunting her.
Read full book review >
MURDER MOST MALICIOUS by Alyssa Maxwell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 29, 2015

"Putting aside her Gilded Newport series (Murder at Beechwood, 2015, etc.), Maxwell provides a neat little mystery and a heavily atmospheric look at life in a great house after the trials of the war."
An aristocrat and her maid take on a case of murder. Read full book review >
THREAD AND GONE by Lea Wait
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 29, 2015

"It's a big jump from needlework to homicide, but Wait combines a plausible plot with the same rockbound coastal atmosphere as in Shadows on a Maine Christmas (2014)."
Historic embroidery is a motive for murder in a small Maine town. Read full book review >
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 >
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 >