Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 8)

BLOOD OF THE OAK by Eliot Pattison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 8, 2015

"The fourth installment in Pattison's Bone Rattler series (Original Death, 2013, etc.) is another complexly plotted historical mystery written in a baroque style highly suggestive of the period and unblinking in its portrayal of American history's dark lessons."
In Colonial America, a Scottish exile stumbles onto a conspiracy of killers in a most unlikely place. Read full book review >
HIS RIGHT HAND by Mette Ivie Harrison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"This second case for Linda (The Bishop's Wife, 2014, etc.) does a wonderful job of parting the curtain on many of the Mormon Church's mysteries."
A Mormon bishop's wife questions tenets of her faith and searches for clues to her own identity while hunting a murderer. Read full book review >

THE VULTURE by Frederick Ramsay
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Ike's 10th (Drowning Barbie, 2014, etc.) uses themes cut from current headlines to ramp up the excitement."
The sheriff of Picketsville, Virginia, has seen a lot of trouble over the years. But who hates him enough to try to blow him to kingdom come? Read full book review >
RIOT MOST UNCOUTH by Daniel Friedman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Whether the young rake is charming despite or because of his nonstop sarcasm, egoism, and debauchery will depend on the reader's tastes. But given Byron's short life span, Friedman will need to check back with his hero every few months in order to stretch his series to more than a few volumes."
The creator of Buck Schatz (Don't Ever Look Back, 2014, etc.) takes a giant leap back in time to present a murder solved by George Gordon Noel, Lord Byron.Read full book review >
ORNAMENTS OF DEATH by Jane K. Cleland
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"The 10th in Cleland's charming and informative series (Blood Rubies, 2014, etc.) pairs plenty of antiques knowledge with a puzzling mystery."
Christmas is coming and so is murder. Read full book review >

BROOKLYN SECRETS by Triss Stein
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"The lack of resolution or care in wrapping up the mystery makes it clear that Stein's interests lie elsewhere, perhaps in informing readers about the borough's history. The threads of old Brooklyn, modern menace, and Erica's own life never quite come together."
A single mother in graduate school puts aside her research on Brooklyn to learn more about why a local girl has been beaten. Read full book review >
THE RED STORM by Grant Bywaters
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"The best things here are Fletcher's detailed, precise first-person descriptions of boxing and slugging and his accounts of the racism to which he's routinely subjected. But although Bywaters plows some of the same fields as Walter Mosley, the harvest isn't nearly as rich."
This debut novel introduces an African-American boxer-turned-shamus struggling to ply his trade in Depression-era New Orleans. Read full book review >
HARBOUR STREET by Ann Cleeves
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Even though you may wish you could prod Cleeves (Dead Water, 2014, etc.) to pick up the leisurely pace, the complexities of the people and plot make the wait worthwhile."
A murder on the Metro presents a fifth case for a police inspector as smart as she is charmless. Read full book review >
TIME OF DEPARTURE by Douglas Schofield
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"There's little new ground trodden in this debut, and the jarring narrative shifts do the paper-thin plot few favors."
A tough Florida prosecutor trying to prove herself in a male-dominated environment finds unsettling personal connections to a 1970s cold case involving eight abducted women. Read full book review >
SPLINTER THE SILENCE by Val McDermid
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"There's a stroke of inspiration in imagining how easily the murderous impulses of online trolls might be unleashed, but neither that premise nor the duo who've won fans to the series are well-served by this entry."
An Internet bully decides to take the next step to actual violence in the latest Tony Hill and Carol Jordan thriller. Read full book review >
GUILTY AS SIN by Judith Cutler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Another solid outing for Cutler, who never lets her interest in Lina's developing relationships cloud her eye for the puzzle."
Antiques restorer Lina Townend (Guilt Edged, 2013, etc.) gets her knickers in a knot when she suspects that someone's stealing an old woman's treasures.Read full book review >
MARSEILLE NOIR by Cédric Fabre
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Just as Marseille is tailor-made for noir, this dark banquet is tailor-made for noir fans."
Gritty from east to west, Marseille is the perfect venue for the latest in Akashic's venerable Noir 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 >