Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 931)

RAVENMOCKER by Jean Hager
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1992

"A pretty dull excursion."
Molly Bearpaw is the lone employee of the Oklahoma branch of the Native American Advocacy League but, in this initial outing, spends most of her time playing detective. Read full book review >
32 CADILLACS by Joe Gores
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 1992

"You'll wish the shenanigans could go on forever—and they almost do."
Hours after gypsy king Staley Zlachi tumbles down an escalator in a Steubenville, Iowa, department store, word goes out that the dying king is prepared to anoint his successor—and the two leading candidates, Rudolph Marino and Madame Miseria (also known as Yana), both decide to ingratiate themselves with the king by bringing him a pink 1958 Cadillac ragtop convertible (just like the one he drove to his own coronation) to be buried in. Read full book review >

MURDER ON THE THIRTEENTH by A.E. Eddenden
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 30, 1992

"The climactic unmasking itself, though, adds surprisingly little to our understanding of the killer."
More calendar-linked skullduggery for Inspector Albert Tretheway of Fort York, Canada (A Good Year for Murder, 1987—not reviewed), as 1943 is ushered in by a mysterious wax-burning—the work of a witch?- -during a blackout on January 13. Read full book review >
DESERT SINNER by Ralph McInerny
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 23, 1992

"McInerny in fine form."
Father Dowling's old friend Captain Phil Keegan of the Fox River police (Judas Priest, etc., etc.) has no doubts about the guilt of Stacey Wilson, doing life for the murder of her rich husband. Read full book review >
THE DEVIL'S CARD by Mary Maher
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 23, 1992

"More successful, then, as a sensitive, though slow-moving, historical reconstruction of ethnic tensions among the Chicago Irish than as a puzzle or thriller."
A fictionalized review of a celebrated 1889 Chicago case: the disappearance and murder of Dr. Patrick Cronin. Read full book review >

THE NOEL COWARD MURDER CASE by George Baxt
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 23, 1992

"Fans of show-biz lore may love it—others, be warned."
Baxt once again on his resurrection mission (The Greta Garbo Murder Case, p. 76, etc.)—attempting to bring to fictional life a celebrity from an earlier era—complete with silly plot; imagined dialogue; friends and relations. Read full book review >
TO KILL A CLOWN by David Charnee
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 23, 1992

"Goodwin partnership, and a series with a respectable future."
Pat Arnold, the houseboy/secretary/and sometime snoop for attorney-detective D.L. Blacker, now gets a crack at working at his favorite occupation—clown—when he's hired as one of 50 nationwide clowns for the Terry Town fast-food chain; unfortunately, though, at the annual meeting in New York, Pat's clown-pal Rick is killed- -supposedly by his spurned lover, one more Terry Town employee who's then killed in a shootout with a cop investigating the case. Read full book review >
MOM AMONG THE LIARS by James Yaffe
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 23, 1992

"The usual mix of Mom's Yiddish shtick, Dave's guilt-ridden inability to reason as she does, and some mildly interesting characters—all in a low-key, amiable, but unexciting story."
Once again, Mom's the sleuth who solves the case for son Dave, investigator for public defender Ann Swenson in Mesa Grande, Colorado (Mom Doth Murder Sleep, etc.). Read full book review >
LANDFALL by Tony Gibbs
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 20, 1992

"The sailing scenes are, as always, outstanding."
The dashing crew of the yacht Glory, who sailed through Gibbs's Dead Run (1988) and Running Fix (1990) steer through the shoals of Middle Eastern politics without ever leaving the Caribbean. Read full book review >
DANCING IN THE DARK by Sharon Zukowski
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 20, 1992

"Strained, with too much on Blaine's love-life and drinking habits and not enough plot subtlety or sound characterization."
Young widow Blaine Stewart, a Manhattan p.i. Read full book review >
ONE, TWO, WHAT DID DADDY DO? by Susan Rogers  Cooper
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 20, 1992

"EWSLUGEJ's rough mouth and confrontational ways make her the unlikeliest writer of romances one could imagine, but she's real, warmhearted, unsoppy, and tells her fast-moving, thoroughly engrossing story with straight-ahead verve."
Cooper, creator of the well-regarded Sheriff Milton Kovack series (Chasing Away the Devil, etc.), has a gutsy new sleuth in Texas housewife/romance writer E.J. Pugh—wife of oil-field consultant Willis and mother of two small children. Read full book review >
STATE V. JUSTICE by Gallatin Warfield
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 19, 1992

"Russian diplomats, interagency rivalries, and a tooth-and-nail legal battle between wily sworn enemies—all these sure-fire hooks get neutralized by Warfield's flatly moralized characters, one-dimensional plot complications, absent-minded handling of subplots, and distaste for genuine mystery."
Despite a publicity blitz unusual for a first novel (an initial printing of 50,000), this tale of how an open-and-shut case against a convicted pedophile for the murder of a Russian diplomat's son runs up against the defense attorney's maniacal hatred of the upright D.A. doesn't give Scott Turow much competition. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >