Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 931)

STORM SURGE by T.J. MacGregor
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"The atmospheric Miami backdrop should boost local sales."
Minutes after mailing four envelopes filled with photos and cryptic notes to four different addresses, retired criminologist Charlie Potemkin is gunned down in his apartment, and it's up to husband-and-wife sleuths Mike McCleary and Quin St. Read full book review >
MURDER by Annette Meyers
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Better-than-usual for the series."
Former Broadway dancer Leslie Wetzon, now a Wall Street executive headhunter, accompanies her best friend Carlos, a campy, gay choreographer, to a rehearsal of his new show—and discovers the dead body of Dilla, the much-disliked production assistant, draped over the balcony. Read full book review >

TWICE IN A BLUE MOON by Patricia Moyes
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Echt cozy, and just the tonic for frazzled nerves: Moyes at her most companionable."
Gardiner cousins James and Susan, who haven't kept up with each other, are reunited at the reading of Uncle Sebastian's will: James gets the London townhouse, worth a packet, and Susan, a Swiss-trained restauranteur, is left the Blue Moon, a derelict inn in Essex. Read full book review >
NO HAPPY ENDING by Paco Ignacio Taibo
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"A huge (400,000) printing is planned for Russia, where Taibo's manic antiestablishment paranoia should sell very well indeed."
What are the Halcones—that shadowy paramilitary group behind the violent government repression of student demonstrations back in 1970- -up to now? Read full book review >
PRIZED POSSESSIONS by L.R. Wright
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Though she doesn't share Ruth Rendell's command of narrative momentum—events here seem to swim by in agonized slow motion—Wright is fully her equal in psychological studies of compulsion, and this is one of her finest."
Given a week's compassionate leave he doesn't need after his newly widowed mother briskly announces plans to get on with her own life, Sechelt (British Columbia) Mountie Karl Alberg (Fall from Grace, etc.) agrees to take the time to track down Charlie O'Brea—a vanished insurance executive who, he discovers, has been spending a year planning his escape from his marriage to his obsessively devoted wife Emma (``I was her career''). Read full book review >

PRAY GOD TO DIE by Carey Roberts
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Good question."
Washington, D.C., homicide cop Anne Fitzhugh's hardcover debut (by the coauthor of the historical novel Tidewater Dynasty, 1981) is the hilariously amateurish tale of the murder of well-connected environmentalist Caroline McKelvey—who switched from lobbying to a staff job for high-profile New Jersey Congressman James Woodward (whose name is being bruited as the first cabinet Secretary for Environmental Protection) just in time to get her neck sliced right in the ``aorta artery.'' As if her links to the Woodward entourage don't provide suspicions enough, Caro was also seeing a lot of charismatic canon Jesse Clore, of neighboring Washington Cathedral, and had newspeople for two of her closest neighbors and a thoroughly misfit brother who admits, ``I take what I can...whenever I can.'' Plus, she was about to give her fiancÇ, Lt. Read full book review >
THE LIES THAT BIND by Judith Van Gieson
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

Albuquerque damn-the-establishment, marginally solvent lawyer Neil Hamel (The Wolf Path, etc.) finds herself defending aging, vodka-and-Halcion-addicted Martha Conover—the strait-laced, racist mother of her former school chum Cindy—on charges that she intentionally ran over and killed young Argentine ÇmigrÇ Justine Virga on Halloween. Read full book review >
SWITCHBACK by Collin Wilcox
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Surprisingly sloppy work from Wilcox (he puts credit cards in the victim's purse, for instance, then later says she had no charge cards), but he almost salvages this with a deft plot-twist or two and a compelling portrait of the beginnings of an affair."
San Francisco homicide co-commander Frank Hastings (Dead Center, etc.), in trying to make sense out of beautiful Lisa Franklin's life and death (a jogger found her body out at Baker Beach), interviews her neighbors, the burned-out Jamie and the spaced-out C.J., along with her roommate Barbara Estes—and learns not only that the two women were lovers but also that Lisa, a self- labeled ``courtesan,'' was being kept in solvency by three men, one of whom was the target of an SEC investigation. Read full book review >
A HOVERING OF VULTURES by Robert Barnard
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"He has fun with the poseurs and aspirers—and so will the reader."
Scotland Yard is keeping tabs on suave, wily antique-book dealer Gerald Suzman, involved in several lucrative literary scams over the years and now the creator of the Sneddon Fellowship, celebrating the novels of Susannah Sneddon. Read full book review >
THE IRON HAND OF MARS by Lindsey Davis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 31, 1993

"More adventure than mystery this time, with an unmemorable supporting cast and the local color from Falco's latest travelogue overshadowing his ripe backchat—though some readers may like Falco best when he's most subdued."
Tacitus' ``year of four emperors''—A.D. 71. Read full book review >
THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF MERIWETHER LEWIS by Ron Burns
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 20, 1993

"Lively and readable, but overlong (even at its length), and not unusually compelling."
According to the history books, Lewis (of Lewis and Clark fame) was shot to death at a Tennessee tavern on his way to Washington to protest the post-Jefferson government's failure to honor his expense vouchers. Read full book review >
MISCHIEF by Ed McBain
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 19, 1993

"Not up to the series' best but still steadily engrossing cop- fare from an old hand."
McBain's 45th novel of the 87th Precinct—and you can see that practice has made this latest not perfect but perfectly easy to enjoy, with—per the formula—several parallel plots, fueled not by their modest inventiveness but by the author's confident prose: McBain knows these cops and their city of Isola like Satan knows sin, and it shows. 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 >