Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 945)

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 >
THE LOST KEATS by Terence Faherty
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 19, 1993

"Less metaphysical intrigue than in last year's Live to Regret, but still this reflects Owen's attempts to reconcile his feelings with his actions—and it's told with the self-deprecating humor of Deadstick."
In August 1973, Owen Keane (in this prequel to Deadstick, 1991) is AR—At-Risk of dropping out—of a southern Indiana seminary when his spiritual advisor, Father Jerome, suggests that he look into the disappearance of his classmate Michael Crosley, who simply up and left the premises two weeks back. Read full book review >

GRIEVOUS SIN by Faye Kellerman
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 19, 1993

"But Kellerman's plotting still veers into melodrama, undercutting her story's plausibility."
While his wife is recovering from birthing complications, Peter Decker of the LAPD (False Prophet, etc.)—along with his partner Marge and his teenage daughter, Cindy, from his first marriage—investigate the kidnapping of baby Rodriguez from the hospital nursery. Read full book review >
A VOW OF SANCTITY by Veronica Black
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 19, 1993

"Nicely done craggy, uncomfortable atmosphere for a benign kind of villainy."
Sister Joan, sometime sleuth of the order of the Daughters of Compassion (A Vow of Chastity, etc.), is spending the end of summer in a spiritual retreat in remotest Scotland—a one-person cave high above a loch. Read full book review >
NORTH STAR CONSPIRACY by Miriam Grace Monfredo
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 17, 1993

Unmarried (by choice) librarian Glynis Tryon (Seneca Falls Inheritance, 1992) learns firsthand of the iniquities of slavery when her boardinghouse landlady's son Niles returns to their western New York home with Kiri—a beautiful mulatto slave he helped escape from a Virginia plantation. Read full book review >

NEVER DIE IN JANUARY by Alan Scholefield
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 17, 1993

"The Macrae-Silver series (Thief Taker, Dirty Weekend) ranks high among the British procedurals with psychological undertones."
Leo Silver, the new breed of cop at the Met (yuppified/no strong-arm stuff) receives an awful assignment: a secret investigation of his partner, George Macrae—a hard-drinking, tough as tire-iron copper—and of the allegation that he's bent. Read full book review >
THE ROTARY CLUB MURDER MYSTERY by Graham Landrum
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 17, 1993

"The southern charm remains, but the lack of tension, slow pace, and overplotting make for a respectable but less than compelling second outing."
A return outing for 80-ish southern grande dame Harriet Bushrow, a major participant in solving the author's first—The Famous DAR Murder Mystery. Read full book review >
SUMMER COOL by Al Sarrantonio
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 16, 1993

"Sleep well, America."
When her husband Bobby, a Yonkers cop, goes out for ice cream one hot night and never comes back—pausing in his flight only long enough to make an abusive 4 a.m. phone call and clean out their bank accounts—Terry Petty calls Bobby's old friend and former colleague, stargazing shamus Jack Paine (who debuted in Cold Night, 1989). Read full book review >
TO DIE LIKE A GENTLEMAN by Bernard Bastable
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 16, 1993

"The enthralled reader, briskly carried along by the author's literate, subtle, suspenseful narrative, may feel a bit let down by the abruptness of the windup—but the going is sheer delight in the hands of a master of the genre."
Author Robert Barnard, writing for the first time as Bernard Bastable, sets his story in the English countryside of 1842 and in the Elmstead Court household of Sir Richard Hudson—comprised of Sir Richard, his wife, son Andrew, and three daughters, the oldest of whom is rebellious 18-year-old Jane. Read full book review >
SLOW BURN by Eleanor Taylor Bland
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 16, 1993

"More polished than this team's debut, with a toned-down relationship between Marti (black) and Vik (white), and with more nuances to Marti's dealing with the black community and her own two grieving children."
A second outing for Lincoln Park, Illinois, detectives MacAlister and Jessenovik (Dead Time, 1992) again finds them tired, overworked, and ODing on bad coffee while the bodies pile up- -including two at an abortion clinic that's been torched. Read full book review >
THE WYNDHAM CASE by Jill Paton Walsh
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 16, 1993

"A leisurely, literate style, an intriguing clutch of academic eccentrics, a clever puzzle, and a sharply intelligent sleuth whose gentleness sets her apart from the hard-edged aggressions of her fictional contemporaries—all in a refreshing debut in the Sayers tradition."
A first appearance for Imogen Quy (rhymes with ``why''), an English school nurse with a flair for detection. Read full book review >
AGATHA RAISIN AND THE VICIOUS VET by M.C. Beaton
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 16, 1993

"Clumsy plotting, a clutch of listless characters, and the singularly charmless Agatha Raisin—in one of Beaton's least attractive outings."
Fifty-ish Agatha Raisin, the author's amateur second-string sleuth (Hamish MacBeth being the pro), has yet to feel comfortably settled in the Cotswold village of Carsely, where neighboring bachelor James Lacey eludes her romantic overtures and life is dull (Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, 1992). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >