Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 945)

THE SECRETS OF THE CAMERA OBSCURA by David Knowles
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 6, 1994

"An intriguing first effort, working some thoughtful changes on the idea of vision and the theme of betrayal, marred by a simplistic and predictable trick ending right out of an old Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode."
Chronicle kicks off a new series of novellas in hardcover (see also Les Galloway's The Forty Fathom Bank, above) with a work highly reminiscent of Umberto Eco (among others) in its combination of historical research and contemporary suspense. Read full book review >
SILENT SON by Gallatin Warfield
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 6, 1994

It's not easy to carve out a niche in the increasingly crowded field of legal intrigue, and you have to admire the ingenuity of Warfield's approach: a courtroom mystery with no mystery. Read full book review >

JUBILEE by Robert McCrum
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 2, 1994

"Although McCrum is an expert at both deceiving and enlightening the reader, the high stakes of both the political and filial dramas are never made plausible, and this intricate mystery falls flat."
A clever but unconvincing suspense novel from the author of four previous novels (Mainland, 1992, etc.). Read full book review >
TENSLEEP by Sarah Andrews
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 1, 1994

"Oil-drilling operations and the rough-mouthed, rough-living characters who do the work get robust treatment here, but with the same sweet edge that enriches Em's spiky character and gives subtle nuancing to geologist Andrews's unhackneyed, accomplished first novel."
Geologist Emily Hansen, working as a mudlogger in the Tensleep Sandstone oilfield near tiny Meeteetse, Wyo., is sorely troubled by the seemingly accidental death of head geologist Bill Kretzmer and the subsequent killing of his protÇgÇ Willie Sewell, who had suspicions of his own. Read full book review >
OFF SEASON by Philip R. Craig
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 1, 1994

"It must be off season for crime and punishment too."
Ex-cop J.W. Jackson's idyllic engagement to Martha's Vineyard nurse Zee Madieras, and his ritual bouts of fishing and scalloping and cooking and eating, are interrupted by a feud between animal- rights activist Mimi Bettencourt and hunter/editorialist Ignacio Cortez over the proper use of the 50-acre tract that wealthy Carl Norton has just sold to a public commission; by a couple of run-ins with uncouth Providence hoodlum Joey Percell, who warns Nash Cortez to lay off them animal-rights people; and by a slight case of murder. Read full book review >

RED CARD by Richard Hoyt
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 1, 1994

"Rowayton versus the devil's striker''—this isn't any more exciting than the World Cup games Edson disrupts."
Here's a terrorist with a sense of propriety: Before launching attacks against players in soccer's World Cup, he sends yellow penalty cards—warnings of serious fouls meriting ejection—to the German and American teams. Read full book review >
WHITE MAN'S GRAVE by Richard Dooling
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 1, 1994

"North American versions of same, the novel is laudable as a fictional travel essay, passable as an acerbic melodrama, less interesting when it tries to be profound. (Book-of-the-Month Club/Quality Paperback Book Club featured selections; author tour)"
Using the unprincipled excesses of lawyers and insurers as both a background against which supposedly bizarre elements of West African culture are displayed and as a big fat target for ridicule, Dooling's (Critical Care, 1992) ethnographic thriller/satire set in present-day Sierra Leone portrays politics and witchcraft as two sides of a single coin. Read full book review >
BLACK MONEY by Michael M. Thomas
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 1, 1994

"Good nasty fun in the form of a plausible (if not altogether credible) plot offering object lessons on the wages of sin, laced with liberal measures of the author's trademark commentary on tempora et mores."
Another elegant entertainment from Thomas (Hanover Place, 1990, etc.), a former Lehman Brothers partner with a firm grasp of high finance and the low cunning that frequently informs it. Read full book review >
DEAD MEAT by Philip Kerr
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 1, 1994

"Not to be compared with Gorky Park, or with Kerr's own peerless Berlin chronicles of Bernie Gunther (A German Requiem, 1991, etc.)—but still a sharp, sour look at a post-Soviet world in which everything and everybody is up for grabs."
Kerr's nameless narrator, a Moscow police investigator sent to St. Read full book review >
THE CONCRETE BLONDE by Michael Connelly
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 1, 1994

"But the charming, if retro, writing ('The courtroom seemed as silent as a dead man's heart') and the lurid thrills make this gem as lovable as any tale of serial murder can be."
Veteran crime reporter Connelly's (The Black Ice, 1993) third novel deftly blends cop thriller and courtroom drama in a darkly gripping tale structured around a set of gruesome serial killings. Read full book review >
OBSIDIAN SKY by Guy Garcia
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1994

"A solid story skillfully blending mysticism with historical fact."
The author of Skin Deep (1989) this time takes as his protagonist a bright but annoying Berkeley Ph.D. student who uncovers an anthropological gold mine in the cities and remote countryside of Mexico. Read full book review >
BAD GIRL BLUES by Rex Dancer
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 1, 1994

"Too much of a good thing, maybe- -Andy sure gets beaten up and seduced a lot—but a welcome debut, filled with people who will live much longer in your memory than they do in this book."
The pseudonymous Dancer's first novel pits former Gotham fashion photographer AndrÇ Derain, now taking stills for a Hollywood movie as he smells the roses in New Orleans, against whoever killed Albert Ferrier, the male prostitute knifed outside Andy's place (with Andy's address in his pocket) while Andy was inside disporting himself with fading model Candice Browley. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kendare Blake
November 16, 2016

Bestseller Kendare Blake’s latest novel, Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. The last queen standing gets the crown. “Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, elegant, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >