Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 953)

MURDER ON THE CHESAPEAKE by David Osborn
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 1992

"Excellent depiction of boarding-school life, and Margaret, immensely toned down after Murder on Martha's Vineyard, is a likable, middle-aged sleuth—though the plot she perambulates through is still silly and implausible."
Hot-air balloon enthusiast Margaret Barlow returns to her alma mater, the snobby Brides Hall, to check up on her granddaughter after the death of a scholarship student, Mary Hughes, who was found hanged (murder? suicide?) in the bell tower. Read full book review >
GHOST DANCE: A PLAY OF VOICES by Gladys Swan
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 1992

"Swan is no Garc°a M†rquez, but this Southwest-flavored concoction, mildly experimental, leads us through an entertaining mix of entangling alliances and intrigues."
A second novel from Swan (after Carnival for the Gods, 1986), who's also published three collections: a multiple point-of-view extravaganza set in a small town in New Mexico on the occasion of the return of a Hollywood actress. Read full book review >

MURDER AT THE PENTAGON by Margaret Truman
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 1992

"The anemic mystery is partly redeemed by an engaging heroine and the usual inside dope about how many miles of telephone cable are inside the Pentagon. (Literary Guild Split Dual Selection for July)"
The latest entry in Truman's uneven but immensely popular series of D.C. mysteries starts with an unusually strong situation: Air Force J.D./chopper pilot Major Margit Falk is assigned over her protests to defend Sgt. Read full book review >
SLEIGHT OF HAND by Vivien Armstrong
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 1992

"The sort of mystery in which the clues are better handled than the characters (the Agatha Christie influence), but, still, a perfectly respectable first effort."
Imagine the shock that Francis Swayne's char gets when she discovers the dead barrister—hanging from a bathroom beam—in frilly lingerie, lip rouge, and a red wig. Read full book review >
BOOTLEGGER'S DAUGHTER by Margaret Maron
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 1992

"A fine start to a promising new series."
Relinquishing, for the moment, her dreary series featuring NYPD cop Sigrid Harald, Maron introduces country lawyer Deborah Knott, of Colleton County, North Carolina, whose daddy is a retired bootlegger and whose other relatives are so numerous that she'd be a shoo-in for judge if they all voted for her in the upcoming primary. Read full book review >

DEADLY REUNION by Jeffrey Ashford
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 1992

"There's a Highsmith quality to the suspense here, and a pleasure to be found in the pared-down prose."
Having recently lost his job, Gary Weston is vacationing alone on the Costa del Sol (his wife chose to stay home with her hypochondriacal mum) when an old school chum spots him, sets him up with a tootsie, then blackmails him into a clandestine sail (no running lights, etc.), during which they pick up three gun-toting Spaniards at a prearranged spot. Read full book review >
EMMA CHIZZIT AND THE NAPA NEMESIS by Mary Bowen Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 1992

"The plot is not only silly and implausible but unamusing and dull as well: a marked letdown from Emma's two prior, amiable excursions."
This time out, Emma Chizzit, amateur sleuth and aging owner of A-1 Salvage, joins her old chum Frannie and half of Napa Valley in search of an unpublished children's book that Robert Louis Stevenson supposedly left at Fountaingrove, a 19th-century Utopian colony. Read full book review >
SHOW STOPPER by Mary Monica Pulver
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 1992

"Still, if one is keen on the horsy set, the ambiance is right, and the author gently pricks the pretensions and single-mindedness of competitors, owners, and judges."
Tretower Farm heiress Kori Brichter (Original Sin, etc.) has barely arrived at the Fourth Annual Lafite Class-A All-Arabian Horse Show and won a blue ribbon in beginning dressage when a much disliked trainer, Keith Bulward, is murdered with a hoof-knife in one of Kori's stalls. Read full book review >
MARIA'S GIRLS by Jerome Charyn
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 1992

"Maria isn't as lucky, nor are unwary readers who aren't already steeped in the mythology of the Pink Commish."
The James Joyce of the police novel is at it again, this time with a manic, woolly tale of New York Police Commissioner Isaac Sidel's attempts to crack a ring of thieving school officials while protecting his flank from his sometime protÇgÇ detective Caroll Brent, formerly of the Sherwood Forest precinct in Central Park. Read full book review >
COFFIN ON MURDER STREET by Gwendoline Butler
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 1992

"Another of Butler's superior procedurals, marked by brisk pacing, a clutch of quirky characters, and an unflagging air of menace."
Big trouble in the Docklands area of London where Chief Commander John Coffin (Coffin and the Paper Man, etc.) heads the Police Force, living nearby in an old church that's been converted into apartments and a theater complex. Read full book review >
HARD LUCK by Barbara D’Amato
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 1992

"In all: nice, unhackneyed treatment of gambling, greed, nepotism, and excitement addicts."
Freelance journalist Cat Marsala (Hardball, Hard Tack) hits her stride in this third outing in which Jack Sligh, in charge of advertising for the Illinois State Lottery, plummets to his death, literally at her feet, leaving behind a memo indicating that he wanted to talk to her about misappropriation of lottery funds. Read full book review >
BLACK FIRE by Stuart Fox
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 1992

"A good plot in a good setting, but the reliance on swashbuckling smoke and mirrors takes the story perilously and needlessly close to farce."
Beijing sends a one-man death squad to Hong Kong to stem the exodus of edgy capitalists before new landlords take over the Crown Colony. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Libba Bray
author of LAIR OF DREAMS
August 25, 2015

In Lair of Dreams, the second installment of Libba Bray’s bestselling young adult Diviners series, after a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to "read" objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title "America's Sweetheart Seer." But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners' abilities....Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer? “Weaving together a chilling mystery with a truly elusive solution, several poignant love stories, agonizing injustice, terrifyingly monstrous dreams, and even a cameo by legendary psychiatrist Carl Jung, this installment wraps enough up to satisfy but clearly sets the stage for more,” our reviewer writes in a rare starred review. “How will readers stand the wait?” View video >