Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 953)

THE SNARES OF DEATH by Kate Charles
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"Wildly improbable character motivation, but vintage village mystery buffs will adore the prissy parish spinsters, the long- suffering vicar's wife and the fortuitously dropped bits of gossip that fuel the sluggish plot."
For two-thirds of the book, obnoxious Evangelical minister Bob Dexter antagonizes his wife, daughter, new parishioners, animal- rights activists, and millionaire Noah Gates of the Gates of Heaven Printing Company, and then, finally, someone picks up part of an altar rail and dispatches him. Read full book review >
HEAD LOCK by Jerome Doolittle
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"Expect a rebuttal from Dan Quayle."
At the rate he's going, Tom Bethany, Boston's foremost Spenser imitator, will soon be out of the mystery business altogether. Read full book review >

THE SKELETON'S KNEE by Archer Mayor
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"Mayor, who could probably write dandy investigative nonfiction, needs to tighten up his storylines before this otherwise estimable series sinks into mediocrity."
When Vermont recluse Abraham Fuller dies, the autopsy reveals he was killed by an aneurysm—caused by a bullet shot at him about 20 years before. Read full book review >
CREEPING JENNY by John Sherwood
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"A prologue compares the snubbing of a local absentee squire to the anger of Achilles—an ironic but apt figure for the hyperinflation of village minutiae in this most British puzzler."
Yet another trip down the Miss Marple trail (her own phrase) for Celia Grant of Archerscroft Nurseries (The Hanging Garden, 1992, etc.). Read full book review >
THE SNAKE EATER by William G. Tapply
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"As you'd expect, the answers aren't quite as good as the questions, but this entry relies less on atmosphere and more on mystery than any of Brady's outings in years."
A rare criminal client for Boston probate attorney Brady Coyne (Tight Lines, 1992, etc.)—Daniel McCloud, arrested for growing 70 pounds of cannabis that he insists he's using to alleviate the effects of Agent Orange—leads to one of Brady's strangest cases when the marijuana charges are abruptly dropped and a manuscript that Brady's agreed to send to New York literary agent Al Coleman turns out to be fatal to both Daniel and Coleman. Read full book review >

LITERARY MURDER by Batya Gur
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 30, 1993

"But the characters' finely detailed moral intrigues pay off in the end."
An oppressive spring khamsin hangs over Jerusalem as Inspector Michael Ohayon (The Saturday Morning Murder, 1991) searches patiently for the link between the bludgeoning murder of Hebrew Language poet- superstar Shaul Tirosh and the scuba-diving ``accident'' of his protÇgÇ Iddo Dudai hours away in Eilat. Read full book review >
DIRE HAPPENINGS AT SCRATCH ANKLE by Celestine Sibley
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 30, 1993

"Motivation and culprit are briskly disposed of in the last pages of this Nancy Drew meets Sheena, Jungle Queen episode— frisky, amiable, and weightless."
Another chapter in the adventurous life of young widow Kate Mulcay, reporter-sleuth for an Atlanta newspaper (Straight as an Arrow, etc.). Read full book review >
NO LAUGHING MATTER by Dorothy Simpson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 30, 1993

"The author is coasting in this one—its piddling contrivances, dull characters, and somnolent pace will win no new fans for the usually reliable Inspector, who, it is to be hoped, will be back on track for number 13."
Sturrenden's Inspector Luke Thanet's 12th case (Wake the Dead, etc.) has him investigating the death of vineyard owner Zak Randish, found in his office amid a welter of blood and broken glass. Read full book review >
SOUTHERN CROSS by Stephen Greenleaf
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 23, 1993

"Greenleaf has a knack for making familiar scenes memorable— thanks to his keen sense of place and character (his people unfold as gracefully as poison flowers)—and sharpening them by the all-too- believable whiff of large-scale menace so typical of this fine series."
Fresh from wrestling with bogus AIDS therapies in Blood Type (1991), John Marshall Tanner takes on a generation of race hatred when he flies to Charleston to help lawyer Seth Hartman, an old college roommate who's been getting death threats from a white supremacist cabal called the Alliance for Southern Pride. Read full book review >
FOOTSTEPS IN THE BLOOD by Jennie Melville
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 19, 1993

"Red herrings abound, and Melville's style is more than a bit precious—but enough tension is generated to hold you to the finish of this woman-focused police procedural."
Chief Superintendent Charmian Daniels—settled in her cozy Windsor house (Dead Set, etc.) and about to climb yet another rung of the police corporate ladder—has made enemies along the way. Read full book review >
THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD by Lawrence Block
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 19, 1993

"Those who can take or leave Scudder will probably leave this gathering of shadows: loyalists, though, will hang on every word as Scudder makes his fascinatingly uncertain way through an increasingly uncertain world."
Mysteries of the heart eclipse those of the street in Matt Scudder's quietly compelling new case, which finds the p.i. avoiding the wrenching physical violence of his last few outings (A Walk Among the Tombstones, etc.) but falling prey to all sorts of emotional havoc. Read full book review >
THE DYING ROOM by E.X. Giroux
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 18, 1993

"Spottily intriguing, but the author does better with her British hero."
Giroux turns her attention from a series of cases involving London lawyer Robert Forsythe (A Death for a Dodo, etc.) to a story about Karen Dancer, a young widow who has returned, with eight- year-old daughter Jamie, to her hometown of Hampstead, Ontario. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Melissa Sweet
author of SOME WRITER!
September 26, 2016

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, two-time Caldecott Honor winner and 2014 Kirkus Prize finalist Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. “Like Charlotte, Sweet spins a terrific story,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A masterful biography that will enchant young readers.” View video >