Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 953)

WHO P-P-P-PLUGGED ROGER RABBIT? by Gary K. Wolf
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 12, 1991

"The perfect bookstore browse, though most readers will have had their fill before reaching the register."
Wolf's sequel to Who Censured Roger Rabbit?, the basis for the wildly successful film, presents private eye Eddie Valiant with some conflicting jobs: Roger Rabbit wants him to find out whether Clark Gable's beaten him out for the lead in Gone With the Wind—as well as out of wife Jessica's affections; David Selznick wants him to investigate the theft of a mysterious box from his office (the suspects are the three actors auditioning for Rhett Butler: Gable, Baby Herman, and Roger); Gable wants Eddie to find out who's been planting tabloid stories that say he's gay; and the murder of shadowy toon Kirk Enigman with Eddie's own gun sparks a search for the secret formula for Toon Tonic, which turns people into animated Toons (and vice versa). Read full book review >
MOSAIC by Susan Moody
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 5, 1991

"Perhaps seasoned puzzle-mystery lovers will be amused; everyone else will throw up their hands and cry I give long before the other shoe drops."
Moody, a British mystery writer known for her paperback Penny Wanawake series, makes an inter-genre excursion in a novel that begins as a garden-variety intrigue and then unfolds into a puzzler of the most Byzantine sort. Read full book review >

THE SONG DOG by James McClure
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"And the rich, oppressive South African atmosphere is as memorably tangy as ever."
What to do with South African detective Tromp Kramer and his Bantu sidekick Mickey Zondi (The Steam Pig, The Artful Egg, etc.) now that apartheid's stranglehold is loosening? Read full book review >
CATS PAW, INC. by L.L. Thrasher
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"Still, diverting and capable of stretching to a series."
The latest entry in the Brown Bag Mystery series features first-time author Thrasher's smooth p.i. caper, which ranges from one end of Oregon to the other. Read full book review >
POINT OF IMPACT by Jack Curtis
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"Kind of a sophisticated cops-and-robbers variant of the spaghetti western: tough yet sentimental, unwieldy yet grand, suspenseful yet utterly predictable as its textured yet super-macho hero and villains vector toward their inexorable fates."
Big and brawny British police procedural—London cop vs. serial killer and cohorts—by the talented author of Glory and Crow's Parliament. Read full book review >

A DEDICATED MAN by Peter Robinson
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"A tidy, articulate, well-observed sample of the current retro- Thirties British school—there's even a superfluous map of Swainsdale- -that carries you along on a rising tide of suppressed passion to the uninspired denouement."
Who killed workaholic industrial archeologist/local historian Harry Steadman of Swainsdale and carted his body off to be buried near a crumbling wall? Read full book review >
MAMISTA by Len Deighton
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"The spirits of Graham Greene and Joseph Conrad hover over this stately, outstanding mix of tragedy and black farce that builds slowly—but inexorably—to its piercing conclusion."
Deighton's longest, most complex and passionate novel in years: an epic tale, set in a South American jungle, of good men and women crushed beneath the heel of Realpolitik. Read full book review >
A SCANDAL IN BELGRAVIA by Robert Barnard
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"The reader may doubt the ability of Proctor and other characters to recall in detail 30-year-old conversations and events, but Proctor's story is quietly engrossing all the way to its jolting conclusion."
Ever-versatile Barnard (A City of Strangers, etc.) gives us a low-keyed story told by wryly self-deprecating widower and ex- cabinet minister Peter Proctor, now retired and writing memoirs that even he finds boring—until his memory of Timothy Wycliffe is revived. Read full book review >
LET US PREY by Gerald Hammond
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"Amiable and gently humorous, but readers not into guns and birds may be dropouts before it's all over."
Gun-and-game expert Keith Calder's newest exploit is shared by kindly, middle-aged solicitor Ralph Enterkin (Sauce for the Pigeon, 1985, etc.), who narrates the story. Read full book review >
THE NIGHTMARE MAN by Michael Fisher
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"Offbeat and exciting enough to warrant the effort."
A psychic ex-cop, still haunted by his wife's recent kidnapping and murder, tracks down the killer of an old friend and exposes a bloody scheme to smuggle cocaine into Australia. Read full book review >
MAXIMUM BOB by Elmore Leonard
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"Gibbs rolls around like a loose wheel, and the whole affair seems more like a pale Carl Hiaasen imitation than true-blue Leonard: It's all a big disappointment after Leonard's crackling last, Get Shorty (1990)."
Leonard returns to the Florida coastline for his weakest novel since Touch (1987)—a bumpily humorous but unfocused seriofarce about a probation officer and the eccentric judge she gets entangled with. Read full book review >
THE PERFECT MURDER by Jack Hitt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 31, 1991

"A hilarious means of introducing readers to the mind-set of the hard-boiled, the cozy, the traditional, the antic, and the glib state of the current mystery masterminds, with Hillerman and Lovesey the standouts."
An amplified reprint from Harper's magazine in which editor/author Hitt, as the wealthy, unhappily married ``Tim,'' puckishly asked five mystery writers—Lawrence Block, Sarah Caudwell, Tony Hillerman, Peter Lovesey, and Donald Westlake—to suggest a fabulous, money-no-object, dramatic means of disposing of his philandering ``wife'' that would incriminate his cuckolding ``best friend.'' Surprisingly, Hitt turns out to be the best writer in the group, Westlake the flattest, and Hillerman and Lovesey the funniest. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Gabrielle Zevin
March 3, 2015

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over—and see everything anew. “Zevin writes characters who grow and prosper,” our reviewer writes, “in a narrative that is sometimes sentimental, sometimes funny, sometimes true to life and always entertaining.” View video >