Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 955)

DEATH AS A CAREER MOVE by Bruce Cook
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 1, 1992

"But: the wily though often flummoxed Chico is still an engaging antihero."
Now employed as a security consultant at the Majestic Pictures studio, p.i. Read full book review >
A HOPELESS CASE by K.K. Beck
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 1, 1992

"Manages to stay just this side of silliness and be mildly entertaining in the process."
Here, the author moves away from her frequent 20's milieu (Peril Under the Palms, etc.) and into the life of one Jane da Silva, expatriate widow of a racing-car driver, brought back from Europe to her Seattle hometown by a legacy from her uncle Harold. Read full book review >

PLAY DEAD by Peter Dickinson
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 1, 1992

"Dickinson's touch is so masterly here that he makes other fine domestic mysteries seem quite amateurish."
Fifty-ish Poppy Trasker, unhappily divorced and marking time by minding her grandson Toby for her politically-minded daughter-in-law Janet, is asked to identify a dead man found in Toby's play center. Read full book review >
RISING DOG by Vince Kohler
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 1, 1992

"And the mystery's not bad either."
The maniacally inventive Kohler (Rainy North Woods, 1989) now confronts Port Jerome, Oregon, tabloid newspaperman Eldon Larkin with a resurrected dog—a dog that, while cavorting for the camera at the local landfill, finds a mummified foot to chomp on. Read full book review >
ZOMBIES OF THE GENE POOL by Sharyn McCrumb
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 28, 1992

"Still: an engaging read."
Here, the frisky McCrumb (If I Ever Return, Pretty Peggy-O, The Windsor Knot—both 1990), with deadpan humor and bull's-eye accuracy, skewers the science fiction genre, its eccentric authors, and outlandish fans and their nitpicking fanzines. Read full book review >

BACKHAND by Liza Cody
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 25, 1992

"An expansive set of intriguing characters and some sharp dialogue help—but can't save—a story out of focus."
Another rambling adventure for London's p.i. Read full book review >
BLOOD RED, SNOW WHITE by Diane Henry
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 21, 1992

"A feverish fantasia on themes from tormented-attorney fiction and newspaper stories on drugs and financial malfeasance."
A husband-and-wife pair's first novel in which up-and-coming, moderately honest Manhattan lawyer Alec Anton interrupts his defense of two clients—caught with their hands in the till—to search reluctantly for an alluring neighbor's drug-involved son. Read full book review >
BLACK MARKET by Robert Tine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 20, 1992

"Tightknit all the way, with strong characterizations, terrific dialogue, and a grand sense of street-life in a starving Rome."
The best novel so far from Tine (Midnight City, 1986, etc.): a richly colored suspenser about an all-black US Army unit in Rome in 1944, just after the Nazis have left. Read full book review >
FIXIN' TO DIE by Jerry Oster
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 17, 1992

"Jenny Swale is only the first), lots of good dirty fun for all."
Inoffensive convict Elvis Polk's shooting of NYPD officer Jenny Swale in the opening paragraph here (her partner Luther Todd has to wait until the next page) sets off a dizzying plot whose leading question is: Where did handcuffed Elvis get his gun if not via a police plant in Jenny's car? Read full book review >
NEW CRIMES 3 by Maxim--Ed. Jakubowski
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 17, 1992

"Jakubowski seems to specialize in stories nobody else wants- -publishers or readers."
Bookstore owner Jakubowski serves up 18 never-published-before stories, two long-buried turns from John D. MacDonald and Robert B. Parker, and a piece of Holmesian puffery from John Dickson Carr. Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 15, 1992

"A simplistic premise, alas, encourages simplistic solutions."
Omnipresent anthologists Gorman and Greenberg suggested to 18 writers that each pound out a story that included one common element: a young woman found dead on an apartment floor. Read full book review >
KISS by Ed McBain
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 14, 1992

"In sum: so-so McBain, with too much attempted glitz and not enough old-fashioned personality and legwork. (Book-of-the-Month Dual Selection for April)"
McBain's new 87th Precinct installment, less ambitiously multi-plotted than some recent entries, has just two very different narratives, delivered in alternating chunks. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >