Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 955)

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 >
COLD TRACKS by Lee Wallingford
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 31, 1991

"A promising debut, with interesting scenic detail and an engaging pair of sleuths."
A lively first effort that pairs the aching-for-quiet Neskanic (Oregon) National Forest security officer Frank Carver with the much younger widow and fire-dispatch ranger Ginny Trask, who finds the grisly remains of Nino Alvarez, a Christmas-tree plantation worker. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >