Mystery & Crime Book Reviews

PUREBRED DEAD by Kathleen Delaney
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 2015

"The many characters imported from Delaney's food-based cozies (And Murder For Dessert, 2007, etc.) are supplemented by plenty of suspects and a charming cast of canines."
The murder of a disgraced veterinarian opens a Pandora's box of iniquities. Read full book review >
BEST SERVED COLD by Sally Spencer
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 2015

"Spencer's lively take on the old victim-everyone-hated chestnut isn't Monika's best outing but still has enough thrills to please fans of the franchise."
Paniatowski's in a pickle when the Whitebridge Players' reunion performance turns deadly. Read full book review >

TWO BRONZE PENNIES by Chris Nickson
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 2015

"Another of Nickson's excellent police procedurals with a social conscience."
The Christmas Eve killing of a Jew exposes the depth of anti-Semitism in 1890s Leeds. Read full book review >
THE DEVIL'S MONK by Sara Fraser
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 2015

"Although Fraser (The Drowned Ones, 2010, etc.) continues to provide social commentary and vivid descriptions of the harsh realities of the early 1800s, the mystery this time is weak."
A village constable is nothing less than a bloodhound on the trail of murder. Read full book review >
MIDNIGHT ON THE MISSISSIPPI by Mary Ellis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2015

"Ellis, best known for her Amish series (A Widow's Hope, 2009, etc.), starts her new Secrets of the South mystery series with a pleasant love story but not much mystery."
A newly minted private eye bids to enter the big time in the Big Easy. Read full book review >

CLOSE QUARTERS by Adrian Magson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2015

"Prolific Magson's second round for Portman (The Watchman, 2014, etc.) delivers in the clinch, with gripping, authentic action scenes. The stateside segments are distinctly less memorable."
A rugged CIA contractor encounters enemies from all sides when he tries to rescue a State Department wonk held captive in Ukraine. Read full book review >
A Long Way Back by J. Everett  Prewitt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 30, 2015

"A fresh re-examination of race in the military."
Prewitt's (Snake Walkers, 2005) mystery confronts the wages of both war and racial conflict. Read full book review >
BADLANDS by C.J. Box
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 28, 2015

"A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be welcome to return and tie up the gaping loose end Box leaves. The unrelenting cold makes this the perfect beach read."
Box takes another break from his highly successful Joe Pickett series (Stone Cold, 2014, etc.) for a stand-alone about a police detective, a developmentally delayed boy, and a package everyone in North Dakota wants to grab.Read full book review >
BRUSH BACK by Sara Paretsky
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 28, 2015

"Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed. The results will be especially appealing to baseball fans, who'll appreciate the punning chapter titles and learn more than they ever imagined about Wrigley Field."
V.I. Warshawski (Critical Mass, 2013, etc.) takes on the most thankless task of her career: reopening a 25-year-old murder case on behalf of a convicted defendant who hates the sight of her.Read full book review >
A DECEPTIVE HOMECOMING by Anna Loan-Wilsey
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 28, 2015

"Hattie's fourth adventure (A Sense of Entitlement, 2014, etc.) provides just enough colorful historical details to compensate for a jumble of implausible plotlines."
A sad reunion and a case of dubious identity in turn-of-the-20th-century Missouri. Read full book review >
MURDER AT BARCLAY MEADOW by Wendy Sand Eckel
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 28, 2015

"Sadly, attaching a murder mystery to what otherwise would have been a touching tale of a woman's adjustment to single life makes Eckel's debut novel muddier than the Chesapeake."
A discarded wife seeks solace on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Read full book review >
THE RHYTHM OF THE AUGUST RAIN by Gillian Royes
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 28, 2015

"Less mystery than soap opera and less soap opera than chronicle of life-cycle events that cross national, cultural, and generational borders."
Wedding bells ring for Jamaican bartender Shadrack Myers (The Sea Grape Tree, 2014, etc.). Or do they?Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >