Mystery & Crime Book Reviews

THE ONE TRUE BARBECUE by Rien Fertel
FOOD & COOKING
Released: May 10, 2016

"Fertel is well-aware that the ground he covers isn't entirely new, but food fans and lovers of Americana alike will go whole hog for this loving paean to a distinct tradition."
Fertel (Imagining the Creole City: The Rise of Literary Culture in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans, 2014, etc.) mines the small towns of Tennessee and the Carolinas in search of the pinnacle of Southern cuisine: whole hog barbecue. Read full book review >
THE WOMAN IN BLUE by Elly Griffiths
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 3, 2016

"Griffiths (The Ghost Fields, 2015, etc.) always provides a clever mystery and a wealth of historical detail. But it's her complex characterizations that put her in the forefront of the current mystery field."
A murderer stalks the streets of a medieval town known for its religious fervor. Read full book review >

DON'T BELIEVE A WORD by Patricia MacDonald
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2016

"MacDonald (I See You, 2014, etc.) presents a story of love gone wrong that avoids black and white, letting the reader appreciate its many shades of gray."
A book editor is forced to work with the author who ruined her life. Read full book review >
MURDER AT THE 42ND STREET LIBRARY by Con Lehane
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 26, 2016

"Lehane (Death at the Old Hotel, 2007, etc.) awards his previous detective, bartender Brian McNulty, a cameo but focuses on the complicated Ray, who looks like a promising newcomer in the talented-amateur ranks."
A biographer is killed inside one of the world's premier research libraries. Read full book review >
HARD LIGHT by Elizabeth Hand
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 19, 2016

"A must for fans of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy and Robert Galbraith's Cormoran Strike novels."
Hand explores the darker side of the human psyche in this gripping urban suspense novel, a sequel to Available Dark (2013).Read full book review >

QUIET NEIGHBORS by Catriona McPherson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 8, 2016

"Although softer-edged and less terrifying than most of McPherson's stand-alones (Come to Harm, 2015, etc.), the slow unraveling of several deeply puzzling circumstances and the complex characters provide a fine read."
A desperate woman flees London for refuge in a quiet Scottish village. Read full book review >
THE MURDER OF MARY RUSSELL by Laurie R. King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 5, 2016

"Canny readers will know not to take the come-on of King's teasing title at face value; the unwary deserve all the additional shocks they'll get."
King forswears the foreign intrigue that's increasingly dominated her Sherlock-ian pastiches (Dreaming Spies, 2015, etc.) to return to the great man's roots, which are surprisingly intertwined with those of his longtime landlady.Read full book review >
THE BASTARDS OF PIZZOFALCONE by Maurizio de Giovanni
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 5, 2016

"Despite the Neapolitan setting, the crew of mismatched cops may remind you of similar teams in Sweden, New York, or Hollywood. Not that there's anything wrong with that."
Sent off to help rebuild a shattered police precinct, Lt. Giuseppe Lojacono finds a surprising degree of cohesion with the other misfits who share the station. Read full book review >
Behind The Mask by Dana Ridenour
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 5, 2016

"A vivid, suspenseful story about a torn agent on a complex covert mission."
An FBI agent working on her first undercover assignment becomes too close to one of the domestic terrorists she seeks to expose in this debut crime novel. Read full book review >
JOURNEY TO MUNICH by Jacqueline Winspear
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 29, 2016

"Winspear elegantly balances Maisie's emotional turmoil and dogged patriotism with the growing tensions of a Europe on the brink of war."
On an undercover mission for the British Secret Service in Nazi Germany, Maisie Dobbs must face not only the horrors of the Third Reich, but very real reminders of her own tragic past. Read full book review >
THE ELOQUENCE OF THE DEAD by Conor Brady
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 15, 2016

"The second case for the talented, complicated Swallow (A June of Ordinary Murders, 2015) again spins a fine mystery out of political corruption in 1880s Dublin."
A police detective in Victorian-era Dublin catches another case with political ramifications, in a novel by a former editor of the Irish Times. Read full book review >
WRITTEN IN DEAD WAX by Andrew Cartmel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 10, 2016

"This charming mystery feels as companionable as a leisurely afternoon trawling the vintage shops with a good friend."
A London record hunter finds himself hunted when he's hired to track down a rare jazz LP in the first installment of this new series. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >