Mystery & Crime Book Reviews

THE DRUM WITHIN by James R. Scarantino
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"Come what may, Aragon never loses her focus on tying Cody to an older homicide he was linked to years ago, with results equally surprising to her and the reader. First of a welcome series."
A Santa Fe homicide detective fights to make a case against a high-profile killer she's responsible for setting free. Read full book review >
DISGRACED by Gwen Florio
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"Lola's third (Dakota, 2014, etc.) is a gut-wrenching mystery/thriller that explores prejudice and the incredible stress on soldiers in a seemingly unending war with no clear goals."
A favor for a friend leads a reporter to a stunning story and life-altering decisions. Read full book review >

INTO OBLIVION by Arnaldur Indridason
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Indridason's quiet authority and moody prose are beautifully at play in Erlendur's 11th case (Reykjavik Nights, 2015, etc.), another pitch-perfect procedural from a master."
An unidentified body found in a lagoon triggers dark memories for a veteran detective. Read full book review >
SHOOT by Loren D. Estleman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Valentino's most relaxed and accomplished appearance to date, one whose tone of sunset valediction perfectly suits what sounds uncomfortably (say it ain't so!) like Estleman's farewell to the two genres he's been masterfully associated with for 30 years."
Estleman combines his two greatest loves, sleuthing and Westerns, in film-preservation detective Valentino's fourth appearance. Read full book review >
MIDNIGHT SUN by Jo Nesbø
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"Wasting not a word, Nesbø (Blood on Snow, 2015, etc.) paints an indelible portrait of a criminal loser who reflects when he's faced with the supreme threat to his existence that 'it was actually hard to think of anyone who was more dispensable than me.'"
The world's worst hit man goes aground in a little Norwegian town far above the Arctic Circle in this sharp, spare, postcard-sized tale. Read full book review >

THE BLOOD STRAND by Chris Ould
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"In this first of a planned trilogy, Ould introduces a complicated if perhaps excessively prickly hero whose faults are mostly redeemed by the locked-room allure of the locale."
Returning to the Faroe Islands of his birth, a British police detective seeks to unravel his complicated family history and becomes embroiled in a murder investigation. Read full book review >
THE WATERS OF ETERNAL YOUTH  by Donna Leon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 8, 2016

"The biggest mystery is how the reader can figure out what happened so quickly, yet it takes the commissario di polizia the whole book to catch on. Still, the pleasures of spending time with Brunetti and the gang have never been greater."
Venice might be sinking into the sea, but as long as Commissario Guido Brunetti is around, there will be someone to make sure the city doesn't become a total swamp of cynicism and corruption. 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 >
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 >
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 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 >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >