Mystery & Crime Book Reviews

THE LOST BOOK OF THE GRAIL by Charlie Lovett
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"A solidly built, innocently bookish diversion with a distinct Masterpiece Theater flavor."
He's a book-loving Brit who's skeptical about modernity; she's a tech-savvy Yank who talks too much. Is it possible this unlikely pair of "Grail buddies" could forge a meeting of minds—and even hearts—while tracking down one of the world's most revered treasures? Read full book review >
THE WRONG DEAD GUY  by Richard Kadrey
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"A goofy, flamboyant, and breathless horror adventure by one of the genre's sharpest creators."
Supernatural agent "Coop" Cooper returns in an overstuffed, hyperkinetic sequel to The Everything Box (2016). Read full book review >

THE FIFTH ELEMENT by Jorgen Brekke
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"The intricately linked plotlines will appeal to puzzle fans. But it's Brekke's prodigious powers of invention, his ability to keep coming up with unforgettable characters and indelible episodes, that lift this above his own earlier work and most of the heavy Nordic competition."
Forgoing the historical excursions that tangled the first two cases of Trondheim's Inspector Odd Singsaker (Dreamless, 2015, etc.), Brekke mingles the immediate past, present, and future to produce an even more tangled, but deeply rewarding, tale. Read full book review >
BEST SERVED COLD by Susan Rogers  Cooper
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2017

"Despite the high body count, Cooper's newest (Countdown, 2014, etc.) is loaded with sly humor, delightfully awkward characters, and a surprising denouement."
The sheriff's department of Prophesy County, Oklahoma, is under attack. Read full book review >
RETRIBUTION by Anthea Fraser
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2017

"Fraser showcases a delightful heroine whose own life, along with the lives of her friends and family, is consistently more interesting than the circuitous murder cases she is asked to solve."
A biographer inherits an interesting challenge that may have led to murder. Read full book review >

THE CASE OF THE CURIOUS COOK by Cathy Ace
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2017

"Ace (The Corpse with the Ruby Lips, 2016, etc.) reveals too much too soon but still delivers a pleasant mélange with a garnish of death and danger."
An all-female Welsh detective agency takes on a case of reverse robbery. Read full book review >
THE WHOLE ART OF DETECTION by Lyndsay Faye
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 7, 2017

"It's refreshing to see Holmes be Holmes. Fans and neophytes alike should cheer Faye's reinvigoration of Conan Doyle's hero and his panoramic world."
Seasoned Sherlock-ian Faye (Jane Steele, 2016, etc.) adds two new stories to 13 she's previously published to give a synoptic overview of the career of the famed consulting detective. Read full book review >
BLUE LIGHT YOKOHAMA by Nicolas Obregon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 7, 2017

"Obregon's full-bodied prose is by turns gritty and poetic, and it's consistently energetic. Given the terrific chemistry between the two lead detectives, here's hoping this debut novel kicks off a new series."
A tough Tokyo detective faces resistance in his new post as he faces off against a brutal and taunting serial killer. Read full book review >
POLICE AT THE STATION AND THEY DON'T LOOK FRIENDLY by Adrian McKinty
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 7, 2017

"McKinty's hero is irreverent, charming, and mordantly, laugh-out-loud funny, and his eclectic personal soundtrack and bitter, pragmatic politics make for vivid period detail."
Detective Inspector Sean Duffy of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (Rain Dogs, 2016, etc.) tries to cut back on the smoking and do decent police work despite bombs, riots, and bureaucracy. Read full book review >
A CLIMATE OF FEAR by Fred Vargas
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 7, 2017

"The intricate eighth installment in this Parisian series delights with its interesting characters, engaging dialogue, and infectious sense of curiosity about the lives of others."
A pair of suspicious suicides are linked to each other and to the "godforsaken rock" that irrevocably changed the victims' lives a decade ago. Read full book review >
SARATOGA PAYBACK by Stephen Dobyns
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 14, 2017

"Fans who come for the tangled, forgettable mystery will stay for the hero. The man's most mundane problems continue to be way more interesting than the criminal intrigues in which Dobyns (Is Fat Bob Dead Yet?, 2015, etc.) entangles him."
Shorn of the PI license and handgun permit that saw him through 10 variously loopy cases (Saratoga Strongbox, 1998, etc.), Charlie Bradshaw, whose business card now simply reads "Consultant," fights to get a piece of the action after he stumbles over a corpse outside his house. Read full book review >
A DEATH BY ANY OTHER NAME by Tessa Arlen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 14, 2017

"Arlen (Death Sits down to Dinner, 2016, etc.) follows up on her two previous Downton Abbey-era tales with the requisite stately mansion and quirky dramatis personae, although this third entry feels more labored than cozy."
A compassionate countess and her levelheaded housekeeper brave the thorns among the roses at a horticultural house party. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kathleen Kent
author of THE DIME
February 20, 2017

Dallas, Texas is not for the faint of heart. Good thing for Betty Rhyzyk she's from a family of take-no-prisoners Brooklyn police detectives. But in Kathleen Kent’s new novel The Dime, her Big Apple wisdom will only get her so far when she relocates to The Big D, where Mexican drug cartels and cult leaders, deadbeat skells and society wives all battle for sunbaked turf. Betty is as tough as the best of them, but she's deeply shaken when her first investigation goes sideways. Battling a group of unruly subordinates, a persistent stalker, a formidable criminal organization, and an unsupportive girlfriend, the unbreakable Detective Betty Rhyzyk may be reaching her limit. “Violent, sexy, and completely absorbing,” our critic writes in a starred review. “Kent's detective is Sam Spade reincarnated—as a brilliant, modern woman.” View video >