Mystery & Crime Book Reviews

PAINTED SKINS by Matt Hilton
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"Rated R for sex, violence, sexual violence, and perhaps one too many violent rapists working independently and, indeed, at odds with each other. Now if only Hilton delivered the punch that breaking all those taboos would seem to promise."
The disappearance of a young woman old enough to know better but who probably doesn't leads Portland private eye Tess Grey and Nicolas "Po" Villere, her operative and lover (Blood Tracks, 2015), into a wildly tangled thicket of felonies. Read full book review >
STICK OR TWIST by Diane Janes
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"Janes seems to specialize in heroines with significant back stories. But where Swimming in the Shadows (2014) took forever to reach its conclusion, her current tale frontloads the complications and ends with a jolt."
A team of detectives struggles to solve a case with both too few and too many clues. Read full book review >

DEATH SHIP by Jim Kelly
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"Kelly's regular cast of coppers, so thick on the ground that they outnumber the suspects, are overshadowed this time, with the emphasis on the shadows cast by some memorably sad souls only halfway motivated to survive their past sins."
The construction of a new seaside amusement pier brings out every activist in Hunstanton Beach—along with every officer in the West Norfolk Constabulary. Read full book review >
LOUISE'S LIES by Sarah R. Shaber
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"Even though the quietly courageous heroine acts a little more impulsively than usual, her sixth adventure is a worthy addition to the franchise."
A stop in a tavern for a simple nightcap leads a war worker into unexpected complexities. Read full book review >
RENTING SILENCE by Mary Miley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"Despite an overburdened plot that still leaves one mystery unresolved, readers will welcome this third showcase for a valiant heroine with a shady past."
An amateur sleuth takes a nostalgic journey straight into danger to solve a Jazz Age murder. Read full book review >

FOOTPRINTS TO MURDER by Marcia Talley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"As Talley's 15th cozy reminds us once more, you can't take her genial heroine (Daughter of Ashes, 2015, etc.) anywhere without her stumbling into a different form of homicide."
A West Coast convention for Bigfoot believers takes a hairy turn. Read full book review >
DENNY'S LAW by Elizabeth Gunn
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"Gunn (Noontime Follies, 2015, etc.) has produced an expert police procedural with plenty of quirks and twists that raise it well above the average."
A Tucson police detective catches a murder case that is anything but ordinary. Read full book review >
PET IN PERIL by Marie Celine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"Although Celine keeps the killer hidden till the end, her scatterbrained heroine's antics become ever more trying in this day-at-the-beach cozy."
A pet chef leaves no mystery unsolved. Read full book review >
Never Go Alone by Denison Hatch
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"In this crime tale, the author shows an imaginative knack for combining old-fashioned thrills with high-tech capers."
A New York City undercover detective investigates a gang that specializes in breaking into skyscrapers. Read full book review >
GLOW OF DEATH by Jane K. Cleland
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"A cozy replete with antiques lore, likable characters, and a more complex mystery than usual."
An antiques appraiser get scammed, gets mad, and gets even. Read full book review >
STORM RISING by Douglas Schofield
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"Schofield continues the unlikely merger of hard-boiled and fantasy he launched in Time of Departure (2015, etc.). There's probably more here for detective fans than paranormal buffs but still enough for both camps."
A cop's widow tries to clear her late husband's name. Read full book review >
STORM CELL by Brendan DuBois
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"Though the plot eventually bogs down in details of civic malfeasance, nobody is better than DuBois at kicking his reluctant hero into action or at rooting every complication in something that feels disconcertingly like the normal rhythms of life outside the justice system."
His 10th case drives a deep wedge—make that several wedges—between former government research analyst Lewis Cole and his long-standing comrade in arms Felix Tinios. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kendare Blake
November 16, 2016

Bestseller Kendare Blake’s latest novel, Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. The last queen standing gets the crown. “Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, elegant, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >