Mystery & Crime Book Reviews

THE DEVIL'S MUSE by Bill Loehfelm
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 11, 2017

"Loehfelm doesn't need showy murders or gory scenes to writes crime stories with grit that stay lodged in your brain and get under your skin in the best possible way."
A rookie New Orleans cop discovers that regular rules don't apply during Mardi Gras, when a shooting sets off a cascading series of violent events. Read full book review >
PENHALE WOOD by Julia Thomas
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 8, 2017

"The elegant writing, complex characters, and surprising conclusion of Thomas' second (The English Boys, 2016) all add up to a fine mystery that will appeal to readers of Catriona McPherson's psychological thrillers."
A cold case turns hot enough to burn lives to the ground. Read full book review >

PERSONS UNKNOWN by Susie Steiner
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 27, 2017

"A second adventure that strikes all the right notes—layered mystery, incisive cultural context, and a delightful protagonist who deserves a place alongside other beloved literary detectives."
Steiner's (Missing, Presumed, 2016, etc.) intrepid, dysfunctional detective, Manon Bradshaw, returns on a case that quickly becomes personal. Read full book review >
MAGPIE MURDERS by Anthony Horowitz
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 6, 2017

"Fans who still mourn the passing of Agatha Christie, the model who's evoked here in dozens of telltale details, will welcome this wildly inventive homage/update/commentary as the most fiendishly clever puzzle—make that two puzzles—of the year."
A preternaturally brainy novel within a novel that's both a pastiche and a deconstruction of golden-age whodunits. Read full book review >
FIREBRAND by A.J.  Hartley
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 6, 2017

"Readers who come for the tightly plotted mystery will stay for the heroine who does all she can to resist. (Mystery/fantasy. 14-adult)"
Three months after the events of Steeplejack (2016), Anglet Sutonga investigates an elite social club to uncover the identity of a thief and traitor. But as she follows each clue, the Lani girl discovers that wealth, bigotry, and political power intersect to deplorable effect. Read full book review >

THE CHALK PIT by Elly Griffiths
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 30, 2017

"Like its predecessors (The Woman in Blue, 2016, etc.), Griffith's ninth is complex and character-driven, providing an excellent mystery whose very last sentence will leave you yearning for the next installment."
The discovery of some not-so-old bones opens up surprising possibilities of a mysterious underground world. Read full book review >
A FEVER OF THE BLOOD by Oscar de Muriel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 11, 2017

"More fun than a plateful of haggis: a delightful read."
In 1889, Lord Joel Ardglass escapes from Edinburgh's lunatic asylum. He is known informally as Lord Bampot, which is Scottish slang for idiot. Read full book review >
A WELCOME MURDER by Robin Yocum
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 4, 2017

"As if the raucous plot isn't complicated enough, Yocum filters it all through a system of dueling first-person narrators whose perspectives are amusingly at odds with each other to produce a memorably merry tale of murder most richly deserved."
In a 180-degree turn from the sorrowful A Brilliant Death (2016), Yocum releases a farcical basket of deplorables in Steubenville, Ohio, and lets them crawl all over each other in search of criminal advantage. Read full book review >
SNOOK WALLOW by Janet Heijens
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2017

"Heijens, whose earlier foray into the topic (Wrongful Conviction, 2015) featured criminal defender Jean Jankowski, presents another heroine who's equally smart, resourceful, and empathetic—and more than worthy of an encore appearance."
A retired lawyer hopes to prove a death row inmate innocent before his time runs out. Read full book review >
A REALLY BIG LUNCH by Jim Harrison
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2017

"If this is the last we get from Harrison, it serves as a fitting memorial."
A celebration of eating well and drinking even better as a recipe for the good life. 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 >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >