Mystery & Crime Book Reviews

LAST RAGGED BREATH by Julia Keller
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"A beautifully crafted mystery in which Keller (Summer of the Dead, 2014, etc.) explores love, hate, and poverty in a place of stunning natural beauty with pockets of overwhelming ugliness. The ending may leave you in tears."
A West Virginia prosecutor has an uneasy feeling about her latest case. Read full book review >
THE NATURE OF THE BEAST by Louise Penny
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Penny is an expert at pulling away the surface of her characters to expose their deeper—and often ugly—layers, always doing so with a direct but compassionate hand."
In Inspector Gamache's 11th outing, the sheltering forest around his small village of Three Pines is revealed to be a hiding place for unexpected evil. Read full book review >

X by Sue Grafton
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Grafton's endless resourcefulness in varying her pitches in this landmark series (W Is for Wasted, 2013, etc.), graced by her trademark self-deprecating humor, is one of the seven wonders of the genre."
What does X stand for? Xanakis, XLNT, maybe even Father Xavier, all features of Kinsey Millhone's dense, meaty 24th case. Read full book review >
THE THREE-NINE LINE by David Freed
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 15, 2015

"Logan's fourth adventure is a nifty detective story with juicy writing and a very likable hero."
A wry spy goes undercover in modern-day Vietnam to solve a murder with roots in the failed war. Read full book review >
IN THE DARK PLACES by Peter Robinson
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Too diffuse in both its crimes and its coppers to rank among Robinson's finest work (Children of the Revolution, 2014, etc.). But if malfeasance in Yorkshire is what you crave, you won't hesitate, and you won't go wrong."
A case no one in Eastvale HQ wants to work—a gentleman farmer's stolen tractor—leads to all the homicidal twists and turns beloved of Robinson's many fans. Read full book review >

THE PATRIARCH by Martin Walker
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"The mystery, though eminently predictable, is as conscientious as ever. As usual (The Children Return, 2015, etc.), however, it's the details of the good life in the Dordogne that linger longest in the memory."
An apparently natural death at a distinguished World War II veteran's 90th birthday celebration turns out to have roots as deep and distant as the war itself. Read full book review >
THE BEAT GOES ON by Ian Rankin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Rankin's (Saints of the Shadow Bible, 2014, etc.) canny cop is as gray and dour as his Edinburgh beat, but he's in fine form in these clever, occasionally touching, and often wryly funny vignettes."
Rebus fans, rejoice: here are one novella, two new stories, and 28 reprinted tales about veteran detective John Rebus. Read full book review >
WOMAN WITH A SECRET by Sophie Hannah
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Hannah, who plots rings around most of the competition, shares Ruth Rendell's shivery conviction that there are still darker secrets than whodunit, how, and why."
The murder of a heat-seeking online columnist provides DC Simon Waterhouse and his wife, DS Charlie Zailer, with perhaps too many suspects—including a leading suspect so overburdened with guilt that she's almost too convenient. Read full book review >
THE DROWNED BOY by Karin Fossum
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Minimalist but compelling work from the author who seems to have inherited the late Ruth Rendell's gift of spinning the darkest complications out of what might seem like nothing at all."
Norway's Inspector Konrad Sejer, back from his hiatus (I Can See in the Dark, 2014, etc.) and feeling his mortality more acutely than ever, leads the inquiry into the death of a toddler with Down syndrome.Read full book review >
A Long Way Back by J. Everett  Prewitt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 30, 2015

"A fresh re-examination of race in the military."
Prewitt's (Snake Walkers, 2005) mystery confronts the wages of both war and racial conflict. Read full book review >
BRUSH BACK by Sara Paretsky
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 28, 2015

"Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed. The results will be especially appealing to baseball fans, who'll appreciate the punning chapter titles and learn more than they ever imagined about Wrigley Field."
V.I. Warshawski (Critical Mass, 2013, etc.) takes on the most thankless task of her career: reopening a 25-year-old murder case on behalf of a convicted defendant who hates the sight of her.Read full book review >
THE REDEEMERS by Ace Atkins
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 21, 2015

"Colson's fifth (The Forsaken, 2014, etc.) is another wild ride for a flawed, valiant hero who's impossible to dislike."
The sheriff of Tibbehah County, Mississippi, is out of a job but not out of trouble. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >