Mystery & Crime Book Reviews

THE BIG REWIND by Libby Cudmore
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A mystery that will inspire more than one playlist and, hopefully, a sequel."
The clues to a Brooklyn murder unspool on a mixtape in what might be a new mystery subgenre—the hipster cozy. Read full book review >
THE LANGUAGE OF SECRETS by Ausma Zehanat Khan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A smart, measured, immersive dive into a poorly understood, terrifyingly relevant subculture of violent extremism."
Khan's winning Canadian cops return—and this time, it's really personal.Read full book review >

HONKY TONK SAMURAI by Joe R. Lansdale
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Let's hope there's more of that good feeling to come in this terrific series."
Hap and Leonard, the East Texas duo of two-fisted do-gooders, return in the ninth novel about their adventures. Read full book review >
THICKER THAN WATER by Sally Spencer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Although Spencer's path is a familiar one, she treads it with authority. It's good to have Monika back, doing what she does best."
DCI Monika Paniatowski (Best Served Cold, 2015, etc.) returns with passion from maternity leave.Read full book review >
A PRISONER IN MALTA by Phillip DePoy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Ebullient persiflage spiced with high-level intrigue, a covey of double and triple agents, and enough action scenes for a summer movie. Eat your heart out, James Bond."
The chronicler of Georgia folklorist Fever Devilin (December's Thorn, 2013, etc.) turns to the dawn of Christopher Marlowe's espionage career.Read full book review >

BROOKLYN ON FIRE by Lawrence H. Levy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"Again Levy does a fine job of mixing historical characters and situations with his feisty, liberated detective."
A turn-of-the-20th-century Brooklyn detective must find a killer to save her brother. Read full book review >
EVEN DOGS IN THE WILD by Ian Rankin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"Rankin (The Beat Goes On, 2015, etc.) takes his time setting up all these plots. But it's well worth the wait to see how the latest entry in this celebrated series fits all the pieces together."
Veteran cop John Rebus emerges from retirement to look into a pair of parallel cases of revenge. Read full book review >
HOUR OF THE WOLF by Håkan Nesser
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"No frills, no subplots, no unnecessary moving parts: an autumnal procedural that illustrates what superior results you can get by stripping away the extras."
Now that he's retired from the Maardam CID, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren (Münster's Case, 2012, etc.) gets to try on an unwelcome new role: grieving father.Read full book review >
EVEN THE DEAD by Benjamin Black
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"From less than promising material, Black fashions a meticulously written installment notable for its palpable sense of place, a slate of fully drawn characters, and a meaningful denouement."
Solving a case has a profound effect on its investigator in this Dublin-set thriller. Read full book review >
FORTY THIEVES by Thomas Perry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"It's still entertaining and suspenseful to watch Sid and Ronnie and Ed and Nicole hatch plots to protect themselves by eliminating the shadowy figures who've been calling the shots, but their alliance strains belief, and 40 thieves turn out to be too many even for a writer as gifted as Perry to bring to life."
Is Perry mellowing with age? Just as he took off the edge in his latest case for disappearance specialist Jane Whitefield (A String of Beads, 2014, etc.), he almost relaxes in this tale of a husband-and-wife detective duo pursuing a husband-and-wife pair of killers.Read full book review >
THE GIRLS SHE LEFT BEHIND by Sarah Graves
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Although they're also set in Maine, Graves' Jacobia Tiptree and Ellie White cozies (A Bat in the Belfry, 2014, etc.) are a far cry from this tense and fast-paced tale of love gone horribly and fantastically wrong."
A case hits close to home both literally and figuratively for Maine deputy sheriff Lizzie Snow. Read full book review >
KINGDOM COME by Jane Jensen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Though a quick description of the premise might make this series kickoff from Jensen sound absurd, her writing style is consistently engrossing and enticing. Trust earned in this book should be repaid by the installments that follow."
A New York cop returns home to Amish country and a community that's politely determined to undermine her efforts to solve the murder of a young woman from outside their insular world. 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 >