Mystery & Crime Book Reviews

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 >
GIRL IN DISGUISE by Greer Macallister
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 21, 2017

"A celebration of a singular woman's life that's guided by facts but features some inviting imaginings."
The story of the very first female detective traces her growth from determined young woman to seasoned pro. Read full book review >

BAKER STREET IRREGULARS by Michael A. Ventrella
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 21, 2017

"Less notable as independent creations than as provocations to think about Holmes and the Sacred Canon in innovative ways bound to lead to next year's anthologies."
When has Sherlock Holmes changed so much that he's no longer Sherlock Holmes? In this aptly titled collection, 13 new adventures of Holmes and Watson, more or less, push the envelope far beyond Baker Street. Read full book review >
MAN OVERBOARD by J.A. Jance
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 21, 2017

"Jance (Random Acts, 2016, etc.) can't seem to keep out of her own way or avoid sidelining the supposed heroine in this 15th franchise installment. But the character who does take the lead deserves to keep it, and the ending helps make up for the cumbersome plot."
A shipboard tragedy is prologue to a deadly cyberduel. Read full book review >
THE WAGES OF SIN by Kaite Welsh
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 14, 2017

"A gritty detective story as unflinching as its heroine, rich in well-researched period detail."
An intrepid female medical student stumbles on a conspiracy in Victorian-era Edinburgh. 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 >
MURDER ON THE RED RIVER by Marcie R. Rendon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 14, 2017

"The plot in Rendon's adult debut never exactly thickens—this is more coming-of-age story than mystery—but the spare prose-poetry of her descriptions and dialogue is a lot more interesting than anything she has to say about crime or detection."
A wild child uneasily transplanted from the White Earth Reservation to a rented house in Fargo meets murder. Read full book review >
IN THIS GRAVE HOUR by Jacqueline Winspear
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 14, 2017

"Winspear teeters on the brink of stating the emotionally obvious at times but largely pulls back and weaves a convincing historical drama together with a rocky journey for her heroine."
As World War II dawns for Britain, investigator Maisie Dobbs takes on a case involving murdered Belgian refugees with shadowy ties to the Great War. 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 >
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 >
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 >
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
Brad Parks
author of SAY NOTHING
March 7, 2017

In Brad Parks’ new thriller Say Nothing, judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: a prestigious job. A beloved family. On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, he is about to pick up his six-year-old twins to go swimming when his wife, Alison, texts him that she’ll get the kids from school instead. It’s not until she gets home later that Scott realizes she doesn’t have the children. And she never sent the text. Then the phone rings, and every parent’s most chilling nightmare begins. A man has stolen Sam and Emma. For Scott and Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror; a high-profile trial like none the judge or his wife has ever experienced. Their marriage falters. Suspicions and long-buried jealousies rise to the surface. Fractures appear. Lies are told. “The nerve-shredding never lets up for a minute as Parks picks you up by the scruff of the neck, shakes you vigorously, and repeats over and over again till a climax so harrowing that you’ll be shaking with gratitude that it’s finally over,” our critic writes in a starred review. View video >