Mystery Thriller Book Reviews

TURN ON THE HEAT by Erle Stanley Gardner
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"The only disappointment is that the appropriately lurid cover illustration doesn't come close to representing any of the many felonies that actually go down. If they're looking to please fans, Hard Case could do worse than continue the series till they've reprinted every one of the firm's 29 adventures."
A year after premiering Gardner's long-unpublished second case—under the pseudonym A.A. Fair (The Knife Slipped, 2016)—for private investigator Bertha Cool and her operative, Donald Lam, Hard Case reprints the second case for the team that actually made it into print back in 1940—and it's a doozy. Read full book review >
THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK by Jennifer Kincheloe
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"The feisty heroine's sleuthing abilities and tricky love life make it hard to put this fast-paced historical mystery/romance down and leave you wanting more."
A former socialite continues to live life on the edge. Read full book review >

THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A difficult case that evokes old-time Christmas traditions and a solution that will warm the heart."
Depression can't keep an intrepid sleuth from solving crimes. Read full book review >
A SEASON TO LIE by Emily Littlejohn
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"Littlejohn revisits beloved characters without the bittersweet voice and depth of her series debut, but she indicates clear potential for further development in Cedar Valley."
The murder of a famous author seeking refuge in a small town may be connected to bullying at the local high school. Read full book review >
SLEEP NO MORE by P.D. James
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"Ceremonious, nasty, and very welcome indeed."
Half a dozen more reprinted stories, originally published between 1973 and 2005, from the late doyenne of the formal English mystery in all its majesty. Read full book review >

COLD BLOOD by Michael Lister
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"Lister (Blood Work, 2017, etc.) packs this fast-paced thriller with plenty of social commentary and tops it off with a lollapalooza of an ending."
A Florida expert at clearing cold cases meets his match. Read full book review >
SEEDS OF REVENGE by Wendy Tyson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"Tyson's third look at the joys and perils of small-town life features enough engaging characters to offset the transparent mystery."
A chance encounter involves an organic farmer in a case of murder. Read full book review >
THE MOSCOW CODE by Nick Wilkshire
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 11, 2017

"Wilkshire's second Foreign Affairs Mystery has a buoyant tone, an engaging hero, and an abundance of colorful characters."
A novice diplomat needs all his guile and intuition to battle deadly Russian duplicity. Read full book review >
CANAL DAYS CALAMITY  by Jamie Blair
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 8, 2017

"Blair's cozy with an identity crisis dabbles in mystery while covering romance, family dynamics, and a love of dogs—all of which leaves little room for the whodunit."
The shock of a murder threatens to distract a small Indiana town from its annual festival. Read full book review >
A FATAL COLLECTION by Mary Ellen  Hughes
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 8, 2017

"Hughes (Scene of the Brine, 2016, etc.) kicks off her new Keepsake Cove series with a charming locale, standard-issue cozy characters, and a schmaltzy storyline."
An unexpected new start in life morphs into a dangerous hunt for the truth. Read full book review >
OUTSIDE THE WIRE  by Patricia Smiley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 8, 2017

"The creator of amateur sleuth Tucker Sinclair (Short Change, 2007, etc.) re-ups her tough-girl cred. Despite an egregious blunder on the subject of genetics, Smiley's second LAPD entry moves the plot as deftly as she moves the reader, with lots of action and just enough heart."
The LAPD's Davie Richards deals with the aftermath of a police-involved shooting by investigating a serial killing. Read full book review >
THREE DAYS AND A LIFE by Pierre Lemaitre
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 7, 2017

"French favorite Lemaitre's novel, about a preteen on whom fortune smiles in the most devious ways after he accidentally kills a little boy, is a feverish, wickedly entertaining work."
A chain of strange and sorrowful events is set in motion in the French town of Beauval when lonely 12-year-old Antoine Courtin angrily whacks his adoring 6-year-old neighbor, Rémi, in the head with a branch—and, to his great shock, kills him. 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 >