Mystery Thriller Book Reviews

DESPERATE MEASURES  by Stuart Woods
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"A serial killer, a violent abduction, an acrimonious divorce, the hero suspected of murder—and all of it serenely weightless, in the episodic manner of a Road Runner cartoon without the laughs. Who cares what happens to the most alluring woman when the next one is just around the corner?"
Consumer alert: Sleeping with Stone Barrington (Turbulence, 2018, etc.) can be hazardous to your health.Read full book review >
THOUGH THE HEAVENS FALL by Anne Emery
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"Emery (Lament for Bonnie, 2016, etc.) populates 1995 Belfast so conscientiously and evokes its atmosphere so faithfully that the historical background ends up swallowing the plot she's devised, which for all its twists and turns can't possibly compete with the Troubles."
Halifax attorney Monty Collins and his wife, professor Maura MacNeil, come to Ireland just in time to sink neck-deep in the latest round of the Troubles. Read full book review >

THE DARKNESS by Ragnar Jónasson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"If you think you know how frigid Iceland can be, this blistering stand-alone from Jónasson (Blackout, 2016, etc.) has news for you: It's much, much colder than you've ever imagined. Warmly recommended for hot summer nights."
On the eve of her unwillingly abrupt retirement, a Reykjavík police inspector decides to look into a cold case that immediately turns dangerously hot. Read full book review >
SHELL GAME by Sara Paretsky
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"It's pretty obvious early on who the criminal is, but that's true in most Sherlock Holmes stories, and the knowledge doesn't hurt any more here than there. The considerable pleasure comes from following the legendary heroine through an impenetrable maze of felonies knowing that you're in a master's hands."
V.I. Warshawski (Fallout, 2017, etc.) goes to bat for a niece of her own and a grandnephew of her best friend. Read full book review >
DECK THE HOUNDS  by David Rosenfelt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"Middling for this irresistible series, whose hero's old friend asks him at one point: 'Are you ever going to stop being a pain in the ass?' Goodness, let's hope not."
His wife and chief investigator Laurie's hyperextended Christmas season brings Paterson lawyer Andy Carpenter a new dog, a litter of new puppies, and a new murder case. Read full book review >

THE CRAFTSMAN by Sharon Bolton
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"A bit unbalanced, with the greatest care and attention given to the least interesting solution. When the ax finally falls, though, it falls like a thunderbolt."
Bolton (Dead Woman Walking, 2017, etc.) spices her latest crime novel with a dash of the occult. Read full book review >
ASK ME NO QUESTIONS by Shelley Noble
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"This delightful series debut is a frisky combination of mystery and romance whose R-rated heroine clearly has a bright and adventurous future."
A saucy countess leaves English society behind when she ventures to New York City in 1907. Read full book review >
DIG YOUR GRAVE by Steven Cooper
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"Though his writing sometimes verges on cliché, Cooper (Desert Remains, 2017) continues to blend solid investigative work, psychological insight, and personal touches to create a broadly appealing series that could capture readers interested in procedurals even if they're indifferent to psychic woo-woo."
A longtime unofficial detective and a psychic team up once more to find a killer desperate to make a statement. Read full book review >
A GIFT OF BONES  by Carolyn Haines
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"A stocking stuffed with something for everyone: a friendly house-ghost, cats and dogs, a hunky romantic lead, and the requisite crime. Perhaps that's why this parcel seems a bit bloated. But hey, it's Christmas."
A tale infused with Southern charm of an amateur detective trying to locate a pregnant kidnapping victim before her due date. Read full book review >
RESIDUE by Michael McGarrity
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"An unholy mess of more felonies than you can shake a stick at—and that's only counting the ones committed by the good guys. Whether or not McGarrity's veteran hero beats the rap, the New Mexico legal system will never be the same."
Retired Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney emerges from a long absence since his last outing (Dead or Alive, 2009) just in time to be wanted for murder. Read full book review >
THE BIG BOOK OF FEMALE DETECTIVES by Otto Penzler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 9, 2018

"On balance, then: lots of landmarks, even more incidental pleasures, and endless provocations for arguments about who really should have made the cut."
Most of the bulked-up anthologies veteran editor Penzler has produced for Black Lizard (The Big Book of Rogues and Villains, 2017, etc.) are remarkable mainly for their comprehensiveness, even their exhaustiveness. Not this one. Read full book review >
THE WITCH ELM by Tana French
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 9, 2018

"Psychologically intense."
A stand-alone novel from the author of the Dublin Murder Squad series. 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 >