Mystery Thriller Book Reviews

DEATH OF ANTON by Alan Melville
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"Melville's witty descriptions and dialogue, very much in the drawing-room manner of Noel Coward, are such a potent hook that most readers will forgive the undisciplined plotting that requires the police to execute no fewer than eight arrest warrants."
"If it's crime you're after, Carey's is the place for it," a clown with Carey's World-Famous Circus and Menagerie assures a visiting police inspector in this bright 1936 reprint from Melville (1910-83), whose career in entertainment would be nearly as varied as Carey's and much longer-lasting. Read full book review >
PROTECTED BY THE SHADOWS by Helene Tursten
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"Middling, professional work notable for its high body count, its number of guilty parties, and its understandable and contagious lack of interest in arousing much curiosity about which gang members killed exactly which others."
Gang warfare erupts in Göteborg, catching DI Irene Huss (Who Watcheth, 2016, etc.), her family, and her Violent Crimes Unit in the crossfire. Read full book review >

NIGHTBLIND by Ragnar Jonasson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"The plotting is rudimentary, but the final surprise carries a real shock; the excerpts from a 1982 diary pack a punch of their own; and of course the advent of the Icelandic winter is likely to chill hearts even below the Arctic Circle."
A second case looms for Ari Thór Arason, half the police force of the north Icelandic town of Siglufjördur, when the other half gets shot in an abandoned house. Read full book review >
SOMEBODY AT THE DOOR  by Raymond Postgate
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"Less original than Verdict of Twelve, and marred here and there by dated political satire, but still clever, absorbing, and wide-ranging: another welcome rediscovery by the British Library Crime Classics."
As war hangs over England, a town councilor staggers into his home in Croxburn after what seemed a perfectly ordinary train ride from Euston Station and dies of mysterious causes in this reprint, first published in 1943. Read full book review >
THE VANISHING SEASON by Joanna Schaffhausen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"Though it reads more like a dabbling in the genre than a fully realized thriller, Schaffhausen's debut gives evidence that she may develop into an author more in control of readers' emotional attention in future work."
The survivor of a childhood kidnapping investigates a series of missing persons who may be tied to her own history. Read full book review >

CHAINED  by Eileen Brady
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"Brady's years of experience as a veterinarian supply plenty of amusing stories and helpful hints for animal owners while her complicated heroine investigates a tricky case."
A client's chance encounter with a bone involves veterinarian Kate Turner in yet another murder case in the beautiful but apparently not so peaceful Hudson Valley town of Oak Falls. Read full book review >
THE MISSING GUESTS OF THE MAGIC GROVE HOTEL  by David Casarett
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"Casarett's second Chang Mai Detective Agency novel has oodles of old-fashioned charm, with an easy pace, colorful characters, and a lively curiosity for the interesting details of everyday life. Piquantly titled chapters add a soupcon of comic zest."
An investigative odd couple unravels the mystery surrounding a series of disappearances and more in Thailand. Read full book review >
A LADY IN SHADOWS by Lene Kaaberbøl
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"Less detection than horror, less horror than plain old revulsion. But Kaaberbøl deploys strategically limited period detail with a surgical precision as great as her heroine's to set her struggles in a context of anti-female bias past and present."
A second round of turn-of-the-last-century detection for aspiring French pathologist Madeleine Karno (Dr. Death, 2015) that lays on horrors of every sort they could imagine in 1894. Read full book review >
INSIDIOUS INTENT by Val McDermid
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"McDermid keeps all three of these pots simmering, raising the heat in agonizingly tiny increments, until she's ready for a finale guaranteed to leave you reeling."
Back on the job as head of the newly formed regional Major Incident Team, DCI Carol Jordan (Splinter the Silence, 2015, etc.) is tested to the max by the Wedding Killer. Read full book review >
HER BEAUTIFUL MONSTER by Adi  Tantimedh
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"Once again, Tantimedh ebulliently spins out a world in which pandemonium doesn't reign; it pours."
Four more adventures, not so much linked as pureed, for Ravi Chandra Singh and his mates at London's Golden Sentinels Private Investigations and Security Agency (Her Nightly Embrace, 2016). Read full book review >
QUICK CURTAIN  by Alan Melville
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"Full marks to Melville for his Pagliacci-like premise, which predates Michael Innes' better-known use of onstage homicide in Hamlet, Revenge! by three years, and for a confident, waspish wit perfectly suited to his theatrical milieu—even if the working out of the puzzle manages to be both overingenious and humdrum."
The latest archaeological find from Poisoned Pen's British Library of Crime Classics is a 1934 theatrical whodunit by the pseudonymous playwright and TV producer (1910-83) that's definitely worth a second look, if not necessarily a full-scale resurrection. Read full book review >
BEAU DEATH by Peter Lovesey
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"Through it all, Lovesey moves from one dexterously nested puzzle to the next with all the confidence of a magician who knows the audience won't see through his deceptions no matter how slowly he unveils them. Next up, presumably: the Avon and Somerset CID investigate the extinction of the dinosaurs."
DS Peter Diamond's 17th outing may be the coldest cold case he's ever seen. 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 >