Mystery Thriller Book Reviews (page 1601)

FIXIN' TO DIE by Jerry Oster
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 17, 1992

"Jenny Swale is only the first), lots of good dirty fun for all."
Inoffensive convict Elvis Polk's shooting of NYPD officer Jenny Swale in the opening paragraph here (her partner Luther Todd has to wait until the next page) sets off a dizzying plot whose leading question is: Where did handcuffed Elvis get his gun if not via a police plant in Jenny's car? Read full book review >
NEW CRIMES 3 by Maxim--Ed. Jakubowski
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 17, 1992

"Jakubowski seems to specialize in stories nobody else wants- -publishers or readers."
Bookstore owner Jakubowski serves up 18 never-published-before stories, two long-buried turns from John D. MacDonald and Robert B. Parker, and a piece of Holmesian puffery from John Dickson Carr. Read full book review >

FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 15, 1992

"A simplistic premise, alas, encourages simplistic solutions."
Omnipresent anthologists Gorman and Greenberg suggested to 18 writers that each pound out a story that included one common element: a young woman found dead on an apartment floor. Read full book review >
PORTRAITS OF THE MISSING by Julian Symons
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 15, 1992

"Brevity and repetitiousness, though, make this a thin book for the money."
Eight narrative sketches, rather in the manner of Beerbohm's Seven Men, of figures who, as Symons says, ``never fitted into any of my crime stories.'' Though the opening anecdote about cadaverous columnist E. J. Bastable and Promethean dunderhead Thomas Tucker (whom Bastable keeps promoting as ``the poet of the era'') is, despite the author's disclaimer, a full-blown short story, most of the succeeding pieces are parables of social history. Read full book review >
KISS by Ed McBain
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 14, 1992

"In sum: so-so McBain, with too much attempted glitz and not enough old-fashioned personality and legwork. (Book-of-the-Month Dual Selection for April)"
McBain's new 87th Precinct installment, less ambitiously multi-plotted than some recent entries, has just two very different narratives, delivered in alternating chunks. Read full book review >

TREASURE BY POST by David Williams
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 12, 1992

"Still, there's enough of interest here to charm puzzle fans."
This time out, merchant banker Mark Treasure (Prescription for Murder, p. 218, etc.) and his lively actress wife, Molly, are visiting Chiversley, where she is appearing in a film and where he has been asked by a bishop friend to become one of the three ``Convent beneficiaries'' of the Society of Blessed Mary Magdalene at Saint Timothy's Church to find a replacement for the murdered church organist. Read full book review >
SNAKE EYES by Rosamond Smith
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 10, 1992

"Slick, professional, and utterly predictable—it reads like a sly and expert parody of the whole psycho-menace genre."
This latest gothic potboiler from the thinly veiled Joyce Carol Oates pits a wide-eyed suburban lawyer and his oh-so-perfect family against the convicted murderer who comes to live in their hometown when he's served the eight years of his ``life sentence.'' Though he's never met tattooed Vietnam vet Lee Roy Sears, Michael O'Meara was instrumental five years earlier in getting his original death sentence commuted to life, and he's kept up a correspondence (much to his beautiful, decorously promiscuous wife Gina's dismay) that encourages Sears to set up shop as a supposedly gifted sculptor in Mount Orion, New Jersey. Read full book review >
GHOSTLAND by Jean Hager
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 7, 1992

"Hager's most engrossing effort to date."
Oklahoma's Mitch Bushyhead, chief of police in Buckskin (Night Walker, etc.), is determined to find the killer of little Tamarah Birch, a third-grader at the area's tribal boarding school, whose body was found—strangled but not molested—in woods edging the school grounds. Read full book review >
JUST CAUSE by John Katzenbach
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 6, 1992

"So grossly overextended that you'll see every twist coming pages away—but Katzenbach does keep the suspense mounting from the gloomy opening to the cartoonish denouement."
A seen-it-all Miami crime reporter, Matthew Cowart, reopens the case of an inmate waiting on backwoods Florida's death row to be executed for the sex murder of young Joanie Shriver and succeeds in overturning his conviction—only to have his own worst nightmares come true. Read full book review >
GUARDIAN ANGEL by Sara Paretsky
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 5, 1992

"Suspense rarely flags through the slightly excessive length here—densely textured, adroitly plotted, and one of the author's best."
The further perils of V.I. Warshawski, Chicago's lawyer-p.i. Read full book review >
BREACH OF IMMUNITY by Molly Hite
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 5, 1992

"Downbeat, with a pronounced feminist sensibility from the author of Class Porn (1987)."
A transvestite rapist of both male and female gays is on the loose, and the one thing all his victims have in common is a subscription to a gay newspaper. Read full book review >
BLANCHE ON THE LAM by Barbara Neely
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 4, 1992

"Primarily for southern gothic aficionados."
Blanche, a street-smart black domestic on the run from the sheriff for passing a bad check (again), winds up cooking and caring for edgy Miz Grace, her husband Everett, her wealthy, reclusive Aunt Emmeline, and her somewhat retarded Cousin Mumsfield at their summer home in Hokeysville, North Carolina—in a quirky mystery debut that pits Blanche against a Faulknerian cast of oddballs who may be trying to kill each other off to claim a southern fortune. 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 >