Mystery Thriller Book Reviews (page 1601)

DOUBLE WHAMMY by Carl Hiaasen
Released: Jan. 12, 1987

"Still, with its byzantine plot and wonderful, weird denizens, this is one of the most delightfully inventive and entertaining crime novels of the year."
Veteran of three taut but traditional thrillers (with William B. Montalbo: Powder Burn, 1981; Trap Line, 1982; A Death in China, 1984), Hiaasen unveiled an original madcap voice steeped in black humor when he finally soloed in last year's satirical crimemeller, Tourist Trap. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 6, 1987

"Mid-brow melodrama that is a strong recovery after Buckley's recent Blackford Oakes blandishments—and far more gripping than his twitterings as bon vivant of the high seas."
Buckley's best Blackford Oakes thriller, written seemingly by a new William F. Buckley—abstemious, ambitious, inoffensive, hardworking. Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 4, 1986

"Still: an intriguing, appealing, minor-key departure for Grimes and Jury—with only a few small appearances by Melrose Plant, the Superintendent's faintly precious part-time sidekick."
Though generally delightful, Grimes' mysteries for Superintendent Richard Jury—Jerusalem Inn, etc.—have sometimes bordered on the arch and over-convoluted, with outsized portions of fey British comedy (as concocted by an American writer). Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1986

"But, resonating with themes, from family responsibility to class warfare to the perils of ambition, this leisurely, somber investigation is moodily compelling most of the way through—and only disappointing in its fitful, hollow resolutions."
Like her other recent, long mysteries (Death of an Expert Witness, The Skull Beneath the Skin), James' new 480-page novel is absorbing reading, chockablock with arresting characters, edgily compelling conversation, and grainy atmospherics. Read full book review >
IT by Stephen King
Released: Sept. 1, 1986

"The King of the Pulps smiles and shuffles as he punches out his vulgarian allegory, but he too often sounds bored, as if whipping himself on with his favorite Kirin beer for zip."
King's newest is a gargantuan summer sausage, at 1144 pages his largest yet, and is made of the same spiceless grindings as ever: banal characters spewing sawdust dialogue as they blunder about his dark butcher shop. Read full book review >

TAMING A SEAHORSE by Robert B. Parker
Released: June 6, 1986

"But, with Parker's easy-read style and a bit less pretentiousness than some recent Spensers, this should do well commercially—thanks largely to heavy promotion, the TV tie-in, and the crest of Parker popularity that has coincided so ironically with his descent from genre artist to self-indulgent hack."
In this thin sequel to Ceremony (1982), tough/noble Spenser again sets out to save (more or less) teen prostitute April Kyle—now working in Manhattan, where she has foolishly left the classy brothel run by Patricia Utley (Spenser's chum) in order to turn call-girl tricks for a sleek black pimp named Robert Rambeaux. Read full book review >
'C' IS FOR CORPSE by Sue Grafton
Released: May 12, 1986

"The author's style is warm and swift, the plot intrigues even if far-fetched; best of all is Kinsey Millhone—who's got brains and a sense of humor."
Third in Grafton's dashing trip through the alphabet ("A" is for Alibi, etc.) and probably her best so far. Read full book review >
TOURIST SEASON by Carl Hiaasen
Released: March 24, 1986

"But if you like your gallows laughs with gall, this could be for you."
Satiric mystery adventure about a crazed Miami reporter and an eruption of bloodlust meant to drive off the tourists and developers. Read full book review >
BLOOD TEST by Jonathan Kellerman
Released: March 1, 1986

"A twisted, contrived, and turgid story with red herrings the size of small whales, and a stumbling, murky finale."
A disappointing second outing for California child-psychologist Alex Delaware (When The Bough Breaks, 1985); this time he tracks down a little boy desperately in need of cancer treatment. Read full book review >
HIGH JINX by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: March 1, 1986

"Nonetheless: reasonably lively, relatively literate spy-diversion—especially in contrast to the lumbering idiocies of Robert Ludlum (below)."
Thus far, the adventures of CIA-agent Blackford Oakes have followed him chronologically through the Fifties and early Sixties: from Saving the Queen to See You Later Alligator, from the Space Race to the Berlin Wall to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 2, 1986

"Some of King's smoothest writing and slickest effects, with the usual supercosmic horror scaled down to reasonably familiar villainy—though the sales, one assumes, will be supercosmic."
Featuring 21 charming illustrations by David Palladini, this is an adventure fantasy for young adults—or very old prepubescents—and among King's most accomplished works (though readers who groan at King's unremitting vulgarity in his adult novels will again have a few quarrels to pick). Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 2, 1985

"And if none of these puzzles offers the most dazzling Christie short-story craft or the most memorable Marple portraiture, all of them feature solid plotting, crisp narration, and regular dollops of English-village charm (starkly shaded by Miss M.'s no-nonsense view of human nature)."
Don't look for any unfamiliar gems or juicy rediscoveries in this gathering of 20 stories featuring Christie's #2 star, Miss Marple of St. 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 >