Mystery Thriller Book Reviews

DARK TIDE RISING  by Anne Perry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"One of the most successful of prolific Perry's recent Victorian melodramas. The opening chapters are appropriately portentous, the mystification is authentic, and if the final surprise isn't exactly a shock, it's so well-prepared that even readers who don't gasp will nod in satisfaction."
Cmdr. William Monk, of the Thames River Police, agrees to join a distraught husband in the ransom exchange for his kidnapped wife only to find every conceivable thing going disastrously wrong in Perry's latest slice of Victorian skulduggery. Read full book review >
MAY DAY MURDER  by Julie Wassmer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"The most obviously retro of Wassmer's four Whitstable cozies is in some ways the most successful. The plot is highly serviceable, and if none of the characters is exactly original, several of them are as vivid as the golden age stereotypes they're so clearly based on."
An over-the-hill film star who's returned to her birthplace juices her standing in the tabloids by getting her just desserts, in an unexpectedly literal way, and then getting murdered. Read full book review >

MURDER ON THE PILGRIMS WAY by Julie Wassmer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"As usual in Wassmer's books, the first movement is the best; things get distinctly more routine after the initial murder. Uprooted from her home turf, the heroine remains appealing in her low-key way, though it's hard to imagine a more artificial setting for her labors than the Villa Pellegrini."
Her fourth mild adventure packs Whitstable restaurant owner and private detective Pearl Nolan (May Day Murder, 2018, etc.) off on a busman's holiday to a newly opened resort where everything goes wrong, up to and including murder. Read full book review >
CHARLESGATE CONFIDENTIAL by Scott Von Doviak
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"Instead of presenting these three narrative layers in chronological order, Von Doviak cuts constantly from one to the other in a wildly inventive fantasia spiced with frequent revelations of new crimes and new solutions. The only downside: The last round of revelations doesn't carry any more weight than the others."
Wondering who pulled off the never-solved 1990 heist at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which netted the thieves the richest haul still unrecovered in the history of art theft? Von Doviak's waggish debut has the answer to this question—and much, much more. Read full book review >
THE WHITSTABLE PEARL MYSTERY by Julie Wassmer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"Wassmer's main contributions to the familiar village murder-cum-not-quite-romance formula are a strong sense of atmosphere—the town is much more vivid than its individual inhabitants—and a keen eye for the places where everyday frictions between perfectly nice people shade off into something altogether darker. First of a series."
A debut novel from British TV writer Wassmer (More Than Just Coincidence, 2010) set in an English seacoast town where life would be perfect if it weren't for the murders. Read full book review >

MURDER-ON-SEA  by Julie Wassmer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"Better plotted than The Whitstable Pearl Mystery (2018), though the central gimmick has a long history and Wassmer still shows more interest in the pre-romance between the two sleuths than in anyone else, including the victim and the killer. Fans of Yuletide homicide won't mind a bit."
When Christmas comes to the North Kent town of Whitstable, it brings a series of poison-pen greeting cards and some even deadlier poisons. Read full book review >
THE INFINITE BLACKTOP by Sara Gran
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"Give it a bit of time to wind up and you'll be charmed by this eccentric, enticingly artful mystery."
An existentially weary PI confronts three major cases that may be related in Gran's (Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway, 2013, etc.) fragmented take on the hard-boiled mystery genre. Read full book review >
GUESS WHO by Chris McGeorge
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"An interesting premise that falls flat when the detective fails to impress, though the villain is diabolical."
In McGeorge's debut thriller, a celebrity detective wakes up handcuffed to a bed in a locked room—and there's a body in the bathroom. Read full book review >
A FORGOTTEN PLACE by Charles Todd
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"Todd patiently, decorously evokes a sense of suffocating unease before the inevitably anticlimactic conclusion."
Nursing sister Bess Crawford's errand of mercy to a seemingly innocuous village in the Gower Peninsula of South Wales turns slowly into a waking nightmare. Read full book review >
THE 7½ DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE by Stuart Turton
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"Turton's debut is a brainy, action-filled sendup of the classic mystery, though readers may be hard-pressed to keep up with all its keenly calibrated twists and turns for more than 400 pages."
In this dizzying literary puzzle, the hapless protagonist is doomed to relive the same day over and over unless he can solve a murder at a masquerade ball. Read full book review >
A WILLING MURDER by Jude Deveraux
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"Fans of Deveraux and the cozy mystery genre will find common ground in this twisted tale of forgotten graves, small-town grudges, and new friends."
The mystery debut of bestselling romance author Deveraux (As You Wish, 2018, etc.) starts with an unhappily-ever-after—an unsolved murder. But its heroine, a romance novelist, has a better ending in mind. Read full book review >
TEAR ME APART by J.T. Ellison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"An inventive thriller with a horrifying reveal and a happy ending."
While bed-bound in the hospital, an athletic young woman discovers the gruesome truth about her mother. 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 >