A fun and captivating historical noir.

Hunters Point


In this novel, a private investigator stumbles on a large conspiracy when a real estate developer starts snatching up land in 1950s San Francisco.

In 1957, Katsuhiro “Kats” Takemoto is watching Alfred Hitchcock direct the film Vertigo. Kats was brought in to help James Stewart prepare for the role of a San Francisco private detective and then was retained by the studio (“Stewart needed security and a driver while he was in town and said he wanted Kats”). After the movie wraps, Kats goes back to his job as a private eye, taking the case of a man named Anton Vello, who is trying to save his family business from unscrupulous developers. The goal of the developers seems to be to buy land for a new baseball stadium for the Giants. But as Kats investigates, he quickly sees that something fishy is going on with the people who are trying to drive out Anton’s family and others in the mostly immigrant community. A secretary named Molly Hayes, who works for the developers, finds their actions morally dubious and agrees to help Kats. Kats is juggling a few other cases, and his path keeps crossing with Molly’s, leading them to grow closer. Also in the mix is Kats’ friend Shig Murao, who manages the City Lights bookstore. As Kats continues to investigate, it becomes clear that there’s a much bigger conspiracy at work, and the culprits aren’t above using violence to get their way. Kageyama’s novel offers a bracing look at postwar San Francisco. Kats is still dealing with the fallout of World War II, during which his family surrendered much of its property and he served in the Army. Many of the characters are first-generation Americans, and a recurring theme focuses on immigrant identities. The story, which blends historical fiction and noir, is well researched, with a lot of intriguing period details about San Francisco. Readers who adore immersive settings will find plenty to love here. There are also some striking cameos, from luminaries like Stewart and Allen Ginsberg to such lesser-known figures as blues singer Gladys Bentley.

A fun and captivating historical noir.

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-940300-63-4

Page Count: 364

Publisher: St. Petersburg Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2022

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One of the most successful of Box’s increasingly ambitious have-it-all thrillers.


The Wyoming winter brings maverick game warden Joe Pickett poachers, murderers, spies, and some ferocious bad weather.

Seeking a wounded elk and a marauding wolf during a brutal snowstorm, Joe is amazed to discover a human corpse sticking halfway out of a metal outbuilding on the Double Diamond ranch. While he’s conscientiously photographing the crime scene, somebody starts shooting at him. Ranch foreman Clay Hutmacher refuses to say anything about the building’s purpose until he checks with billionaire ranch owner Michael Thompson; Gov. Colter Allen abruptly orders Joe off the case; and departing Twelve Sleep County Sheriff Scott Tibbs, the boss who’d do anything to avoid having Joe make waves, reports that there’s no body at the place he described. Meanwhile, Joe’s old friend Nate Romanowski, an outlaw falconer, is approached by ex–Army Ranger Jason Demo, who’s trying to attract anti-government malcontents to join the secessionist Sovereign Nation, and Joe realizes that his predatory mother-in-law, Missy, is neglecting her fifth or sixth husband, attorney Marcus Hand, who’s dying of pancreatic cancer, to cozy up to Allen, who plans to launch his campaign for reelection at the public library headed by Joe’s wife, Marybeth. What does the death of University of Wyoming engineering professor Zhang Wei, if that’s really who the dead man was, have to do with all of this malfeasance? Like a patient spider, Box plays out plotline after plotline, balancing his sympathies adroitly between anti-establishment libertarians who’ve had enough of the coastal elites and officers sworn to serve and protect their communities, before knotting them all together with a climactic revelation that for better or worse will leave you gasping.

One of the most successful of Box’s increasingly ambitious have-it-all thrillers.

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2023

ISBN: 9780593331309

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

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A compelling take on the classic whodunit.

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The shocking murder of a public figure at a high-end hotel has everyone guessing who the culprit might be.

Twenty-five-year-old Molly Gray, an eccentric young woman who's obsessed with cleaning but doesn't quite have the same ability to navigate social cues as those around her, loves working as a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. Raised by her old-fashioned grandmother, who loved nothing more than cleaning and watching Columbo reruns, Molly has an overly polite and straightforward manner that can make her seem odd and off-putting to her colleagues despite her being the hardest worker at the hotel. After her grandmother's death, Molly's rigid life begins to lose some of its long-held balance, and when the infamous Mr. Charles Black, a rich and powerful businessman suspected of various criminal enterprises, is found murdered in one of the rooms she cleans, her whole world gets turned upside down. Before Molly knows what's happening, her odd demeanor has the police convinced she's guilty of the crime, and certain people at the hotel are a little too pleased about it. With the help of a few new friends (and while fending off new foes), she must begin to untangle the mystery of who really killed Mr. Black to get herself off the hook once and for all. Though the unusual ending might frustrate some readers, this unique debut will keep them reading.

A compelling take on the classic whodunit.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35615-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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