Historical details provide the principal pleasures in Libertus’ 13th case (The Vestal Vanishes, 2011, etc.), but the mystery...

A WHISPERING OF SPIES

A favor for his wealthy patron puts a Roman citizen of Britain in a dangerous predicament.

In A.D. 191, when Britain has been a Roman province for over 200 years, ex-lictor Voluus plans to make the city of Glevum his retirement home. The wealthy but ill-tempered retiree has already hired an apartment and bought property to build a house for his family, none of whom have arrived. Pavement-maker Libertus is sent by his powerful patron Marcus Septimus Aurelius to seek information about the new arrival by offering his services to Voluus’ steward Calvinus. After his visit, one of the carts carrying part of Voluus’ treasure is found empty, and all the guards and even the horses have been slaughtered. Members of the council who have had spies watching Voluus’ household accuse Libertus of the crime. All the spies’ information may be open to interpretation, but Libertus has a difficult time explaining it away. He’s arrested and held by the commander of the local fort, who’s had dealings with Libertus before and is so disposed to believe him that he takes him to the scene of the crime, where all is not as it seems. With his adopted son and a slave of Voluus’ doing some of the investigating, Libertus must find the actual criminal or face exile under Roman law.

Historical details provide the principal pleasures in Libertus’ 13th case (The Vestal Vanishes, 2011, etc.), but the mystery still poses a challenge.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7278-8163-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Severn House

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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DEATH ON THE NILE

A HERCULE POIROT MYSTERY (HERCULE POIROT MYSTERIES)

One of her best. Poirot, again on vacation, falls foul of a murder on board a Nile river steamer, followed by two successive murders, obviously connected. A sophisticated group, an ingenious plot, clever deduction, swift-paced narrative. A little romance on the side lends glamour. First rate entertainment.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 1938

ISBN: 0062073559

Page Count: 354

Publisher: Dodd, Mead

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1938

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Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how...

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THE A LIST

A convicted killer’s list of five people he wants dead runs the gamut from the wife he’s already had murdered to franchise heroine Ali Reynolds.

Back in the day, women came from all over to consult Santa Clarita fertility specialist Dr. Edward Gilchrist. Many of them left his care happily pregnant, never dreaming that the father of the babies they carried was none other than the physician himself, who donated his own sperm rather than that of the handsome, athletic, disease-free men pictured in his scrapbook. When Alexandra Munsey’s son, Evan, is laid low by the kidney disease he’s inherited from his biological father and she returns to Gilchrist in search of the donor’s medical records, the roof begins to fall in on him. By the time it’s done falling, he’s serving a life sentence in Folsom Prison for commissioning the death of his wife, Dawn, the former nurse and sometime egg donor who’d turned on him. With nothing left to lose, Gilchrist tattoos himself with the initials of five people he blames for his fall: Dawn; Leo Manuel Aurelio, the hit man he’d hired to dispose of her; Kaitlyn Todd, the nurse/receptionist who took Dawn’s place; Alex Munsey, whose search for records upset his apple cart; and Ali Reynolds, the TV reporter who’d helped put Alex in touch with the dozen other women who formed the Progeny Project because their children looked just like hers. No matter that Ali’s been out of both California and the news business for years; Gilchrist and his enablers know that revenge can’t possibly be served too cold. Wonder how far down that list they’ll get before Ali, aided once more by Frigg, the methodical but loose-cannon AI first introduced in Duel to the Death (2018), turns on them?

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how little the boundary-challenged AI, who gets into the case more or less inadvertently, differs from your standard human sidekick with issues.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5101-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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