THE MYSTERIOUS WEST

Don't get your hopes up: Despite Hillerman's best-selling name on the dust jacket, this isn't a new Leaphorn or Chee mystery (Sacred Clowns, 1993, etc.) but an anthology of 20 new stories by lesser, though still brand-name, authors (Lie Matera, John Lutz, Harold Adams, William J. Reynolds et al.). Nor will you find much of Hillerman's voice in the introductions to individual stories, which are so bland — "every single one of [Wendy Hornsby's] stories is worth searching for"; "J.A. Jance just keeps on getting better" — they could practically be interchanged. The best of the lot — Marcia Muller's bittersweet memoir of a young woman's abortive homecoming, Linda Grant's reunion of a daughter with her eccentric, threatened father, Susan Dunlap's deadpan account of a loony hostage-taking in Berkeley, Ed Gorman's spare, chilling tale of a boy whose father is maddened by a run of bad luck — typically subordinate atmosphere to the exploration of (generally troubled) family ties. The least successful — the undernourished whodunits by Dana Stabenow, Bill Crider, and Rex Burns, the postcard landscapes of Karen Kijewski and Bill Pronzini — seem swallowed up by their settings; and the main interest of the tales by Carole Nelson Douglas and Stuart M. Kaminsky is to watch their tenderfoot creators pick their way gamely through the sagebrush. Despite the novelty of its regional concept and the absence of reprints — a Texas-size disappointment, without even a story by Hillerman, a nonpareil novelist who'd better not quit his day job.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-06-017785-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1994

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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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An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

A KILLER EDITION

Too much free time leads a New Hampshire bookseller into yet another case of murder.

Now that Tricia Miles has Pixie Poe and Mr. Everett practically running her bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, she finds herself at loose ends. Her wealthy sister, Angelica, who in the guise of Nigela Ricita has invested heavily in making Stoneham a bookish tourist attraction, is entering the amateur competition for the Great Booktown Bake-Off. So Tricia, who’s recently taken up baking as a hobby, decides to join her and spends a lot of time looking for the perfect cupcake recipe. A visit to another bookstore leaves Tricia witnessing a nasty argument between owner Joyce Widman and next-door neighbor Vera Olson over the trimming of tree branches that hang over Joyce’s yard—also overheard by new town police officer Cindy Pearson. After Tricia accepts Joyce’s offer of some produce from her garden, they find Vera skewered by a pitchfork, and when Police Chief Grant Baker arrives, Joyce is his obvious suspect. Ever since Tricia moved to Stoneham, the homicide rate has skyrocketed (Poisoned Pages, 2018, etc.), and her history with Baker is fraught. She’s also become suspicious about the activities at Pets-A-Plenty, the animal shelter where Vera was a dedicated volunteer. Tricia’s offered her expertise to the board, but president Toby Kingston has been less than welcoming. With nothing but baking on her calendar, Tricia has plenty of time to investigate both the murder and her vague suspicions about the shelter. Plenty of small-town friendships and rivalries emerge in her quest for the truth.

An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0272-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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