Weber’s yoga-inspired series regulars (A Fatal Twist, 2017, etc.) hit the road in a passable installment light on yoga and...

READ REVIEW

PRE-MEDITATED MURDER

On learning that her boyfriend is already married, a sleuthing yoga instructor tries to disentangle him from his wife, first living, then dead.

Kate Davidson lives every woman’s worst nightmare when her boyfriend, Michael Massey, ceremoniously presents her on her birthday with a jewelry box that she excitedly opens to find, well, something that’s not an engagement ring. Now that they’ve been living together—along with Kate’s German shepherd, Bella—Kate had assumed that she and Michael were on the same page, but her shocked reaction shows them both how wrong she is. As Kate spills her guts to her closest friend, Rene, over coffee the next day, Michael indicates that he’s never thought of marrying Kate because he’s technically still married. Although Michael wonders why something as minor as a wedding ring could mean so much to Kate, who’s suffering from shock and disbelief, he gamely asks his wife, Gabriella Massey, for a friendly divorce. After all, their marriage was mainly a citizenship arrangement for Gabriella. So Michael is surprised when Gabriella not only will not grant him the divorce, but also threatens to extort money from him. Feeling that things will go more smoothly in person, Michael makes plans to travel from Seattle to Cannon Beach, Oregon, to talk with Gabriella, bringing along Kate, Rene, Bella, and company. Problem is, Gabriella hasn’t changed her mind, and when Kate sees them together, she doesn’t believe that Michael has been forthcoming about the obvious spark between Gabriella and him. Before Michael can find out why Gabriella’s being so stubborn, she’s murdered, and the Cannon Beach police think Michael’s to blame. As Kate balances her desire to help Michael against her suspicions that he might have killed his estranged wife, her distrust in Michael is surpassed only by her desire that justice be served.

Weber’s yoga-inspired series regulars (A Fatal Twist, 2017, etc.) hit the road in a passable installment light on yoga and heavy on complex relationship dynamics.

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7387-5068-2

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Midnight Ink/Llewellyn

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

Creepy, violent, and propulsive; a standout gothic mystery.

THINGS IN JARS

Lady detective Bridie Devine searches for a missing child and finds much more than she bargained for.

Bridie Devine is no stranger to the seedy underworld of Victorian London. An accomplished detective with medical training, she sometimes helps the police by examining bodies to determine the cause of death. Bridie recently failed to find a lost child, and when she’s approached about another missing child, the daughter of Sir Edmund Berwick, she isn’t enthusiastic about taking on the case. But Christabel Berwick is no ordinary child. Sir Edmund has hidden Christabel away her whole life and wants Bridie to believe this is an ordinary kidnapping. Bridie does a little digging and learns that Christabel isn’t his daughter so much as his prized specimen. Sir Edmund believes Christabel is a “merrow,” a darker and less romanticized version of a mermaid. Bridie is skeptical, but there are reports of Christabel’s sharp teeth, color-changing eyes, and ability to drown people on dry land. Given that Bridie’s new companion is a ghost who refuses to tell her why he’s haunting her, Bridie might want to open her mind a bit. There’s a lot going on in this singular novel, and none of it pretty. Bridie’s London is soaked with mud and blood, and her past is nightmarish at best. Kidd (Mr. Flood’s Last Resort, 2018, etc.) is an expert at setting a supernatural mood perfect for ghosts and merrows, but her human villains make them seem mundane by comparison. With so much detail and so many clever, Dickensian characters, readers might petition Kidd to give Bridie her own series.

Creepy, violent, and propulsive; a standout gothic mystery.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-2128-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more