RaveCriminal ElementDeath by Dawn is so viscerally suspenseful it must be inhaled in short spurts. The plot weaves seamlessly between Mike’s perilous situation and the events that preceded it ... Everything we’ve learned about Mike Bowditch comes to the fore ... Dead by Dawn is a brilliant mystery that will inspire a massive re-read of Paul Doiron’s mystery series.
PositiveCriminal ElementThe Mitford Trial is \'inspired by a real-life murder.\' Jessica Fellowes embeds an actual crime into the narrative of a consequential cruise taken by the two most controversial Mitford sisters, Diana and Unity. The Mitford Trial is an absorbing mystery with disturbing undertones. Jessica Fellowes brings pre-war England to life beautifully and fortuitously, there are three previous Mitford Murder books to read if you’d like to learn more about the Mitford sisters.
PositiveCriminal ElementThe literary equivalent of the final act of a three-act play ... Revenge, along with the grip the past has on the present and future, underlies the events of Not Dark Yet ... The storylines are disjointed, particularly after Banks is forced to take medical leave. Banks is under intense pressure from internal investigators to spill the goods on Zelda. They clearly don’t believe a word of his story hence his superior protecting Banks by forcing him to stand down temporarily. Does that stop his investigations? Hardly. Not Dark Yet is an intense but ultimately satisfying conclusion to the intricate plots that took shape in Peter Robinson’s Careless Love.
RaveCriminal ElementThe Night of the Fire is a disturbing book. There are unmistakable if unintended parallels with tensions in Sweden and the United States over immigration and the integration of refugees into the fabric of society. Ericksson is a perceptive writer: his characters speak of the past with nostalgia-tinged with the sickening reality that \'past is prologue\' ... On a lighter note, The Night of the Fire reminded me of similarities between middle-aged, high ranking female detectives. If you like Jane Tennison and Vera Stanhope, you’ll also enjoy Ann Lindell ... Lindell’s generous way of viewing the world, and her innate self-honesty and self-awareness is very appealing. I will be eagerly awaiting the twelfth Lindell mystery and I am grateful for the generous backlist.
PositiveCriminal Element... a perfect puzzle involving a house, a family, and the people who come into their orbit. Prepare to be surprised at the twists and turns. Emma Rous writes about generational family secrets like nobody’s business.
PositiveCriminal ElementChristina McDonald seeds Do No Harm with references to the prevalence of opioid abusers, floats allusions to money and what it can buy, all foreshadowing the tragedy about to befall Nate and Emma ... Christina McDonald explores the moral choices the protagonists face with clarity and compassion. How much has the war on opioids prevented folks with excruciating, valid pain issues to go without treatment? Emma lost her family when she was a teenager. She and Ben went into foster care and then she and Ben went their separate ways. As a mother and as a wife, given her tragic background, she is desperate to protect her family. But there’s that unavoidable question: do the ends ever justify the means? Set aside some time before starting Do No Harm because you will not be able to put it down.
PositiveCriminal ElementThe Darkest Evening abounds in metaphors and memories ... If you’re on team Vera Stanhope, what Ann Cleeves has for you is a complicated, absorbing mystery. An early holiday present, if you like ... we come away with a deeper understanding and respect for Vera, her failsafe methods of detection, and the choices she’s made for her life.
PositiveCriminal ElementThe London of 1703 makes a dank, dangerous, and exciting backdrop to Cecily and Meacan’s inquiries. The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne is the first of a new series. Brava Elsa Hart.
RaveCriminal ElementThe repartee is fast and amusing ... so enjoyable readers will undoubtedly race to buy The Right Sort of Man, the first Sparks Bainbridge mystery, as soon as they finish it. Allison Montclair has created two fascinating characters in Iris and Gwen: they are captivating, drawing us effortlessly into their lives, both personal and professional. I look forward to their next adventure in the turbulent world of post-war England.
Sarah Stewart Taylor
PositiveCriminal ElementSarah Stewart Taylor has a dab hand in bringing locales to life ... Taylor skillfully weaves three different time periods together, in a non-linear fashion...Like real life, it’s complicated and messy: the narrative is infused with significant details and asides ... Criminal profiler Maggie D’arcy is a believable, dogged guide to despicable behavior.
Karen Lee Street
RaveCriminal ElementIt is a feast for all the senses; Karen Lee Street is a painter with a palette of exciting, unusual, and provocative words ... a historical mystery that will entice readers into exploring Paris’s magical, mysterious past and will no doubt eventually lead them to revisit Poe’s literary masterpieces.
PositiveCriminal ElementSpencer-Fleming has a marvelous ability to weave disparate storylines into a cohesive whole ... We’re in excellent hands here. . . and God willing, the 10th Reverend Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries will be coming along the pike in due course.
PositiveCriminal ElementJohn Lawton infuses Hammer to Fall with ironic, dispassionate humor, never more so than Wilderness’s cover story ... Wilderness is a lightning rod for trouble and danger—and his sardonic, deadpan approach to life’s vicissitudes adds to the pleasure of reading Hammer to Fall.
Chan Ho-Kei, Trans. by Jeremy Tiang
RaveCriminal Element...a very timely and propulsively plotted tale of cyberbullying and revenge ... Second Sister touches on universal themes like punishment and forgiveness, and it explores the gap between offline and online behavior ... Readers will savor every twist and turn of Chan Ho-Kei’s tour de force ... Second Sister is a masterclass on the vagaries of our digital age.
RaveCriminal Element...a complicated, compelling story that addresses the pain posed by the title of Thomas Wolfe’s famous book, You Can’t Go Home Again ... A Madness of Sunshine doesn’t condescend to readers; it is through inferences and Maori phrases that Anahera’s ethnicity is made obvious ... Set aside the weekend before starting A Madness of Sunshine because it’s unputdownable. Check out your airline miles too because after you finish, you may want to accept Nalini Singh’s invitation to visit her \'distant country\' ... beautiful.
PositiveCriminal Elementis set in the early 1930s, but the plot is fresh and compelling. Brava Anne Perry! Readers will assuredly count down the months until the next Elena Standish mystery.
PositiveCriminal Element...Rhys Bowen does a marvelous job of plunging the shocked newlyweds into a hedonistic swirl of drugs, alcohol, and casual infidelity ... Like an Agatha Christie mystery, there are many people who have a reason to dislike and despise the late Lord Cheriton ... Rhys Bowen weaves the barely perceptible tension between the African servants (some enduring almost slave-like conditions) and their European masters into her fascinating story of murder in a unique time and place that’s occupied by a vivid cast of characters. Readers will appreciate Bowen’s willingness to stretch the limits of her series to examine the attitudes and mores of a troubled period.
RaveCriminal Element...plunges the reader into a spiraling mystery ... With subtle strokes, Ruth Ware paints a picture of ratcheting tension ... The Turn of the Key is a tour de force—Ware is writing at the height of her powers.
PositiveCriminal ElementAnne Perry uses humor and sustenance to lighten the tension of Philip Sidney’s grim trial ... explores the many facets of loyalty, particularly the relationship between grown-up siblings, when one is married ... an absorbing addition to the Daniel Pitt series, inevitably making readers wish the next in the series comes quickly.
PositiveCriminal ElementDemands close attention to every detail because so many elements verge on the supernatural, the questionable, or the stark \'you must be mistaken about that\' ... The title is a misnomer because you won’t be able to sleep until you’ve laid bare every mystery of While You Sleep.
PositiveCriminal Element\"... every chapter ends on a more nail-biting cliff-hanger than the one before ... Plunge into One Fatal Mistake and meditate on the sliding spectrum of criminality ... It’s fascinating to watch Karen confront what she can do—what’s she’s willing to do—to save her son.\
PositiveCriminal ElementChock-a-block with elements that keep readers coming back ... Robinson’s exquisitely detailed descriptions set his story apart from many police procedurals ... If police procedurals that are steeped in accuracy and a dead-on sense of place are your cup of tea, Careless Love fits the bill magnificently.
PositiveThe Criminal ElementCharlotte Holmes’s cover is nothing if not impressive: far more than being the great detective’s amanuensis, she is the embodiment of \'Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective\' to her clients ... To say more would be to deprive readers of the pleasure of watching Charlotte, aka Sherrinford, at the height of her powers ... The Hollow of Fear is an absorbing tale of detection, with a fascinating, iconoclastic woman at its core.
Robert J. Harris
PositiveCriminal ElementRichard Hannay returns to action in The Thirty-One Kings by Robert J. Harris, a new spy thriller set in wartime Paris, where John Buchan’s famed hero races to track down a mysterious figure holding vital war secrets before the Nazis beat him to it ... readers will flock to tales of derring-do, underlaid with patriotic courage and characteristically British stiff-upper-lip.
RaveCriminal ElementSplinter in the Blood by Ashley Dyer is a propulsive debut novel filled with secrets, nerve-jangling tension, mystery, and cold-blooded murder, where a police officer on the hunt for a macabre serial killer is brutally attacked and only his partner knows the truth about what happened—and who did it ... Readers who revel in accurate, detailed descriptions of police procedures will be absorbed by Splinter in the Blood. The devil truly is in the details.
PositiveAll About RomanceBe still my heart ... the notion that in the prescribed world of most aristocrats, running away from the ton is a prerequisite for untrammeled, pastoral, passionate romance. Marcus and Viola’s initial relationship is wildly reckless and enchanting – and their journey after their private bubble bursts is equally absorbing. If ever a pair deserved their happily-ever-after, these two do.
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
PositiveCriminal ElementEven if readers are new to the Gideon Crew saga, Preston and Child do an admirable job of bringing folks up to speed ... The Pharaoh Key marries high-tech chops with a rollicking Raiders of the Lost Ark-style adventure. Refresh your knowledge of Biblical mysteries, suspend your disbelief, and enjoy the treasure hunt.
RaveCriminal Element a witty, engrossing homage to noir ... The topic of his all-important library science paper—ghosts in libraries—mirrors the underlying plot of My Darling Detective: in the journey to adulthood, we are sometimes given the opportunity to explore the ghosts of our physical and psychological past. Jacob Rigolet is a unique, unforgettable man who successfully navigates the shoals of his unexpected past.