Amanda Cross brings forth a thrilling and dramatic mystery in The Puzzled Heart, published by Ballantine Books, copyright 1998. In this intriguing novel Kate Fansler and her husband Reed are faced with far-right-wing activists who object to her lectures supporting women’s rights.  Reed is kidnapped by these radicals and Kate is sent ransom notes demanding that she retract all her pro-feminist statements and declare that her lectures were ...

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Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly, is a historical novel published by HarperCollins Publishers, copyright 2016. Shetterly tells us that her mother, along with four of her schoolmates fresh out of high school, challenged the courses at John Carol University, one of the most renowned engineering colleges in the country.  At the time, the late 30’s and early 40’s, the university was all male students and had the attitude that wo...

Stephen King brings a taste of weird horror and supernatural mystery in Revival, published by Scribner, copyright 2014. Jamie Morton is arranging his toy soldiers on a hill he had constructed when a shadow crosses his battleground then stops over him. Jamie is a young boy in 1962 and is curious about this new preacher who is offering advice on troop placement and attack strategies. The new minister and his wife and son quickly became quite popu...

Stuarts Woods’ skillful writing brings another mystery thriller in White Cargo, published by HarperCollinsPublishers, copyright 1988. This tale begins on a sailboat vacation from Fort Lauderdale to the Panama Canal and then on to the Pacific Ocean. Wendell “Cat’ Catledge, his wife Katie, and their daughter, nicknamed ‘Jinx’, are boarded by pirates from the fishing vessel Santa Maria off the Colombian Coast near a se...

Paris! Just the name brings thoughts of romance and intrigue.  In the first century Before Christ the Romans had named it “Lutitia”. Rome fell and the French renamed it Paris. Laurie R. King has once again demonstrated her brilliance and clever use of suspense, character development, and climactic situations creating an edge-of-your-seat thriller.  The Bones of Paris is published by Thorndike Press, copyright 2013. In 1928-29 the city of li...

Funeral in Blue: A William Monk Novel, copyright 2011, is a detective novel authored by Anne Perry and published by Ballantine Books.  It is the 12th installment of Perry’s series of detective novels featuring the character William Monk. The novel is set just after the turbulent year of 1848, the “year of revolutions”, in London, England involving a double murder in the studio of an artist known for his portrait and nude pain...

Cop to Corpse, copyright 2012, is a detective novel authored by Peter Lovesey and published by Soho Press.  It is the 12th installment of Lovesey’s Peter Diamond series of detective novels. This installment opens with Peter Diamond finding himself promoted to Chief Superintendent of the murder squad of Bath, England.  Diamond has served for many years as a homicide inspector and boasts the highest rate of solved crimes on the force.  ...

The Naming of the Dead (AMZN)– Edgar Award winner, Ian Rankin (wiki) is one of Scotland’s finest writers of mystery with a hand on the pulse of politics and police procedure. Scottish history is, at best, difficult to understand. Infiltrated by many cultures and religions, this country has endured some extremely difficult times both politically as well as feudally. In 2005 presidents Bush and Putin attended an international conference o...

Flash Point – Linda Barnes
Fiction , Mystery , Suspense / April 11, 2017

Linda Barnes continues the saga of her famous character, the female detective Carlotta Carlyle, in Flash Point, published by Hyperion Press, copyright 1999.   Carlotta Carlyle takes her exercise at the local YMCA playing team volleyball.  Between that and swimming laps she feels she keeps herself in pretty good condition.  She had been a police officer in uniform and was deservedly promoted to detective.  She now runs a busines...

Locked Rooms – Laurie R. King
Fiction , Hardboiled , Mystery / April 6, 2017

Laurie R. King has done a masterful job of bringing Sherlock Holmes back through her Mary Russell series of novels in Locked Rooms, a psychological thriller as well as a cultural primer, published by Bantam Books, copyright 2005.  Russell is presented as the only woman who would match wits with the great detective of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s acclaimed Sherlock Holmes mystery series.  Holmes declares her to be “one of the ...

Now You See It – Stuart Kaminsky
Fiction , Mystery , Suspense / April 3, 2017

Stuart Kaminsky has not only given a tribute to one of the world’s greatest magicians, he has reopened a world of entertainment that gave moral and entertaining shows to the people who served in the war to end all wars, as they called it at the time, in Now You See It, by Stuart Kaminsky, published by Carroll & Graf Publishers and the Avalon Publishing Group, copyright 2004. In my youth I was attracted to the people who perfo...

Everybody Dies – Lawrence Block
Fiction , Hardboiled , Mystery , Suspense / March 31, 2017

Lawrence Block continues the growing tale of his crime fighting protagonist Matthew Scudder in Everybody Dies, published by William Morrow and Company, copyright 1998.   Block begins this intense tale with Matthew Scudder and his well known hoodlum friend Mick Ballou who have taken a drive out to Mick’s farm in the northern forests of New York State.  The friends are on a mission to bring the dead bodies of two Irish lads o...

Watch Your Back – Donald E. Westlake
Fiction , Mystery , Suspense , Thriller / March 27, 2017

Donald Westlake extends his Dortmunder series of comedy-mystery novels with Watch Your Back, published by Mysterious Press, copyright 2005.   Westlake begins this captivating caper with an introduction to John Dortmunder as he walks into his favorite watering hole, the O.J. Bar and Grill to the greeting of Rollo the bartender.  Dortmunder attends a regular poker game in the back room of the O.J. Bar with his friends Stan, Kelp, a...

Even Dogs in the Wild – Ian Rankin
Fiction , Hardboiled / March 22, 2017

Ian Rankin once again brings us a tale of Inspector Rebus in the 20th novel of the series, Even Dogs in the Wild, published by Little, Brown and Company, copyright 2015.   The novel begins with a prologue featuring two would-be murderers who intend to bury a dead body.  They open the trunk of the car and the body springs out and runs into the woods.  They fear for their lives if they don’t catch and kill this runaway R...

The Big Both Ways – John Straley
Crime Thriller , Fiction , Hardboiled / March 21, 2017

John Straley ties the characters of this cleverly written novel into the setting of his previous work, Cold Storage, Alaska, in The Big Both Ways, published by Soho Press, copyright 2008.   The Big Both Ways begins with a logger by the name of Slip Wilson who has just quit his job after witnessing a fellow logger killed in an accident on the job.  On the road out of Seattle he encounters a woman by the name of Ellie Hobbes whose c...

Cold Storage, Alaska – John Straley
Crime Thriller , Fiction , Mystery , Uncategorized / March 15, 2017

John Straley brings a novel filled with mystery and drama in Cold Storage, Alaska, published by Soho Press, copyright 2014.   Straley starts this wonderful novel out with the remembrances of an elderly woman, Annabelle, about her oldest son Clive McCahon, who on the same day in April, 2000 has just been released after serving seven years on drug related charges in a federal prison and is looking for a way to get home to Cold Stora...

Blonde Faith – Walter Mosley
Fiction , Mystery / March 13, 2017

Walter Mosely leads us on a thrilling tale in Blonde Faith, published by Little, Brown and Company, copyright 2007.   In this continuation of the series about the investigations of a man known to the world as Easy Rawlins, we are treated to more insights and revelations as to what life was like in the nineteen sixties.  Easy is a man who always feels the need to help others and see justice done.  He carries many emotional scars f...

Murder Inside the Beltway – Margaret Truman
Fiction , Mystery / March 6, 2017

Margaret Truman’s Capital Crimes series brings another thrilling mystery in Murder Inside the Beltway, published by Ballantine Books, copyright 2008.   When Washington D.C. resident Rosalie Curzon is brutally beaten and strangled, officers Matt Jackson and Walt Hatcher are called to the scene to do their initial detective work.  They quickly figure out that she was a high priced call girl and when Mary Hall, a senior detecti...

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