Crime, Mystery, & Suspense


Aguirre, Ann. Blue Diablo
Arruda, Suzanne. The Leopard's Prey
Arsenault, Emily. In Search of the Rose Notes
Ault, Sandi. Wild Sorrow
Barry, Dave. Insane City
Bass, Jefferson. The Devil's Bones
Black, Benjamin. A Death in Summer
Block, Lawrence. A Drop of the Hard Stuff
Box, C.J. Blue Heaven
Bull, Emma. Territory
Childs, Laura. Sweet Tea Revenge
Davidson, MaryJanice. Yours, Mine, and Ours
Deaver, Jeffery. The Burning Wire
Deutermann, P.T. Spider Mountain
Fate, Robert. Baby Shark's Jugglers at the Border
Fforde, Jasper. One of Our Thursdays Is Missing
Gardiner, Meg. The Nightmare Thief 
Gay, KellyThe Better Part of Darkness 

Graham, HeatherPhantom Evil
Gustainis, Justin. Hard Spell
Harris, Charlaine. The Julius House
Heley, Veronica. False Pretences
Jance, J.A. Damage Control
Johnson, Craig. As The Crow Flies
Karp, Marshall. Cut, Paste, Kill: A Lomax & Biggs Mystery
Mills, DiAnn. Attracted to Fire
Mills, DiAnn. Pursuit of Justice
Mills, DiAnn. Sworn to Protect
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Aguirre, Ann
Blue Diablo
The latest kick-ass heroine on the scene is Corine Solomon, a handler who can read the history of what happened around a person by touching an object. Her skill was acquired the tough way. She inherited it so she is burned every time she uses the skill which caused her no end of problems growing up as a foster child. A year and a half after fleeing Chance the man she loved but believed was just using her for her unusual skill he turns up at her tiny pawn shop/second hand store in Mexico City with the request that he help her find his mother. Their search will lead them into all kinds of dangers including encounters with shadows who tear their victims to pieces, astral projection, and zombies.
This is a good, entertaining read however it didn't stand out as much as Aguirre's Grimspace, one of the most exciting sf debuts in a long time.
Fantasy. Paranormal-Horror. Speculative-Fiction. Romance

Arruda, Suzanne
The Leopard's Prey
NAL Hardcover 9780451225863
Even though this is the fourth Jade Del Cameron mystery, it is the first I've read. Enough of the back story is told to keep the reader involved but not so much as to keep her or him from going back to read the first three. It starts off with page-turning intensity when Jade uses herself as bait to help capture a leopard for a company acquiring African animals for zoos in the U.S. Jade, originally from New Mexico, is living in British East Africa following service as an ambulance driver in World War I. A talented photographer she is also an expert with a lariat, a skill that comes in more than handy. Visiting friends at a coffee plantation, she is present when a local shop keeper's body is discovered in a newly purchased coffee dryer and she is sucked into trying to solve that murder when her love interest a fellow American ex-pat, a movie-making pilot becomes the prime suspect. A secondary mystery involves a missing young wife and a baby who is advertised for adoption. The details of life in Kenya involving everyday living, native peoples, and wildlife are fascinating. Jade reminds me a little of a likable Beryl Markham and somewhat of an edgier American version of Maisie Dobbs.
Historical

Arsenault, Emily
In Search of the Rose Notes
Years after the disappearance of a teenage babysitter, Norah, one of her former charges who is now in her 20s returns to their town and meets up with Charlotte who had been her best friend until Rose disappeared when they were 11. Rose’s body has finally been found and Norah finds clues in the literary magazine Charlotte had edited while they were in high school. The time frame switches between 1991 and 2006.

Ault, Sandi
Wild Sorrow
Berkley Hardcover
Jamaica Wild, BLM field employee stationed in northern New Mexico is chasing a mountain lion that attacked a flock of sheep when she finds a desecrated murdered body in the church of a long abandoned Indian school. Ault, skillfully if rather romantically, portrays the geography, flora & fauna and culture of the area. It's always nice to read a novel set amongst one's roots and so the combination of rural New Mexico at 7,000 ft., Tiwa culture, and the Hispano Homeland make for a comforting homey kind of read.

Barry, Dave
Insane City
Great rollicking fun as slacker/tweeter Seth lands in Miami with the groom crew, his three closest friends, who are going to be in his wedding to Tina who is gorgeous, smart, and the daughter of a billionaire. This is the hysterical laugh out loud kind of comedy that Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey also write. True to its genre this book sports wild animals, strip clubs, kind hearted thugs, and totally stupid but hilarious things that happen in real life. Oh, Oh! And a pirate ship. Can't forget that. It is a great comic romp if you can deal with orangutan violence, secret societies of the super rich, marijuana brownies, and snakes named Blossom. Humor.


Bass, Jefferson
The Devil's Bones
William Morrow & Company 9780060759858
The third Dr. Bill Brockton Forensic novel is a satisfying combination of three cases all involving fire. Great forensic detail. A woman found incinerated in her car, a cremated aunt whose ashes are returned but not her titanium knees, and Bill's nemesis who has escaped from jail are all elements of this installment which stands alone quite well.
Forensic.

Black, Benjamin
A Death in Summer
Henry Holt and Co.      9780805090925
The fourth in the series is not the place to start. Serviceable mystery that would be better enjoyed by fans of the series. Seemed rather predictable.

Block, Lawrence
A Drop of the Hard Stuff 

Mulholland Books 9780316127332
I now feel that I know AA. In this novel, the seventeenth in the series, set in Matthew Scudder's first year of sobriety, he runs into a guy he knew when they were kids in the Bronx. High-Low Jack had gone into crime when Scudder had gone into the police force but they both ended up alcoholics and now they are both sober. When Jack attempts his 8th & 9th steps he is murdered and Scudder has got to find out why between going to AA meetings and deciding which meeting he is going to go to. A good book for longtime fans who have an affection for Scudder.

Box, C.J.
Blue Heaven
Minotaur Books 9780312365707
Blue Heaven is a first class thriller. When William is disappointed that his mother's boyfriend stands him up for a fishing expedition his resourceful twelve-year-old sister, Annie decides to take him. Unfortunately they witness an execution in the Idaho woods that sends them running for their lives. An older rancher, his life falling apart, a retired cop who can't let go of an old case, a mother who loves her kids but hasn't really paid much attention to them, a banker, and a slew of retired cops who have taken up residence in the rural splendor of northern Idaho fill this fast paced story with interesting and suspicious characters.

Bujold, Lois McMaster
CryoBurn
Miles is on a planet where cryogenics puts everyone who can afford it into cold storage and the companies who take care of them vote their proxies. Miles’s adventure starts when he is kidnapped at a cryogenics conference and given drugs that cause a majorly bad reaction. When he escapes from the catacombs he meets a boy who is virtually an orphan. His dad died but they didn't have enough money to freeze him following an accident and when his mother became an activist she ended up being frozen. Diabolical plots abound.

Bull, Emma
Territory
Bull, author of the highly acclaimed and award winning War for the Oaks is an outstanding writer. In this tale of good versus evil set in Tombstone in the months leading up to the legendary shoot out at the OK Corral, Mildred Benjamin, a young widowed typesetter becomes enmeshed in the politics and the day to day life of Tombstone. She is drawn to Jesse Fox a mysterious man in dark glasses who appears in town after shooting a young man who had stolen his horse. Jesse has been summoned by an old friend, a Chinese physician. Mildred befriends the wives of Wyatt, Morgan, and Virgil Earp and meets just about every character associated with Tombstone in this era including Kate and Doc Holliday. Following a failed stage coach robbery some suspicion falls on Doc Holliday and Morgan Earp and a rash of killings starts. Jesse begins to reach for his sorcerous powers when a young Chinese prostitute is ritually murdered and his friend is killed. As Mildred and Jesse delve into the murders, Jesse finds dark magic running rampant. This exquisite blend of western, mystery, and fantasy should be a strong contender for a variety of awards.

Childs, Laura
Sweet Tea Revenge
Berkley Hardcover 9780425252888
Theodosia Browning, proprietor of a tea shop in Charleston's historic district, is helping out with her friend Delaine's wedding that is taking place in an historic but down at the heels hotel in this, the 14th entry in the series. Discovering the dead body of  Dougan Grenville, the groom and her next-door-neighbor, Theodosia, uses her amateur sleuthing skills in trying to solve the murder. This cozy mystery is filled with lovely descriptions of food, fashion, and home furnishings. This genteel who-done-it has much the same appeal as Southern Living (the magazine) along with some quirky characters and entertaining situations. Tea aficionados will enjoy the list of tea related resources at the end and those who like tasty recipes along with their mysteries will enjoy the ones included.

Coben, Harlan
Long Lost
Dutton Adult 9780525951056
Bolitar receives an urgent phone call from Terese Collins, a long lost love that takes him to Paris where she has become a suspect in the bloody murder of her ex-husband. Surprising enough some of the blood found at the scene was identified through DNA as belonging to the victim's daughter. He only had one daughter, Terese's daughter who was killed in a devastating accident ten years earlier at age seven. Almost kidnapped, and suspected of murder, Myron escapes the French authorities after seeing a teenage girl who looks so much like Terese she must be her daughter but Terese only had the one child. With killers and agents of several governments chasing him, Myron attempts to find out who the blond girl is, why she turned up, and how Terese's ex got involved.


D'Amato, Barbara
Other Eyes
Forge Books 9780765326065
Quick fascinating read with interesting ideas about drugs, religion, and ancient civilizations. I loved the archeology, the tales of those long gone, the diabolical drug cartel, and the mostly accidental dodging of the hit man. With its whiz bang beginning featuring a baby, a freeway, and a heroic teen and its unusual combination of murder mystery, thriller, historical fiction, and archeology this is a winner.
historical, thriller

Davidson, MaryJanice
Me, Myself and Why?
St. Martin's Press 9780312531171
Read my review in Booklist. Davidson is in peak form with nary a vampire or werewolf in sight.

Davidson, MaryJanice
Yours, Mine, and Ours
St. Martin's Press 
The second riotous novel featuring Cadence Jones, the multiple personality disordered agent of the FBi’s BOFFO division brings in some new characters. They include a gorgeous doctor who has a connection to the serial killer case Cadence and her psychopath partner George are working, a new partner, Emma Jan Thyme who has a bizarre disorder but is extremely talented, and a dog who has been named something different by each of the three “sisters” who live in Cadence’s body. As Christmas approaches and Cadence’s relationship with Patrick deepens, she finds herself drawn to Dr. Gallo who is the uncle of a victim of a serial killer who strikes in different places every year, killing a 14 year-old white boy and dressing him in new jeans. Davidson, the master of wacky outrageous situations and quirky characters has created in Cadence, Shiro, and Adrienne a multi-faceted multiple personality person who is endearing and always surprising.
Contemporary. Diversity. Humorous. Issues, Romance

Deaver, Jeffery
The Burning Wire
Simon & Schuster 9781439156339
Deaver still has it. I tend to stop reading authors when they make it to the bestseller list every time out and I tend to not read books on which the author's name on the cover is bigger than the title. This isn't to say anything about the quality of those books, I just like to champion new authors and am thrilled to find books by writers who I haven't read before. It had been some time since I read a Lincoln Rhyme novel and at first I was a little underwhelmed. He seemed a little obtuse this time around and wasn't looking at the perps I was suspecting. Ah, but I should have known better. As usual Deaver's latest is full of intelligent and imaginative twists and turns. Additional aspects I enjoyed were the details about how electricity works, energy politics, and the cameo by telephone of Dancer who was working a case involving an old adversary.

Deutermann, P.T.
Spider Mountain
St. Martin's Press 9780312333799
Pretty good, fast paced mystery thriller. I like rural settings and dogs although I kept thinking what shepherds? then realizing it was Frick and Frack. The motivation for the bad uns was pretty darn creepy but I don't want to give any spoilers but to remind myself about what I'm talking about I'll just say it is related to my favorite book by Frank M. Robinson. 

Fate, Robert
Baby Shark's Jugglers at the Border
Capital Crime Press 9780979996054
The fourth Baby Shark mystery sheds light on Otis's background including his tragic marriage when he is called in to identify the murdered body of his long estranged wife. Fate continues to make the 1950s come alive in this gritty Texas noir tale of murder, retribution, bank robberies, and a jewel heist. Readers who haven't dipped into this series yet are in for a real treat.
Historical


Fforde, Jasper
One of Our Thursdays Is Missing
Viking Adult 9780670022526
Delightful romp in the written world as the written Thursday Next who is playing detective Thursday Next is taken from her world to the other world and through several different genres, into even the areas of vanity and fan fiction. Delightful world play, captivating mystery, and things to think of when pondering genre. Enjoyed it immensely.
Fantasy. Humorous

Gardiner, Meg 
The Nightmare Thief 
Dutton Adult 9780525952213 
Good story but very typical. Ruby Rattler plays an evil cowboy in this adventure game weekend gone wrong as mayhem ensues featuring kidnapping, an abandoned mine, and ruthless killers.

Gay, Kelly.
The Better Part of Darkness
Pocket Books 9781439109656 
Amazing debut urban fantasy novel with rich world building based in mythology and a kick-ass detective heroine tempered by motherhood. Watch for my review in Booklist
fantasy, paranormal-horror, speculative-fiction

Graham, Heather
Phantom Evil
Mira Books 9780778329534
A haunted New Orleans mansion, a murdered mother, ghosts, and ghost busters. Great fun. Reviewed for Booklist

Gustainis, Justin
Hard Spell
Angry Robot Books 9780857661159
Reviewed as a Book of The Week.

Harris, Charlaine

The Julius House 
Berkley 9780425222034 
The fourth in the Aurora Teagarden mystery series sees Roe starting married life with Martin in the Julius House a house she had always wanted and he had given her for a wedding gift. She had purchased for him, his childhood farm home in Ohio. While there she met his ex and learned that he may have secrets. The Julius House was notorious because six years earlier the family who had recently moved in had disappeared. The wife's mother who lived in an apartment above the garage had discovered the disappearances. Now Martin has installed and old friend and his wife in that apartment. With Harris's hugely popular Southern Vampire series, it is not surprising that her older mysteries would be reissued. They are obviously set in the 1990s as Martin is a Vietnam veteran in his 40s and people aren't using cell phones but that is of little import for mystery readers who just want a good story with interesting characters.

Heley, Veronica
False Pretences
In the 4th Abbot Agency book, Bea meets the despicable racist Lady Honoria when she accompanies Zander to return Denzil's belongings. While an enjoyable enough read to pass the time, it was predictable.

Jance, J.A.

Damage Control
I like Joanna Brady and I like Cochise County, Arizona. This enjoyable mystery, 13th in the series,  breaks no new ground but it was entertaining and Jance lays out the clues for the reader as well as for the protagonist. The narrator of the audio version was outstanding, making all the voices seem very real and capturing the petulance Joanna believes she hears in her mother's voice, the youth in Jenny's voice, and the weariness is Joanna's as she tries to solve what looks like a murder suicide of an elderly couple, the murder of a young woman who had been buried in trash bags in an arroyo, and the slaying of one of her own officers. The wrap up at the end seemed a little long but readers (or listeners) won't be in a hurry to leave Joanna until her next story.


Johnson, Craig.
As The Crow Flies
In a world filled with mystery series, the Walt Longmire series stands out with its tough but appealing Wyoming sheriff, settings that are real enough to smell and taste, and gentle humor even in the face of horrific crimes. In the eighth book of the series (don't worry if you haven't discovered this series yet, you don't have to have read the previous books to love this one), while Walt and his buddy Henry Standing Bear are visiting the Cheyenne Reservation in Montana, working out the details for Walt's daughter's imminent wedding when they see a woman plummet to her death from a remote cliff. Walt's dog, Dog, finds a blanket wrapped baby who survived his mother's fatal fall. The abrasive new tribal police chief, Lolo Long, an Iraqi war veteran, begrudgingly learns from Walt as the murder investigation proceeds with a realistic view of Rez life. Lolo is tough but she needs some polishing to succeed in law enforcement. Her depiction as a wounded warrior who feels unworthy to mother her child, and has taken on a job she feels totally unprepared for, is masterful and complex. I hope she becomes an ongoing part of the series. Longmire's interactions with Dog and the recalcitrant  truck, Rezdawg add bits of humor. As a Westerner, I love how Johnson captures the spirit and reality of the rural West and its people. 
Some of the books I think about when looking for other reads to satisfy Longmire fans include the novels of Thomas King, especially the (tongue in cheek humorous) mysteries he pens as Hartley GoodWeather and Tony Hillerman's Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee mysteries.

Karp, Marshall 

Cut, Paste, Kill: A Lomax & Biggs Mystery
Minotaur Books 9780312378240
Quick, light, story involving scrapbooking and a serial killer. Not memorable but entertaining. Perhaps would have enjoyed more if I were familiar with the characters and hadn't just jumped in at the 4th book.

Landay, William
Defending Jacob
Andy Barber, an ADA in suburban New England, is thrown into a life changing event when his 14 year old son becomes the prime suspect in a murder Andy has been called in for. Part legal thriller, part family drama, it has an interesting structure that keeps one reading even when not really liking the characters.

Larsson, Stieg
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Random House Audio 9780739370643
Outstanding, complex mystery involving a libel conviction, a girl missing for decades, and a majorly dysfunctional family.

Lippman, Laura
And When She Was Good
Lippman skillfully examines the life of a well-to-do suburban mom, jumping back and forth in time from when Helen was a teenager who wanted to go to college despite her always disapproving father to the present when, as Heloise is a madam who keeps her illicit business and her beloved son completely compartmentalized from each other. The pacing accelerates as the two time lines converge and murder draws near. The narrator's unembellished presentation works beautifully by being totally unobtrusive, allowing the story to come across as if the listener is right there, right then.

Lowe, Sheila
Poison Pen
As a kid I always like cool things like solving ciphers and analyzing handwriting. I liked this novel for the interesting things Claudia Rose does in her handwriting analysis business and how she uses it to discover if a suicide was actually a murder and to help solve the mystery. I do like sleuths with unusual careers or avocations. Claudia's not my favorite character but the book did keep my attention and was entertaining.

Lowell, Elizabeth
Blue Smoke and Murder
William Morrow & Company 9780060829858
Jill Breck, a tough river runner saves the son of the head of St. Kilda consulting from sure death in a rafting accident and wins a promise of help if it is ever needed. When her aunt dies in what looks like an accident but was actually murder she returns to the remote Arizona ranch and finds that her aunt had been sent one of 13 paintings the family owned out for appraisal and that she had received a letter back stating that the painting was a fraud and worthless but that it had been lost in transit. When Jill follows up on it her car is vandalized and she is threatened with death. Calling St. Kilda, Zach Balfour, an operative on his way to a vacation is called in to be her body guard as together they try to find the provenance of her paintings and fight for their lives in the cut throat world of western art auctions. A good page turner. The one false note was the villain who seemed truly sorry to kill Aunt Modesty but then became a roid rage filled caricature. The bits about polygamists added an interesting flavor.

Martinez, Guillermo
The Book of Murder
Viking Adult 9780670019946
I really liked this book most of the way through. An unnamed writer is contacted by a woman who for one brief month a decade earlier had worked as his secretary while the high profile author she usually worked for was away at a writers retreat. Now she claims that when Kloster, the high profile King-like author came back he attacked her and when she sued him he set out on a diabolical plan to kill everyone important in her life. This mesmerizing tale of psychological suspense kept me turning the pages and presented lots of grist for book discussion. One of the fascinating aspects was the protagonist analyzing the frequency of a coin coming up heads or tails. Were all the deaths in the once attractive Luciana's life part of a diabolical plan or were they the mere result of chance? Because this is more literary fiction than crime/mystery/suspense, the ending may not be what genre fans are looking for although they will enjoy the fine writing.

Mayle, Peter
The Marseille Caper
Having not read any of the previous titles in this series, I didn't ever come to really care for the characters and I felt disengaged by the whole thing. But, as usual, it was a pleasant way to pass the time and more interesting than tv.

McGrath, M.J.
The Boy in the Snow
Viking Adult 9780670023691
Interesting setting in the Arctic Circle of Alaska and with the Iditarod as background.Edie Kiglatuk while helping her ex who is in the Iditarod finds a baby frozen in the snow. Politics and religion; an offshoot of the Russian Orthodox church and organized crime put Edie in danger.

McKenna, Shannon
Fade To Midnight
Brava 9780758228659
High energy action adventure suspense with steamy romance reviewed for  Booklist.

Mills, DiAnn
Attracted to Fire
Reviewed for Booklist.

Mills, DiAnn
Pursuit Of Justice
Tyndale House Publishers 9781414320526
Reviewed for Booklist

Mills, DiAnn
Sworn to Protect
Tyndale House Publishers 9781414320519
Reviewed for Booklist

Pace, Alison
A Pug's Tale
Hard to classify this feel good combination of chick lit, cozy mystery, long distance romance, and dog story. I did try though in a review for Booklist so you'll just have to read my review there.

Parker, T. Jefferson
Black Water
Hyperion 9780786890163
Homicide detective Merci Rayborn is on the case of Archie Wildcraft, a young deputy sheriff who lies in the hospital with a bullet in his head; his beautiful wife murdered with his gun. Marci has a history that makes her want to believe in his innocence enough to put her career on the line again. The couple, still in their twenties, were living in a one and a half million dollar home they had purchased with a fortune they had made investing in shares in a start-up company that had a promising cure for cancer. The Russian Mafia and an oversized criminal play a role. Marci's personal life proves interesting, too with her fatherless little boy, a fellow cop she feels she betrayed, and her current partner.

Parker, T. Jefferson
Iron River
Several different story lines, a couple involving characters from some of Charlie Hood's earlier adventures converge. Parker pulls no punches in his descriptions of what happens to and with ATFE agents, Mexican drug lords and an honorable Mexican lawman who are involved on different sides of the river of weapons into Mexico. Bleak but fast paced with interesting characters including one who seems possibly immortal.

Quinn, Spencer
Dog on It
Atria 9781416585831
Chet, who flunked out of K-9 police dog training, is partners with Bernie Little, private investigator. In their first in print adventure, the hard boiled dog and his human sidekick are on a missing persons case involving a the teen age daughter of a real estate developer. The mystery isn't very mysterious but the book is saved by Chet's view of the world from his very doggy point of view. He is the same kind of tough guy detective as Midnight Louie in Nevada Barr's delightful series set in Las Vegas. Dog loving mystery readers should enjoy this entertaining read. Like the eponymous hero of  Thor by Wayne Smith, Chet is totally believable as a dog. I'm looking forward to the next Chet and Bernie adventure.

Reed, Kit
Son of Destruction
Severn House Publishers 9780727882325< Spontaneous human combustion, long hidden secrets, Florida's caste system. I'll be reviewing this for Booklist so watch there for my review. One of the things I so admire about Kit Reed is that she never writes the same thing twice. Some of her books are more successful at hooking my interest than others but she always supplies a satisfying read.

Roberts, Nora
The Search
Putnam Adult 9780399156571
Nora Roberts is a best selling author for good reason. She can tell a story and tell it well with characters the reader comes to care about. Fiona, a search and rescue dog trainer living and working on Orcas Island, Washington survived a serial killer but her fiance did not. When Simon a talented carpenter/sculptor moves to the island he brings his out-of-control puppy, Jaws, to her for training.
Young women start turning up dead in exactly the same way the killer who had abducted Fiona found and left his victims. People start thinking copy cat but this new killer, RSK2, knows details not readily available. He is the protege of the original RSK who has been tutoring him from prison and his kills move closer and closer to Fiona. While Fiona counts on her three rescue dogs Newman, Bogart, and Peck to keep her safe, Simon and Fiona's large circle of friends try to keep her safe.
In addition to a hot romance, likable characters, and nicely paced suspense, the details of dog training and canine search and rescue are fascinating.

Robertson, Imogen
Anatomy of Murder
Harriet Westerman and her household are staying in London where Captain Westerman is being treated for a serious head injury incurred just after his ship captured a French ship, a fat prize, off the Canadian coast. Gabriel Crowther, the anatomist, and the children of Thornleigh Hall are there, too. When the fresh body of a man who works at His Majesty's Opera house is fished from the Thames, a mysterious spymaster invites Harriet and Crowther to investigate which takes them into the world of opera and a castrato superstar. Meanwhile in a poor area of a London, a woman who reads Tarot cards tries to avert the murder of a young woman and ends up teaming up with a street urchin. Both stories will entwine as England, fighting wars against both the American colonists and the French, is endangered by ruthless spies.
Robertson's second Georgian mystery is as enthralling as Instruments of Darkness that introduced the independent, non-squeemish, and resourceful red haired Harriet and Crowther, who is the eighteenth century equivalent of a free lance medical examiner. Set in 1881, London comes vividly to life from the elaborate powdered wigs, silks, and brocades of the wealthy to the stinking orphans roaming the filthy streets with an intricate page turning plot and multidimensional characters.

Rosenfelt, David
Don't Tell a Soul
The dog loving author of the Andy Carpenter series has penned a terrific thriller with twists and turns befitting a master. On the New Year's Eve after Tim Wallace's beloved wife was killed in a boat explosion, he goes to a bar with his two business partner pals and a drunken man confesses a murder to him. When a body is found following the information given by Tim he comes under the scrutiny of the New Jersey cop who was sure he has killed his wife. Things go from bad to worse when a van loaded with lethal high grade explosives blows up and the driver is linked to Tim as well as when it turns up that Tim had visited the small town the murder victim was from. Politics rears its ugly head when the politician who had gotten Tim's company a contract on a highly secure building is exposed for nepotism. In addition to this being an enthralling story, Tim is a likable character, much like the protagonists of Grisham's early books, and he is even more likable because of his attention to his dog.

Selfors, Suzanne
Smells Like Dog
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 9780316043984
Homer Pudding, raised on a goat farm, practically worships his treasure hunting uncle. When the family receives word that Uncle Drake has died, consumed whole, by a giant tortoise, a bequest to Homer soon turns up. The man who delivers it says it was Uncle Drake's most treasured possession. It is a droopy eared bloodhound who has no sense of smell but does have a gold coin hidden in the folds of his neck. Despite not knowing if something is edible or not and not being able to properly socialize with other other dogs because of his missing sense, Dog does have an uncanny ability that comes in handy when Homer and his fifteen-year-old sister run away to a VIP party at the museum in the City. Fun action adventure for middle grade and middle school readers, combined with humor makes for a good read.

Slaughter, Karin
A Faint Cold Fear
Harper 9780060534059
Satisfying quick read featuring murders disguised as suicides investigated by pediatrician/ county coroner Sara Linton and her ex-husband Jeffrey, the Grant County, Georgia police chief.

Springer, Nancy
Dark Lie
NAL Trade 9780451238061
Dorrie, a matronly, church-going 33 year-old childless homemaker, old before her time because of lupus is swept into a battle of wits with a serial killer who she sees abducting the daughter she had given up for adoption sixteen year earlier.  The accelerating pace of this thriller makes it impossible to put down as one comes to care for Dorrie and Juliet.

Stabenow, Dana
Bad Blood
St. Martin's Press 9780312550653
Stabenow's Kate Shugak is like an old friend and it is always great to visit her again. Her relationship with Mutt is always a plus. A murder, feuding towns, young love, more murders, and stonewalling from the residents of the two towns have Sergeant Jim Chapin investigating. The look at contemporary native culture in the far north is sad and depressing but feels very real. This is a terrific entry in an outstanding series.

Taichert, Pari Noskin
The Socorro Blast
University of New Mexico Press 9780826343840
Just as publicist Sasha Solomon is getting ready to head to Socorro to advise the community on their tourism campaign she receives a call that her niece, Gabi who is a graduate student living in Socorro, has been injured in an accident. When she arrives she discovers that Gabi was actually injured by a pipe bomb in her mailbox and that Gabi's house has been vandalized. Is it because she is Jewish, or because she is half Iranian, or is it a more personal reason like perhaps the fact that she has been having an affair with her graduate advisor? Sasha's family and friends are interesting and include a sanctimonious Orthodox niece and a psychic. Her endearing traits include a penchant for whipped cream and chocolate and a fierce loyalty to family and friends. I must admit that I am a sucker for novels set in New Mexico, which truly is the Land of Enchantment and Taichert does a great job of portraying the state and its multiplicity of ethnicities. The mystery is a good one with several good suspects.

White, Kate
Hush
A marketing consultant in the midst of a messy custody battle and divorce, experiences a one-night stand with one of the doctors in the practice for which she is working and while she is sitting on his terrace in the middle of the night he is murdered. Afraid she will lose her children she begins investigating on her own. Entertaining and better than watching tv.

Winspear, Jacqueline
A Lesson in Secrets
In the 8th entry in this excellent historical mystery series, Maisie goes undercover as a lecturer at a college dedicated to peace.

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