Category Archives: mystery

Tana French, “The Secret Place”

One of the little thrills of contemporary life: when you pre-order a book and it shows up magically on your Kindle. Even if I know it’s going to happen, I find it exciting. And of course when the book is … Continue reading

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Robert Galbraith, “The Silkworm”

Only you’re not fooled, are you? You know that Robert Galbraith is J.K. Rowling’s nom de plume. So you’ll probably be entertained by the conceit of The Silkworm, which is all about the true authorship of a novel. Oh, wait, … Continue reading

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Susan Hill, “The Various Haunts of Men”

Actually this is a three-fer because I’ve just whipped through the first three of Susan Hill’s Simon Serrailler novels. You might remember that last time I said I was slowing down the posts, and would share only what delighted me. … Continue reading

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Benjamin Black, “The Black-Eyed Blonde”

I was a teeny bit underwhelmed by Benjamin Black/John Banville’s most recent offering, Holy Orders. And suspicious, as I read it, that LA gumshoe Philip Marlowe had replaced Quirke in Black’s affections. After all, writers do sometimes get bored by … Continue reading

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Benjamin Black, “Holy Orders”

I’m a little suspicious about Benjamin Black/John Banville’s rate of production here. Holy Orders is his most recent Quirke mystery, apparently released in August, a year after Vengeance. Yet in March we’ll see The Black-Eyed Blonde, in which Black follows in … Continue reading

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Maurice Dekobra, “The Madonna of the Sleeping Cars”

International skulduggery in high society. Glamor, sex, money and violence shaken together into a strong cocktail. Cynical luxury-loving Soviets, a beautiful amoral heroine, and a an implacable all-knowing villainess — why is The Madonna of the Sleeping Cars not a … Continue reading

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Sue Grafton, “W is for Wasted”

The new Sue Grafton. Of course I bought it. Didn’t think much about the title: asked recently how far Grafton had gotten in the alphabet, I said, “V.” (Which was “… for Vengeance.“) The alphabet titles aren’t always strong descriptors … Continue reading

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Julia Spencer-Fleming, “Through the Evil Days”

Just in case you’re having a busy day, here’s a synopsis: this is one more post about the challenges that face writers of mystery series. Julia Spencer-Fleming’s original premise was unusual: she paired the cranky chief of a small-town police … Continue reading

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Benjamin Black, “Vengeance”

Well, this one’s a doozy. Of course we expect nothing less from John Banville/Benjamin Black, who seems to have excessive levels of talent and energy. But the opening scene of Vengeance is unforgettable. Dublin businessman Victor Delahaye invites the son … Continue reading

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Manda Scott, “No Good Deed”

You know how to complete the phrase, right? “No good deed…… goes unpunished.” Very late in this novel, the canny, crafty villain quotes the maxim to the equally crafty heroine, calling it an old Irish saying. By this point in … Continue reading

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