The Maltese Manuscript by Joanne Dobson is on sale in the US right now

And one more Poisoned Pen Press author on sale after a long time… I very much enjoyed Joanne Dobson’s Karen Pelletier books back when I was reading them mostly during graduate school – the academic background seemed quite appropriate. Now the fifth book in the series, The Maltese Manuscript, is on sale for $1.99 in […]

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Three books in the Robert Amiss series by Ruth Dudley Edwards are on sale in the US right now

Books in the Robert Amiss series by Ruth Dudley Edwards don’t go on sale very often, but now there are three price drops at the same time in the US – all to $1.99 each.  Oh, and they are discountable at Kobo US. This series reminds me a bit of my absolute most favorite Hilary

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Pre-order links are up for Sanctuary by Ilona Andrews, coming this summer

If you want to read Sanctuary, the recent web serial by author-duo Ilona Andrews, sadly, you’ve missed it for now.  It came down off the website yesterday to be edited and prepped for release this summer.   But luckily you won’t have to wait long.   As the serial came down, the pre-order links went up, and

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Humble Bundle has a great deal on James Clavell Asian Saga audiobooks right now

James Clavell is not really my thing, but he is lots of other peoples’ thing.   And there is a new bundle of audiobooks of his complete Shogun/Asian Saga series at Humble Bundle, which includes the following: 1. Shogun (split into two audiobooks) 2. Tai-Pan 3. Gai-jin 4. King Rat 5. Noble House 6. Whirlwind 7.

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Books and Broadswords Volume One by Jessie Mihalik is up for pre-order now

Over the past year or so, Jessie Mihalik made her fans happy by offering a couple of short fantasy/romance stories for free on her website:  Books & Broadswords in early 2023, and then later, Rocks & Rapiers.   These were web-serials, set in the same world, but not really linked other than that.  And as you

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Two fun Manning Coles books are now available as ebooks

I’ve long been quite fond of the four humorous/ghostly mysteries by Manning Coles – a pen name for Cyril Henry Coles and A.K.O. (Adelaide Frances Oke) Manning. Three of them are the books in the too-short James and Charles Latimer series, and one is a stand-alone. They’ve been on my “wish they were e-books” list

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Dust Born by Elizabeth Hunter is out tomorrow – a review

A welcome new addition to the Cambio Springs series After a looooong eight-year gap, Elizabeth Hunter has written another Cambio Springs book, and I, for one, am quite happy she has.    Like the other books in the series, Dust Born is a smooth-reading blend of mystery, romance, and urban fantasy.   Although, if we’re honest, the

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An omnibus of the eight Mrs Pargeter books by Simon Brett is on sale in the US and UK right now

A collection of the eight current titles in the Mrs Pargeter series by Simon Brett is on sale for $0.99/£0.99 at Kindle US/UK right now. This includes: A Nice Class of Corpse, Mrs, Presumed Dead, Mrs Pargeter’s Package, Mrs Pargeter’s Pound of Flesh, Mrs Pargeter’s Plot, Mrs Pargeter’s Point of Honour, Mrs Pargeter’s Principle, and

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A review of Birder, She Wrote by Donna Andrews – out today

Read it by yourself because you’ll laugh out loud… Some mysteries draw you in with the depth of their plot, and others with the intensity of their action.   Books in Donna Andrews’ Meg Langslow series, on the other hand, have good plots and plenty of action, but mostly pull you along because you can’t wait

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A review of The Bitter Past by Bruce Borgos, coming on July 18

A compelling mix of spy thriller and mystery… Long ago, on a pre-pandemic trip to Las Vegas, my husband and I visited the National Atomic Testing Museum, which showcases the history of the dawn of the nuclear age and the bomb tests that occurred at the nearby Nevada Test Site.   Although going to a museum

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A review of Magic Claims by Ilona Andrews – coming June 13

Trouble will always find Kate – or maybe the other way around… Magic Claims is the second book in the Wilmington Years series spin-off from Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels books.   And it’s another rip-roaring adventure, but with some moments of seriousness as well.   In the first book in the series, Magic Tides, readers learned that

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A review of Capture the Sun by Jessie Mihalik – coming soon

A fun finale to the Starlight’s Shadow series… Capture the Sun is the third, and presumably the last, in Jessie Mihalik’s Starlight’s Shadow series.   And it’s a very nice finale, wrapping up the overarching Federated Human Planets (FHP)/Valovian Empire storyline, while somehow also managing a happy ending for a “new couple”, Lexi Bowen and Nilo

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A review of The Traitor Beside Her by Mary Anna Evans – published today

The Physicists’ Daughter was one of my four or five most favorite mysteries of 2022, so I’ve been eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series, The Traitor Beside Her.   And it doesn’t disappoint! All of the same elements that I loved in the first book are still there in this one, however

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Review of The Starlet Letter by Julie Mathison – out tomorrow

A fun YA mystery that’s good for adults too… I hadn’t realized that The Starlet Letter was a young adult mystery when I requested a review copy.  But that didn’t really matter too much – it was still a fun mystery with an engaging pair of protagonists, and a really nicely developed historical background.   Vivian

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Our History Has Always Been Contraband: In Defense of Black Studies is free right now at Haymarket Books

Our History Has Always Been Contraband: In Defense of Black Studies is free right now at Haymarket Books, in advance of its July 4, 2023 release on normal e-tailers like Amazon and Kobo. And if you prefer to buy via one of those e-tailers, it’s only $0.99/£0.99 in pre-order. This is a collection of essays

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Liquid Shades of Blue by James Polkinghorn is coming soon – a review

A promising debut novel that kept me up late… Liquid Shades of Blue is a promising first book from author James Polkinghorn.  It’s a bit rough in places, but kept me reading much later into the night than I should have – not so much trying to figure out what happened (the outlines of which

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A review of The Net of Steel by Fiona Buckley – coming soon

It’s hard to believe that The Net of Steel is Fiona Buckley’s twenty-second Ursula Blanchard (now Ursula Stannard) mystery, and the series is still going strong.    And in fact, it might even be getting better…    As The Net of Steel opens, Ursula faces a number of life’s milestones: her son, Harry, has gotten engaged;

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Heart of the Nile by Will Thomas is out today – a review

Whose mummy was it, and what was inside??? Heart of the Nile is the second book I’ve read in the Cyrus Barker/Thomas Llewelyn series by Will Thomas, and I liked this one a lot too.  (See my earlier review of Lethal Pursuit here.) As Heart opens, Barker and Llewelyn are approached by the wife of Phillip

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A review of Green for Danger by Christianna Brand – coming soon

Nice plot and stylish writing, but I couldn’t get into the characters… It’s unusual to find a murder mystery that is so obviously set during World War II that was also written during the war, rather than after the fighting was over.    And Christianna Brand’s Green for Danger is one of those books.   It was

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A review of The Rewards of Treachery by Rosemary Rowe – coming soon

Now starring Libertus’ son, Junio… Rosemary Rowe’s The Rewards of Treachery is another excellent entry in her Libertus series – although in Treachery, the focus shifts from Libertus, who fled Glevum at the end of the previous book, to Libertus’ adopted son, Junio, who has taken up his father’s mosaic business, and also more-or-less inherited

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Good Dog, Bad Cop by David Rosenfelt – a review

A fun, not-quite-cozy, mystery… David Rosenfelt’s Good Dog, Bad Cop is the fourth in his K-Team mystery series, which is itself a spin-off from his Andy Carpenter series,  And somehow I’ve never read any of them.   But I was recently offered an advance review copy of Good Dog, and, even without having any background from

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A review of Philanthropists: Inspector Mislan and the Executioners by Rozlan Mohd Noor – coming soon

Another solid police procedural set in Kuala Lumpur… It had been a while since I’d read one of Rozlan Mohd Noor’s Inspector Mislan books, so I was pleased to receive a review copy of the latest in the series from the publishers.  Philanthropists: Inspector Mislan and the Executioners is, like the earlier books, a tightly

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A review of A Gentle Murderer by Dorothy Salisbury Davis – new e-book edition coming soon

A classic psychological mystery… I’m not usually a big fan of psychological thrillers, but even I can recognize that A Gentle Murderer is a classic of the genre.    Although it’s actually not clear whether it’s a psychological thriller as much as it’s a psychological mystery, with two different “detectives” on the trail of the man

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Not the Ones Dead by Dana Stabenow is coming in April – a review

Back to the awesome Kate Shugak mysteries of old… As Not the Ones Dead opens, a nasty incident involving Kate’s friend, Bobby Clark, one of the few Black men in the Park, makes it obvious that the outside world is tentacle-ing into the Park again in unpleasant ways. And the unpleasantness seems to be spreading.

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Unnatural History by Jonathan Kellerman coming soon – a review

Not quite as enjoyable as the previous couple of books… Unnatural History is the 38th in Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware/Milo Sturgis series. But it’s only the third that I’ve read, after Serpentine and City of the Dead, since I picked the series up only recently.  And, although many of the same enjoyable elements (wonderfully detailed

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Magic Tides by Ilona Andrews coming January 17 – a review

Some people probably won’t ever relax, even if they think they want to… Author duo Ilona Andrews have written a follow-on novella featuring Kate Daniels, set about eight years after Magic Triumphs, which is the last formal book in Kate’s series.   The new story, Magic Tides, takes place in Wilmington, NC, where Kate has moved

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A review of Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame by Meg Long – coming soon

An enjoyable sequel to the first in the series… Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame is a follow-on to Meg Long’s previous book, Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves, and several key characters appear in both books, including Sena and Iska (the protagonists of the first book), and Remy, who is the main focus of

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A review of A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow

The book that started the Kate Shugak series… Dana Stabenow’s A Cold Day for Murder is the first book in her Kate Shugak series, which now runs to more than 20 titles.    And it’s quite a series-starter!   Stabenow’s love for her home state shows in her almost lyrical descriptions of Alaska:  its vistas, its geology,

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A review of The Master of Mysteries by Gelett Burgess – recently published

A fun collection of period short mysteries… Way back in the early twentieth century, Gelett Burgess wrote a series of short mysteries featuring “Astro the Seer”.   Astro ostensibly uses his metaphysical and extrasensory talents, such as reading palms, calculating astrological profiles, and feeling magnetic vibrations, to help his clients.  But he doesn’t really rely on

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A review of Courting Dragons by Jeri Westerson, coming in January 2023

A great start to a new series… Fans of Jeri Westerson’s Crispin Guest “Medieval Noir” series will also enjoy the first book in her new King’s Fool series, Courting Dragons.   This series features Will Somers, Henry VIII’s court jester, as the protagonist, and to be sure, there’s less noir, but all the key elements are

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A review of Hot Moon by Alan Smale – not a mystery, but still a lot of fun

A fun combination of alt-history, science fiction, and thriller… I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I was offered a review copy of Alan Smale’s Hot Moon.   But what I found was a fun combination of alternative-history and science fiction, with a good bit of thriller thrown in for good measure.  And there’s a

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A review of So Shall You Reap by Donna Leon – coming in March 2023

Brunetti is still as awesome as ever… It’s hard to believe that Donna Leon has been writing her Guido Brunetti series since the early 1990s, and although there’s a little bit of variability from title to title (some stand out a little more than others), I’ve read each and every one, and all are excellent.  

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A review of Just Murdered by Katherine Kovacic – coming in Jan 2023

A nice start to a spin-off series! I’ve been a fan of Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher series for a couple of decades, but I watch almost no TV.  So I barely knew that there was a TV series for the original books, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and was completely unaware that there was also a

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Review of Murder at Black Oaks by Phillip Margolin – coming soon

An unusual mix of legal thriller and Golden Age atmosphere… I hadn’t read any books by Phillip Margolin before receiving a review copy of Murder at Black Oaks, and I was surprised to find that he is the author of several mystery series, including this one, which features Robin Lockwood as the protagonist. But my

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The first eight Inspector Gamache books by Louise Penny are on sale at Kindle UK today

Today’s Big Deal at Amazon UK includes the first eight books in Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series for £0.99 each. This is a truly awesome (and much awarded) series, so grab any that you need now! Books include: Still Life, Dead Cold (apa A Fatal Grace), The Cruelest Month, The Murder Stone (apa A Rule Against

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A review of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie – new edition coming out soon

It deserves all its accolades… I feel a bit brash reviewing Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.  After all, it’s considered one of her masterpieces, and shows up on multiple “best mysteries” and “books to read before you die” lists. The acclaim is totally deserved, in my opinion, and I’m not quite sure what

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Review of Secrets of the Nile by Tasha Alexander – recently published

Egyptian historical mysteries tend to be great, whether relatively recent or truly ancient… I’m a huge fan of mysteries set in Egypt, whether they are modern-ish, like Parker Bilal’s Makana books; or somewhat recent historicals, like Michael Pearce’s Mamur Zapt series; or even set in truly ancient times, like Agatha Christie’s Death Comes as the

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Review of Only Bad Options by Jennifer Estep – recently published

A great series starter… I’ve been hooked by Jennifer Estep’s books since I read the first two lines of her first Crown of Shards book, Kill the Queen:  “The day of the royal massacre started out like any other. With me doing something completely, utterly useless.”   How can you not keep reading a book after

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Review of Round Up the Usual Peacocks by Donna Andrews – recently published

Peacocks and weddings and some not-so-cold crime… The Meg Langslow series is one of a very few series that I have to read by myself, because I end up unexpectedly laughing out loud at least a couple of times in every book – and often more than a couple!  And in Round Up the Usual

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A review of Ruby Fever by Ilona Andrews – coming soon

A great finish, but hopefully not the end… The husband-and-wife authors who make up Ilona Andrews have written a satisfying and very enjoyable finish to the second storyline in their Hidden Legacy world.     And although by this point, readers are pretty sure that the middle Baylor sister, Catalina, is going to end up with her

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A review of Golden Cargoes by Fiona Buckley – recently published

Ursula Blanchard is still at the top of her game… In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been a fan of Fiona Buckley’s Ursula Blanchard series for years – and years – and years.   And Golden Cargoes exemplifies what I like most about the series:  Buckley’s ability to craft an engaging tale in a detailed

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Review of To Kill a Troubadour by Martin Walker – out tomorrow

A not-so-cozy mystery in a wonderfully cozy setting… In his fifteenth full-length Bruno mystery, coming out tomorrow, Martin Walker has created a wonderful mix of crime investigation, scrumptious food, Périgordian history, Bruno’s friends and colleagues, and of course, Bruno himself.    And readers also get a healthy dose of Bruno’s basset hound, Balzac, and Balzac’s adorable

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Eleven free American classic books for free from Delphi Press

Delphi are offering eleven free books for the US 4th of July holiday. The freebies are: McTeague by Frank NorrisWalden by Henry David ThoreauAn American Tragedy by Theodore DreiserEthan Frome by Edith WhartonThe Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Stories by Bret HarteThe Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore CooperThe Magnificent Ambersons by Booth

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A review of Cold Cold Bones by Kathy Reichs, coming in early July

A solid and enjoyable investigative procedural – except for the ever-present chapter cliff-hangers… I am a late-comer to the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs, having read only this book, and the book preceding this one in the series.   (See my review of The Bone Code here.)  Like the previous book, Cold Cold Bones was

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Review of Unnatural Ends by Christopher Huang – coming in January 2023

Christopher Huang has written a thoroughly enjoyable, slightly gothic, Golden-Age style mystery, set in an appropriately spooky Norman-era manor on the edge of the North Yorkshire moors.   Readers are introduced to the three main characters (Sir Lawrence Linwood’s children) while they are young, in a prologue set a decade or so before World War I,

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Coupon code “partners22” gives 40% off on discountable books at Kobo

There’s a new multi-use discount code for Kobo right now that gives 40% off on “discountable” books, just like the “partners” code from last year, except now it’s “partners22”. Coupon codes at Kobo can be frustrating because only some books are discountable. In general, books from the big publishers, like Harper Collins or Simon &

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A review of Castle in the Air by Donald E Westlake

Light and fluffy and fun, although with zero nutritional value… Castle in the Air, first published in 1980, is one of Donald E Westlake’s caper books – a light-hearted and over-the-top adventure that may remind readers of the movie version of The Pink Panther, or maybe the movie version of Hopscotch.   And, given that it

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Review of Iced from Felix Francis – coming soon in the US

A bit of a departure from a traditional Francis horse-thriller… Felix Francis has done a very nice job continuing his father’s horse-themed mysteries, and if you only read the blurb on its webpage, Iced seems to be just another one of these.    Iced is actually a bit more than that, though, as it bounces back

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review of The Lady with the Gun Asks the Questions by Kerry Greenwood – coming soon

Simply fun… It’s hard to say which is more enjoyable – Kerry Greenwood’s note at the beginning of this collection of short stories, letting readers in on how she “discovered” The Honourable Phryne Fisher, or the short stories themselves.   Both are delightful.    And I was amused to find that the author thinks of Phryne as

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Review of The Butcher of Casablanca by Abdelilah Hamdouchi

Set in Morocco… I’m always interested in mysteries set in unusual (to me, at least) locations, and Morocco certainly is that.  So I was excited to receive a review copy of The Butcher of Casablanca, and I enjoyed it, although it had some issues.  To start with the good, author Abdelilah Hamdouchi does a very

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Review of Robert B Parker’s Revenge Tour by Mike Lupica – coming soon

A quick fun read for Parker fans to enjoy… In addition to his own mysteries, Mike Lupica has written follow-on books in two of Robert B Parker’s sometimes-linked series: the Sunny Randall series and the Jesse Stone series.   Right now, however, Jesse and Sunny are taking a “time-out”, and so Lupica’s latest book, Revenge Tour,

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Review of Blackout by Simon Scarrow – recently published

Author Simon Scarrow has written a taut and enjoyable mystery, set in Berlin during the ice-cold winter of 1939-40.  Although much better known for his Eagles of the Empire series, which takes place during the first-century AD, Scarrow moves to “recent past history” with no apparent effort or problems.   And he also transitions smoothly to

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Review of Eclipse the Moon from Jessie Mihalik – coming in July

Another breakneck-paced space opera/romance from Jessie Mihalik… I’m not an author, but it has always struck me that writing the middle book in a pre-planned trilogy must be pretty hard.   An author gets to introduce the characters and the setting in the first book, and tee up the over-arching storyline.   So everything is shiny and

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Review of The Physicists’ Daughter by Mary Anna Evans – coming in early June

A wonderful historical mystery in an unusual setting… Mary Anna Evans has written a wonderful historical mystery, set in an intriguing time and place.  Most World War II books are set in Europe, or the Pacific Islands, or Asia, where the active fighting took place. Evans, however, has chosen to tell her tale in the

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Review of The Goodbye Coast by Joe Ide – recently published

I’d have enjoyed it more if it weren’t trying to be Marlowe… Even though they are not my typical thing (my personal preferences tend to lean more towards historical mysteries and police procedurals), I’ve really enjoyed Joe Ide’s IQ books.   So I was excited to receive a review copy of Ide’s new book, The Goodbye

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Review of Murder at Westminster by Magda Alexander – recently published

A fun historical cozy, with a few serious moments… I’m a big fan of historical mysteries, so I was happy to have a chance to read a review copy of Murder at Westminster.  And, even though reading the second book in a series first can sometimes be a bit problematic, I really enjoyed it.  Murder

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Review of Wedded Spirits by Alice Duncan – coming soon

Another fun Daisy Gumm Majesty mystery, with just a bit of bite… Wedded Spirits is the seventeenth in the Daisy Gumm Majesty series, which I’ve been quite fond of over the years.   And Wedded Spirits, which will be coming out on April 5, is a fun addition to the series, albeit with occasional serious moments.   

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Review of No Accident by Steven F Havill – recently published

Another wonderful police procedural from Steven Havill, but with a few location issues… Without sounding too much like a fangirl, I feel I need to disclose that I’ve been in love with Steven F Havill’s Posadas County mysteries for a couple of decades, having binge read all the titles that existed when I discovered the

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Review of The Bone Track by Sara E Johnson – coming in February

Forensics on a famous hiking trail… The Bone Track is the third in Sara E Johnson’s Alexa Glock series, set in New Zealand.  Although I haven’t read the first two books, I was interested in The Bone Track both because of Alexa’s forensic science background, and because I have a bit of a thing for

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Review of Shadow of Spain by Fiona Buckley – coming soon

Another wonderful historical novel from Fiona Buckley… Shadow of Spain is the twentieth in Fiona Buckley’s wonderful Ursula Blanchard series, which is (full disclosure) one of my favorite mystery series.  So I was very happy to receive an advance copy of this soon-to-be-published title to review.  And Shadow is a great addition to the series.  

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Review of Give Unto Others by Donna Leon – coming in March 2022

I’ve been a big fan of Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti series for years, ever since picking up some of the early series titles in paperback on a business trip to the UK – and then binge-reading three of them, one after the other, on the two airplane flights home.   And in the first couple of

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Review of Family Business by SJ Rozan – recently published

SJ Rozan’s latest Lydia Chin/Bill Smith title, Family Business, is a wonderful look at New York’s Chinatown, full of atmosphere and a strong sense of place.   But it also addresses some complicated topics, starting on a small scale with Lydia’s own family dynamics, including her unstated “don’t ask/don’t tell” bargain with her very Chinese mother

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Review of The Return of the Pharaoh by Nicholas Meyer – coming soon

Holmes and Watson in Egypt – what a treat… Nicholas Meyer has been “editing” the posthumous memoirs of John H Watson, MD, for decades, albeit rather sporadically, starting with The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, which came out in 1974, and won a Gold Dagger Award.   Now he’s come out with a fifth rip-roaring Holmes and Watson tale,

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Review of Mrs Hudson and the Blue Daisy Affair by Martin Davies – coming soon

What a fun, fun book… The Sherlock Holmes stories were some of the first mysteries I graduated to after Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew, and I loved them.  But I’ve always felt that a lot of Holmes pastiches (Laurie R King’s Mary Russell series aside) fall a little flat.    So I was very pleasantly surprised

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Review of Fated Blades by Ilona Andrews – coming 23 November 2021

A welcome return to the Kinsmen series… Author duo Ilona Andrews have returned to their Kinsmen universe after a decade or so, and it’s a shame they stayed away so long.   Fated Blades is a long novella – or is it a short book?  You pick!   But either way, it’s a fast-paced and fun tale

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Review of The Sleeping Car Murders by Sébastien Japrisot – coming soon

If I hadn’t already known I was reading an English translation of a French murder mystery, I would have figured it out anyway by the fourth paragraph of The Sleeping Car Murders.  That’s the paragraph where Pierre, the railroad employee whose job it is to check over the just-arrived Phocéen train, and thus the man

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Review of City of the Dead by Jonathan Kellerman – coming in February, 2022

Another enjoyable outing for Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis… I only recently started reading Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware/Milo Sturgis series and I’ve really liked the books I’ve read so far.    (You can read my review of Kellerman’s currently-most-recent title, Serpentine, here.)     And I definitely enjoyed Kellerman’s upcoming series title, City of the Dead, as well.

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Review of The Burning by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman – coming soon

The fire seems like the main character… I had never read anything by Jesse Kellerman, so I was happy to receive an advance review copy of the latest title in his Clay Edison series, The Burning, written in partnership with his father, Jonathan Kellerman.    And I’m glad I got the chance to read it.  As

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Review of The Case of the Borrowed Brunette by Erle Stanley Gardner – e-book coming soon

Nice to get back in touch with Perry Mason and crew… Erle Stanley Gardner was one of the first mystery authors whose books I read after I realized there WERE mystery authors other than Agatha Christie.    And way back then, while I was in graduate school, Gardner’s books were perfect for the limited leisure reading

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Stone’s Throw (Jesse Stone series) by Mike Lupica – coming soon

A nice continuation of the Jesse Stone series… I’m often not a fan of continuations of popular series after the original author passes away.   But whoever is in control of the estate of Robert B Parker has done a pretty good job, IMO, of selecting authors to continue his Spenser, Jesse Stone, and Sunny Randall

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Review of Shills Can’t Cash Chips by Erle Stanley Gardner

My favorite Erle Stanley Gardner series… Erle Stanley Gardner is the super-famous author of more than 80 Perry Mason mysteries, which, in addition to being best-selling books in their own right, were also spun off into a long-running TV series and several movies.   Few people, however, are aware that he also wrote almost 30 titles

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Review of The Man Who Wasn’t There by Henrietta Hamilton – just published

Light and fun… In my last review of a Henrietta Hamilton book, I expressed hope that Agora Books would continue re-issuing her books.   And not only have they done so, they’ve even managed to acquire the rights to some of her previously unpublished books, including this one, The Man Who Wasn’t There, which is part

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Review of Answer in the Negative by Henrietta Hamilton – recently republished

An enjoyable classic British mystery… Agora Books makes a business of re-issuing older British mysteries, such as Answer in the Negative, which was originally published in 1959.   Although I had never heard of Henrietta Hamilton before being offered an ARC of this title, I tend to like the sort of mysteries where the detectives, whether

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A review of A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball by TE Kinsey – coming soon

More Jazz Age mayhem in the UK… A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball is the second in TE Kinsey’s historical mystery series featuring the Dizzy Heights, an eight-piece jazz band based in London.   In the first book, the band’s founders, Skins Maloney and Barty Dunn, together with Skins’ American wife, Ellie, tracked down a

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A review of Burying the Crown by TP Fielden, just out

High-placed shenanigans during World War II Burying the Crown is the second in TP Fielden’s historical mystery series featuring Guy Harford as a courtier at Buckingham Palace, serving King George VI and the royal family during World War II.  Harford, who would rather be a painter in Tangier, where he lived before the war, is

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Review of Devil by the Tail by Jeanne Matthews – just out

Crime and mayhem in post-Civil-War Chicago… I have read and enjoyed most (all?) of the books in Jeanne Matthews’ Dinah Pelerin series, but haven’t seen a new title in that series for several years.   So I was a little surprised to see that Matthews had a brand-new book in a brand-new series coming out in

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Review of UTube – Inspector Mislan and the Emancipatist Conspiracy by Rozlan Mohd Noor – coming soon

In UTube – Inspector Mislan and the Emancipatist Conspiracy, Rozlan Mohd Noor has written another excellent police procedural, enjoyable both for the mechanics of the investigation (forensics, leg work, computer savvy – and a bit of luck) and for its detailed background in Kuala Lumpur.   And, of course, for its food.    It seems there is

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Blotto, Twinks, and the Ex-Kings Daughter by Simon Brett – a review

LOL funny all the way through… I have been quite fond of Simon Brett’s earlier books, especially the Mrs. Pargeter series.  So I was intrigued by his Blotto & Twinks series, which looked to be a little different in style – and it was – a lot.    The first book in the series, Blotto, Twinks,

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Coming soon: The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs – a review

Somehow, in spite of the fact that I’m a huge mystery reader, I’ve missed out until now on reading any books from the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs.   This is probably because they’ve always looked kind of thriller-ish to me, and I’m just not usually all that thrilled with thrillers.   However, I was recently

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Review of Murder at Madame Tussauds by Jim Eldridge – recently published

A real dead body amongst the wax ones… I am a huge fan of historical mysteries, but somehow had never heard of Jim Eldridge’s Museum Detectives series, set in the late 1800s, and featuring ex-Scotland Yard detective Daniel Wilson and his partner, archeologist Abigail Fenton.  So I was happy to receive a review copy of

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It’s Her Fault by Tony Gleeson is free at Black Cat Mysteries, and also a couple of nice coupons for Wildside Press

Wildside Press and its affiliate/subsidiary/imprint/brand (???) Black Cat Mysteries are offering some Father’s Day deals, including a free copy of It’s Her Fault by Tony Gleeson, and a couple of nice coupons. Details on those below. I’m quite fond of Wildside Press/Black Cat because they e-publish one of my favorite, but rather obscure, series, the

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Review of Beyond the Headlines by RG Belsky – recently published

Smooth and easy to read… I had read and really enjoyed the previous book in this series, The Last Scoop, and so I was happy to also receive an advance review copy of Beyond the Headlines.   And I wasn’t disappointed – the things I had enjoyed in the earlier book were all also present in

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The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths – A Review

Ruth is back in the Saltmarsh… I’m a big fan of mysteries with archeology/anthropology involved, so I was happy (and honored) to receive an advance review copy of Elly Griffiths’ latest book, The Night Hawks, featuring forensic archeologist, Dr. Ruth Galloway.   As the story opens, we find out that Ruth and her daughter, Kate, are

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Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara is on sale in the US today

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara won, per SYKM, the 2021 Edgar Award for Best Mystery. This appears to be Anappara’s first mystery, but it didn’t just win “Best First Mystery”, but straight-out “Best Mystery”. I haven’t read this yet, but now I’m going to get to (!!!), because it has dropped

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Mapping the Great Game: Explorers, Spies and Maps in 19th-Century Asia by Riaz Dean is on sale today at Kindle US

As I’ve mentioned before a time or two, I’m a huge fan of the Great Game period of history, and now here is Mapping the Great Game: Explorers, Spies and Maps in 19th-Century Asia, by Riaz Dean, on sale at Kindle US for $2.99, as part of today’s Daily Deal. I’m not sure how well

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Coming soon: Castle Shade by Laurie R. King – a review

I’ve very much enjoyed Laurie R King’s Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series over the years, so I was happy to receive an advance review copy of the latest title in the series, Castle Shade.  It’s set in Roumania (modern Romania) in the 1920s, while political and territorial currents are still swirling in the aftermath

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Review of Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells – recently published

A nice mix of mystery and science fiction… I’m a big fan of mysteries, and I like to read mysteries set in places that are new to me – or in this case, imaginary places that are new to me!  Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells fills that bill quite nicely.    Our protagonist, Murderbot, is a

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Mini review of Robert Kroese’s Mercury series – and some price drops!

Robert Kroese’s Mercury series features a journalist, Christine Temetri, whose job it is to report on various purported End Times. She gets very complacent, because all of the supposed End Times turn out to be fake…until one day one turns out to be the real thing. And the real one comes complete with a very

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Series review: Daisy Gumm Majesty series by Alice Duncan

I am a huge fan of the Daisy Gumm Majesty series by Alice Duncan.  It’s a cozy series, featuring Daisy as a medium, who, even though she isn’t really connecting with the afterlife (or is she?), still somehow manages to give comfort to the rich Pasadena folks who pay her to hold séances.  And, of

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A Death at Seascape House by Emma Jameson is out today – a review

A bit slow to start, but very enjoyable once it does…. I’ve read and really enjoyed all of the books in Emma Jameson’s Lord and Lady Hetheridge series.  So I was happy to receive an advance review copy of the first title in Jameson’s new series featuring Jemima (Jem) Jago and set in the Isles

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Review of Skelton’s Guide to Suitcase Murders – just published

A really nice historical mystery… I am a huge fan of historical mysteries, and so I was really happy to receive an advance review copy of Skelton’s Guide to Suitcase Murders, which is set in England in 1929-1930.  Suitcase Murders (as I’m going to call it, because the title is too long to type all

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Review of Farewell My Herring by LC Tyler, out today

A wonderfully funny “isolated mansion” mystery… In Farewell My Herring, author LC Tyler has created a thoroughly enjoyable novel that is a wonderful example of the understated British humor that I like so much.   And the humor comes writ large via Tyler’s spot-on send-up of the classic “isolated mansion in a snowstorm” trope – nicely

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The Smuggler’s Daughter by Kerry Barrett – review

A really enjoyable then-and-now tale… I’m not normally a big fan of romantic suspense, but I do usually like the “parallel stories in different times” theme.   So I was happy to receive an advance review copy of Kerry Barrett’s The Smuggler’s Daughter, which has two intertwined storylines – separated in time, but both revolving around

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Review of Death with a Double Edge by Anne Perry

A bit more than just a historical mystery… In Death with a Double Edge, author Anne Perry has created a really nice pre-WWI historical mystery featuring Daniel Pitt, the son of the protagonists (Charlotte and Thomas Pitt) in her earlier “main” series.   Daniel has become a lawyer, and after the gruesomely murdered body of one

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What the Devil Knows by CS Harris – Coming April 6, 2021 (review)

A thought-provoking and enjoyable historical mystery… I had read and enjoyed a few of the early Sebastian St. Cyr books, back in the days when “book” pretty much meant “paper”.  But somehow in my transition to reading almost exclusively e-books, I lost track of the series – until recently, that is, when I became aware

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Review of Blood Runs Thicker by Sarah Hawkswood – out today

Sarah Hawkswood has written a thoroughly engaging historical mystery, set in England in the 1100s.    Lord Osbern de Lench has been found dead, and it’s obvious from the knife wounds that he has been murdered.  But who did it?   A number of possibilities present themselves, both close-at-hand, among his family, and farther away, in neighboring

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Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy and Larry Bond – a short review

Red Storm Rising is a bit of an odd-ball among Tom Clancy’s books, not just because it was co-written with Larry Bond and isn’t part of the Jack Ryan series. It’s a stand-alone that details what World War III, between the US and Soviet Union, might have looked like, IF (and it’s a big if),

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Review of The Deadly Mystery of the Missing Diamonds by TE Kinsey

A fun new spin-off series… Author TE Kinsey has created an enjoyable spin-off series with The Deadly Mystery of the Missing Diamonds – the first of what will hopefully be several Dizzy Heights books.  Unlike the supposedly quiet country setting for the “parent” Lady Hardcastle books, this new series is unabashedly set in busy Jazz

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Review of The Dark Heart of Florence by Tasha Alexander, coming soon

Don’t need to say much more than Florence…aah, Florence… Readers who like their historical mysteries with even more history than usual will enjoy Tasha Alexander’s latest Lady Emily mystery, The Dark Heart of Florence, set in the years leading up to World War I.  Britain and Germany are starting to bump elbows, and as an

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DUKE: Inspector Mislan and the Expressway Murders by Rozland Mohd Noor – coming soon (review)

A very enjoyable police procedural set in Kuala Lumpur… Having read and really enjoyed the first book in Rozland Mohd Noor’s Inspector Mislan series, I was happy to receive an advance review copy of the second book in the series, DUKE: Inspector Mislan and the Expressway Murders.   And I was even happier to find that

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review of The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths (coming in the US on March 2, 2021)

I would have loved to have seen more of Peggy… The Postscript Murders is the second in Elly Griffiths’ new series with Detective Sergeant Harbinder Kaur as the protagonist – although in this enjoyable read, the focus is actually just as much on an unlikely trio of amateur sleuths as it is on DS Kaur. 

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Coming Feb 9, 2021: Comes the War by Ed Ruggero (review)

A wonderful WWII historical mystery…. Ed Ruggero has written a thoroughly enjoyable historical mystery in Comes the War, the second in his Eddie Harkins series.   Ruggero is a West Point graduate, Army infantry officer, and, later, West Point instructor; his expertise shows in this tightly written book that will engage readers from the first chapter

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coming soon: Transient Desires by Donna Leon (review)

Another excellent Commissario Brunetti mystery… As usual, Donna Leon has given readers a wonderful mystery in Transient Desires, the thirtieth title in her Commissario Guido Brunetti series.   On the face of it, the story starts out as a simple investigation:  Who were the two men who sped away in a boat after dropping two badly

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Review of Serpentine by Jonathan Kellerman (coming Feb 2, 2021)

A smooth as silk mystery that kept me reading late into the night… I am not fond of psychological thrillers.   And so, having read somewhere that Jonathan Kellerman’s main character in his main series is a psychologist, Alex Delaware, I just sort of wrote the series off, assuming that these were psychological thrillers.   And you

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Two books in the John the Lord Chamberlain series by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer are on sale

And yet one more Poisoned Pen Press author/series with a couple of uncommon price drops. A while back Mary Reed and Eric Mayer wrote a series set in Constantinople, featuring John, the Lord Chamberlain to the Emperor Justinian. I really liked these books, and when I was lucky enough to visit Istanbul on a business

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Three books by Frederick Ramsay are on sale in the US today

And since today is apparently “not-on-sale-very-often” day, Frederick Ramsay’s books don’t go on sale very often either, and now here are three: two in his historical Gamaliel series, which I haven’t read (yet), and one in his Ike Schwartz series, which I have read most of, and liked. All are $1.99 each, and discountable at

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Several books in the Faye Longchamp archaeological mystery series by Mary Anna Evans are on sale at Kindle US

Several books in the Faye Longchamp archaeological mystery series by Mary Anna Evans, which don’t often go on sale, have dropped in price right now at Kindle US, seven to $2.99, and one to $1.99. That’s too many links for me to list one-by-one 😉, so there’s a link to the series webpage at the

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Several books in the Rosie Winter series by Kathryn Miller Haines are on sale in the US

It has been many years since these were on sale en masse, but now the first three books in Kathryn Miller Haines’ fun Rosie Winter series are on sale at Kindle US for $1.99 each.  (I wish the author had written more than four…)  And the second book is also on sale at Kobo US,

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The Veils of Venice by Edward Sklepowich is almost free at Kindle US right now

Besides winning points for the hardest author name to spell that I’ve run across recently, Edward Sklepowich has written a nice nine-book mystery series set in Venice, Italy – the Urbino Macintyre series.  And right now the last book in the series, The Veils of Venice, is only $0.25 at Kindle US.   And, although it’s

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