#RecentlyPublished

A review of The Turquoise Shop by Frances Crane – recently published

A fun mystery, with a bit of 1940s awkwardness… The Turquoise Shop is the first in Frances Crane’s Patrick and Jean Abbott series, set in a fictional New Mexico artists’ colony, Santa Maria, which has some notable similarities to the town of Taos, where Crane lived.  The book was written in the 1940s, and unfortunately …

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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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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 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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Review of A Desperate Undertaking by Lindsey Davis – recently published

A bit disappointing… I have been a big fan of Lindsey Davis’ original Falco series and spin-off Flavia Albia books for years.   I’ve enjoyed Falco’s snark, Helena Justina’s class, Falco and Helena Justina’s odd and happy partnership, Falco’s odder and somewhat hapless family, Helena Justina’s almost as hapless brothers, Flavia Albia’s own style of snark, …

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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 The Mirror Dance by Catriona McPherson – recently published

A nice mystery and great historical background…. I had read several early titles in Catriona McPherson’s Dandy Gilver series back in “real paperback book” days, and remember them fondly.   However during my transition to reading e-books almost exclusively, I had somehow kind of lost track of this series.   So I was happy to be offered …

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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 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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