Taylor, Jodi. Doing Time.

London: Headline, 2019.

Woo-hoo! Jodi Taylor is starting a new time travel series! This one is a direct spin-off of her very enjoyable “Chronicles of St. Mary’s” and it’s about the Time Police who were introduced about halfway through that first series.But I suggest you not start it until you’ve finished the ten volumes about the adve ntures of the historians of St. Mary’s Historical Institute because the new book is set after all of those. (more…)

Winslow, Don. California Fire and Life.

NY: Random House, 1999.

I sort of got hooked recently on Don Winslow via his most recent book, The Winter of Frankie Machine. I discovered that he writes very exciting, very well thought-out crime novels, which are also very funny (though sometimes in a macbre way). They’ve won a number of awards and have been finalists for a great many more.


McDermid, Val. Out of Bounds

NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2016.

DCI Karen Pirie, head of the Historic Cases unit for Police Scotland, comes at this one kind of sideways. A quartet of teenagers, drunk out of their minds, has crashed their speeding stolen SUV on the highway, and the driver — the only survivor — is in a coma. A routine blood test has turned up a DNA hit to a twenty-year-old unsolved rape-murder case, which brings Pirie into things.


Published in: on 3 April 2020 at 3:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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Goldberg, Lee. Lost Hills.

Seattle: Thomas Mercer, 2019.

Goldberg has written more than thirty novels, mostly mysteries and thrillers, and has won two Edgars and a number of other awards. This is the first episode in a new series and the character-handling and the writing in general are as skilled as you would expect.


Griffiths, Elly. The Chalk Pit.

NY: Houghton Mifflin, 2017.

This is the ninth in the detective series featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway of Norfolk, and it’s one of the best yet. Norwich is a very old city that sits atop a series of low chalk hills, which used to be mined for the construction trades. Now there’s an extensive network of tunnels under the city, some of them medieval, and most of them unmapped.


Published in: on 29 February 2020 at 10:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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McDermid, Val. The Skelton Road.

NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2014.

For whatever reason, the author let five years slip by since publishing the previous adventure of DI Karen Pirie of Fife, head of the local cold-case squad, and a similar amount of internal time has passed in this third volume in the series. Pirie is now a Chief Inspector and Scotland has amalgamated its various forces into a centralized Police Scotland, with Karen given responsibility for historic cases for the whole country. Her crew now consists of just her and a single detective constable — who’s not terribly bright, but he knows it, and he’s loyal and works hard at the things he’s good at.


Connelly, Michael. The Night Fire.

NY: Little, Brown, 2019.

Harry Bosch is pushing seventy now and has been retired for a few years (and he’s having some serious medical problems, too), but he’s been keeping his hand in by investigating cold cases for a very small police department out in the San Fernando Valley — but then he had to give that up because of his admittedly cavalier attitude toward the rules when they get in his way.


Lovesey, Peter. Killing with Confetti.

NY: Soho Press, 2019.

This is the 18th in the series featuring Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond of Bath, and while it’s not bad, it’s a long way from his best. Diamond is always leery of his boss, the rather pompous Assistant Chief Constable Georgina Dallymore, so when she summons him for a confidential meeting with her own superior, Deputy Chief Constable George Brace, Diamond expects the worst.


Published in: on 8 February 2020 at 4:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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George, Elizabeth. In the Presence of the Enemy.

NY: Bantam, 1996.

Many writers of police-procedural-type crime novels — most of them, actually — are concerned only with the action of the plot, the motives of the criminals, and the superficial process of catching the Bad Guys. Which is fine, as far as it goes. But other authors, notably those of a more literary bent, like P. D. James, want to tell the whole story.


Crombie, Deborah. A Bitter Feast.

NY: HarperCollins, 2019.

This is the 18th episode in the pretty good crime series featuring Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his wife, DI Gemma James, both of the Met in London. This series has been running since 1993 and I was beginning to think that perhaps that was long enough. The plots, frankly, were beginning to get a bit thin.


Published in: on 27 January 2020 at 5:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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