Connelly, Michael. The Late Show.

NY: Little, Brown, 2017.

Okay, so LAPD Detective Harry Bosch has been in retirement for the last several volumes of this long-running series (though it doesn’t seem to be slowing him down much), and Harry’s half-brother, Mickey Haller (the “Lincoln lawyer”), never really bloomed as a character the way the author presumably hoped he would. So Connelly decided to come up with a new cop, one young enough to last awhile but senior enough to have interesting cases. Enter Renée Ballard of Hollywood Division (the same place Harry started), now in her mid-30s and a pretty good detective.



Bowen, Rhys. The Twelve Clues of Christmas.

NY: Berkeley, 2012.

This is the sixth entry in the “Royal Spyness” mystery series featuring Lady Georgiana Rannoch and set in Britain in the early 1930s. Georgie is 34th in line to the throne — well, 35th, now that her brother the duke has had another son — but she’s also completely without funds. What her father, the late previous duke, didn’t waste gambling went for death duties, so Georgie frequently finds herself casting about for ways to earn a living. Not easy when you’re part of the upper aristocracy, actually. She can hardly work as a shop girl. But she manages — usually. Now the Christmas season of 1933 is fast approaching and she’s looking for some way to escape Castle Rannoch.


Sansom, C. J. Dark Fire.

NY: Viking, 2004.

It’s 1540 and three years have passed since London lawyer Matthew Shardlake got swept up in the investigation of a series of murders at a Sussex monastery, solved the mystery but mostly lost his faith in the process, and retreated into his previous quiet career in property law. His old boss, Thomas Cromwell, the king’s vicar general, is now First Minister and Earl of Essex, but he’s made a blunder in trying to set up King Henry with a German marriage.


James, P. D. A Taste for Death.

NY: Knopf, 1986.

I’ve been trying, intermittently, for several years to get into this author’s highly-rated police procedurals featuring Adam Dalgliesh, now a very senior copper of Scotland Yard — I just couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for the books when I tried to read them in chronological order — and I’ve finally found that the way to do it is by ignoring most of the author’s early work and sticking to those produced since she really learned her trade.


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