Connelly, Michael. Dark Sacred Night.

NY: Little, Brown, 2018.

Harry Bosch retired from the LAPD several books ago, but that doesn’t mean he will ever stop being who he is. He’s a born investigator and a visceral seeker after justice, and it’s just not something he can let go of. Since leaving his old job, he’s been working mostly on cold cases as a reserve officer for the tiny San Fernando PD out in the Valley, which supplies the professional challenge he needs in his life.



Aird, Catherine. Henrietta Who?

London: Macdonald, 1968.

I don’t know how I never heard of this author, since she’s been writing English murder mysteries of the semi-cozy variety since the late 1960s. In fact, she has produced some two dozen novels in the past half-century, the most recent only two years ago, which is quite a long career.


Published in: on 11 January 2019 at 8:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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French, Tana. The Witch Elm.

NY: Viking, 2018.

French has been writing highly-regarded fiction for a decade, and each of her six previous novels has been better than the one before. True to form, this seventh book is her best yet — but it’s also different, in that it’s a standalone and not part of her “Dublin Murder Squad” series, though it’s still set in Dublin.


Galbraith, Robert. Lethal White.

NY: Little Brown, 2018.

The very entertaining “Cormoran Strike” mystery series has put paid to any question that J. K. Rowling couldn’t write anything but fantasy for children. This fourth entry may be the best yet. The sheer complexity of the plot and the interaction of the characters also gives it a Dickensian flavor.


Griffiths, Elly. The Outcast Dead.

NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.

This is the sixth in the series about Dr. Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist in the wilds of Norfolk, and the overarching theme this time is the peculiar social status of full-time childminders (what we call “day care” in the U.S.). Do parents who park their kids with a sitter all day harm them by doing so? Is a woman wrong to not be a full-time at-home mother?


Griffiths, Elly. A Dying Fall.

NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

This is the fifth book in the very entertaining mystery series featuring Ruth Galloway of Norfolk — an overweight and middle-aged forensic archaeologist, underpaid college professor, and single mother. She and her daughter, now almost two, live in an isolated cottage on the saltmarsh in Norfolk, but the story this time is set mostly in Lancashire, in and around the resort town of Blackpool, which is also the hometown of DCI Harry Nelson


Published in: on 18 December 2018 at 9:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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McManus, Karen. One of Us Is Lying.

NY: Delacorte, 2017.

It’s unusual to find a YA romance that also succeeds so well as a murder mystery, but McManus pulls it off nicely. Five San Diego high school seniors get detention for having forbidden cell phones in class and are cooped up together one fall afternoon. Four of them represent quite a spread of types — but then there’s the fourth one.


Lake, Nick. Whisper to Me.

NY: Bloomsbury, 2016.

This is not at all your typical Young Adult romance. In fact, it’s a throat-grabber that fairly screams with psychological tension. Cassandra — Cassie — is a lower-middle-class New Jersey beach town girl, seventeen and anxious to get far, far away as soon as she can. She’s hoping to trade on her artistic talent for a college scholarship. She’s something of an outcast at her school and has only one real friend, but she mostly doesn’t care.


Cleeves, Ann. Wild Fire.

NY: St. Martin, 2018.

This is the eighth and officially the last of Cleeves’s deservedly very popular murder mystery series set in the Shetland Islands, north of Scotland. DI Jimmy Perez (yeah, not a very Scottish name) runs the police operation in the islands, though he has to make way for the experts from the mainland when they have an actual homicide. The case this time involves the murder of a young nanny from the Orkneys who has worked for years for a local MD in a community that’s remote even by Shetlands standards.


Feiffer, Jules. Kill My Mother: A Graphic Novel.

NY: Liveright, 2014.

Feiffer is an amazing cartoonist with amazing longevity. He started drawing for publication shortly after World War II, became Will Eisner’s assistant at the age of seventeen, and his work was showing up in New Yorker, Esquire, and Playboy while Eisenhower was still in the White House. He won every artistic award there is, including an Academy Award, and then branched out into novels, stage plays, and screenplays.