O’Connell, Carol. The Man Who Cast Two Shadows.

NY: Berkley, 1995.

Sgt. Mallory of the NYPD is back, suspended from duty (she shot the gun out of a perp’s hand rather than aiming at the wide part of the body, per regulations) and temporarily teamed up with Charles, who is . . . well, not her friend, exactly. Mallory doesn’t really have friends, or even coworkers.


Published in: on 3 January 2013 at 6:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Crombie, Deborah. And Justice There Is None.

NY: Bantam, 2002.

This is one of Crombie’s best efforts, largely because it focuses more on newly-promoted Detective Inspector Gemma James than on her erstwhile partner and continuing love interest, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid. Gemma has been transferred to Notting Hill, where she takes up her duties as a lead investigator, while Kincaid finds himself having to break in a new sergeant.


Published in: on 29 December 2012 at 5:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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Crombie, Deborah. A Finer End.

NY: Bantam, 2001.

Superintendent Duncan Kincaid of Scotland Yard gets caught up in the strangest cases. This time he’s off to Glastonbury, center of New Age mysticism in Britain, to help his cousin, Jack, sort out a hit-and-run in which the local (female) vicar was nearly killed.


Published in: on 27 December 2012 at 6:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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O’Connell, Carol. Mallory’s Oracle.

NY: Putnam, 1994.

When New York Police Inspector Louis Markowitz found eleven-year-old Kathleen Mallory living on the street and breaking into cars, she was, in his words, an “amoral savage.” Rather than do the paperwork to send her to Juvenile Hall, he took her home and his deeply caring wife informally adopted her.


Lovesey, Peter. The Last Detective.

NY: Doubleday, 1991.

Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond, late of London and now a homicide investigator in Bristol and Bath, is large of body and (in his own mind) larger than life. He believes in the death penalty and the old methods of investigating a case. Computers and other examples of new technology, including pocket calculators and microwaves, are just a fad as far as he’s concerned. His style is to push people until they confess — which got him in trouble in a recent case in which the wrong man went to prison, but he still thinks his actions were justified.


Published in: on 15 November 2012 at 1:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Holt, Anne. 1222.

NY: Scribner, 2011.

This Norwegian author is reputedly a big deal in Scandinavian crime fiction, especially with her highly successful “Hanne Wilhelmsen” series, but this is apparently the first to be translated into English — and it’s the eighth one in the series. Which doesn’t make a lot of marketing sense, since it means we can know very little about the main character’s background — which turns out to be a very significant factor in the story. (more…)

Published in: on 9 November 2012 at 8:04 am  Comments (1)  
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James, P. D. Devices and Desires.

NY: Knopf, 1989.

No matter how popular her novels featuring Scotland Yard’s Adam Dalgliesh are, her fans don’t really read them for the mystery plot alone. They read them because they’re first-rate, thoroughly involving stories about a (frequently large) group of fully developed characters and the interaction among them.


James, P. D. Death of an Expert Witness.

NY: Scribner, 1977.

This highly regarded series featuring Police Commander Adam Dalgliesh are the only detective mysteries I know of where the author spends the first quarter of the book describing the setting and all the other players before even introducing the principal investigator.


Tracy, P. J. Live Bait.

NY: Putnam, 2004.

Minneapolis homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are back and they’re bored silly; there haven’t been any juicy murders in several months, not really since they wrapped up the “Monkeewrench” killings. Magozzi has fallen hard for Grace McBride, the paranoid head of the software company who goes multiply-armed at all times, and Gino is enjoying time with his wife and kids, but still.


Published in: on 17 September 2012 at 7:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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Connelly, Michael. The Drop.

NY: Little, Brown, 2011.

Detective Harry Bosch, who has been with the LAPD for more than forty years now, is facing absolute, mandatory, no-more-extensions retirement — thirty-nine months and counting — and while he accepts the inevitable, more or less, he’s not very happy about it. He just wants to spend the rest of his life solving murders.


Published in: on 29 May 2012 at 6:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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