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Uncovering corruption at Scotland Yard(0)

February 17, 2017

Garden of Lamentations (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James #17), by Deborah Crombie @@@@ (4 out of 5) Let me see if I’ve got this straight. There are lots of cops in Deborah Crombie’s latest detective novel, Garden of Lamentations. Six of them, for starters. Co-protagonists Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Detective Inspector Gemma James are married. They’ve… Read More ›

Another great detective novel from Jacqueline Winspear

The Mapping of Love and Death (Maisie Dobbs #7), by Jacqueline Winspear @@@@@ (5 out of 5) It’s 1932, Maisie Dobbs’ third year in business as an “inquiry agent.” (That’s British for private detective.) As usual, Maisie’s life is complicated. Her assistant, Billy Beale, is working shorter hours to care for his wife, who has… Read More ›

The first in a series of great detective novels

Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus #1), by Ian Rankin @@@@@ (5 out of 5) John Rebus makes his debut as a Detective Sergeant in the Edinburgh police in Knots and Crosses. He’s been on the force for fifteen years following a decorated career in the British Army and, for a time, in the original special… Read More ›

The original hard-boiled detective?

Red Harvest (Continental Op #1), by Dashiell Hammett @@@@ (4 out of 5) Maybe he wasn’t the original hard-boiled detective. But he was certainly among the first. His creator, Dashiell Hammett, called him “the Continental op.” And the New York Times termed Hammett “the dean of the… ‘hard-boiled’ school of detective fiction” in its obituary… Read More ›

“The godmother of modern Norwegian crime fiction”

Blind Goddess (Hanne Wilhelmsen #1), by Anne Holt @@ (2 out of 5) Blind Goddess is the first of nine entries to date in Anne Holt’s series of detective novels featuring Oslo Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen. I don’t plan to read any of the rest of them. When Jo Nesbø proclaimed Holt “the godmother of… Read More ›

A captivating tale of religious fanaticism, blackmail, and serial murder

A Conspiracy of Faith (Department Q #3), by Jussi Adler-Olsen @@@@@ (5 out of 5) The bestselling Danish thriller writer Jussi Adler-Olsen ranks among Scandinavia’s very best literary exports. A Conspiracy of Faith, the third entry in his Department Q series of detective novels,  matches the first two books in suspense, intensity, and complexity. It’s… Read More ›

The master of Louisiana noir

Cadillac Jukebox (Dave Robicheaux #9), by James Lee Burke @@@@ (4 out of 5) Veteran detective Dave Robicheaux of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Department is reluctantly drawn into a case involving the decades-old assassination of Louisiana’s leading NAACP leader. Aaron Crown is serving time for the murder but protests his innocence, and a Hollywood film… Read More ›

Solving a cold case in post-war England

The Death of Kings (John Madden #5), by Rennie Airth @@@@ (4 out of 5) South African author Rennie Airth has written seven novels, five of which feature Detective Inspector John Madden. The Death of Kings is the fifth. Set largely in southern England in 1949, The Death of Kings brings John Madden’s story well… Read More ›

It’s hard to beat this political thriller

Briarpatch, by Ross Thomas @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Ross Thomas‘ first novel, The Cold War Swap, was published in 1967. It won the Edgar Allen Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the best first novel of that year. As the crime writer Lawrence Block relates in his introduction to the Kindle… Read More ›

Another engrossing mystery from Camilla Läckberg

The Stranger (Fjällbacka #4), by Camilla Läckberg @@@@ (4 out of 5) It’s easy to see how Camilla Läckberg has become Sweden’s bestselling native author—and how her detective novels have proven so popular in translation. Her Fjällbacka series is peopled with complex and interesting people who grow from book to book, and each mystery is… Read More ›