More than 700 book reviews

Tag Archive for ‘Crime’

The joy of San Francisco noir

Dead Irish (Dismas Hardy #1), by John Lescroart @@@@@ (5 out of 5) San Francisco bartender Dismas Hardy was briefly a patrol officer in the SFPD while he worked toward a law degree. He left the law shortly after the death of an infant son and divorce from his wife. But when his boss and… 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 ›

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 ›

65 good new books I’ve read in 2016

I suppose sixty-five seems like a lot of books to most people, but it’s far from all the books I’ve read in 2016. Listed here are only those that I rated @@@@ or @@@@@ (4 or 5 out of 5). Keep in mind that I’m very selective in choosing books (emphasis on very), and I… Read More ›

Sherlock in the hood: an inner-city crimesolver

IQ: A Novel, by Joe Ide @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Most readers of detective fiction are well educated and live in comfortable circumstances. So it’s not surprising that most novels about people solving crimes involve well-educated investigators who live in at least middle-class homes. There are many exceptions, of course. George Pelecanos and James Lee… Read More ›

Cocaine, the CIA, and a Central American revolution

Missionary Stew, by Ross Thomas @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Start with a hapless French-American journalist imprisoned by the Emperor-President of a small African country. The Emperor is a cannibal, which is admittedly worrisome, but the journalist is rescued by Amnesty International and returned to the United States. He’s penniless but makes his way to… Read More ›

The political scandal that roiled the British Establishment

A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies, and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment, by John Preston @@@ (3 out of 5) Look around carefully. Find three despicable human beings. Start with a confused and weak-willed young man, a male model with no other marketable skills who is helpless in the face of… Read More ›

A hard-boiled detective in Nazi Germany

A review of Prague Fatale (Bernie Gunther #8), by Philip Kerr @@@@@ (5 out of 5) I find historical fiction grounded in fact irresistible. When a plot rests on events that really took place and characters who really lived, I’m prepared to give the author a little slack if the writing style is less than… Read More ›

The pleasures of reading Maisie Dobbs

A review of An Incomplete Revenge (Maisie Dobbs #5), by Jacqueline Winspear @@@@ (4 out of 5) Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series is always a refreshing change from the blood and guts that are common fare in most other detective fiction. Maisie, who bills herself as a “Psychologist and Investigator,” is unlike any other protagonist… Read More ›

Reality TV, African rodents, and the roach patrol

A review of Razor Girl: A Novel, by Carl Hiassen @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Carl Hiassen hit it out of the park with this one, the twentieth of his novels for adults. Razor Girl is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. I could hardly stop laughing. Imagine this: a… Read More ›