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Tag Archive for ‘detective novel’

Inspector Rebus goes to London to catch a serial murderer

Tooth and Nail (Inspector Rebus #3), by Ian Rankin @@@@ (4 out of 5) A serial murderer dubbed The Wolfman by the press has killed and mutilated three women in London, one a month. The pressure is on the police to catch the killer before panic spreads further. Now, someone at New Scotland Yard has… Read More ›

Police corruption in suburbia

Where It Hurts (Gus Murphy #1), by Reed Farrel Coleman @@@@ (4 out of 5) After decades of reading mysteries and thrillers, I still frequently encounter authors whose names are new to me—but are described as “bestselling” and sometimes have dozens of novels to their credit. Reed Farrel Coleman is the latest example. Author of… Read More ›

Karin Slaughter’s tale of neo-Nazis and meth in rural Georgia

Beyond Reach (Grant County #6), by Karin Slaughter @@@@ (4 out of 5) Detective Lena Adams of the Grant County Police is in trouble again. On a visit to her home town, she witnesses the gruesome murder of a friend on the back seat of a car she has been forced to drive. While sitting… 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 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 ›

Charm in abundance at the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Precious and Grace (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency #17), by Alexander McCall Smith @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Precious Ramotswe is a “traditionally built” woman who founded and runs the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. She is known throughout Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, for her wisdom and her street smarts. She is also reflective, unfailingly kind,… Read More ›

An anti-hero ex-cop takes on drug traffickers

The Second Girl: A Novel, by David Swinson @@@@ (4 out of 5) Frankie Marr is not a good guy. After seventeen years on the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police, he was forced to retire when the brass discovered he had been helping himself to the drugs recovered in narcotics busts. Now, he works as a… Read More ›

Fear and loathing in North Korea

A review of Hidden Moon (Inspector O #2), by James Church @@@@ (4 out of 5) In some ways, advances in science and in transportation and communications have given us the impression that there are few mysteries left in the world. After all, we can go anywhere, exchange views with almost anyone anywhere in the… Read More ›