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Tag Archive for ‘murder mystery’

An Elvis-themed restaurant, a five-year-old murder, and Inspector Rebus

The Black Book (Inspector Rebus #5), by Ian Rankin @@@@ (4 out of 5) Read any one of the 21 novels published to date in the Inspector Rebus series, and you will have no doubt that Ian Rankin, is a native Scotsman, and proud of it. You’ll rush to the dictionary from time to time to… Read More ›

Multiple murder in the Australian outback

The Dry: A Novel, by Jane Harper @@@@ (4 out of 5) If you’ve ever been to the desert in central Australia, you’ll find it easier to envision the setting in Jane Harper‘s thriller, The Dry: the featureless landscape, the stifling heat, the desolation, the sheer loneliness that the landscape inflicts on you. The novel… Read More ›

A murder mystery set in the Holy Roman Empire

Wolf on a String: A Novel, by Benjamin Black @@@@ (4 out of 4) Except for the title, which I found unfathomable, I enjoyed this novel immensely. The author, Irish writer and Booker-Prize-winner John Banville, writes murder mysteries under the pen name Benjamin Black. Wolf on a String is indeed a mystery, and a puzzling one at that,… Read More ›

Pedophiles, serial murder, and the Holocaust in a Swedish psychological thriller

The Crow Girl: A Novel, by Erik Axl Sund @@@@ (4 out of 5) If you favor mysteries and thrillers full of surprises, you’ll love The Crow Girl by the Swedish writing team that publishes under the name Erik Axl Sund. No matter how shrewd and analytical you might be, I predict that you won’t… Read More ›

An Edinburgh brothel, an honest MP, and two murders in another great Inspector Rebus mystery

Strip Jack (Inspector Rebus #4), by Ian Rankin @@@@ (4 out of 5) In Ian Rankin’s Strip Jack, the fourth novel in his long-running murder mystery series, the newly promoted Edinburgh police Inspector John Rebus is decidedly unenthusiastic about the latest assignment from his sanctimonious boss, Chief Superintendent “Farmer” Watson. Rebus is ordered to join… Read More ›

The “best Norwegian crime novel” is set in Minnesota

The Land of Dreams (Minnesota Trilogy #1), by Vidar Sundstøl @@@@ (4 out of 5) Some 4.6 million Norwegian-Americans live in the United States, about half of them in the Upper Midwest. Nearly 900,000 can be found in Minnesota alone. These numbers compare with the total of 5.3 million people who live in Norway proper…. Read More ›

A great start to John Lescroart’s Dismas Hardy series

The Vig (Dismas Hardy #2), by John Lescroart @@@@ (4 out of 5) Dismas Hardy’s resumé is a little difficult to understand: former Marine (combat in Vietnam), former San Francisco cop, former Assistant DA, now one-quarter owner of the Shamrock and full-time bartender there. The explanation is simple, though. The events that induced him to… Read More ›

A right-wing politician is murdered on the streets of Oslo

Chameleon People (K2 and Patricia #4), by Hans Olav Lahlum @@@ (3 out of 5) An Oslo police detective known as K2 is startled one Saturday evening when a boy of about 15 frantically rushes through his apartment door and surrenders himself just moments ahead of the police officers who are chasing him. It soon… Read More ›

My 15 favorite detective novels

The 15 detective novels listed below may not be the 15 “best” detective novels, even by my uniquely idiosyncratic criteria. I’d read a lot of work in the genre even before I began writing these reviews in January 2010—and there are tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of detective novels I’ve never read. This list consists… Read More ›

Uncovering corruption at Scotland Yard

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 ›