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Tag Archive for ‘Scotland Yard’

In an alternate history, the Nazis occupy England

SS-GB, by Len Deighton @@@@ (4 out of 5) In the literature of alternate history, Nazi Germany often wins World War II. Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, Fatherland by Robert Harris, and Jo Walton’s Farthing Trilogy (Farthing, Ha’penny, and Half a Crown, all reviewed here) are prominent examples. There are many others,… Read More ›

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 ›

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 ›

Nazis, pacifists, and spies in 1930s Britain

A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs #8), by Jacqueline Winspear @@@@ (4 out of 5) December 1932. Adolf Hitler is agitating to become Chancellor of Germany as his following grows. Many Britons, too, especially the aristocracy, are finding a lot to like in Herr Hitler and his Nazi Party. In increasing numbers, they are campaigning… 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 ›

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 ›

An engrossing novel about British counter-espionage

Secret Asset (Liz Carlyle #2), by Stella Rimington @@@@ (4 out of 5) Sohail Din, a young Pakistani-British man, has postponed entry into law school for a year to serve as an undercover source for MI5. His agent runner, Liz Carlyle, returns from leave to find that Din has reported a visit by a notorious… Read More ›

A detective novel that doesn’t measure up

A review of Search the Dark (Inspector Ian Rutledge #3), by Charles Todd @@@ (3 out of 5) What is it that keeps fans reading book after book in a series of detective novels? I should know as well as anyone, since I keep going back again and again to the work of Michael Connelly,… Read More ›

Living the legacy of war

A review of Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs #3), by Jacqueline Winspear @@@@ (4 out of 5) Before the advent of World War II, the “Great War” — World War I, the “war to end all wars” — was the most tragic event in modern history. Earlier, Attila’s rampage through Asia and Europe was probably more… Read More ›

The cost of war hangs over the action like a shroud

A review of Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs #2), by Jacqueline Winspear @@@@ (4 out of 5) Birds of a Feather, the second book in Jacqueline Winspear’s bestselling Maisie Dobbs series, is set at a time more than a decade after the conclusion of World War I — but entirely under its shadow. As… Read More ›