Alphabetical Index of Mystery Reviews

Death and the Lit Chick

If you’re interested in the world of publishing and the outsize personalities some authors portray themselves to be, you’ll enjoy the mystery Death and the Lit Chick. This is the second mystery by G.M. Malliet to feature Detective Chief Inspector St. Just, and it’s juicy. (The first, Death of a Cozy Writer, was one of those family sagas where the imperious father, in this case a famous author, has a flock of ne’er-do-well kids. They all gather to talk him […]

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Death on a Starry Night

Death on a Starry Night is the third and latest Nora Barnes & Toby Sandler mystery in the series written by Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden. As with the other volumes, it’s full of art and travel knowledge in a place it sounds wonderful to visit. Nora Barnes is an art historian who travels to amazing locations with her husband, Toby, where they find murders. In the first book, Murder in Lascaux, Nora and Toby are two of only six […]

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All Murders Final!

All Murders Final! is the third and latest in the “Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery” series by Sherry Harris. It’s one of those books I think of as a “modern cozy”. “Cozies” are mysteries in the tradition of Agatha Christie, set amongst a small community and contrasted with thrillers or hardboiled detective stories. The detective is usually an amateur, and these days, there’s a strong second hook, some kind of hobby (such as quilting or gardening) or profession (caterer, veterinarian) […]

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Killer Cocktail

The modern-day Nick-and-Nora-style couple mystery Murder With a Twist has a sequel coming out in early May. Tracy Kiely’s Killer Cocktail sends playboy Nigel and ex-homicide detective Nicole to Hollywood, accompanied by their giant dog Skippy. As with the previous volume, it’s a breezy, light-hearted read. Scenes alternate between now and the 1996 events on set while making a film where the lead, former child star Melanie Summers, unfortunately passed away, presumably from a drug overdose. She was co-starring with […]

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Friday Barnes, Girl Detective

Friday Barnes, Girl Detective by R.A. Spratt is an amusing blend of boarding school antics and mystery-solving. Friday, as the overlooked daughter of supersmart academics having to find her own way, reminded me a bit of Meg, from A Wrinkle in Time. Only instead of science fiction, this series is based in detection, starring a pint-size Sherlock. Friday “largely raised herself” and “found it was best to go unnoticed as much as possible.” She reads widely, including detective fiction, and […]

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The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss

Max Wirestone combines geek culture, Millennial struggles, and the detective genre in The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss. It’s a fun read, with plenty of touch points for a particular generation or type of fan. Dahlia is unemployed and living in friend Charice’s apartment. Charice tends to throw outrageous theme parties, at one of which Dahlia is hired to find the Bejeweled Spear of Infinite Piercing, a digital reward in an MMORPG. Jonah snagged it from his gaming guild after […]

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Death on the Prairie

The series of Chloe Ellefson mysteries, which deal with murders taking place during the 80s in various Wisconsin historical sites, expands with this latest volume by Kathleen Ernst. Death on the Prairie ranges further afield, through a series of Midwestern sites associated with Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House on the Prairie stories. The books were published from 1932-1943, describing events from her pioneer childhood in the 1870s. I read the books as a kid, of course, and we […]

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The Monet Murders

I had high hopes for The Monet Murders, since it’s a murder mystery set in 1934 Hollywood, but the book by Terry Mort is disappointing. For one thing, there are no real-life characters involved, even tangentially. All the characters are made-up types: the Jewish producer, several gorgeous starlets, a loutish actor, some drunken writers… although one of those is implied to be F. Scott Fitzgerald under a different name. Which feels like wimping out. This kind of novel doesn’t work […]

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