Hero-A-Go-Go!: Campy Comic Books, Crimefighters & Culture of the Swinging Sixties

Review by KC Carlson For some reason, the 1960s suddenly descended upon the Carlson household over the last few weeks. Johanna has been binge-watching DVDs of Doctor Who (the earliest Doctors, of course). And the recently released Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Series on DVD from Time Life unexpectedly plopped down on our front porch the other day — not too surprising, since we ordered it (but I, of course, had forgotten about it an hour after Johanna pressed […]

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The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase

I stumbled across this spin-off novel based on The Librarians TV series by accident. I enjoy the show well enough, so I gave it a try, although I generally have low expectations of TV adaptations. It’s not that they’re bad, it’s just that no one seems to put much attention into them. I was wrong. The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase by Greg Cox does a terrific job capturing everything about the show: the voice of the characters, the […]

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A Perfect Manhattan Murder

It’s a wonderful thing when the third installment of a mystery series is even better than the previous books. Nic and Nigel Martini have returned in A Perfect Manhattan Murder. (They first appeared in Murder With a Twist and took on Hollywood in Killer Cocktail.) This time, they’re back in New York, where Nic used to be a police detective, until a wound put her into retirement, and Nigel knows, as he always does, the rich and snooty. They’re visiting […]

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Uncorking a Lie: A Sommelier Mystery

Sommelier and murder-solver Katie Stillwell, first seen in Decanting a Murder, returns in Nadine Nettmann’s second mystery, Uncorking a Lie. The killing this time revolves around the most famous type of wine crime: the creation and sale of counterfeit bottles of expensive vintages. That’s a great choice for a mystery, and the motivations of those who want to own famous wines provide one of the few points of interest of this story. Overall, the wine information is the best part […]

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First Class Murder

Robin Stevens’ schoolgirl detectives of Murder Is Bad Manners return in their third adventure in First Class Murder. Fans of classic mysteries will love the setting: the two young women are taking the Orient Express! After the dismaying events of Hazel’s visit to Daisy’s home (Poison Is Not Polite), Hazel’s father thinks the girls need a holiday. It’s one thing to investigate murders, but quite another when all the suspects are family or friends. To get their minds off that […]

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Duels & Deception

Like Jane Austen and thrillers? Wondering what a mashup of the two might look like? You need to read Cindy Anstey’s Duels & Deception, a rollicking adventure with a headstrong heroine trying to protect her inheritance of the family estate from a controlling drunk uncle, a man-crazy cousin, the spendthrift noble next door she’s expected to marry, and her own surprising feelings for Robert, the visiting new law clerk. Lydia and Robert sparkle as their relationship develops — and then […]

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Elementary, She Read

There’s nothing new about bookstore owner mysteries, but I was drawn to Elementary, She Read because of its subtitle: “A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery”. And I was entertained by how Vicki Delany gives an appropriate set of characteristics to her lead character. Gemma Doyle is English but living in Cape Cod so she can manage her uncle’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. She’s not a huge fan, but she likes the seaside town and her life there after leaving behind […]

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Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes

As a child, I read a lot about trivia and oddities, including weird death. (It was before the internet, so this was from real books.) One of the creepiest was what happened to the Collyer brothers, found dead in 1947. Some of the massive amounts of newspapers and junk they stockpiled had collapsed on one, and the other starved to death. They were the first hoarders to become famous due to their obsessions and how they destroyed them. As a […]

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