Posts tagged with mysteries

Jul 31 2023

The Inheritance Games, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


We were huge fans of Jennifer Lynn Barnes's series The Naturals (with the exception of the last book, which was a bit of a letdown), so we had high hopes for her most recent suspense/mystery effort: The Inheritance Games, the first book in a trilogy of the same name. And while we can't say we found it as immediately engaging as The Naturals, this new series is off to a promising start...

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Jul 31 2023

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Inheritance Games, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


This week's Book Giveaway is Jennifer Lynn Barnes's 2020 novel The Inheritance Games, the first installment in her best-selling "trilogy" (consisting of four books) of the same name. Take comfort, impatient readers: I'm pretty sure the main storyline is concluded in the three books that are already out, and the fourth, which is due out in a few weeks, is a spin-off. A full review will follow shortly...

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Jul 10 2023

The Mysterious Affair at Styles, by Agatha Christie


Most classic mystery novels seem extremely formulaic to me: I can usually guess the murderer almost entirely based upon the size of the role they play in the story. That said, what feels overly familiar to a reader in 2023 was probably a lot less shopworn in 1916, when Agatha Christie wrote her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles...

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Jul 10 2023

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, by Agatha Christie


Our current Book Giveaway is the very beautiful Harper Muse Classics "Painted Edition" of Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles, her first novel and the book that introduced the world to Hercule Poirot. A full review will follow shortly...

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Jun 20 2023

Agaton Sax and the Diamond Thieves, by Nils-Olof Franzen


As a lifelong fan of detective stories written for children, from Nate the Great to Bad Machinery, I was excited to hear about the recent reprints of Nils-Olof Franzen's Agaton Sax novels, a beloved but long out-of-print Swedish pastiche of the Sherlock Holmes stories. I had heard of these books, but only found one vintage edition—Agaton Sax and the Diamond Thieves—that was both in decent shape and affordable...

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Jun 20 2023

Weekly Book Giveaway: Agaton Sax and the Diamond Thieves, by Nils-Olof Franzén


Another week of posting, like adults who respect schedules! Our current Book Giveaway pick is Agaton Sax and the Diamond Thieves by Nils-Olof Franzén. This was originally written in 1965, and recently brought back into print via Oak Tree Books. It's the fourth book in Franzén's beloved, family-friendly detective series, but is totally readable as a standalone. A full review will follow shortly...

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Jan 9 2023

The Murder of Mr. Wickham, by Claudia Gray


I have read a lot of Jane Austen fanfiction, ranging from free stories on websites like AAO3 to published, high-profile efforts by well-known authors (those end up with fancier descriptors like “literary pastiche”, but whatever—they're totally fanfic). Claudia Gray's The Murder of Mr. Wickham is...

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Dec 5 2022

Pride and Premeditation, by Tirzah Price


Tailor-made for fans of the Enola Holmes movies, Tirzah Price's Pride and Premeditation is a fun historical whodunit that takes the characters of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and puts them in a slightly different setting...

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Dec 5 2022



It's been about three years since we last blogged, and—as someone with multiple asthmatic family members who need to continue to take covid very seriously—that's about how long it's taken me to accept that the world probably isn't going back to our pre-2020 version of “normal” any time soon...

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Nov 4 2019

Detection Unlimited, by Georgette Heyer


Georgette Heyer wrote some memorably creative mystery novels, and some memorably terrible ones. She also wrote Detection Unlimited, which I can only assume she threw together to meet an urgent deadline...

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Nov 4 2019

Weekly Book Giveaway: Detection Unlimited, by Georgette Heyer


This week's Book Giveaway is Georgette Heyer's Detection Unlimited. I know I've read this before, but I have absolutely no memory of what it's about—even after reading the description summary on the back. I suspect this is a bad sign, but we'll see. A full review will follow shortly, and this giveaway will run through 11/09/19...

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Sep 24 2019

Personal line in the sand


It's been more than a decade since I reviewed Tana French's novel In the Woods, but it stands out in my memory. The upcoming Starz adaptation of both In the Woods and French's followup, The Likeness, looks like they've put a lot of effort into capturing the novels' tone...

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Sep 12 2019

Creepy animals galore


The trailer is out for Briarpatch, the TV series adaptation of the Ross Thomas novel of the same name. It looks super David Lynchian in style; I'm a little surprised it's going to be a TV series, rather than a feature film...

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Sep 10 2019

Just in time for...?


Harper Perennial recently announced a limited run of Olive Editions reprints of eight famous mysteries and thrillers. The eye-catching books will be released on October 1st, and they're clearly aimed at Halloween shoppers, although...

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Aug 22 2019

How? Why?


I want to know so much about this, but I don't understand it at all. My questions include, but are not limited to:

Is it refillable?

Are you supposed to eat the pages...

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Jul 30 2019

He's got kids to feed.


According to Variety, David E. Kelley has signed on to create a TV adaptation of Michael Connelly's The Lincoln Lawyer. The book was already made into a 2006 feature film starring Matthew McConaughey, but I'm assuming he won't be back for the TV show. On the other hand...

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Jun 6 2019



The Times just posted an article about the growing backlash to Linda Fairstein, the prosecutor-turned-successful mystery novelist who oversaw the Central Park Five case. Thanks largely to Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series about the attack and its aftermath, When They See Us, which...

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Apr 8 2019

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, by Dorothy Gilman


This week's Book Giveaway is Dorothy Gilman's 1966 novel The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, arguably the platonic ideal of an airplane book (clever, amusing, and enjoyably far-fetched). A full review will follow shortly, and this giveaway will run through 5/15/19...

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Mar 5 2019

I'll even consider shelling out for HBO


How did I miss this? HBO is working on a Perry Mason miniseries, and it will apparently star The Americans' Matthew Rhys in the title role. The show is being produced by Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan Downey, and...

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Aug 20 2018

Weekly Book Giveaway: Girl Waits With Gun, by Amy Stewart


This week's Book Giveaway is Amy Stewart's 2015 novel Girl Waits With Gun, which I freely admit I picked up solely because I liked the cover. Thankfully, thus far I like the story, too, but a full review will follow shortly...

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Apr 5 2018

I don't know about strangEST, but strange, sure.


Crimereads recently posted a list of "Fiction's 10 Strangest Crimes". I'm not sure I agree with their choices (most of which sound like they fall obnoxiously close to "...and it was all in his head!" territory), but it serves as a reminder that I do want to read Tana French's The Likeness...

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Feb 6 2018

A workable theory


Atlas Obscura recently posted an article about the mysterious Voynich Manuscript, which we have written about before. It has long been regarded as gibberish, but Grzegorz Kondrak, a computer scientist specializing in artificial intelligence, thinks he might have cracked the code...

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Sep 14 2017

Yeah, but... (Part II)


There's been an update on the recent literary scandal surrounding the publication of Lani Sarem's Handbook For Mortals, which recently rocketed to the top of the YA bestseller lists via some seemingly questionable sales practices. While...

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Sep 5 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Midnight Riot, by Ben Aaronovitch


This week's Book Giveaway is Midnight Riot, the first book in Ben Aaronovitch's PC Peter Grant series. While you're (no doubt breathlessly) awaiting our review, I recommend reading this post about the controversy surrounding the original US cover art, which has since been replaced with the artwork featured here. Nice call, publishers...

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Aug 29 2017

Yeah, but...


Well, this is a mystery: Pajiba has recently posted an in-depth look at the latest New York Times YA bestseller, an extremely dorky-looking novel called Handbook For Mortals, by Lani Sarem. There's a lot that doesn't make sense about this book's meteoric rise...

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Aug 23 2017

Not impressed.


The trailer is out for the BBC's adaptation of J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith's The Cuckoo's Calling. I did not realize the main character's name is "Cormoran Strike". That does not sound like a real character; that sounds like a military excercise...

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Jul 25 2017

Women in refrigerators (or snow, in this case)


The trailer is out for the upcoming film adaptation of Jo Nesbo's The Snowman. I have a policy of avoiding movies with trailers that start off with an attractive young woman being chased through a dark/snowy/isolated landscape by an unseen assailant*, so...

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Jul 17 2017

Duels and Deception, by Cindy Anstey


I picked up Cindy Anstey's Duels and Deception in hopes that it would be an improvement on Avon's True Romance line, a short-lived attempt to write Regency romance novels for teens. I found the Avon books to be amusing but flimsy (even by romance novel standards), but assumed that Anstey's book—with its eye-catching cover and breathless promotional quotes—would be more impressive. Sadly, I was wrong...

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Jul 17 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Duels and Deception, by Cindy Anstey


This week's Book Giveaway is Cindy Anstey's Duels and Deception. There's a promotional quote on the back that claims Anstey's writing is "BETTER than Georgette Heyer", which is, uh, high praise, to say the least. Personally, I'd be satisfied to find something that's better than Avon's short-lived attempt at producing Regency romances for teens...

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Jun 29 2017

"Tartan noir"


Pajiba recently posted an essay by Kayleigh Donaldson called "There’s Been a Murder: Reading Scottish Crime Novels as an Actual Scottish Person". I suspect there's some emotional crossover between Scottish crime novels and other stories set in countries with notoriously terrible weather, but...

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