Book Review: UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN by Donna Leon

Thought-provoking, and with a wonderful sense of place, Unto Us a Son Is Given is a police procedural that is very light on police procedure; it is light, as well, on violence, darkness, and grit. Its underlying mystery and interweaving subplots unfold at a measured, traditional, “la dolce far niente pace”. Reading Donna Leon’s latest mystery novel is like returning to Venice on a warm, spring evening to savor a gelato and a relaxing passeggiata with old friends.

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Book Review: Never Tell by Lisa Gardner

Lisa Gardner has done it again! Never Tell is an absorbing, twisty, one-sitting, page-turner of a read with dialogue that snaps and crackles, and a plot line that accelerates to a roaring, action-packed climax! What a talent Ms. Gardner has for pulling the reader directly into her story, with a writing style that feels relatable, authentic, and deceptively effortless.

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Book Review: Broken Ground by Val McDermid

If you are looking for a proper UK police procedural to tuck in to this festive season - or anytime - look no further than Broken Ground, fifth in the Inspector Karen Pirie series, and written by prolific, internationally best-selling author, Val McDermid. Ms. McDermid has been called by many “the Queen of Scottish crime”, as well as “one of the best crime writers of her generation”. Her latest entry is, as they say in the UK, a corker!

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Book Review: THE FIRE WITNESS by Lars Kepler

The Fire Witness is the third installment in the Joona Linna series by critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril, writing as “Lars Kepler”. Their Joona Linna series has sold more than twelve million copies in forty languages! Re-edited and reissued by a new, North American publisher, with a brand new translation from the original Swedish by Neil Smith, The Fire Witness demonstrates the authors’ mastery of layered, complex plotting, replete with numerous scenes of gripping, high suspense!

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Book Review: THE DARKNESS by Ragnar Jonasson

Highly atmospheric and evocative, with steadily mounting suspense, The Darkness, the first in a new series by Icelandic author Ragnar Jonasson, has all of the grim, bleak moodiness typically associated with Nordic Noir, yet leaves the reader with the contented feeling of having read a work of fiction by a crime writer who has matured, and honed his craft. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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MINM Book Review: The Wife by Alafair Burke

This layered, well-plotted, richly-characterized story sucked me in from the beginning, and called my name whenever I was unable to listen to Xe Sands’ engrossing audio book narration! The Wife ramps up to a twist-upon-twist crescendo, and, ultimately, finishes with an ending that will haunt readers, long after the final sentence. The Wife has been added to my list of Mystery in Minutes favorites for 2018! Author Alafair Burke has a new fan!

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MINM Review: A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo

Suspenseful, chilling, and thought-provoking, A Gathering of Secrets by American writer Linda Castillo is number ten in her Kate Burkholder series, but can easily be read as a standalone. With this installment, Ms. Castillo has, once again, authored a winner!

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MINM Review: This Dark Place by Claire Kittridge

Compelling and suspenseful, with a wonderful hook, This Dark Place is the very strong debut of American crime novelist Claire Kittridge and independent publisher, Delicate Prey. Fans of Angela Marsons and Robert Bryndza need to put this author on their must read lists, stat!

As a lover of both UK crime fiction and New York City (a visit to the UK is on my bucket list), imagine my delight to learn of the inspired premise of This Dark Place: in short, the wealthy and connected father of a New Yorker who had been studying in London, hires a tough, female, New York homicide detective to travel to London, and to work with the London Metropolitan Police to investigate his daughter's death. What follows is a confidently-written, "chilling British thriller with an American twist".

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MINM Review: Don't Believe It by Charlie Donlea

Just in time for those “lazy, hazy days” ahead comes new-to-Mystery-in-Minutes author Charlie Donlea’s Don’t Believe It, a crime novel set partly on a Caribbean island, making it a terrific choice for pool-side, beach-side, summer reading!  Fans of bestselling author Lisa Gardner are sure to enjoy Charlie Donlea's thought-provoking and entertaining latest offering!

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MINM Review: The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Voted Best Crime Novel of the Year by the Icelandic Crime Authors' Association, The Legacy is the first installment in the Children's House series, written by "Iceland's Queen of Crime", Yrsa Sigurdardottir. The Legacy is an intelligent, slow-burning, character-focused police procedural that methodically reveals layer upon layer of ingenious plotting involving cryptic, coded messages, dark family secrets, and some of the most creatively horrific methods of dispatching victims this reviewer has ever read.

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MINM Review: Look For Me by Lisa Gardner

Bestselling author Lisa Gardner has written an engaging police procedural with a plot, characters, and a finale almost operatic in their poignancy. Look For Me resonates within the current cultural shift toward empowerment of survivors, and the reckoning of those that abuse their positions of power.

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