Lord Edgeware Dies (Review)

Lots about Lord Edgeware Dies feels like a do-over for Peril at End House (reviewed here). While it’s not unusual for Christie to recycle ideas between books, the fact that these two are separated in publication by only a year and a half means the similarities must’ve been striking even to contemporary readers. Poirot and…

Peril at End House (Review)

Peril at End House is the book Agatha Christie claims she can’t even remember writing. At least, that’s a rumor I’ve heard repeated a number of places. It rings a bit true: the machinery is a little more visible in this book than most. You’re rarely presented with a clue unaccompanied by instructions on how…

The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side (Review)

Moonlight Detective has an interesting roundup post of ruined detective stories: novels or stories that had the potential to be genre classics but failed to seal the deal. It caught my eye because Agatha Christie’s The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side was mentioned prominently. This one’s been sitting on my shelf unread for well…

The Black Echo (Review)

Michael Connelly is well-regarded among a subset of mystery fans, so I thought I’d see what all the fuss is about – and I started at the begining. The Black Echo is the book that introduced the world to Heironymous "Harry" Bosch in 1992. And I did see what all the fuss is about ……

Young Americans (Review)

Since Josh Stallings’ Young Americans seems likely to win a Lefty, I figured I’d better read it. Also, it takes place in the mid-70s, aka "America’s Best Years." Also also, it takes place in the Glam Rock 70s, which was the best part of the 70s. And it’s an Elmore Leonard-style heist novel. What’s not…

Back of Beyond (review)

C J Box’s Back of Beyond reads like a rush project. It has an intriguing premise, a hook that locks in your interest early, but almost nothing else. The plot doesn’t work, the characters are cartoons, the action is filler unconvincing and unnecessary, the solution is unsatisfying and the writing is … I was going…

Death Without Company (Review)

Once upon a time I read Craig Johnson’s The Cold Dish and liked it. It had some rough edges to be sure, but nothing that couldn’t be explained by it being a debut novel. I felt certain the next entry in the series would be better. Unfortunately, I’m wrong about that. Death Without Company has…

The Cold Dish (Review)

Somehow I’ve missed out on both Longmire and the series of books on which it’s based. I was barely aware of the show, and when I picked up The Cold Dish recently, I wasn’t even aware of the connection. I’d just seen a passing favorable mention of the book series on a blog and got…

The Silkworm (Review)

A good mystery should end with the reader slapping his forehead and saying "I realy should have seen that!" Robert Galbraith(aka JK Rowling)’s The Silkworm is like that except for the part where you slap yourself on the head. In this one, it’s more like you groan, say "of course," and then think you would…

Gone Girl (Review)

Let’s get one thing straight: Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is overrated, but that doesn’t keep it from being excellent. What does that mean? Mostly it means that the book fails on a lot of the terms that people think it succeeds, but it still manages to succeed where it counts. Let’s explore. It’s only fair…