Nondescript suspects, scant clues, and a heroine who’s not easy to like. Great weather, though.

IT TAKES TWO TO MANGO

Doyle throws a fashionable, high-maintenance Manhattan editor into a publicity job on a fictional Caribbean island. You’d never guess what happens next.

Tossed out of her job at Travel and Respite Magazine minutes after she’s fired artistic director Gerald Hand, Plum Lockhart, unable to find anything worthy of her gifts or salary demands near home, deigns to accept an offer from Jonathan Mayhew she’d originally scorned: to run the publicity department (read: hawk the properties) for his villa rental agency headquartered in Las Frutas Resort on sunny Paraiso. The expectations on both sides are utterly unreasonable, and neither of Jonathan’s other staffers, rival agent Damián Rodriguez or office manager Lucia, is much help. Despite repeated warnings from Lucia to honor Jonathan’s edict and rent each villa to a single family, Plum, desperate to make her mark, rents a place to Jason Manger, who’s about to be married, and his two groomsmen, Deepak Gupta and Nicholas Macpherson. The next morning, Macpherson’s found dead outside the villa—and to add insult to injury, he’s not even the same person who identified himself as Macpherson when he picked up the keys. Luckily, Plum has had the foresight to drink herself into an uncharacteristically unbuttoned meet-cute with Las Frutas security chief Juan Kevin Muñoz shortly before she needed his professional services. Since Capt. Diaz of the local police stolidly maintains that “nothing sinister happens in Paraiso,” it falls to Plum and Juan Kevin to sort out the modest mystery en route to rehabilitating Plum’s professional reputation.

Nondescript suspects, scant clues, and a heroine who’s not easy to like. Great weather, though.

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-72823-233-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Poisoned Pen

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Enjoyable storytelling by two masters of the craft.

22 SECONDS

Lindsay Boxer faces a ton of trouble in the latest entry in Patterson and Paetro’s Women’s Murder Club series.

Senior crime reporter Cindy Thomas is writing a biography of Evan Burke, a notorious serial killer who sits in solitary confinement in San Quentin. She’s kidnapped by thugs wanting her to talk about her best friend, Lindsay Boxer, who’s an SFPD homicide detective and the story’s main character. San Francisco has a restrictive new gun law, and gun-totin’ folks everywhere have their boxer shorts in a twist. A national resistance movement has formed—Defenders of the Second—whose motto is “We will not comply.” They find it outrageous that the new law makes it illegal to own a gun that can kill 50 people with a single clip. Meanwhile, lots of bodies show up: A young girl disappears and is later found dead in a ditch, and ex-cops are found dead with their lips stapled shut and “You talk, you die” written on their foreheads. An inmate is found hanged in prison. And “a massive but unspecified load of military-style weaponry was en route from Mexico to the City by the Bay.” In a “frustrating, multipronged case,” there’s a harrowing shootout memorialized in a video showing “twenty-two of the scariest seconds” of Boxer’s life. She’s an appealing series hero with loving family and friends, but she may arrive at a crossroads where she has “to choose between my work and [my] baby girl.” The formulaic story has unmemorable writing, but it’s entertaining and well told. You probably won’t have to worry about the main characters, who have thus far survived 21 adventures. Except for the little girl, you can expect people to get what they deserve. It's relatively mild as crime novels go, but the women characters are serious, strong, and admirable.

Enjoyable storytelling by two masters of the craft.

Pub Date: May 2, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-49937-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Generations may succeed generations, but Sandford’s patented investigation/action formula hasn’t aged a whit. Bring it on.

THE INVESTIGATOR

A domestic-terrorist plot gives the adopted daughter of storied U.S. Marshal Lucas Davenport her moment to shine.

Veteran oilman Vermilion Wright knows that losing a few thousand gallons of crude is no more than an accounting error to his company but could mean serious money to whomever’s found a way to siphon it off from wells in Texas’ Permian Basin. So he asks Sen. Christopher Colles, Chair of Homeland Security and Government Affairs, to look into it, and Colles persuades 24-year-old Letty Davenport, who’s just quit his employ, to return and partner with Department of Homeland Security agent John Kaiser to track down the thieves. The plot that right-winger Jane Jael Hawkes and her confederates, most of them service veterans with disgruntled attitudes and excellent military skills, have hatched is more dire than anything Wright could have imagined. They plan to use the proceeds from the oil thefts to purchase some black-market C4 essential to a major act of terrorism that will simultaneously express their alarm about the country’s hospitality to illegal immigrants and put the Jael-Birds on the map for good. But they haven’t reckoned with Letty, another kid born on the wrong side of the tracks who can outshoot the men she’s paired with and outthink the vigilantes she finds herself facing—and who, along with her adoptive father, makes a memorable pair of “pragmatists. Really harsh pragmatists” willing to do whatever needs doing without batting an eye or losing a night’s sleep afterward.

Generations may succeed generations, but Sandford’s patented investigation/action formula hasn’t aged a whit. Bring it on.

Pub Date: April 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-32868-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

more