Genteel Southern charm and murderous mayhem mix in a mystery that keeps you guessing.

LAVENDER BLUE MURDER

A knockoff of a British bird hunt is deadly for the Anglophile who hosts it.

Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop in the low country of South Carolina, and her friend Drayton Conneley, a tea expert, are participating in a game-bird hunt at Creekmore Plantation. Drayton, no hunter, is a friend of wealthy host Reginald Doyle, who served with him on the board of the Charleston Heritage Society. Doyle’s shot dead at the hunt, the weapon not a badly aimed shotgun but a pistol. Doyle’s wife, Meredith, knowing of Theodosia’s reputation as a sleuth (Broken Bone China, 2019, etc.), begs her to help, asking that she and Drayton stay overnight. So they’re still on hand when the house goes up in flames in what seems likely to be another staged accident. The sums of money involved guarantee plenty of suspects. Doyle had been thinking of giving the plantation to the Heritage Society, but his most recent will leaves it to his hot-tempered stepson, Alex, who’s constantly arguing with Fawn, his recent bride. Doyle was also at odds with two of his neighbors, including the Lavender Lady, whose fragrant farm borders Creekmore. Although things seem to be going well enough at the pharmaceutical company where Doyle was CEO, Theodosia learns that Guy Thorne, Doyle’s partner in a restaurant, has financial problems. When Alex’s sailboat is found drifting in the harbor, Fawn, who went out for a walk and never returned, is feared drowned. Aside from Meredith’s need for constant hand-holding, Theodosia, Drayton, and Haley, their fabulous chef, are busy with the usual activities plus a plethora of exotic-themed tea parties. The police and especially Theodosia’s detective boyfriend urge her to let them do their jobs, but she can’t break her promise to Meredith.

Genteel Southern charm and murderous mayhem mix in a mystery that keeps you guessing.

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-451-48966-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime

Review Posted Online: Dec. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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DEATH ON THE NILE

A HERCULE POIROT MYSTERY (HERCULE POIROT MYSTERIES)

One of her best. Poirot, again on vacation, falls foul of a murder on board a Nile river steamer, followed by two successive murders, obviously connected. A sophisticated group, an ingenious plot, clever deduction, swift-paced narrative. A little romance on the side lends glamour. First rate entertainment.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 1938

ISBN: 0062073559

Page Count: 354

Publisher: Dodd, Mead

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1938

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Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how...

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THE A LIST

A convicted killer’s list of five people he wants dead runs the gamut from the wife he’s already had murdered to franchise heroine Ali Reynolds.

Back in the day, women came from all over to consult Santa Clarita fertility specialist Dr. Edward Gilchrist. Many of them left his care happily pregnant, never dreaming that the father of the babies they carried was none other than the physician himself, who donated his own sperm rather than that of the handsome, athletic, disease-free men pictured in his scrapbook. When Alexandra Munsey’s son, Evan, is laid low by the kidney disease he’s inherited from his biological father and she returns to Gilchrist in search of the donor’s medical records, the roof begins to fall in on him. By the time it’s done falling, he’s serving a life sentence in Folsom Prison for commissioning the death of his wife, Dawn, the former nurse and sometime egg donor who’d turned on him. With nothing left to lose, Gilchrist tattoos himself with the initials of five people he blames for his fall: Dawn; Leo Manuel Aurelio, the hit man he’d hired to dispose of her; Kaitlyn Todd, the nurse/receptionist who took Dawn’s place; Alex Munsey, whose search for records upset his apple cart; and Ali Reynolds, the TV reporter who’d helped put Alex in touch with the dozen other women who formed the Progeny Project because their children looked just like hers. No matter that Ali’s been out of both California and the news business for years; Gilchrist and his enablers know that revenge can’t possibly be served too cold. Wonder how far down that list they’ll get before Ali, aided once more by Frigg, the methodical but loose-cannon AI first introduced in Duel to the Death (2018), turns on them?

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how little the boundary-challenged AI, who gets into the case more or less inadvertently, differs from your standard human sidekick with issues.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5101-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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