32 Booklist February 15, 2016 www.booklistreader.com
the latest, set in 1649, Bridget and her deputy, Martha Hawkins, are coerced into serving
Cromwell’s spymaster, Jonathon Marlowe.
Bridget’s mission is to infiltrate an anti-Crom-well group called the Levellers by working
undercover in London’s Cheapside. The story
gains even more intensity when the head of
the household that Bridget has infiltrated is
murdered and the wife (now Bridget’s friend)
seeks her help. Thomas catches readers up on
historical events in a very clear and unobtrusive
way. Fascinating details (like the fact that goldsmiths’ businesses suffered during Cromwell’s
sway) abound. As gripping as the previous
three Midwife mysteries. —Connie Fletcher
Murder at the 42nd Street Library.
By Con Lehane.
Apr. 2016. 320p. Minotaur, $25.99 (9781250009968);
e-book, $12.99 (9781250036872).
Nine years after the last Brian McNulty
mystery (Death at the Old Hotel), the New
York City bartending sleuth is back, but this
time in a supporting role. He’s an ear-to-the-ground resource for his friend Ray Ambler,
curator of the New York Public Library’s
crime-fiction collection. A shooting just took
place in the library’s hallowed halls, and Ray
and his colleagues are putting their research
skills to the test to find the killer. The murder
seems to be connected to the library’s collection of papers by writer Nelson Yates and
to an odious biographer who has been hassling the mostly even-tempered staff. There is
a reserve in Lehane’s writing that makes the
book feel like it takes place in another era—
mention of a cell phone seems anachronistic.
Readers should be prepared to take their time
following the large cast of characters and the
myriad ways their personal disappointments
could drive them to drastic actions. Still, the
library setting, in general, and the crime-fiction special collection, in particular, will be a
draw for many mystery fans. —Karen Keefe
A Murderous Mind.
By Jane A. Adams.
Mar. 2016. 208p. Severn, $27.95 (9780727885630);
The tenth Naomi Blake mystery finds Naomi
and her husband, Alec, adjusting to a dramatic
new phase in their lives. She is now blind due
to an accident, and Alec has retired; though
no longer police officers, they are not finished
with investigations. When a young student at a
nearby university is brutally murdered, the po-
lice discover links to a series of cold cases. DI
Tess Fuller and her partner, DS Vin Dattani,
discover that the investigating officer on one of
the old cases, Joe Jackson, thought he knew the
identity of the perpetrator. Jackson, now dead
and discredited, cannot help, but Naomi, his
protégée, may have useful information. Along
with Naomi and Alec, who play background
roles in the intricate story, readers hear from
the primary investigators, the students affected
by the death of their friend, and some mysteri-
ous friends of the retired sleuths. This is a fine
British procedural that will engage readers im-
mediately and hold their attention until justice
is done. —Barbara Bibel
By Lachlan Smith.
Apr. 2016. 256p. Mysterious, $24 (9780802125033);
e-book, $24 (9780802189929).
The fourth Leo Maxwell legal thriller starts
on a high note: Maxwell and his partner at
the San Francisco public defender’s office,
Jordan Walker, secure an acquittal for an accused rapist, Randall Rodriguez, a man whose
history of confessing to crimes he didn’t commit convinced Leo and Jordan that he was
innocent. Soon after, though, Jordan is raped
and murdered, and Rodriguez confesses to the
crime. Leo believes he’s innocent again, but
his bosses order him not to assist in the man’s
defense. Leo takes a leave of absence, vowing
to pursue the investigation on his own time;
he has his own theory about Jordan’s murder,
but can he prove it? Or will Leo himself wind
up fingered for the crime? Gripping, dramatically written, and very suspenseful, this novel
will have strong appeal for legal-thriller fans,
especially followers of John Lescroart’s Dismas Hardy series. —David Pitt
The Saints of the Lost and Found.
By T. M. Causey.
Mar. 2016. 300p. RoadRunner, $24 (9781937054236);
e-book, $7.99 (9781937054267).
Gift or curse? Most days, Avery Marie Brous-sard would argue that her ability to “see” lost
things is definitely the latter. It certainly feels
that way when, despite her best efforts, she
makes a serious mistake, and her gift fails to
help the FBI capture the Little Princess Killer.
Now all Avery wants to do is escape from the
endless images of loss she sees when she gets
an unexpected phone call from her father that
forces her to return home to St. Michael’s. It
has been 10 years since Avery has been back,
and 10 years since she’s spoken with her ex-husband, Jack Thibodaux, and she is in no
hurry to bump into him. When Avery begins
to get visions of Jack’s ex-wife Marguerite lying
dead, however, she realizes that her future, for
better or worse, is still inexplicably tied up with
him. Causey, who has also written the popular
Bobbie Fayebooks as Toni McGee Causey, delivers a spellbinding hybrid of chilling suspense
and potent romance, whose unforgettable heroine, beautifully evoked setting, and nuanced
secondary characters will long linger in readers’
memories. —John Charles
By Michael Sears.
Feb. 2016. 368p. Putnam, $26.95 (9780399166723).
Through four novels, Sears has shown he’ll
go to astonishing lengths to avoid making his
hero, Jason Stafford, one more cookie-cutter
PI. Stafford is mourning a murdered ex-wife.
He’s an ex-con redeeming himself by advis-
ing good guys. But he’s also
raising, by himself, a young
autistic son, and it’s a trib-
ute to the author’s skill that
the scenes with the Kid aug-
ment, rather than scuttle,
the thriller plot. Another
mark of this quest for the
unusual has Stafford con-
fronting a field of menacing bison as he’s
examining a crime scene. Yes, it’s gloriously
bizarre, but it also works; those bison have a
reason to be there. Sears delicately intertwines
three distinct plot strands here. The first—the
one with the bison—has him clashing with
the Mob. In the second, he and the Kid are
dealing with life under witness protection in
New Mexico. Finally, a possible kidnapping
leads to a tense, beautifully written search
across the scorched desert. Wait a minute: let’s
not forget the high-speed chase. Just another
chase? Hardly. Sears outdoes himself by giving
the role of the chase cars to two lumbering
tractor trucks. Bison and speeding tractor
trucks—there are two things crime readers
don’t come across very often. —Don Crinklaw
Sent to the Devil.
By Laura Lebow.
Apr. 2016. 384p. Minotaur, $26.99 (9781250053565);
e-book, $12.99 (9781466856202).
We return to Vienna in 1788, two years after Lebow’s series debut (The Figaro Murders,
2015), to find Lorenzo Da Ponte revising the
libretto of Mozart’s new opera, Don Giovanni.
Emperor Joseph II has been waging war on the
Turks, and the citizens of the city are uneasy.
Da Ponte’s good friend Alois, an elderly priest,
is murdered, and strange symbols are carved
into his forehead. A retired general’s mutilated
body is also found. The murders are thought
to be an expression of opposition to the war.
Subsequent deaths lead Da Ponte to realize
there are more malevolent forces at work, and
he puts his own life at risk as he makes his
way through many plausible suspects, finding
clues in snippets of Dante and contending
with the local “Don Giovanni.” Solid writing
from Lebow, rich in period detail and opera
lore. Fans of historical and musical mysteries
will look forward to enjoying more time lost
in the baroque with Da Ponte. And who knew
there were eighteenth-century Dante discussion circles? —Jane Murphy
The Steel Kiss.
By Jeffery Deaver.
Mar. 2016. 496p. Grand Central, $28 (9781455536344);
e-book, $14.99 (9781455536368).
In the new Lincoln Rhyme thriller, the
criminologist is stymied by his latest adversary,
a serial killer who commits murder without
ever getting in close physical proximity to his
victims, and who uses the most innocuous,
unsuspected weapons. He claims to be a crusader, issuing proclamations after each kill, but
does he have other motives as well? As usual,
ONLINE ALERT! Don’t miss Don Crin-
klaw’s interview of Michael Sears, author
of Saving Jason, on The Booklist
Reader ( www.booklistreader.com).