54 Booklist September 1, 2016 www.booklistreader.com
good looking, and a bit of an eccentric. When
he demands to see his gold deposits, Moon
is dispatched to placate Knight at his home,
Mysterioso Manor, which boasts wild animals
roaming freely and a classic-car collection.
Soon enough the two of them fall into an
adventure that involves looking for a missing
Grunwald partner, which in turn leads to an
evil plot to steal the world’s gold. The humor
occasionally borders on silly, but the one-liners
fly at a ferocious pace, keeping the pages turning almost as quickly. Evanovich fans will find
this closer in style to the Stephanie Plum series rather than the slightly more sophisticated
Fox and O’Hare novels. —Stacy Alesi
Death among Rubies.
By R. J. Koreto.
Oct. 2016. 288p. Crooked Lane, $25.99
(9781629537764); paper, $15.99 (9781629538167);
e-book, $9.99 (9781629538174).
As she leaves evensong at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Thomasina “Tommie” Calvin is accosted
and a threat hissed: don’t go to Kestrel’s Eyrie.
Shaken, Tommie and her friend Gwendolyn,
whose father owns the estate, travel there
anyway, along with fellow suffragette, Lady
Frances Ffolkes. They are joining a house party
hosted by Sir Calleford; the other guests, by
contrast, are foreign dignitaries from Turkey
and France, and a brash American heiress and
her parents. Just as the three women arrive,
Sir Calleford is found in his library, stabbed
with a ruby-encrusted Turkish dagger from his
collection. Everyone is now a suspect in this
closed-house mystery. June Mallow, Frances’
stalwart maid, works the downstairs while her
mistress gathers clues, confronting obstacles
put up by the local constabulary, as Frances’
linguistic skills are put to use for interrogation.
Koreto skillfully contrasts the feminist milieu
of 1907 England with the establishment class
structure. Lady Frances and Mallow are an effective pairing, and the romantic relationship
between Frances and the family solicitor, Henry Wheaton, continues to grow in this second
in the series. —Karen Muller
Devil Sent the Rain.
By Lisa Turner.
Sept. 2016. 352p. Morrow, $14.99 (9780062136213);
e-book, $9.99 (9780062136220).
Memphis police detective Billy Able lands a
murder case with his new partner, the ambitious Frankie Malone. The victim, Caroline
Lee, found dead wearing her wedding gown
in her car in a cow pasture, is Billy’s old high-school girlfriend. It’s been years since they’ve
been in touch, so it seems there’s no conflict.
The Lee family is Memphis royalty; the moth-
er runs the family law firm, where Caroline
worked, and they own other businesses in
town. The person who found her body, a re-
cently released felon, is a suspect, but there are
others, most notably her ex-fiancé. Lee broke
off her engagement to the arrogant Indian doc-
tor, who feels humiliated and has been stalking
her. The Lee family has skeletons in the closet,
and the investigation deepens into the family
history, which causes Billy to examine his own.
Frankie proves to be a good partner, as much
a workaholic as Billy, and together they work
the case to its surprising conclusion. This is a
solid southern police procedural and should
make a good recommendation for Margaret
Maron readers. —Stacy Alesi
By J. A. Jance.
Sept. 2016. 368p. Morrow, $26.99 (9780062297716);
e-book, $12.99 (9780062297730).
In her eighteenth adventure, Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady investigates the deaths
of two women who fell from an Arizona peak
known as Geronimo. An autopsy reveals they
were dead before they fell. One of the women
was a PhD candidate in microbiology who
had a camp set up nearby. The other was a
local high-school teacher and preacher’s wife.
In the midst of planning her mother’s and
stepfather’s funerals, getting her daughter off
to college, and being pregnant, Brady must
also make room dealing with an eager FBI
agent and a group of angry parents who don’t
want their high-schoolers interrogated. When
Brady discovers that one of the victims was
not the noble educator she appeared to be, the
suspect list gets both longer and alarmingly
familiar. Series fans will be anxious to see how
Brady is holding up and delighted that her
support system remains strong. —Karen Keefe
By Karen Keskinen.
Sept. 2016. 224p. Severn, $28.99 (9780727886248);
Jaymie Zarlin is a very independent private
investigator in Santa Barbara with a strong
sense of justice. She is still grieving for her
brother, a schizophrenic who died in jail, so
she empathizes all the more with Chucha,
an undocumented Mexican who paid drug
smugglers to bring her baby daughter to California from Mexico. When she went to meet
the boat, the child was not there. Jaymie’s investigation leads her into the ugly underworld
of human trafficking and political corruption.
The local police are attempting to force her
to drop the case, but Jaymie refuses to give
in, especially as her investigation seems to
be bringing her closer to the truth about her
brother’s death. This compelling story deals
directly and effectively with important contemporary issues. The Santa Barbara setting
and the determined, uncompromising sleuth
make Dragon Fruit a perfect fit for Sue Grafton fans, but also for those who enjoy Marcia
Muller and Sara Paretsky. —Barbara Bibel
Every Man a Menace.
By Patrick Hoffman.
Oct. 2016. 288p. Atlantic Monthly, $25
(9780802125446); e-book, $25 (97800802190130).
In The White Van (2014), Hoffman sur-
veyed the roiling, combative world of San
Francisco crime. This time, he’s enlarged his
canvas, focusing on an international chain
of people engaged in producing, distribut-
ing, and selling the drug they call Molly:
Ecstasy. Principals at every link in the highly
lucrative chain are predators, preying on other
links of the chain, and sometimes it ends in
murder. Every Man a Menace seems a mem-
orably apt title, but Raymond Gaspar and
Semion Rosenstein are primarily dangers to
themselves. Raymond, fresh out of prison, is
chosen by a powerful gangster to gauge the
stability of Shadrack Pullman, who sells the
Molly in the Bay Area. Meanwhile, Semion,
once an Israeli drug dealer who now co-owns
several upscale clubs in Miami, is targeted
by a beautiful, willful Brazilian woman from
New Jersey; she turns Semion into a lovelorn
teen. Other principals are apex human preda-
tors. Hoffman has crafted a powerful, albeit
bleak, crime novel. It will be interesting to see
what he does next. — Thomas Gaughan
By J. M. Gregson.
Oct. 2016. 224p. Severn, $28.99 (9780727886040);
The hit TV series Inspector Loxton is filming
on location in the British countryside when
the unthinkable happens. The show’s producer,
Sam Jackson, is found strangled to death in
his trailer. Detective Superintendent Lambert
and Detective Sergeant Hook are called to
the scene to investigate the killing. They soon
find a plethora of suspects, as Jackson was universally loathed by the cast, crew, and a good
many others for his boorish behavior. Lambert
and Hook focus on the people who would
have had the most to gain by Jackson’s death,
which includes the cast, the assistant producer,
and the director. Another murder complicates
matters, raising questions of motive. Similar in
style to an Agatha Christie thriller, but with a
modern-day feel, this is an easy, satisfying, and
entertaining read that will suit a wide range
of mystery readers: procedural fans, of course,
but also the theatrical-thriller crowd, especially
admirers of Simon Brett’s Charles Paris series.
Friday on My Mind.
By Nicci French.
Oct. 2016. 336p. Penguin, paper, $16 (9780143127222).
Writing duo Nicci Gerrard and Sean French
return with a fifth psychological thriller starring London psychotherapist Frieda Klein
(following Thursday’s Children, 2016). Prickly
and brutally honest, Frieda has made enemies,
especially among the investigators and fellow psychotherapists she’s humiliated while
consulting on high-profile cases. So, when
Frieda’s ex-boyfriend Sandy is murdered,
her detractors finger her as a suspect. Could
it be, Frieda wonders, that presumed-dead
serial-killer Dean Reeve, who was obsessed
with her, is really alive and killed Sandy as
a kind of twisted revenge against the man
who broke Sandy’s heart? Hoping to smoke
Dean out or find another suspect, Frieda
goes underground in a series of down-market
bolt-holes and hunts for clues within Sandy’s
university social circle. As atmospheric and