Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Brief Mentions: Mysteries from Kelly Irvin, Carrie Doyle, Cate Quinn

Trust Kelly Irvin for intense plotting that highlights the suspense in "romantic suspense." Her February release, HER EVERY MOVE (Thomas Nelson), pushes together a librarian and a detective when a bomb explodes during a climate change debate. Among deft red herrings and page-turning pressure, and with compelling attraction between them, Jackie Santoro and Detective Avery Wick turn the library's next event into an effective trap for a killer -- and a test run for their irrepressible need for each other's deep and intelligent attention. "Wick had an intensity that reminded her of sticking a bobby pin in a socket." Looking for a lively beach read? Grab this one.

There's something about a cozy mystery set at a rural inn that's hard to resist, especially when the innkeeper, Antonia Bingham, is an outstanding chef with abundant comments about the best gourmet delights. With DEATH ON BULL PATH (Poisoned Pen Press), the prolific Carrie Doyle expands her "Hamptons Murder Mystery" series. Antonia's forced collaboration with an obnoxious local journalist keeps her relatively safe and helps track down the killer in a pair of summerhouse murders ... but only a very last-minute discovery salvages her own romance with her movie-star crush, Nick Darrow. "You have a proclivity for danger," says her best friend.

If you look up author Cate Quinn online, you can get quickly confused, since her hefty thriller BLACK WIDOWS (Sourcebooks) gets labeled a debut, or a US debut, or her first thriller -- but actually she's an established historical fiction author in Europe. Thus, her plunge into Mormon polygamy for this thriller is an outsider's view of Utah and the American-origin religion with its powerful traditions. Telling a murder story from the points of view of three wives is a novel approach, but doesn't allow readers to follow the time-honored crime fiction task of assembling clues and working out the killer. So the book's a lively read (and hefty!), but won't satisfy genre fans.

PS: Looking for more mystery reviews, from cozy to very dark? Browse the Kingdom Books mysteries review blog here. 

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