Month: September 2013

  • Reality’s out; hilarity’s in

    Bob Moyer knows a delightfully crazy crime novel when he reads one, and he’s just read the latest zany book by Carl Hiaasen. Reviewed by Robert P.  Moyer BAD MONKEY. By Carl Hiaasen. Alfred A. Knopf. 336 pages. $26.95 Take a severed arm, recently owned by a man suspected of massive Medicare fraud.  Toss it […]

  • Piracy, smuggling and other great American traditions

    Steve Wishnevsky finds a good dose of cold, hard, enlightening facts in a recent history that describes the growth of America in terms other than those we celebrate on the Fourth of July. Reviewed by Stephen Wishnevsky SMUGGLER NATION: HOW ILLICIT TRADE MADE AMERICA. By Peter Andreas. Oxford University Press. 472 pages. Here is another […]

  • New battles, old murders

    Charles Todd, the mother-son writing team that’s had considerable success with the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries set after World War I, is back with another novel in their newer series starring Bess Crawford, a nurse in that Great War. Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson A QUESTION OF HONOR. By Charles Todd. William Morrow. 309 pages. […]

  • The magic is in the writing

    Steve Wishnevsky takes a look at what happens when J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame tries writing a detective novel. He likes what he sees. Reviewed by Stephen Wishnevsky THE CUCKOO’S CALLING. By J.K. Rowling, writing as Robert Galbraith. Mulholland Books. 464 pages. Struggling London Private Investigator Cormoran Strike has more going against him than […]

  • Crime, Barcelona style

    What a happy thing it is to be in on the debut of a good detective series. This one’s set in Barcelona, so it offers the added attraction of virtually visiting an exotic foreign setting. Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson THE SUMMER OF DEAD TOYS. By Antonio Hill. Read by Mark Bramhall. Books on Tape. […]

  • Forgotten history

    History is important not only in itself, but also in the way it affects the present. Paul O’Connor reminds us of that in his review of a “fascinating“ book about a part of history Americans have too often overlooked. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor FREEDOM NATIONAL: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865. […]

  • “A true masterpiece”

    Steve Wishnevsky, who knows a lot about the subject, takes a look at a classic collection by one of the giants of science fiction and fantasy. Reviewed by Stephen Wishnevsky THE COMPLETE LYONESSE. By Jack Vance. Gollancz. 1,040 pages. Hardcover, 2000. (The trilogy was first published separately in the 1980s.) The late Jack Vance, who […]

  • Mystery in Paris, in fine fashion

    When Bob Moyer isn’t traveling in physical terms, he’s traveling through his reading. Here, he visits Paris by way of a charming mystery. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer MURDER BELOW MONTPARNASSE. By Cara Black. SOHO Crime. 336 pages. $25.95. Cara Black has carved a comfortable niche out of the soft-boiled genre. She rambles around Paris, concocting […]

  • A Muslim’s view of Jesus

    Some people are outraged by Reza Aslan’s new book about Jesus. Some praise it. Lots of people seem to have opinions. Steve Wishnevsky has a suggestion: read it. Reviewed by Stephen Wishnevsky ZEALOT: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JESUS OF NAZARETH. By Reza Aslan. Random House. 336 pages. $27. This is a most entertaining new […]