Category Archives: Mysteries

Arsene Lupin, Gentleman Thief

This semester, I’m teaching a class on French crime fiction. Although the genre started in France roughly when British and American crime fiction did (which is to say around the middle of the 19th century), I’m staying inside the 20th century, mostly … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 12 Comments

Dreaming Spies

The publication of a new Mary Russell novel is always a source of celebration. I’ve been following this series by Laurie King since its early days, shortly before the publication of the fifth book in 1999, and I remain impressed … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mysteries | 13 Comments

A Fatal Grace

I mentioned right around Thanksgiving that I’d read the first in Louise Penny’s series of mysteries about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, and the village of Three Pines in Quebec. That it took me only two months to read the next … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 2 Comments

A Teeny Tiny Review of Little Face by Sophie Hannah

Baby is swapped and the grandma’s a loser, Mother is mad and the dad’s an abuser, Who can be pulling these marionette strings? These are a few of the Little Face things.   Dysfunction rules though the baby is tiny, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 15 Comments

Still Life

My friend Laura has been recommending Louise Penny’s series of mysteries to me for some time. She thought I’d enjoy them for a variety of reasons — the writing, the thoughtfulness, and even the lovely setting near Montreal. When I … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 18 Comments

The Blackhouse

On the Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s outer Hebrides, the abandoned blackhouses are useful for private trysts, but the 16-year-olds we meet in the prologue of this novel by Peter May don’t find the kind of privacy they seek when … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | Tagged | 14 Comments

Lament for a Maker

I’ve been reading Michael Innes’s mysteries in order, and this is his third. The others have been enjoyable, if somewhat academic detective stories, starring a young John Appleby, and I was looking forward to this one. Nothing, however, could have prepared … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Mysteries | 6 Comments

The Likeness

Last year, my mystery book club (we read mysteries, rather than being shrouded in mystery ourselves) read Tana French’s In the Woods. I admit that I was a bit prejudiced against it from the beginning, since it’s a) about a … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Mysteries | 20 Comments

The Nursing-Home Murder

This novel is the third of Ngaio Marsh’s mysteries. I know I blaspheme by saying this, but I have never been that fond of most of Agatha Christie’s novels; with a few exceptions I find them too formulaic and two-dimensional … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 18 Comments

The Secret History

One of the great mysteries of the book world (to me, anyway) is how books get sorted into categories. Margaret Atwood’s futuristic novels are general fiction, but Octavia Butler’s are science fiction. Emily St. John Mandel’s zombie and contagion novel … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 22 Comments