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A rewardingly tangled discovery that’s aged like fine wine.

Another rarity for the British Library Crime Classics: a witty, ingenious mystery finally returned to print after 89 years.

Against all odds, publisher Andrew Marriott succeeds in attracting his most unlikely author, reclusive crime novelist Vivian Lestrange, to a private dinner with another, celebrity author Michael Ashe, who wants to try his hand at a crime novel himself. The first surprise is that Lestrange turns out to be a young woman who engages Ashe in spirited argument. The second and third come three months later, when Eleanor Clarke, Lestrange’s secretary, reports to the police that both her employer and his housekeeper, Mrs. Fife, have vanished (two more characters will eventually follow suit). It turns out that Lestrange is a man after all, whom Clarke impersonated for that dinner with her employer’s full knowledge and amused cooperation. Inspector Bond, of the Hampstead police, and Chief Inspector Warner, of Scotland Yard, have distinctly different theories about the case. Their disagreements, sharpened by the discovery of an unidentifiable body in a burned-out rural cottage, give the pseudonymous Lorac (1894–1958), who clearly enjoys taking revenge on the early reviewers who thought she was a man, plenty of chances to bring different theories of the puzzle into dialogue with each other. “Detecting consists of asking the right questions,” Warner asserts, and the biggest conundrum in this case is clearly whether the right question is “Who killed Vivian Lestrange?” or “Who is Vivian Lestrange?” Alert readers will beat the sleuths to the answer, but probably not by much.

A rewardingly tangled discovery that’s aged like fine wine.

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9781464216268

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Poisoned Pen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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Gloriously artificial, improbable, and ingenious. Fans of both versions of Horowitz will rejoice.

What begins as a decorous whodunit set in a gated community on the River Thames turns out to be another metafictional romp for mystery writer Anthony Horowitz and his frequent collaborator, ex-DI Daniel Hawthorne.

Everyone in Riverview Close hates Giles Kenworthy, an entitled hedge fund manager who bought Riverview Lodge from chess grandmaster Adam Strauss when the failure of Adam’s chess-themed TV show forced him and his wife, Teri, to downsize to The Stables at the opposite end of the development. So the surprise when Kenworthy’s wife, retired air hostess Lynda, returns home from an evening out with her French teacher, Jean-François, to find her husband’s dead body is mainly restricted to the manner of his death: He’s been shot through the throat with an arrow. Suspects include—and seem to be limited to—Richmond GP Dr. Tom Beresford and his wife, jewelry designer Gemma; widowed ex-nuns May Winslow and Phyllis Moore; and retired barrister Andrew Pennington, whose name is one of many nods to Agatha Christie. Detective Superintendent Tariq Khan, feeling outside his element, calls in Hawthorne and his old friend John Dudley as consultants, and eventually the case is marked as solved. Five years later, Horowitz, needing to plot and write a new novel on short notice, asks Hawthorne if he can supply enough information about the case to serve as its basis, launching another prickly collaboration in which Hawthorne conceals as much as he reveals. To say more, as usual with this ultrabrainy series, would spoil the string of surprises the real-life author has planted like so many explosive devices.

Gloriously artificial, improbable, and ingenious. Fans of both versions of Horowitz will rejoice.

Pub Date: April 16, 2024

ISBN: 9780063305649

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2024

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Not the best of Connelly’s procedurals, but nobody else does them better than his second-best.

A snap of the yo-yo string yanks Harry Bosch out of retirement yet again.

Los Angeles Councilman Jake Pearlman has resurrected the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit in order to reopen the case of his kid sister, Sarah, whose 1994 murder was instantly eclipsed in the press by the O.J. Simpson case when it broke a day later. Since not even a councilor can reconstitute a police unit for a single favored case, Det. Renée Ballard and her mostly volunteer (read: unpaid) crew are expected to reopen some other cold cases as well, giving Bosch a fresh opportunity to gather evidence against Finbar McShane, the crooked manager he’s convinced executed industrial contractor Stephen Gallagher, his wife, and their two children in 2013 and buried them in a single desert grave. The case has haunted Bosch more than any other he failed to close, and he’s fine to work the Pearlman homicide if it’ll give him another crack at McShane. As it turns out, the Pearlman case is considerably more interesting—partly because the break that leads the unit to a surprising new suspect turns out to be both fraught and misleading, partly because identifying the killer is only the beginning of Bosch’s problems. The windup of the Gallagher murders, a testament to sweating every detail and following every lead wherever it goes, is more heartfelt but less wily and dramatic. Fans of the aging detective who fear that he might be mellowing will be happy to hear that “putting him on a team did not make him a team player.”

Not the best of Connelly’s procedurals, but nobody else does them better than his second-best.

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-48565-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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