Articles by Crime Mystery Books

That didn’t work out…

I recently updated something behind the scenes and it took out my old homepages and the database that ran the old part of the site. The update was needed for security reasons, and I don’t have time to rewrite the pages in question, so consider them gone. From now on, all books will simply be added here to the main sections of the newer parts of the site. :)

Quick Review of Make Me by Lee Child

Make Me by Lee ChildThis past week I read Make Me by Lee Child. I have to admit that it was my first Jack Reacher novel (although I do like the movies) and while reading this book it was easy to see why so many other people love Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series.

About Make Me

“Why is this town called Mother’s Rest?” That’s all Reacher wants to know. But no one will tell him. It’s a tiny place hidden in a thousand square miles of wheat fields, with a railroad stop, and sullen and watchful people, and a worried woman named Michelle Chang, who mistakes him for someone else: her missing partner in a private investigation she thinks must have started small and then turned lethal.

Reacher has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there, and there’s something about Chang…so he teams up with her and starts to ask around. He thinks: How bad can this thing be? But before long he’s plunged into a desperate race through LA, Chicago, Phoenix, and San Francisco, and through the hidden parts of the internet, up against thugs and assassins every step of the way—right back to where he started, in Mother’s Rest, where he must confront the worst nightmare he could imagine.

Walking away would have been easier. But as always, Reacher’s rule is: If you want me to stop, you’re going to have to make me.

Despite how compelling I found the story, I also understand some of the complaints made in the Amazon reviews. For a first Jack Reacher novel, it was probably not the best one to start with. The tone was somewhat dark in places, and the ending not as satisfying as it could have been.

The book starts with Jack Reacher arriving in a small Oklahoma town called Mother’s Rest by train. It’s almost immediate that he’s pulled into a mystery of a missing private investigator. Nothing overtly hints at the darkness coming until midway through the book, but by that time, you’re hooked, even though you know the reveal is going to be ugly.

Some of the plot elements are a little unbelievable, but all that shouldn’t stop you from trying out a Jack Reacher novel if you’ve been tempted. I had thought I might not read another, but after reading some fellow readers’ reviews, I’ve realized I might still enjoy the lot of them. Because the one thing I found to be true of this book was that once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop.

The fact is that the ending of this one let me down. But knowing it was not the usual tale makes me want to go back to the beginning and see what I missed. Lee Child certainly knows how to write a compelling story.

Pick up a copy of Make Me at Amazon if you’re a fan of Jack Reacher or Lee Child.

The Last Policeman Series

Beginning with The Last Policeman, Ben H. Winters wrote a great little series of mysteries set in the midst of a looming apocalypse. An asteroid is coming to destroy the world, but until it arrives, life (mostly) goes on for many people. As the series progresses, things change, but I found the mysteries remained the focal points of the books, while the looming apocalypse added a refreshing and distinct flavor to the stories.

Links are to Amazon.com for the paperback versions. Kindle ebook versions are available (and what I recommend so that you can start reading right away).

The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman Series, #1) Countdown City (The Last Policeman Series, #2) World of Trouble (The Last Policeman Series, #3)

Highly recommended!

1. The Last Policeman

What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway?

Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact.

The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.

The first in a trilogy, The Last Policeman offers a mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse. As Palace’s investigation plays out under the shadow of 2011GV1, we’re confronted by hard questions way beyond “whodunit.” What basis does civilization rest upon? What is life worth? What would any of us do, what would we really do, if our days were numbered?

Read my review.

The Last Policeman at Amazon.com.

2. Countdown City

Detective Hank Palace returns in Countdown City, the second volume of the Last Policeman trilogy. There are just 77 days before a deadly asteroid collides with Earth, and Detective Palace is out of a job. With the Concord police force operating under the auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, Hank’s days of solving crimes are over…until a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband.

Brett Cavatone disappeared without a trace—an easy feat in a world with no phones, no cars, and no way to tell whether someone’s gone “bucket list” or just gone. With society falling to shambles, Hank pieces together what few clues he can, on a search that leads him from a college-campus-turned-anarchist-encampment to a crumbling coastal landscape where anti-immigrant militia fend off “impact zone” refugees.

Countdown City at Amazon.com.

3. World of Trouble

With the doomsday asteroid looming, Detective Hank Palace has found sanctuary in the woods of New England, secure in a well-stocked safe house with other onetime members of the Concord police force. But with time ticking away before the asteroid makes landfall, Hank’s safety is only relative, and his only relative—his sister Nico—isn’t safe. Soon, it’s clear that there’s more than one earth-shattering revelation on the horizon, and it’s up to Hank to solve the puzzle before time runs out . . . for everyone.

World of Trouble at Amazon.com.

Quick Review: The Last Policeman

The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman Series, #1)

Here’s a book I can recommended, and highly too: The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters.

I happen to enjoy apocalyptic fiction, and particularly apocalyptic fiction about natural disasters. I came across The Last Policeman while searching for stories about asteroid and comet strikes and got quite excited when I realized this particular story combines two of my favorite reading genres: mystery and apocalypse.

I went into the book not really knowing what to expect but it turned out to be a good mystery (although I did kind of see the end coming, it was the journey that was fun in this one).

Hank Palace is one of the most appealing policemen I’ve read about in fiction in a long time. A man of strong character and with a practical bent, Palace’s reactions to the situation around him are interesting and entertaining. Palace is the kind of guy you don’t mind spending time with, and I enjoyed his first-person account of what was going on around him during the looming apocalypse while still trying to solve a crime most people don’t seem that interested in solving.

I’ve recommended this book to everyone I know who loves both mystery and science fiction because I found it so entertaining. Highly recommended. :)

The Last Policeman (book 1 of The Last Policeman trilogy)

What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway?

Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact.

The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.

The first in a trilogy, The Last Policeman offers a mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse. As Palace’s investigation plays out under the shadow of 2011GV1, we’re confronted by hard questions way beyond “whodunit.” What basis does civilization rest upon? What is life worth? What would any of us do, what would we really do, if our days were numbered?

The Last Policeman at Amazon.com.

The Grantchester Mysteries

The Sidney Chambers (Grantchester Mysteries) by James Runcie came to my attention after I discovered Grantchester on PBS. Grantchester quickly became one of my favorite new mystery series to watch, and although I haven’t read the books, I do believe I’ll have to give them a try. I’ve been waiting anxiously for the series to return and I’m getting tired of waiting! For those of you who either prefer books to television, or enjoy combining the two, these books are worth a look.

Sydney Chambers and the Shadow of Death - Grantchester 1 - James Runcie Sidney Chambers and the Perils of Night - Grantchester 2 - James Runcie Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil - Grantchester 3 - James Runcie Sidney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins - Grantchester 4 - James Runcie

Grantchester Mystery Series

Set post world war II, the series features vicar Sidney Chambers.

Click the links for more information or to buy the books.

  1. Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death
  2. Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night
  3. Sidney Chambers and The Problem of Evil
  4. Sidney Chambers and The Forgiveness of Sins

If you want a matching set of covers, it looks like you’ll have to buy the hardcover editions for that. Here are the covers for the original hardcover books.

Sydney Chambers and the Shadow of Death - Grantchester 1 - James Runcie - Orignal Hardcover Sidney Chambers and the Perils of Night - Grantchester 2 - James Runcie - Original Hardcover Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil - Grantchester 3 - James Runcie Sidney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins - Grantchester 4 - James Runcie

Now that looks more like a set, doesn’t it?

Have you read any of these books? How do they compare to the television series?

ETA: I finally got my set, but I haven’t had the chance to start reading yet. :)

New Richard Castle Book! Driving Heat – Richard Castle

Driving Heat, book 7 of the Castle “Nikki Heat” Series releases on September 15, 2015.

Richard Castle, New York Times mega-bestselling mystery writer and star of ABC’s hit primetime show Castle is back. In the seventh novel of his popular Nikki Heat series, the NYPD’s top homicide detective has been promoted to captain just in time to face a thrilling case with a very personal twist.

Captain Heat’s fiance, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jameson Rook, is deep in an investigation. Professionally for Heat, Rook’s meddling in the case compromises her new job. Privately, it becomes an early test of their engagement when Rook becomes a distraction at best, and an obstacle at worst, as their parallel lives not only cross, but collide.

Order your own copy of this book HERE.

Richard Castle Books

Here’s a list of Richard Castle books. Despite the fact that Richard Castle is a fictional character from ABC’s Castle, he’s the author of several excellent mystery novels. Check them out…

New “In Death” Release! Festive in Death by J.D. Robb

Festive in Death - J. D. RobbThere’s a new book in the In Death series from J.D. Robb. Festive in Death has Eve Dallas solving another crime in futuristic and trying to stop a killer before the holidays.

Eve Dallas deals with a homicide—and the holiday season—in the latest from J.D. Robb.

Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn’t count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who’d been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler’s enemies, she’s also dealing with her Christmas shopping list—plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband’s upcoming holiday bash.

Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year’s 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer.

For now you can pick up the hardcover edition or the Kindle ebook, with the mass market paperback due in March 2015.

If you don’t read the In Death books but you enjoy futuristic settings, suspense and romance, this series is one you might want to check out.

New Jack Reacher Novel! Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child

Personal - Jack Reacher - Lee ChildPersonal is the newest novel in Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series. Fans of the series aren’t going to want to miss Jack Reacher’s newest thrilling adventure. The book is a #1 New York Times bestseller.

Jack Reacher returns in the latest fast-moving, action-packed, suspenseful book from Lee Child.
 
You can leave the army, but the army doesn’t leave you. Not always. Not completely, notes Jack Reacher—and sure enough, the retired military cop is soon pulled back into service. This time, for the State Department and the CIA.

Someone has taken a shot at the president of France in the City of Light. The bullet was American. The distance between the gunman and the target was exceptional. How many snipers can shoot from three-quarters of a mile with total confidence? Very few, but John Kott—an American marksman gone bad—is one of them. And after fifteen years in prison, he’s out, unaccounted for, and likely drawing a bead on a G-8 summit packed with enough world leaders to tempt any assassin.

If anyone can stop Kott, it’s the man who beat him before: Reacher. And though he’d rather work alone, Reacher is teamed with Casey Nice, a rookie analyst who keeps her cool with Zoloft. But they’re facing a rough road, full of ruthless mobsters, Serbian thugs, close calls, double-crosses—and no backup if they’re caught. All the while Reacher can’t stop thinking about the woman he once failed to save. But he won’t let that that happen again. Not this time. Not Nice.

Reacher never gets too close. But now a killer is making it personal.

Pick up this book at Amazon if you’re a fan of Jack Reacher or Lee Child.

Quick Review: Strictly Murder by Lynda Wilcox

The first book of the Verity Long Mysteries series, Strictly Murder is an entertaining and fun little mystery from author Lynda Wilcox. There was a lot to like in this book and I recommend you pick up a copy of Strictly Murder if you like amateur sleuths, cozy mysteries with a hint of […]

A Grave Matter, Lady Darby Mystery #3 from Anna Lee Huber

A Grave Matter by Anna Lee Huber is officially available now (Amazon link). This new historical mystery trade paperback original from Berkley Prime Crime is the third Lady Darby Mystery, featuring none other than … Lady Darby, along with inquiry agent Sebastian Gage.

Upcoming: A Grave Matter, Lady Darby Mystery #3 from Anna Lee Huber

A Grave Matter by Anna Lee Huber is a new historical mystery trade paperback original from Berkley Prime Crime. This is the third Lady Darby Mystery.

The Gods of Guilt Paperback Release

THE GODS OF GUILT by Michael Connelly paperback edition is out, if you’ve been waiting for it or you prefer to read your fiction in print but don’t like hardcover prices.

Harry Bosch Series by Michael Connelly

The Harry Bosch series from Michael Connelly is long enough to keep you engrossed for nearly 6 months at one book a week. Or, if you’re a more voracious reader, then you’ve got about a month’s worth of reading here.

Quick, Kindle First Has Mickey Outside by David Lender As a March Selection

A reminder about the Amazon Kindle First selection for March, which includes the white collar crime thriller, Mickey Outside by David Lender.

Best Bets of January 2014

January’s short list of best bets for an entertaining read.

December Best Bets of 2013

December’s short list of best bets for an entertaining read.

Duffy Brown’s Consignment Shop Mysteries

This Southern-set cozy mystery series has Bruce Willis … the dog.

The Lewis Trilogy: I Want These Books—But There’s a Problem

When I went to Amazon to check out the Lewis Trilogy, I found this ugly note on each of the books: This item is only available from third-party sellers. What? Come on. […]

Now You See Her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge in Paperback

A mystery thriller full of suspense, Now You See Her has garnered plenty of great ratings and reviews from readers. Anyone who enjoys reading crime and mystery books is likely to enjoy reading this Patterson and Ledwidge book about a woman with a past.

Want quicker, easier access to good books?

The Last Policeman  (The Last Policeman Series, #1) Sydney Chambers and the Shadow of Death (The Grantchester Mysteries, #1) Personal (A Jack Reacher novel)