Category: Mystery Reviews

A review of The Confessions of Owen Keane by Terence Faherty

The stories are indeed rather special and they develop the crime genre in a fascinating direction. Owen Keane fulfils many of the roles of a priest – he offers pastoral care to his “parishioners” and feels an imperative to save or rescue them. More often than not, it is he who decides when and how to offer help, responding to a need that is not apparent to others.

A review of Tremolo: cry of the loon by Aaron Paul Lazar

The real attraction of the book is – and this quality it shares with the other Gus LaGarde books – the charm of the author and the opportunity for the reader to share in a gracious life built on warm relations with family and friends. The joys of the table and the love of music and the appreciation of the quiet joys of reading embrace an ideal but not impossible world.

A review of Cripple Creek by James Sallis

There are echoes of crime fiction of the past – one wonderful minor character, Doc Oldham, could have stepped off the pages of at least two William Riley Burnett novels – and a gamut of genre pleasures. The greatest pleasure, though, is in how the story unfolds. It is an exercise in enchantment.

A review of Murder in Memoriam by Didier Daeninckx

Murder in Memoriam is a police procedural that is entertaining, suspenseful and thought-provoking. There is a clandestine feel to much of the story, a sense that there are espionage agencies working in the shadows, and it is similar to Michael…

A review of Upstaged by Aaron Paul Lazar

The interaction of the student performers and stagehands is brilliantly described and there is shrewd observation in the treatment of the sexual predator Armand Lugio, the witchy stage-mother Agnes Bigelow and the gay youngster Nelson Santos who explores the world…

A review of The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr

Carr is a fine writer and his pastiche of Conan Doyle’s prose perfectly captures the voice of Holmes and Watson. One might say (entering into the spirit of things a little) that the particular singularities of Carr’s mimesis are most…

A review of Double Forté by Aaron Paul Lazar

Although described as a mystery, Double Forté is more properly described as an action thriller. There is no detection as such, the climax of the book resulting from a gratuitous confession. Gus LeGarde, a professor of music and head of…

A Review of Iain Pears’ The Dream of Scipio

Pears is a powerful historian and his research is impeccable. The links between the three stories are handled well, and it is very interesting to watch a similar drama simultaneously playing itself out in very different contexts, albeit on the…