British, Detective, Mystery

A Killing of Innocents by Deborah Crombie


New York Times bestseller Deborah Crombie returns with a new novel featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James as they race to solve the shocking murder of a young woman before panic spreads across London.

On a rainy November evening, trainee doctor Sasha Johnson hurries through the evening crowd in London’s historic Russell Square. Out of the darkness, someone jostles her as they brush past. A moment later, Sasha stumbles, then collapses. When Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his sergeant, Doug Cullen, are called to the scene, they discover that she’s been stabbed. 

Kincaid immediately calls in his detective wife, Gemma James, who has recently been assigned to a task force on knife crimes which are on the rise. Along with her partner, detective sergeant Melody Talbot, Gemma aids the investigation. But Sasha Johnson doesn’t fit the profile of the task force’s typical knife crime victim. Single, successful, career-driven, she has no history of abusive relationships or any connection to gangs. Sasha had her secrets, though, and some of them lead the detectives uncomfortably close to home.

As the team unravels the victim’s tangled connections, another murder raises the stakes. Kincaid, Gemma, and their colleagues must put even friendships on the line to find the killer stalking the dark streets of Bloomsbury.

My Thoughts

If you enjoy witty, intricate British mysteries, Crombie‘s Kincaid and James series is one of the best around, and this is one of the best in the series. Crombie accurately portrays the give-and-take families experience with trying to juggle home and work responsibilities. At first, I was afraid she was shelving Gemma, putting her behind a desk so she could be the primary caregiver for the children, but Gemma manages to hang on to her independence and power, and the ending promises a new day for the family.

Crombie has not shuffled the mystery to second seed either. There’s a complex plot that keeps the reader turning pages. I can usually spot the guilty party at least halfway through most mysteries but I was totally wrong on this one! It‘s a captivating continuation of the series, but if you haven‘t read the earlier ones, you can still follow the plot here. But then go read the earlier books in the series. They are worth your time. I can also recommend this series on audiobook.

Publication Date: February 7, 2023
Published By: William Morrow
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy

Action Adventure, Detective, Mystery

Racing the Light by Robert Crais


Private investigator Elvis Cole and his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike, are back on the case in this brilliant new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Robert Crais.

 Adele Schumacher isn’t a typical worried mom. When she hires Elvis to find her missing son, a controversial podcaster named Josh Shoe, she brings a bag filled with cash, bizarre tales of government conspiracies, and a squad of professional bodyguards. Finding Josh should be simple, but Elvis quickly learns he isn’t alone in the hunt—a deadly team of mysterious strangers are determined to find Josh and his adult film star girlfriend first.

With dangerous secrets lurking behind every lead, Elvis needs his friend Joe Pike more than ever to uncover the truth about Josh, corrupt politicians, and the vicious business cartels rotting the heart of Los Angeles from within. And when Elvis’s estranged girlfriend, Lucy Chenier, and her son, Ben, return, he learns just how much he has to lose…if he survives.

Written with the heart, humor, and relentless suspense for which Crais is famous, Racing the Light delivers Elvis Cole’s most dangerous case yet.

My Thoughts

For years, Crais and Elvis Cole have been a go-to combo that satisfies my craving for a balls-to-the-wall detective story with a killer plot, snappy dialog, and characters as comfortable as a pair of worn in boots. Crais has mastered the art of the hard-boiled detective novel and this series never disappoints. Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are by turns rough & tumble and completely soft-hearted when it counts. The usual characters are back and as wise-cracking and world-weary as ever.

Not to throw shade at that other author who writes 1,000+ page detective novels, but ma’am THIS is how you write a detective novel.

Crais fans will devour this.