a couple of weeks ago

About that billionaire who committed suicide in prison

Any veteran reader of mysteries has long since learned that something or someone randomly mentioned out of place early in a story will invariably turn out to be very, very important. Alfred Hitchcock called it a MacGuffin. So, your antennae are likely to wiggle frantically when you stumble upon a casual reference to that American […]

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3 weeks ago

Jimmy Breslin’s hilarious classic novel about the Mafia

So, these wise guys, see, you’ve got a difference of opinion. On one side you’ve got Anthony Pastrumo, Sr., “one of the five big bosses of the Mafia gangsters in New York.” He’s known as “‘Baccala’ by his friends and associates, all of whom share a common feeling toward Baccala. They are scared to death […]

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3 weeks ago

Corporate crime and political corruption dominate this promising debut

In her debut as a novelist, the award-winning mystery author Attica Locke explored themes of Black Power, trade union racism, corporate crime and political corruption. It’s the stuff that might have elevated Black Water Rising into the ranks of Great American Novels. Although she fell short, the effort was worthy enough that The Guardian characterized […]

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last month

A murder in Palestine exposes the fault lines in the refugee community

From 2007 to 2010, Welsh author Matt Rees published the four novels of the Palestine Quartet. The first, The Collaborator of Bethlehem, introduces schoolteacher and would-be detective Omar Yussef. It was an outstanding debut for the series that followed—an unconventional but entirely convincing picture of the Palestinian Al-Aqsa Intifada (2000-5). Drawing on his many years […]

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last month

A grim murder mystery set in the USSR

Set in the USSR not long after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Death of a Dissident paints a savage if all too credible picture of life in Moscow early in the final decade of Communist rule. If you enjoy historical fiction and have a hankering to understand the lies, compromises, and inefficiencies that led to […]

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last month

An historical spy thriller in the Elizabethan Age

Britain during the reign of Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was wracked by turmoil and intrigue rooted in doctrinal differences between the newly independent Church of England and the deeply entrenched forces of Catholicism. To root out the many conspiracies mounted by her foreign and domestic enemies, the Queen’s principal private secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham (1532-90) operated […]

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