VERY BAD MEN by Harry Dolan

David Loogan lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his girlfriend, Detective Elizabeth Waishkey and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Sarah. Loogan edits a mystery magazine, and he has made the mental leap from writing and critiquing stories about crime to tracking down villains in real life. In Harry Dolan’s latest novel, VERY BAD MEN, David tells us a story that will explain “the motives people have for killing one another.” As we will see, the reasons for taking someone’s life can vary from a matter of convenience to a thirst for revenge. Loogan, who is a witty first person narrator, gets embroiled in his latest adventure when someone drops an unsolicited manuscript at his office, in which the anonymous writer confesses to committing murder and even provides the name of his next victim.

August 7, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Sleuths Series, US Midwest


MISTERIOSO by Arne Dahl is a unique and wonderful book. It is part mystery, part police procedural, part existential philosophy and part comedy. There is something so distinctive about this book that it resists categorization. On the surface, it is a mystery but so much of the novel lies below the surface, getting into the characters’ minds and thoughts as they live their lives and work at trying to catch a serial killer.

The title of the book comes from a piece of music composed by Thelonius Monk, a famous American jazz pianist and composer, now deceased. There is a serial killer on the loose in Sweden who is killing very rich and powerful men. The killer waits for his prey in the victim’s living room listening to Monk’s Misterioso on the stereo and when the victim arrives he is shot in the head two times. The killer views the music as “a pantomime, a peculiar dance of death.” The Swedish police put together what they call an A-Team to find this killer.

July 13, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Mystery/Suspense, Sweden, Translated, World Lit

BAD PENNY BLUES by Cathi Unsworth

I’d heard of Jack the Ripper and the Yorkshire Ripper, but before I read British author Cathi Unsworth’s crime novel, BAD PENNY BLUES, I’d never heard of Jack the Stripper. Jack the Stripper was the name given to a serial killer who operated in London during the 60s. His victims were young women–6 in all–whose bodies were found in 1964 and 1965. The crimes–also known as the Hammersmith Murders or the Hammersmith Nudes were never solved, but they had some features in common. The women were prostitutes and they died from strangulation. Some had teeth missing and some of the bodies bore traces of industrial paint. The police eventually connected these 6 murders with two other similar, earlier crimes. They acknowledged that the total murder toll might stretch back to include an unsolved murder committed in 1959, and that a dead woman found in 1963 was possibly yet another victim of the same killer.

February 19, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Mystery/Suspense


In Dexter Morgan’s fifth outing, DEXTER IS DELICIOUS, our devilish and alliterative slasher and narrator is in danger of becoming a mushy and sentimental softie. His wife, Rita, has given birth to an adorable baby girl named Lily Anne, and Dexter is head over heels in love with his brand new bundle of joy. As he stands in the nursery gazing at the baby, he suddenly wants to embrace life, not death. “I want to hold her. I want to sit her on my lap and read her Christopher Robin and Dr. Seuss.” In short, he decides, “I don’t want to be Dark Dexter anymore.” If he were to kill again, it would be to protect his beautiful child from any predator who would dare to touch a hair on her lovely head.

September 19, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Florida, Humorous, Sleuths Series, US South


In R. J. Ellory’s THE ANNIVERSARY MAN, John Costello is sixteen when his life changes irrevocably. An unidentified assailant brutally attacks him and his girlfriend, Nadia, and although John survives, something in his soul has been shattered. Twenty-two years pass; he has somehow moved on and works as a researcher for a New York daily newspaper. He has his quirks, including a case of OCD, a tendency towards reclusiveness, and an encyclopedic knowledge of and fascination with serial killers. John’s past comes back to haunt him when a copycat starts replicating old crimes. As the number of dead bodies climbs, the police are under enormous pressure to identify and stop the perpetrator.

July 10, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Mystery/Suspense, New York City

2 IN THE HAT by Raffi Yessayan

Raffi Yessayan’s second book, 2 IN THE HATt, is a somewhat disappointing, but still enjoyable sequel to his first book 8 IN THE BOX. This book takes place 3 years after 8 IN THE BOX and includes many of the same characters with continuing emphasis on Assistant District Attorney Connie Darget and police detectives Angel Alves and Wayne Mooney.

June 12, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: NE & New York, Sleuths Series