Mystery Reviews

The Lincoln Deception

David Stewart has taken a bit of unresolved history about the Lincoln assassination and made an engrossing story about it. He raises more questions about the conspiracy, including John Wilkes Booth’s part, than I ever imagined. I found myself giving more thought to this painful and criminal part of our American history than I ever did in school. A well written, provocative mystery.

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ISBN: 9780758290670
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Kensington Publishing Corporation - August 27th, 2013

A deathbed confession and a long-hidden conspiracy are at the heart of a riveting historical mystery centered on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead

This is a fresh and truly original mystery, and Claire is a truly unique P.I. The mystery is set in New Orleans and revolves around the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. It’s hard-boiled, smart, hip and difficult to put down. An exceptionally good mystery with a fascinating protagonist. Recommended by Rochelle.

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ISBN: 9780547747613
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Published: Mariner Books - June 5th, 2012

"Delicious and addictive."

"Reads . . . as if David Lynch directed a Raymond Chandler novel."--CNN


Third in the Raven Staff Favorite Summer Reads List  Fans of Crais’ Elvis Cole and Joe Pike series of mysteries will want to read his newest book. SUSPECT is very different from the earlier series, but it is just as compelling.   It features a cop, Scott James, who was badly injured in the line of duty and his partner was killed, but after nine months no suspects have been found.   Suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and anger at his co-workers, policemen, who treat him like an invalid, Scott has been reassigned to the K-9 squad.  He meets Maggie, a smart and well-trained German S

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ISBN: 9780399161483
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Putnam Adult - January 22nd, 2013

The explosive new masterpiece of suspense from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.
LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well. Eight months ago, a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty until he meets his new partner.

White Heat by M.J. McGrath

Here's the second in a series of favorite summer reads from Raven Bookstore staff. This is a gripping new whodunnit and also a fascinating look at the harsh life in the high Arctic on Canada's Ellesmere Island.  The author writes so knowledgeably about Inuit culture, the natural environment, the greed of energy companies and the spirit of the people who live there.  Edie Kiglatuk is a guide/hun

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ISBN: 9780670022489
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Published: Viking Adult - August 4th, 2011

A riveting Arctic mystery that marks the fiction debut of a "wickedly talented*" writer. (*"New York Times")

THE EXPATS by Chris Pavone

This is a well-written thriller that will hold your interest to the very end. An American husband and wife living in Luxembourg have many secrets. The wife worries that her past will catch up with her and her husband is behaving suspiciously. Are their American friends who they claim to be? Recommended by Rochelle.
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ISBN: 9780770435721
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Published: Broadway Books - January 22nd, 2013


THE YARD by Alex Grecian (Publication Date June 2012)

This is a mystery treat to look forward to in June. Written by a local author, this is what will be the first in a series, I predict. Set in late Victorian London, right after Jack the Ripper has put fear in the people, new mutilating killings begin. This time the victims are detectives with a branch of the Yard, assigned to solve murders in London. You will root for Walter Day, the newest detective; Dr. Bernard Kingsley, self-appointed first forensic pathologist (and his daughter); and Mr. Hammersmith, a compassionate constable who will move on to better things. The writing is fluid, with some hitches as the story moves around, but it’s engaging enough to make you not to want to put it down until you’ve finished it. Recommended by Julie.
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ISBN: 9780425261279
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 2nd, 2013

As Jack the Ripper's reign of terror in London comes to an end, a new era of depravity sets the stage for the first gripping mystery featuring the detectives of Scotland Yard's Murder Squad.

"If Charles Dickens isn't somewhere clapping his hands for this one, Wilkie Collins surely is."--The New York Times Book Review


This is a superb book that tells the story of two boys, one black and one white, growing up in a small Mississippi town in the 1970s. A teenage girl disappears, and the main suspect is the white teenager, but no charges are ever brought because there is no evidence. Still, the town ostracizes him for 25 years, until another girl goes missing. So much is excellent in this book, namely the nuanced portrayal of these main characters and of their parents and friends, who weave in and out of their lives, and the rural Southern society and landscape, which is an important part of the plot. Rarely do you find a novel with such crisp yet delicate dialogue, which does so much to reveal character and plot. It is so often very brief, only one word or two, but so much is said or implied. The title comes from the rhyme that Southern children learn when spelling "Mississippi", but the duality implied by the repeated phrase is a major theme in this book. It’s the best fiction I’ve read in a long time. Recommended by Pat.
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ISBN: 9780060594671
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Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - May 17th, 2011

“The classic trifecta of talent, heart, and a bone-deep sense of storytelling….A masterful performance, deftly rendered and deeply satisfying. For days on end, I woke with this story on my mind.”
   — David Wroblewski



If you enjoy British cozy mysteries, you’re going to love G.M. Malliet’s WICKED AUTUMN, the first book in a new series.  It’s set in Nether Monkslip (a traditional English village) and features Max Tudor, an Anglican vicar/sleuth and former MI5 agent.  Wanda Batton-Smythe has many enemies, as well as a deadly peanut allergy!  Extremely well-written with a nice dash of humor. Recommended by Rochelle.
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ISBN: 9781250004109
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Published: Minotaur Books - August 7th, 2012

"Hugely funny, exquisitely well written, a tongue-in-cheek village mystery to be savored. G.M. Malliet's arch tone and wry humor make her a writer to be treasured."
--Julia Spencer-Fleming, bestselling author of ONE WAS A SOLDIER

BREAKDOWN by Sara Paretsky (publication date January 2012)

Yea. V.I. Warshawski is back on target. The tale twists and turns, includes her important husband as her steadying compass, and ends up with an unexpected conclusion. Set in Chicago and focusing on teen girls involved in an occult ritual, Warshawski meets some powerful parents who may be harmed by their daughters’ actions and proximity to a murder. She tries to stay focused on the clues without alienating those who might help her. Paretsky gives some hints but I stayed perplexed and not wanting to put the book down most of the time. V.I. Warshawski was my first female detective and I’m delighted to see her back in form. Recommended by Julie.
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ISBN: 9780451238801
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Published: Berkley Books - December 4th, 2012

A strange crime gets V.I. Warshawski involved with some of Chicago's most rich and powerful players in this thriller from New York Times bestselling author Sara Paretsky.


Kinsey Millhone is the modern emancipated woman engaged in a brutal world. As she says she’s a “big fan of forgiveness as long as I’m given the opportunity to get even first.” Chapter 1 is the most brutal, and much reading is required to see how it ties in with the rest of the story. In the next chapter Kinsey sees shoplifting in a store, reports it, and is hurt by the perpetrator’s cohort. Shoplifting as a national profession? Two people found dead, considered possible suicides? Kinsey is hired by the lover of the shoplifter to find out answers about his partner. Even when he backs out Kinsey continues on out of determination, a commitment to the truth. She’s 38 and with the support of her next door neighbor and some friends she’s going to make this come right. S. Grafton is 68 and I want her to get through Z with the same fervor she put into this novel. Recommended by Julie.
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ISBN: 9780425250563
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - October 30th, 2012

Private detective Kinsey Millhone feels a bit out of place in Nordstrom's lingerie department, but she's entirely in her element when she puts a stop to a brazen shoplifting spree. For her trouble she nearly gets run over in the parking lot by one of the fleeing thieves and later learns that the one who didn t get away has been found dead in an apparent suicide.