The Big Sleep Annotated: Best Crime Novel of the Year

Publication Date: July 7th, 2018 My Rating: 5 Stars Why Read It: The first fully annotated edition of this classic American Crime Noir, first published in 1939. Packed with notes and photographs. Capsule Review: Is there any crime fiction aficionado out there who doesn’t know the classic story of the iconic Philip Marlowe, private eye, hired by the millionaire General […] Read More

Book Review: The Fifth Gospel

Here is a review of Ian Caldwell’s bestseller, The Fifth Gospel, which I posted at Amazon.com some two months ago.  The Fifth Gospel is a complement to my earlier review of The Franciscan. Both are “Catholic” novels. The Fifth Gospel is an intelligent, erudite thriller that held me in suspense for the first 80% of the […] Read More

Elizabeth is Missing

A resounding five stars:★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Finally a mystery thriller worth all the hype – yet how often is that statement  made, so as to become a cliche in itself. “Worth all the hype.” In this case, it’s Emma Healey’s 2014 Costa Book Award winning debut, Elizabeth is Missing. This was such a […] Read More

Skeleton Road

Skeleton Road by Val McDermid. Always a pleasure to read one of my very favorite crime novelists, Val McDemrid and this is one of her latest, Skeleton Road. This is an in-depth exploration of the brutal Yugoslav Wars of the 1990’s, seen through the plot device of a series of revenge killings. The protagonist is […] Read More

The Girl on the Train

I’ve just finished the hugely popular Girl on a Train, which – with tedious predictability – has been compared to the blockbuster of several years ago, Gone Girl. I read Gone Girl in two days and really wished I hadn’t bothered.  While I found it wickedly clever and stylishly written, it left me feeling completely empty […] Read More

Book Review: Ladle to the Grave

Never judge a book by its cover, as the old adage goes, and truth to tell I’ve been fooled in the past by not following that sage advice. Not so in this case, with Connie Archer’s charming cozy mystery, Ladle to the Grave, the fourth installment in her NYT bestselling Soup Lover’s Mystery series. I discovered […] Read More

Book Review: Divine Intervention

Psychic Skills Investigators Another winner from Book Club Reading List, Divine Intervention by Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a cracking good read that kept me engrossed until the end. It is a paranormal crime novel with a special set of investigators gifted with psychic abilities, known as Psychic Skills Investigators or PSI’s. The title, “Divine Intervention”, […] Read More

Book Review: The Franciscan

Partly because of my theological background, I was asked by the publishers to provide an honest review of The Franciscan, a religious suspense thriller by WR. Park. Written some fourteen years ago, the plot revolves around a fictional Pope Francis (from the Franciscan order) who attempts to introduce revolutionary reforms into the Catholic Church and who […] Read More