Nostalgia City Mysteries

Mark S. Bacon

New crime books briefly noted


Way to Go

Jennifer Moss
Black Opal Books  294 pages
$3.99 Kindle    $10.55 trade paper

When motivational speaker Jessica Way entered the squad room, she stopped to smile at every cop who was staring at her.  When Det. Ryan Doherty asked her to sit down “she scrutinized Ryan from head to toe in a way that made him feel almost violated.”   She told the detective she thought someone was trying to kill her, but he didn’t take her quite seriously.  A day later she was dead, shot in the face.  This novel is the second in the series.


City of Darkness and Light

Rhys Bowen
Minotaur Books   320 pages
$11.04 Kindle    $19.99 hardcover

I got my first introduction to Ms. Bowen in her earlier, delightful Constable Evans books that take place in Wales.  You learn about Welsh customs, geography and language while you’re solving a mystery.  This new book is the 13th in the Molly Murphy mystery series featuring feature an Irish immigrant woman in turn-of-the-century New York City.


Drowning Barbie 

Frederick Ramsay
Poisoned Pen Press  250 pages
$6.99 Kindle  $21.20 hardback  $13.46  paperback

The intriguing title of this mystery is exceeded in bizarre only by the name of the first murder victim: Ethel Smut.  This is the nineth in Ramsay’s Ike Schwartz series of police procedurals.


Pinkerton’s Great Detective:  The Amazing Life and Times of James McParland

Beau Riffenburgh
Viking  384 pages
$32.95 hardback

McParland was a top man in Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency and a tough character.  In creating this biography Riffenburgh used recently released Pinkerton archives.  He tells, among other things, how McParland became famous breaking up the Molly Maguires, an infamous gang of coal miners accused of murder, arson and other crimes.   McParland was, according Ben MacIntyre’s review in The New York Times, “the prototype of a character that has become an adored part of America’s cultural landscape, the hard-boiled gumshoe, the lone sleuth in search of justice.”


Jeff Parker’s reissues

When was the last time you read a crime story by T. Jefferson Parker?  Four of his relatively recent novels, Storm Runners,The Fallen, California Girl and Cold Pursuit have been reissued. Parker’s latest is The Famous and the Dead, the conclusion to his series about Los Angeles County sheriff ’s deputy Charlie Hood, attached to the ATF, working along the U.S.-Mexican border.  The Washington Post said the book was, “not only well-plotted and suspenseful, but subtle, surprising and endearingly perverse.”  Three-time Edgar winner Parker rarely disappoints.

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