~ Archive for Mystery ~

When the Women Come Out to Dance


I picked up this short story collection by Elmore Leonard because it contains Karen Makes Out, featuring Karen Sisco, from Out of Sight. The script for the first episode of the television series introduces viewers to Karen with this story too. As a bonus, Mr. Leonard’s other stories are equally intriguing, none of them winding up where you expect.

Published in trade paperback by HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0060586168

Out of Sight


Elmore Leonard can always be counted on for a taut, no-nonsense thriller. U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco and escaped bank robber Jack Foley find themselves as interested in each other as they are in their respective careers. The story begins in Florida and plays out its conclusion in Detroit.

The novel was made into the 1998 film starring Jennifer Lopez as Karen Sisco and George Clooney. The success of the film spawned a television series titled Karen Sisco starring Carla Gugino, recently cancelled.

Published in paperback by Dell. ISBN 0440214424

Fool’s Paradise


Steve Brewer has authored an entertaining semi-comic Southern California crime thriller with a cast of thousands, none of them very good with a gun, and every one of them with a plan B.

Published in hardcover by UNM Press. ISBN 0826331246

A Thief of Time


I saw the film adaptation of Tony Hillerman‘s eighth novel at the Taos Picture Show. The film was directed by Chris Eyre and stars Wes Studi as Joe Leaphorn and Adam Beach as Jim Chee.

This is the third Hillerman film from the same production company, with the same cast and crew. Alice Arlen’s script has a bit more humor than the previous films and we continue to see interesting developments in the lives of Leaphorn and Chee. Nicely done.

A Thief of Time will be broadcast on PBS this July. Don’t miss it.

The Clovis Incident


Writer Pari Noskin Taichert has crafted a breezy, fast-paced, slightly odd tale of a publicist looking for a job with the Chamber of Commerce in Clovis, NM. Murder, ghosts, a talking cat, and alien abductions ensue. First in a planned series of mystery novels set in New Mexico locales.

Published in hardcover by University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 0826331858

The Shadow of Venus


It’s pretty clear that Judith Van Gieson knows and loves the state of New Mexico. Claire Reynier, in her fifth appearance, travels through northern New Mexico and her own memories as she tries to learn the identity of a homeless woman found dead in the basement of the UNM library.

Published in paperback by Signet. ISBN 0451211340

Deadly Morsels


Deadly Morsels contains four mystery novellas with food themes. I picked up this book because it has Red or Green?, a Posadas County story by Steven F. Havill. An old friend of retired sheriff Bill Gastner dies of an apparent heart attack while eating a Burrito Grande from his favorite restaurant. The green chile is a suspect.

Published in paperback by Worldwide. ISBN 0373264526

The Satan Bug


I read this years ago and reread it recently after channel-surfing into the 1965 film starring George Maharis and Anne Francis. The movie is entertaining, but Alistair MacClean’s book is far more visceral and fast-paced. Maybe transplanting the plot from the cold, wet UK to sunny Southern California is part of the problem. In any event, read the book if you like a good thriller.

Originally published in 1962 under the pseudonym of Ian Stuart.

A Discount For Death


Undersherriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman has her hands full when the investigation of an insurance agent’s death leads close to home. While trying to piece together a puzzle, she also has to deal with the accidental death of a young woman with two children and two men who might be their father.

Set in fictional Posadas County, New Mexico, Steven F. Havill’s mysteries are always a satisfying read. Mr. Havill’s storytelling skills have made his characters old friends and I usually pick up his books and don’t put them down until I’m done. Highly recommended.

Published by St. Martin’s Minotaur in hardcover. ISBN 0312307853

Deception Point


Beautiful intelligence analyst discovers a fake meteorite, falls off a glacier only to be rescued by a US Navy sub, worries about bloodthirsty hammerhead sharks, and might topple a presidency, meanwhile finding a new love as a special ops Delta team tries to kill her.

The second novel by Dan Brown is a much better effort than Digital Fortress. The plot runs along at breakneck pace, as it does in all of his novels, and the characters don’t do too many stupid things. Pick up this book if you need to kill a few hours.

The mass-market paperback edition of this book is published by Pocket Books. ISBN 0671027387

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