Reviews

What’s Done in Darkness – The BOLO Books Review

Laura McHugh has made a career of writing literary mysteries set in atmospheric locations, but with What’s Done in Darkness she stakes her claim as the queen of rural noir. What’s Done in Darkness is a tightly-coiled narrative with the venomous bite of a rattlesnake....

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Bath Haus – The BOLO Books Review

It requires a unique talent to take what amounts to long-standing tropes of a particular genre then bend them ever so subtly in such a way whereas to end up with something that feels totally fresh and innovative, however that is exactly what P. J. Vernon has...

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The Photographer – The BOLO Books Review

Photographs are virtually ubiquitous in all of our lives; we want to document those special moments – even sometimes the mundane ones – so that we can look back on them and reminisce. However, unless it is a selfie or a photograph we have taken ourselves, one rarely...

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Yes, Daddy – The BOLO Books Review

It appears we are in a renaissance period for crime fiction from LGBTQ+ perspectives. It is not that these stories never existed before, but now we are witnessing the end of the days when they were deemed “special interest” or hidden away in the farthest reaches of...

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Greenwich Park – The BOLO Books Review (UK Edition)

It is always astonishing that no matter how many domestic suspense novels are released, authors still find new ways into these twisted tales and inventive methods to fool the reader as to their eventual outcome. Katherine Faulkner does both – to stunning effect – in...

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How to Write A Mystery – The BOLO Books Review

One of the buzziest anthologies of the year is How to Write a Mystery from the Mystery Writers of America, edited by Lee Child with Laurie R. King. The cover calls this work a handbook and that is the perfect way to describe this now-invaluable resource. The book is...

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The Anatomy of Desire – The BOLO Books Review

Experimental narratives have long been part of the literary tradition, which also means they have made their way into the crime fiction realm. Recent books like Janice Hallett’s The Appeal (told entirely via email communications) or modern classics like JJ Abram/Doug...

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The House Uptown – The BOLO Books Review

Melissa Ginsburg’s debut novel, Sunset City, was released in 2016 to great acclaim and amassed a cult following of fans who can still recall the joys of discovering a skilled wordsmith at the dawn of her crime writing career. It has been a hot minute, but 2021 has...

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Arsenic and Adobo – The BOLO Books Review

While it is not the work for which she received the William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant for unpublished writers, Mia P. Manansala’s Arsenic and Adobo feels so authentically from her soul, readers will recognize how this is the novel Manansala was destined...

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The Appeal – The BOLO Books Review (UK Edition)

Voracious readers know there are many excellent books released every year, but that finding something that has never been done before is rare. Janice Hallett’s The Appeal may fit that bill. Certainly we have seen epistolary novels and works that incorporate email...

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The Last Thing to Burn – The BOLO Books Review

The Last Thing to Burn is not Will Dean’s first novel, but it is likely to be the book that breaks him out to a wider, worldwide audience. This is the type of book that shakes readers to the core and becomes a touchstone reference in the years that follow. Jane – not...

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Bitterroot Lake – The BOLO Books Review

Alicia Beckman is a new pseudonym for the successful crime writer Leslie Budewitz. Under her own name Budewitz has proven her talent by receiving nominations and awards for her cozy novels, her short stories (both contemporary and historical), and her non-fiction work...

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Murder at Wedgefield Manor – The BOLO Books Review

Erica Ruth Neubauer’s debut novel, Murder at the Mena House, arrived on the scene at possibly the worst moment – late March 2020, as the world was just coming to terms with the pandemic that was before us. Despite this rocky origin, Murder at the Mena House managed to...

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Deity – The BOLO Books Review

There is a ton of social commentary to unpack in Deity, the fifth standalone in Matt Wesolowski’s “Six Stories” series. This may sound like an oxymoron, but Wesolowski has crafted a fascinating way to tell individual stories within the context of an on-going series –...

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Blackout – The BOLO Books Review

In his debut novel, Blackout, Marco Carocari takes a number of familiar crime fiction tropes and skews them ever so slightly, thereby breathing new life into each of these familiar constructs, and ultimately leading readers to a fresh and unique conclusion. The...

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Who Is Maud Dixon? – The BOLO Books Review

Alexandra Andrews’ debut novel, Who is Maud Dixon?, is one of those novels that is almost impossible to discuss without spoilers, as readers will discover if/as they read other reviews. This review will attempt to give you a flavor of this book without spoiling it....

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The Postscript Murders – The BOLO Books Review

No one is going to accuse of Elly Griffiths of taking too long between books. In addition to two very successful series – the thirteen novels featuring Ruth Galloway and five Brighton mysteries – she decided to write a children’s series and a collection of linked...

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Murder My Past – The BOLO Books Review

You may not have heard of The Ross Agency Mystery novels by Delia C. Pitts, but that is certainly not because they are unworthy of attention. In fact, in many ways that is a symptom of the type of divide the books themselves address. Delia C. Pitts has a knack for...

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The Project – The BOLO Books Review

When Courtney Summers won the Edgar Award in the Young Adult category for her 2018 novel Sadie, long-time fans such as myself nearly stood in ovation. Here was a book that took serious chances and really said something to readers – both young and old. Since then, we...

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Finlay Donovan is Killing It – The BOLO Books Review

Crime fiction readers who occasionally stray into the Young Adult category will likely already know the name Elle Cosimano. After all, her 2015 release, Nearly Gone, was nominated for an Edgar Award. Now Cosimano is turning her attention to more mainstream crime...

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