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Kill 'Em with Cayenne

The English and their History by Robert Tombs, review: 'brilliance and sly wit'


Some Luck: A novel

Some Luck is the first installment of what Smiley promises will be a trilogy. Yes. Bravo. Encore. I will wait — patiently, of course, if I’ve learned anything from these abiding farm folk.


River of Ink: [An Illustrated History of Literacy]
Kirkus Reviews : River of Ink (December 16, 2014)

An uneven collection enlivened by some bright spots.


Letter to Jimmy
Kirkus Reviews : Letter to Jimmy (December 16, 2014)

The conceit of the letter and the oddly intimate tone toward “Jimmy” make this a curious work, but it’s often insightful and illuminating.


Memory of Flames
Kirkus Reviews : Memory of Flames (December 16, 2014)

A solid combination of historical fiction and adventure perhaps better appreciated by those familiar with the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras.


Kill 'Em with Cayenne

Serving up another seasoning-themed cozy complete with a guide to peppers and a rub recipe, Oust excels when she concentrates on her leading lady’s friendships and other relationships, even though a little more spice would up the ante.


The Devil in Montmartre: A Mystery in Fin de Siècle Paris

Essayist Inbinder’s mystery debut shows Montmartre at its atmospheric best—inhabited by characters as diverse and devious as Paris can offer.


A Nip of Murder
Kirkus Reviews : A Nip of Murder (December 16, 2014)

Miller puts Daisy squarely center stage in her second outing—not that she doesn’t belong there, but even her sexy nemesis remains in her shadow in this entertaining sequel.


Woman with a Gun

The Woman With the Gun wasn't bad but it didn't blow me away. I thought it had great potential but fell somewhat short.


The Great Reformer

Mr. Ivereigh’s book is particularly good on Pope Francis’s Jesuit background and the effects of his provincialate on the Argentine Province.


Teresa, My Love: An Imagined Life of the Saint of Avila

Ms. Kristeva’s excess doesn’t lead to illuminating insight.


All My Puny Sorrows

Realistic and deeply sad, the ending captures scenes of recovery and endurance with striking fidelity.


Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville

Arnold’s book not only documents a lost world. By presenting an engaging and enlightening example of criticism in the post-critical age, it also points a way forward.


King Dork Approximately

This is a terrific, fun, terrifically fun novel, and the King Dork series is one of the best Young Adult creations.


Perfect Sins
Bookreporter : Perfect Sins (December 13, 2014)

PERFECT SINS is not loaded with explosions, karate, fisticuffs or heaving bosoms. It’s primarily a character study with a good deal of description and steady, diligent police work resting on a solid foundation of storytelling and a mystery with some interesting twists and turns.


The World of Raymond Chandler: In His Own Words

The book is at its best when Chandler speaks through his letters, where the man that emerges is by turns supremely confident...and dismissive of his talents... a compelling, if incomplete, portrait of a writer of lasting influence.


The Big Finish

[I]f this indeed is Thorn’s finale, Hall is sending his creation off in a literary vehicle that consists of some of his best writing to date and certainly one of his best books in a career that has run for almost three decades.


Asylum City
Bookreporter : Asylum City (December 13, 2014)

Shoham keeps the narrative moving quickly with frequent changes in points of view marked with (for the most part) short chapters. And there is a definite mystery here, although veteran mystery readers should be able to discern “whodunit” early on.