Posts by John Dwaine McKenna

Mysterious Book Report No. 296 ̵...

Mysterious Book Report Bad Boy Boogie

Bad Boy Boogie by Thomas Pluck Down and Out Books, PB, $17.95, 334 pages, ISBN 978-1-943402-59-5 For all of my adult life, New Jersey was a place I landed in and took off from at Newark International, rented a car and headed up the Garden State Parkway, bound for the family homestead in the Catskills. […]

Mysterious Book Report No. 295 ̵...

Mysterious Book Report Crime Song

Crime Song by David Swinson Mulholland Books/Little Brown and Company, $26.00, 354 pages, ISBN 978-0-316-26421-1 Last winter, in MBR No. 275: The Second Girl, we introduced our audience to an ex-Washington D.C. cop turned crime-fiction writer named David Swinson, who’s created one of the best anti-heros to come down the pike in, I dunno, like […]

Mysterious Book Report No. 294 ̵...

Mysterious Book Report Sorrow Road

Sorrow Road by Julia Keller Minotaur Books, PB, $15.99, 351 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-08959-5 The green rolling hills of West Virginia are the nearest thing to Heaven that I know though the times are sad and drear and I cannot linger here they’ll keep me and never let me go . . . are the opening […]

Mysterious Book Report No. 293- The ...

Mysterious Book Report The Freedom Broker

The Freedom Broker by K.J. Howe Quercus, $26.99, 361 pages, ISBN 978-1-68144-310-2 This week’s MBR is an international thriller by a debut author that takes off with the first sentence like an F-18 Hornet under full military power, and never, ever, ever stops accelerating! And hey . . . I can almost hear you thinking […]

Mysterious Book Report No. 292 ̵...

Mysterious Book Report Celine

Celine by Peter Heller Alfred A Knopf/Penguin Random House, $25.95, 334 pages, ISBN 978-0-451-49389-7 In order to be successful, today’s crime fiction writer must be able to come up with a unique, new and different kind of detective that readers haven’t encountered before. Let’s face it, we’ve all seen Sam Spade, Spenser, Marlowe and Miss […]

Mysterious Book Report No. 291 ̵...

Mysterious Book Report The Lioness Is The Hunter

The Lioness is the Hunter by Loren D. Estleman Forge/McMillan, $25.99, 246 pages, ISBN 978-0-7653-8845-2 The battered city of Detroit, Michigan seems like the perfect setting for a beat-down, cynical and wise-cracking private eye who’d be considered a real loser . . . if he wasn’t so damn good at solving the toughest cases in […]

Mysterious Book Report No. 290 ̵...

Mysterious Book Report The Spy Across The Table

The Spy Across The Table by Barry Lancet Simon & Schuster, $26.00, 435 pages, ISBN 978-1-4767-9491-4 Although prognostication and predicting the future isn’t what we normally do here at the MBR, there’s always exceptions, and this is one. I’m gonna stick my neck all the way out to the cut-on-the-dotted-line tattoo and forecast the near […]

Mysterious Book Report No. 289 ̵...

Mysterious Book Report A Divided Spy

A Divided Spy by Charles Cumming St. Martin’s Press, $26.99, 356 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-02104-5 For some arcane reason . . . known only to themselves and the cosmos . . . the Brits are the masters of the spy novel universe. One only has to think of the names Ian Fleming and John LeCarré, or […]

Mysterious Book Report No. 288 ̵...

Mysterious Book Report What You Break

What You Break by Reed Farrel Coleman Putnam/Penguin Random House, $27.00, 357 pages, ISBN 978-0-399-17304-2 One year ago—May 2016—in MBR No. 246, we alerted our readers to a new, compelling and haunting crime fiction character by the name of Gus Murphy. He’s the embodiment of the noir persona, a man dealing with a boatload of […]

Mysterious Book Report No. 287 ̵...

Mysterious Book Report Vicious Circle

Vicious Circle by C.J. Box Putnam/Penguin Random House, $27.00, 367 pages, ISBN 978-0-399-17661-6 Although our focus here at the MBR has always been finding debut authors with promising talent and an outstanding story to tell, the unvarnished truth is that there’s a few A-list writers . . . James Lee Burke, Dennis Lehane, or Michael […]