Every weekday we feature a different review on Booklist Online. These reviews are notable for different reasons—they may be starred, or high-demand, or especially relevant to the current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from May 18–22 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.
Blackbird, by Tom Wright
Psychologist Wright’s stunning debut, What Dies in Summer (2012), was no fluke. This follow-up brings back cousins Jim Bonham and Lee Ann Rowe, who share the gift of second sight. She’s now a psychologist, and he’s a lieutenant in the Traverton police department on the Texas-Arkansas-Louisiana border.
Thin Air, by Ann Cleeves
Many elements conspire to make the latest entry in Cleeves’ Shetland series absolutely engrossing, including a combination ghost story and mystery, a multilayered main character, and a perfect atmosphere for misdirection and murder. In this seventh in the series set on Scotland’s Shetland Islands, a group of London friends trek to Unst.
Nooks and Crannies, by Jessica Lawson
This loving homage to classic mysteries features an early twentieth-century English setting, a snowed-in manor house, mistaken identities, a decades-old secret, hidden passageways, and a passel of precocious children. Tabitha Crum, the unfortunate child of greedy, awful adoptive parents, receives a mysterious invitation to the home of a reclusive, famously philanthropic countess for the weekend.
Little Pretty Things, by Lori Rader-Day
The last thing Juliet Townsend expects to see as she checks her road-weary family into the budget-friendly Mid-Night Inn is Madeleine Bell, her high-school best friend. OK, her only best friend throughout her life. They haven’t spoken in 10 years, since star runner Madeleine’s last-minute withdrawal from the state track meet ruined Juliet’s chance to win a scholarship that would have meant a different life.
Blaze Away, by Bill James
The prolific James is back with an art-theft caper starring the hapless Ralph “Panicking Ralphy” Ember. The owner of a club called The Monty, Ember wants to elevate the tone of the joint, which is currently frequented by crooks, drug runners, and other felons, by purchasing classy paintings to hang on the walls.