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 23–27 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.
Monday May 23
Stealing the Countess, by David Housewright
A Stradivarius goes missing and all hell breaks loose in the thirteenth entry in Edgar-winning Housewright’s consistently strong Mac McKenzie series. McKenzie is a former St. Paul cop, now a millionaire through reward money, who works as an unlicensed private investigator, mostly to keep himself amused, but also to lend his street smarts to people who need it. Though the novels are loosely based in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the series makes great use of the variegated landscapes—filled with opportunities for crime and escape—of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Tuesday May 24
It Wasn’t Always Like This, by Joy Preble
Emma O’Neill has been 17 for nearly a century, thanks to the immortality potion she and her boyfriend, Charlie Ryan, and their families drank one night. When a fanatical religious group convinced that immortality is an abomination traps the O’Neills and Ryans in a building and burn it to the ground, Emma and Charlie manage to escape, but they’re separated in the aftermath. Over the next 100 years, Emma searches for Charlie and hones her PI skills, which come in handy when those fanatics’ followers murder a string of girls who look just like her.
Wednesday May 25
Dr. Knox, by Peter Spiegelman
Spiegelman doesn’t publish nearly as much as most crime-fiction authors (only five books since 2003, but when he does, it’s usually a jewel. And that’s especially true of his latest, which, by all indications, is the first in a series (Hallelujah for that!). Dr. Adam Knox, formerly a doctor without borders in Africa, now runs a clinic in L.A.’s skid row, but to make ends meet, he also makes off-the-grid house calls (cash only) to patients in need of emergency services without the attention of press or police (your overdosed rock stars, your shot-up gangbangers).
Thursday May 26
The Sandwich Thief, by André Marios and illustrated by Patrick Doyon
A graphic mystery for the elementary-school set, Marois’ enchanting story pairs wonderfully with first-time-illustrator Doyon’s frenetic, hip art, which owes more to Maira Kalman (What Pete Ate from A to Z, 2001) than to Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid. Doyen captures protagonist Marin’s anxiety in ketchup, mustard, and black tones while giving sharp-edged detail and distinctive looks to Marin’s classmates in engaging and delightfully over-the-top ways.
Friday May 27
Beyond the Ice Limit, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Eli Glinn, head of Effective Engineering Solutions, has planned to destroy a meteorite that he lost in a disastrous fashion off the coast of South America. Now the extraterrestrial rock, dubbed the Baobab, lies at the bottom of the ocean—not a meteorite but a strange organism growing to gigantic proportion. Glinn enlists the help of Gideon Crew, a nuclear scientist and sometimes thief, to examine and destroy the Baobab before its growth affects the planet.