A clever, empathetic, and totally believable heroine sets this fine cozy above the competition.

MURDER IS NO PICNIC

Love in the time of indecision.

Samantha Barnes, who writes the “Cape Cod Foodie” column for the local newspaper, hopes to renovate the house she inherited from her aunt Ida with the proceeds of a surprisingly valuable antique clock she found in the attic. Searching for the perfect blueberry buckle for her Fourth of July picnic, she discovers it while she and her friends are eating at Clara’s Place, a legendary Provincetown restaurant founded by Clara Foster but now owned by her protégé, Ed Captiva, a cousin of Sam’s love, harbormaster Jason Captiva. When Clara agrees to do a video showing Sam how to make the delectable buckle, it leads Sam into her third murder investigation. Clara welcomes Sam into her home, where they’re going to make the video; the house is modest from the outside but has a prime water view and a beautifully renovated interior. Sam is bowled over by the kitchen, of course, but it's Clara’s collection of rare cookbooks that takes her breath away. As she’s showing Sam around, Clara opens up with some personal revelations about her late wife, Kit, an accomplished painter whose work in the style of Edward Hopper is hard to tell from an original. That night, a house fire kills Clara and destroys her collection of cookbooks. When Sam meets with Detective Vivian Peters at Clara’s house, she immediately becomes suspicious because Clara would never have left the burner on after cooking some bacon in the middle of the night, which is what the police think started the fire. In the absence of Jason, who’s away on a 12-week training course in California, Sam relies on her friends to help her investigate. When Jason flies in to support her, he drops a bombshell: He’s been offered a job in California.

A clever, empathetic, and totally believable heroine sets this fine cozy above the competition.

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-19918-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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A smart summer escape.

PORTRAIT OF AN UNKNOWN WOMAN

Silva’s latest Gabriel Allon novel is a bit of a throwback—in the best possible way.

One-time assassin and legendary spymaster Gabriel Allon has finally retired. After saying farewell to his friends and colleagues in Israel, he moves with his wife, Chiara, and their two young children to a piano nobile overlooking Venice’s Grand Canal. His plan is to return to the workshop where he learned to restore paintings as an employee—but only after he spends several weeks recovering from the bullet wound that left him dead for several minutes in The Cellist (2021). Of course, no one expects Gabriel to entirely withdraw from the field, and, sure enough, a call from his friend and occasional asset Julian Isherwood sends him racing around the globe on the trail of art forgers who are willing to kill to protect their extremely lucrative enterprise. Silva provides plenty of thrills and, as usual, offers a glimpse into the lifestyles of the outrageously wealthy. In the early books in this series, it was Gabriel’s work as an art restorer that set him apart from other action heroes, and his return to that world is the most rewarding part of this installment. It is true that, at this point in his storied career, Gabriel has become a nearly mythic figure. And Silva is counting on a lot of love—and willing suspension of disbelief—when Gabriel whips up four old master canvases that fool the world’s leading art experts as a lure for the syndicate selling fake paintings. That said, as Silva explains in an author’s note, the art market is rife with secrecy, subterfuge, and wishful thinking, in no small part because it is almost entirely unregulated. And, if anyone can crank out a Titian, a Tintoretto, a Gentileschi, and a Veronese in a matter of days, it’s Gabriel Allon. The author’s longtime fans may breathe a sigh of relief that this entry is relatively free of politics and the pandemic is nowhere in sight.

A smart summer escape.

Pub Date: July 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-283485-0

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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Terrifying, primal, and very, very tense. Read it with your heart in your throat—but read it.

ONE STEP TOO FAR

Frankie Elkin, a miraculous finder of missing persons, seeks a man who wandered into the wilderness and was never seen again.

Last seen rescuing a missing teenager from the gritty streets of Boston, Frankie embarks from a bus in Ramsey, Wyoming, drawn in by the story of hiker Timothy O’Day, who's been missing for five years, and the last-gasp efforts of his father, Martin, to search for his remains. Frankie has some regrets about leaving Boston, but she's called to find those others have given up on. She manages to finagle her way on to the search party, which in addition to Martin includes a local guide; a search-and-rescue dog and her handler; a Bigfoot expert; and Tim’s friends, who were in the woods with him when he went missing. In the years since, they’ve moved on with their lives, but they are carrying guilt and secrets about the night Tim disappeared. As they all head into the unforgiving wilderness, it quickly becomes apparent that someone is deeply threatened by this effort to find Tim’s body. As she endeavors to draw the truth from each member of the search party, Frankie can tell that she's in over her head, and not only because she’s an inexperienced outdoorswoman. Could Tim still be alive and looking for revenge, or is there a more dangerous secret that someone would kill to protect? Gardner is incredibly skilled at developing tension and suspense; she’s equally skilled at slowly revealing complex characters and their secrets. Both gifts reinforce each other in this novel. If Frankie is out of her element, so are we: It’s not often that a thriller so deeply casts us into the darkness of both nature and the human heart.

Terrifying, primal, and very, very tense. Read it with your heart in your throat—but read it.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-18541-4

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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