Crime Fiction Stars 2003: July - December

Annotated lists of books receiving at least one starred review from one of four major review sources: Booklist, Kirkus, LJ and PW. The review source assigns the star.

July

  • The 6th Lamentation
    Author: Brodrick, William
    Publisher: Viking $ 24.95 ISBN: 0670031917 Date: 2003
    starPWstarBooklist
    When Father Anselm gives sanctuary to a suspected Nazi criminal at Lakewood Priory, he puts in motion more trouble than he ever could have imagined.
    Suggested Reading: Fiction & Mystery Debuts
    Updated 7.1703
  • Temporary Sanity
    Author: Connors, Rose
    Publisher: Scribner $ 24 ISBN: 074322907x Date: 2003
    starKirkus
    A brilliant new legal thriller, set on beautiful Cape Cod, from the author whose debut novel, Absolute Certainty, won raves for its fresh voice and its passion for the law. "We recommend Connors to fans of Perri O'Shaughnessy and Lisa Scottoline, "--Booklist.
    Suggested Reading: Legal Stars
    Updated 5.29.03
  • Hard Rain
    Author: Eisler, Barry
    Publisher: Putnam $ 24.95 ISBN: 0399150528 Date: 2003
    starPW
    Freelance assassin John Rain--"a dashing and dangerous hero who is as likable as he is lethal" (San Francisco Chronicle)--returns in an electrifying tale of blackmail, vengeance, and murder.
    Suggested Reading: Hitmen
    Updated 5.29.03
  • To the Nines
    Author: Evanovich, Janet
    Publisher: St Martins $ 25.95 ISBN: 0312265867 Date: 2003
    starPWstarBooklist
    From the blockbuster #1 nationally bestselling author comes the most outrageous and suspenseful Stephanie Plum novel to date. Take a trip down the Jersey Turnpike to the irresistible world of Stephanie Plum--where America's favorite bounty hunter gets into more trouble than ever.
    Suggested Reading: If You Like Janet Evanovich
    Updated 6.25.03
  • A Blind Eye
    Author: Ford, G.M.
    Publisher: Avon $ 23.95 ISBN: 038097875x Date: 2003
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    The Anthony, Shamus, Dilys, and Lefty awards nominee weaves a tangled web of mystery and murder in this third impressive volume featuring his "new kick-ass hero Frank Corso" (Harlan Coben).
    Updated 6.25.03
  • The Killing Hour
    Author: Gardner, Lisa
    Publisher: Bantam $ 23.95 ISBN: 0553802526 Date: 2003
    starPW
    As a heat wave of epic proportions descends, the game begins again. Two girls have disappeared . . . and the clock is ticking. Rookie FBI agent Kimberly Quincy knows she'll have to break some rules to beat an exactingly vicious criminal at a game he's had time to perfect.
    Suggested Reading: Thrillers
    Updated 7.1.03
  • A Place of Hiding
    Author: George, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Bantam $ 26.95 ISBN: 0553801309 Date: 2003
    starPW
    The "New York Times" bestselling author explores new territory in the darker landscapes of human relationships in this gripping story of betrayal and devotion, war and remembrance, and love and loss on an isolated island in the English Channel.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Scene Investigations
    Updated 6.2.03
  • Where the Truth Lies
    Author: Holmes, Rupert
    Publisher: Random $ 24.95 SBN: 0679452206 Date: 2003
    starKirkusstarLJstarBooklist
    " Rupert Holmes seats you gently next to an irresistible narrator only to entangle you completely in her twisted, dark, exhilarating troubles. The ensuing thriller crosses a Dickensian world of deceit and destiny with the slipping glory of 1970s New York and Los Angeles. Every character is so alive with delicious secrets that you'll never suspect Where the Truth Lies." --Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club
    Suggested Reading: All Stars | Fiction & Mystery Debuts
    Updated 6.25.03
  • Due Preparations for the Plague
    Author: Hospital, Janette Turner
    Publisher: Norton $ 24.95 ISBN: 039305764x Date: 2003
    starKirkusstarBookliststarPW
    Hospital's electrifying new novel is a tightly woven web of familial and national histories, of sexual and political passions, and of individual and national complicities in the age of terrorism. She probes with astonishing acuity the murky worlds of espionage and intelligence gathering and the painful meaning of survival.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 5.29.03
  • Exit Wounds
    Author: Jance, J.A.
    Publisher: Morrow $ 24.95 ISBN: 0380977311 Date: 2003
    starPW
    The next bestseller from the author of Partner in Crime brilliantly evokes the beauty, loneliness, and brutality of the Southwest desert country. Sheriff Joanna Brady probes the macabre death of a loner and her 17 dogs and discovers that secrets of the past can run deeper and darker than she's ever imagined.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 6.19.03
  • Mildred Pierced
    Author: Kaminsky, Stuart M.
    Publisher: Carroll & Graf $ 24 ISBN: 0786711825 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    Film legend Joan Crawford is the key witness to murder in Hollywood sleuth Toby Peters's 23rd outing. That down-at-the-heels gumshoe again proves to be "an unblemished delight, " as the Washington Post Book World puts it.
    Suggested Reading: Private Investigators | Historical Crime Fiction
    Updated 6.25.03
  • Lovers Crossing
    Author: Mitchell, James C.
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312315309 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    Brinker is a private detective and former INS agent whose years policing the border ended when he was shot--most likely by one of his own men. In the tradition of Michael McGarrity, Mitchell introduces a border detective who is as fully human as he is smart and tough.
    Suggested Reading: Fiction & Mystery Debuts | Private Investigators
    Updated 7.17.03
  • Fear Itself
    Author: Mosley, Walter
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 24.95 ISBN: 0316591122 Date: 2003
    starLJ
    Written with the voice and vision that have made Mosley one of the most entertaining writers in America. Fear Itself, a tensely plotted, action-filled thriller, marks the return of a master at the top of his form.
    Updated 6.19.03
  • Cyanide Wells
    Author: Muller, Marcia
    Publisher: Mysterious $ 24.95 ISBN: 0892967811 Date: 2003
    starLJ
    National bestselling author Muller returns with her first stand-alone mystery since Point Deception. When Matthew Lindstrom's wife Gwen disappeared, his life was destroyed by innuendo. But 14 years later, Matthew receives a phone call saying Gwen is alive--and well aware of what her disappearance has done to him.
    Updated 6.19.03
  • Presumption of Death
    Author: O'Shaughnessy, Perri
    Publisher: Delacorte $ 24.95 ISBN: 0385336454 Date: 2003
    starKirkus
    No sooner does attorney Nina Reilly begin to put her life back in order after her near-disbarment (Unfit to Practice) than she is called upon by her assistant, Sandy, to defend her son, who has been accused of murder in a horrific arson case.
    Suggested Reading: Legal Stars
    Updated 5.29.03
  • Maisie Dobbs
    Author: Winspear, Jacqueline
    Publisher: Soho $ 24 ISBN: 1569473307 Date: 2003
    starLibrary JournalstarPW
    "Meet Maisie Dobbs, who in 1929 launches her career as a private investigator and finds herself drawn back to the Great War she thought she'd long since put behind her: an unexpected beginning for Maisie--and a rare treat for mystery fans."--Charles Todd, A Fearsome Doubt.
    Suggested Reading: World War Stars | Debuts | Adult Books for Teens | Historical Crime Fiction Stars
    Updated 6.19.03

August

  • Murder in the Museum
    Author: Brett, Simon
    Publisher: Prime Crime $ 22.95 ISBN: 0425190439 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    When a human skeleton is found buried on the grounds of the famed Bracketts House--the historic home of the author Esmond Chadleigh--Carole Seddon and Jude must determine whether the beloved writer's sword was mightier than his pen . . . and whether the snobbish, squabbling trustees of Bracketts House have something to hide.
    Updated 5.14.03
  • Gates of Hell: A Mystery of Alexander the Great
    Author: Doherty, Paul
    Publisher: Carroll & Graf $ 24 ISBN: 0786711574 Date: 2003
    starPW
    Spurred by dreams of conquest but dogged by treachery, the volatile young Alexander has set his ambitious eyes on the prize city of Halicarnassus in this new novel by Doherty.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Crime Fiction Stars | Ancient Greece
    Updated 7.28.03
  • The Sinner
    Author: Gerritsen, Tess
    Publisher: Ballantine $ 24.95 ISBN: 0345458915 Date: 2003
    starKirkus
    After two women are killed, medical examiner Maura Isles and homicide detective Jane Rizzoli uncover an ancient horror in a cloistered convent that leads them toward a dawning revelation about the killer's identity--one that's too shattering to consider.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Scene Investigations | Medical Thrillers
    Updated 6.19.03
  • The Footprints of God
    Author: Iles, Greg
    Publisher: Scribner $ 25.95 ISBN: 0743234693 Date: 2003
    starPWstarLJ
    From the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author comes a dazzling new thriller, rich with imagination and vision--an Andromeda Strain for the new millennium.
    Suggested Reading: Medical Thrillers
    Updated 8.14.03
  • Out
    Author: Kirino, Natsuo
    Publisher: Kodansha $ 22.95 ISBN: 4770029055 Date: 2003
    starLJ
    A shocking thriller from one of Japan's most lauded female mystery writers. Nothing in the sometimes hazy history of Japanese literature prepares us for the stark, tension-filled, plot-driven realism of Natsuo Kirino's award-winning mystery Out, a work that took the Japanese literary scene by storm and continues to haunt the popular consciousness as a recently released major motion picture submitted for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 6.19.03
  • Everyone Dies
    Author: McGarrity, Michael
    Publisher: Dutton $ 23.95 ISBN: 0525947612 Date: 2003
    starKirkus
    The Anthony Award-nominated author with "a cunning mind for crime fiction" (The New York Times Book Review) ratchets up the stakes in a novel where a vengeful killer with an unspeakable agenda won't stop until . . . everyone dies.
    Updated 6.19.03
  • Justice
    Author: Mahoney, Dan
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 24.95 ISBN: 0312309570 Date: 2003
    starPW
    A murderous Robin Hood stalks New York City in a powerhouse new thriller by the USA Today bestselling author of Black and White and The Protectors.
    Updated 7.1.03
  • Last Lessons of Summer
    Author: Maron, Margaret
    Publisher: Penzler $ 23.95 ISBN: 0892967803 Date: 2003
    starKirkusstarPW
    In this dark and suspenseful departure from her critically acclaimed Deborah Knott series, award-winning author Maron follows a young publisher's search for answers to old murders.
    Suggested Reading: Cold Cases
    Updated 7.7.03
  • The Hell Screen: A Mystery of Ancient Japan
    Author: Parker, I.J.
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 24.95 ISBN: 031228795x Date: 2003
    starPW
    Rich, textured, and historically researched, this complex mystery of ancient Japan is the second in an acclaimed series featuring Akitada Sugawara.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Crime Fiction Stars
    Updated 7.21.03
  • Quantico Rules
    Author: Riehl, Gene
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 24.95 ISBN: 031231051x Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    In this auspicious debut, an FBI agent and his partner are pulled into a vast conspiracy that threatens to consume them--if they don't destroy themselves first.
    Suggested Reading: Fiction & Mystery Debuts | Conspiracy Theory
    Updated 5.14.03
  • Summertime
    Author: Rigbey, Liz
    Publisher: Putnam $ 24.95ISBN: 0399150943 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    From the acclaimed author of Total Eclipse comes a novel that "combines a gripping murder mystery; a moving tale of love, loss, and redemption; the powerful saga of a family haunted by tragedy; and the bleak drama of one woman's agonizing confrontation with her past."--"Booklist," starred review.
    Suggested Reading: Psychological Suspense Stars
    Updated 7.17.03
  • Last Citadel: A Novel of the Battle of Kursk
    Author: Robbins, David L.
    Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell $ 24.95 ISBN: 0553801775 Date: 2003
    starLJ
    A remarkable, passionate tale of espionage, deceit, and unprecedented valor, the tension builds to an unbearable degree as each soldier waits for the sun to rise on July 5, 1943, the day that will change history--and their lives--forever.
    Suggested Reading: World War Stars | Historical Crime Fiction Stars
    Updated 8.14.03
  • Black Maps
    Author: Spiegelman, Peter
    Publisher: Knopf $ 22.95 ISBN: 1400040752 Date: 2003
    starPW
    John March, a former cop now working as a PI in Manhattan, takes the case of Rick Pierro, a self-made man who has almost everything until he falls victim to a serial extortionist adept at psychological and physical intimidation.
    Suggested Reading: Fiction & Mystery Debuts | Financial Thrillers
    Updated 7.28.03
  • Saw Red
    Author: Truluck, Bob
    Publisher: McMillan $ 30 ISBN: 093976457 Date: 2003
    starPW
    Updated 7.21.03

September

  • The Hummingbird Wizard
    Author: Blevins, Meredith
    Publisher: Forge $ 24.95 ISBN: 0765307693 Date: 2003
    starPWstarKirkusstarLJ
    Driving full-steam-ahead with her life after the unexpected death of her husband, Annie Szabo was not planning on veering off course again. Sexy, witty, and original, Blevins paints a portrait of a vibrant family, led by two women who refuse to let a little homicide ruin their enjoyment of life.
    Suggested Reading: Debuts | Magic & Magicians | Supernatural Stars | All Stars
    Updated 8.13.03
  • Last Car to Elysian Fields
    Author: Burke, James Lee
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster $ 25 ISBN: 0743245423 Date: 2003
    starPWstarBooklist
    Bestselling author and two-time Edgar Award winner James Lee Burke returns with detective Dave Robicheaux in a moody, hard-hitting novel that goes the limit in its provocative blend of human drama and relentless noir suspense.
    Suggested Reading: Private Investigators
    Updated 8.13.03
  • Killing Raven
    Author: Coel, Margaret
    Publisher: Prime Crime $ 22.95 ISBN: 042519261x Date: 2003
    starPW
    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow Dancer comes a new story of the Wind River Reservation, where Father John O'Malley and his friend, Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden, enter a deadly struggle over vice, virtue, and murder.
    Suggested Reading: If You Like Tony Hillerman| Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 8.18.03
  • Empire of Light
    Author: Czuchlewski, David
    Publisher: Putnam $ 23.95 ISBN: 0399151036 Date: 2003
    starLJ
    Matt Kelly is shocked when his ex-girlfriend joins a shadowy organization known as Imperium Luminis--and disappears. Trapped in this murky uncertainty of good and evil, Matt must race to find Anna, and to uncover the true power of the Empire of Light.
    Updated 7.1.03
  • Train
    Author: Dexter, Pete
    Publisher: Doubleday $ 26 ISBN: 0385505914 Date: 2003
    starPW
    National Book Award-winner Dexter crafts a stunning novel of crime, race, and unlikely liaisons in this tautly written Los Angeles noir set in the 1950s that brings to mind Chinatown and L.A. Confidential.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Crime Fiction Stars | Hardboiled | Noir
    Updated 7.8.03
  • The Small Boat of Great Sorrows
    Author: Fesperman, Dan
    Publisher: Knopf $ 24 ISBN: 037541472X Date: 2003
    starPWstarKirkus
    In an electrifying tale of international intrigue, the author of Lie in the Dark follows brooding investigator Vlado Petric, who is being used as bait to bring justice to a murderer whose activities in World War II make the current generation of killers look like amateurs.
    Suggested Reading: European Crime Fiction | Former Yugoslavia
    Updated 7.8.03
  • Avenger
    Author: Forsyth, Frederick
    Publisher: St Martins $ 26.95 ISBN: 0312319517 Date: 2003
    starBookliststarPWstarLJ
    In this heart-stopping thriller of murder, intrigue, deception, and revenge, attorney Calvin Dexter is called upon to settle an old score. But the game is changing, and this time CIA agent Kevin McBride must find a way to stop Dexter before his quest for vengeance throws the world into chaos.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars | Adult Books for Teens | Former Yugoslavia | Thrillers
    Updated 9.08.03
  • DreadfulWater Shows Up
    Author: Goodweather, Hartley
    Publisher: Scribner $ 24 ISBN: 0743243927 Date: 2003
    starKirkus
    From award-winning literary author Thomas King (a.k.a. Hartley GoodWeather) comes a stylish mystery debut featuring ex-California cop Thumps DreadfulWater, a smart and savvy Cherokee Indian blessed with a killer wit.
    Suggested Reading: If You Like Tony Hillerman
    Updated 9.24.04
  • Fortunes of the Dead
    Author: Hightower, Lynn
    Publisher: Atria $ 24 ISBN: 0743463897 Date: 2003
    starPW
    The circumstances surrounding a baffling new case seem poised to pull homicide detective Joel Mendez and P.I. Lena Padget apart--as Joel becomes more and more sympathetic to a suspect's version of events, Lena finds herself feeling increasingly skeptical.
    Updated 8.11.03
  • Street Hungry
    Author: Kent, Bill
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 24.95 ISBN: 0312308477 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    Shep Ladderback, the "Philadelphia Press's aged obit writer, mentors the young Andrea (Andy) Cosicki, fledgling journalist and daughter of the late political fixer, Benny the Lunch Cosicki. Ladderback (who knows everything about everyone in the city) wants Andy to cover the death of a street fruit and vegetable salesman, which seems to him to be suspicious. But Andy has a date for lunch at the Loup Garu, a so-hot-you-can't-get-a-reservation-for-three-months restaurant with a new "culinary concept" (which seems to be horrible food combinations, trumpeted as Transylvanian-Caribbean-fusion) and turns him down. (Ladderback knows that Loup Garu means werewolf; Andy does not.) But Andy ends up in a big story anyhow, when one of the country's most notable food critics drops dead at her table.
    - Publisher Marketing.
    Updated 9.22.03
  • Mission Flats
    Author: Landay, Bill
    Publisher: Delacorte $ 23.95 ISBN: 0385336144 Date: 2003
    starKirkusstarPWstarBooklist
    In the bestselling tradition of Scott Turow and Dennis Lehane, a former district attorney explodes onto the scene with a blistering debut set in Maine and Boston.
    Suggested Reading: Fiction & Mystery Debuts | Legal Stars
    Updated 8.13.03
  • Uniform Justice
    Author: Leon, Donna
    Publisher: Atlantic $ 24 ISBN: 0871139030 Date: 2003
    starLJstarBookliststarPW
    Leon is the internationally bestselling novelist whose ever adroit, big-hearted Venetian detective Commissario Guido Brunetti has captivated fans throughout the world. As Uniform Justice opens, Brunetti is called to investigate a parent's worst nightmare: a young cadet has been found hanged, a presumed suicide, in Venice's elite military academy.
    Suggested Reading: Venice | European Crime Fiction
    Updated 8.5.03
  • Every Secret Thing
    Author: Lippman, Laura
    Publisher: Morrow $ 24.95 ISBN: 0060506679 Date: 2003
    starLJ
    The acclaimed author's first stand-alone novel is a shocking tale of lost innocence, murder, and betrayal.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 7.1.03
  • Old Scores
    Author: MacKay, Scott
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 24.95 ISBN: 0312308418 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    Detectives Barry Gilbert and his partner Joe Lombardo are back on the crime scene and this time the investigation's getting personal.
    Updated 8.13.03
  • Feast of the Carrion
    Author: McCarthy, Keith
    Publisher: Carroll & Graf $ 25 ISBN: 0786712228 Date: 2003
    starKirkus
    Introducing crack forensic pathologist John Eisenmenger and solicitor Helena Flemming in this compelling crime series.
    Suggested Reading: Fiction & Mystery Debuts | Crime Scene Investigations
    Updated 6.30.03
  • To the Bone
    Author: McMahon, Neil
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 23.95 ISBN: 0060529164 Date: 2003
    starPW
    The death of a young model in a San Francisco emergency room provides the first piece of a complex puzzle of cruelty and murder implicating a famous plastic surgeon.
    Suggested Reading: Nip/Tuck Plastic Surgery Stars
    Updated 8.11.03
  • Smoke Screen
    Author: Mills, Kyle
    Publisher: Putnam $ 24.95 ISBN: 0399150986 Date: 2003
    starLJ
    Fighting their way back from the verge of legal extinction, the tobacco companies do the unthinkable--they close their plants and recall all the cigarettes from the shelves--in this new work that redefines the thriller genre.
    Updated 8.14.03
  • Dead Famous: Mallory
    Author: O'Connell, Carol
    Publisher: Putnam $ 24.95 ISBN: 0399150846 Date: 2003
    starKirkusstarPW
    The only connections between two murders are a flamboyant shock-jock, whose on-air comments seem to be taking him dangerously close to the edge, and a woman, her body misshapen since childhood, whose job it is to clean up crime scenes--and maybe to create them as well.
    Updated 8.4.03
  • Silver Lies
    Author: Parker, Ann
    Publisher: Poisoned Pen $ 24.95 ISBN: 1590580729 Date: 2003
    starPW
    As 1879 draws to a close, this Rocky Mountain boomtown has infected the world with silver fever. It's not much different than the dot.com mania or the corporate scams that heat up over a century later. Unfortunately for Joe Rose, a precious-metals assayer, death stakes its own claim. Joe's body is found trampled into the muck behind Inez Stannert's saloon. Inez already had much more to deal with than pouring shots of Taos Lightning and cleaning up a corpse. A lady educated on the East Coast, she has a past that doesn't bear close scrutiny, including her elopement with a gambling man who has recently disappeared. Most townsfolk, including Inez's business partner, Abe Jackson, dismiss Joe's death as an accident. Death, after all, is no stranger in Leadville. But Inez wonders: Why was this loving husband and father carrying a brass token good for "one free screw" at the parlor house of Denver madam Mattie Silks? When Joe's widow Emma asks Inez to settle Joe's affairs, almost against her will, Inez uncovers skewed assays, bogus greenbacks, and blackmail. Lies and secrets run deep in Colorado, secrets more likely to lead to a hanging than to today's congressional hearings or country-club prisons for the crooked and the greedy. Then again, maybe Joe's murder was purely personal.... - Publisher Marketing
    Suggested Reading: Historical Crime Fiction Stars
    Updated 8.18.03
  • No Graves as Yet
    Author: Perry, Anne
    Publisher: Ballantine $ 25.95 ISBN: 0345456521 Date: 2003
    starPW
    The New York Times bestselling author and master of historical suspense offers the first in a five-volume series set during World War I.
    Suggested Reading: World War Stars | Historical Crime Fiction Stars
    Updated 7.1.03
  • Remember When
    Author: Roberts, Nora & J.D. Robb
    Publisher: Putnam $ 25.95 ISBN: 0399151060 Date: 2003
    starPWstarLJ
    A thrill-ride of a novel that blends present-day romance and futuristic suspense, Remember When is a tale of deceit and secrets, of strong women and fascinating men--a brilliant combination of the incomparable talents of the two sides of Nora Roberts.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 9.08.03
  • A Grave Denied: Kate Shugak
    Author: Stabenow, Dana
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 24.95 ISBN: 0312306814 Date: 2003
    starPW
    Stabenow takes her Edgar Award-winning Kate Shugak series to new heights with a masterful thriller about a murdered mystery man.
    Suggested Reading: Private Investigators | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 7.8.03
  • Mino: A Romilia Chacon Mystery
    Author: Villatoro, Marcos M.
    Publisher: Justin Charles $ 24.95 ISBN: 1932112138 Date: 2003
    starPW
    Detective Romilia Chacon has to rely on her training and determination to save herself in the showdown against a killer who is a self-styled Minos, the mythical demon of Dante's Inferno.
    Updated 8.25.03

October

  • The Price of Murder
    Author: Alexander, Bruce
    Publisher: Putnam $ 24.95 ISBN: 0399150781 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    Celebrated as "a rich, rewarding trip for everyone" "(The New York Times), this Fielding mystery is a stunning combination of dynamic characterization and intriguing plotlines set against the colorful backdrop of Georgian London.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Crime Fiction Stars
    Updated 9.22.03
  • Eye of the Abyss
    Author: Browne, Marshall
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312311567 Date: 2003
    starKirkusstarPWstarBooklist
    The author of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize-nominated mystery, The Wooden Leg of Inspector Anders, now delivers an atmospheric and powerful thriller set during the rise of the Nazi party.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars | World War Stars | Historical Crime Fiction Stars | Financial Thrillers | Nazis
    Updated 9.22.03
  • The Best American Mystery Stories 2003
    Author: Connelly, Michael (ed)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin $ 27.50/13 ISBN: 0618329668/061832965x Date: 2003
    starPW
    The anthology marks its seventh year by featuring selections from all reaches of the genre. World-renowned mystery scribe Michael Connelly has chosen work by mystery favorites as well as talented up-and-comers for a diverse collection sure to thrill all readers.
    Updated 9.08.03
  • Now May You Weep
    Author: Crombie, Deborah
    Publisher: Morrow $ 23.95 ISBN: 0060525231 Date: 2003
    starPW
    The acclaimed mystery author of Dreaming of the Bones returns with this evocative thriller of marriage, betrayal, and murder set in the wilds of Scotland.
    Suggested Reading: British Police
    Updated 9.22.03
  • Die Laughing: Daisy Dalrymple
    Author: Dunn, Carola
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312309139 Date: 2003
    starKirkus
    It's the Roaring Twenties, and Daisy discovers her dentist stone-cold dead when she goes for her appointment. Once again, it falls to the Honourable Miss Dalrymple Fletcher to uncover the truth behind this murder most foul.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Crime Fiction Stars
    Updated 7.28.03
  • Heat Shock
    Author: Greer, Robert O.
    Publisher: Mysterious $ 24.95 ISBN: 0892967536 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    The author of the C.J. Floyd novels turns to the world he knows best--high stakes medical research; in this riveting medical thriller, ripped from today's headlines, abandoned uranium mines prove deadly to Carmen Nguyen.
    Suggested Reading: Medical Fiction Stars
    Updated 9.22.03
  • Sins of Two Fathers
    Author: Hamill, Denis
    Publisher: Atria $ 25 ISBN: 074346298x Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    Acclaimed author and New York Daily News columnist Hamill offers a provocative novel about families, fathers, and sons--and how far a responsible journalist will go in the name of the truth.
    Updated 10.2.03
  • Letter From Home
    Author: Hart, Carolyn
    Publisher: Prime Crime $ 22.95 ISBN: 0425191796 Date: 2003
    starPW
    In the summer of 1944, Gretchen Gilman was working as a reporter at the local newspaper. Her assignments weren't very exciting--until Faye Tatum was found dead in her own living room.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Crime Fiction Stars
    Updated 9.08.03
  • Offer of Proof
    Author: Heilbrun, Robert
    Publisher: Morrow $ 24.95 ISBN: 0060538120 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    A talented new writer, this New York City public defender makes his exciting debut with a thriller in the tradition of Dennis Lehane and Lawrence Block.
    Suggested Reading: Fiction & Mystery Debuts
    Updated 10.2.03
  • Death's Jest Book
    Author: Hill, Reginald
    Publisher: HarperCollins $25.95 ISBN: 0060528052 Date: 2003
    starLJ
    From the winner of Britain's prestigious Diamond Dagger Award comes a beautifully written, multilayered psychological thriller featuring Yorkshire policeman Peter Pascoe.
    Suggested Reading: British Police
    Updated 9.25.03
  • Havana: An Earl Swagger Novel
    Author: Hunter, Stephen
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster $ 25 ISBN: 0743238087 Date: 2003
    starKirkusstarPWstarBooklist
    It is 1953 and Cuba is at its lush, tropical, and glamorous best. Only one small problem threatens this situation--the rise of a daring revolutionary named Fidel Castro. Now, legendary sniper Earl Swagger has been called in by the CIA to take him out.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars | Historical Crime Fiction Stars | Cuba
    Updated 8.13.03
  • Distant Echo
    Author: McDermid, Val
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 24.95 ISBN: 0312301995 Date: 2003
    starBookliststarPW
    Four students stumble upon the body of a young woman who has been raped and murdered. When the case is reopened 25 years later, two of the four former students die suspiciously, and Alex must find the real killer before he becomes the next victim.
    Suggested Reading: Cold Cases | Adult Books for Teens | Scottish Crime Fiction
    Updated 9.08.03
  • Dead I Well May Be
    Author: McKinty, Adrian
    Publisher: Scribner $ 24 ISBN: 07743246993 Date: 2003
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    This New York Irish bad-boy thriller--brimming with violence, greed, and sexual betrayal--brings a gripping new voice to the literary turf of Michael Connelly, Chuck Palahniuk, and Dennis Lehane.
    Suggested Reading: Fiction & Mystery Debuts |Hardboiled | Noir
    Updated 9.22.03
  • Gatekeeper
    Author: Mayor, Archer
    Publisher: Mysterious $ 23.95 ISBN: 0892967668 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    Fresh off his critically acclaimed, and New York Times Notable Book, The Sniper's Wife, Mayor returns with another classic Joe Gunther novel, the 15th in the series.
    Suggested Reading: Cops
    Updated 10.8.03
  • Stone Cold
    Author: Parker, Robert B.
    Publisher: Putnam $ 24.95 ISBN: 0399150870 Date: 2003
    starKirkusstarPWstarLJ
    Fans have embraced each amazing new creation to spring from the fertile imagination of Parker. In Stone Cold, Jesse Stone has a problem. Actually, several problems: dead bodies turning up--and no clues.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 9.25.03
  • Blacklist: V.I. Warshawski
    Author: Paretsky, Sara
    Publisher: Putnam $ 24.95 ISBN: 0399150854 Date: 2003
    starBookliststarLJ
    Paretsky returns with her heroine V.I. Warshawski--"a private eye with the sharpest tongue and hardest head in Chicago" (The New York Times). This is a story of secrets and betrayals that stretch across four generations--secrets political, social, sexual, financial: all of them with the power to kill.
    Suggested Reading: Private Investigators | McCarthyism
    Updated 9.08.03
  • Balance of Power
    Author: Patterson, Richard North
    Publisher: Ballantine $ 27.95 ISBN: 0345450175 Date: 2003
    starKirkus
    The #1 New York Times bestselling author confronts one of America's most emotional and divisive issues--gun violence--in this novel of politics, law, and power.
    Suggested Reading: Legal Stars | Political Fiction | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 7.28.03
  • Babes in the Wood
    Author: Rendell, Ruth
    Publisher: Crown $ 25 ISBN: 140004930x Date: 2003
    starKirkus
    Inspector Wexford is back, this time investigating the case of two teenaged children and their babysitter who have inexplicably disappeared.
    Suggested Reading: British Police
    Updated 7.8.03
  • Grand Theft
    Author: Watts, Timothy
    Publisher: Putnam $ 23.95 ISBN: 0399150994 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    Watts possesses one of the most arresting voices in crime fiction. With Grand Theft, he delivers his most accomplished, hard-boiled, and suspenseful story yet.
    Suggested Reading: Hardboiled | Noir
    Updated 10.23.03
  • Blind Eye: Benjamin Justice
    Author: Wilson, John Morgan
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312309198 Date: 2003
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    When a Los Angeles Times columnist is killed in a mysterious hit-and-run accident, Benjamin Justice soon finds himself in the midst of a complex case involving a decades-old child murder, a powerful Cardinal, and elements from his own dark past.
    Updated 9.29.03

November

  • Mr. Timothy
    Author: Bayard, Louis
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 24.95 ISBN: 0060534214 Date: 2003
    starPW
    In this absorbing mystery set in 1860 London, a grown-up Timothy Cratchit discovers the dead body of ten-year-old girl.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Crime Fiction Stars
    Updated 9.22.03
  • Breathtaker
    Author: Blanchard, Alice
    Publisher: Warner $ 24.95 ISBN: 0446531391 Date: 2003
    starLJ
    An award-winning author delivers a must-read literary thriller--a twister of a tale about a detective trying to outwit a killer (and Mother Nature) in Tornado Alley.
    Suggested Reading: Thrillers | Stormy Weather
    Updated 9.25.03
  • Deader by the Lake: A Reno McCarthy Thriller
    Author: Cummings, Doug M.
    Publisher: IUniverse $ 23.95 ISBN: 059529359x Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    When a woman with explosive secrets is murdered, City Hall orders a cover up. But fired TV reporter Reno McCarthy has never been politically correct. Reno's out for justice and he won't back off---even if it means a showdown with a brutal manipulator intent on turning Chicago into a branch office of the Russian mob. - Publisher Marketing.
    Updated 12.15.03
  • The Con Man's Daughter
    Author: Dee, Ed
    Publisher: Mysterious $ 23.95 ISBN: 0892967943 Date: 2003
    starPWstarLJ
    Ex NYPD detective Eddie Dunne must search his own past for clues when his 35-year-old daughter Kate is kidnapped from her suburban New York home.
    Updated 10.7.03
  • Sky Full of Sand
    Author: DeMarinis, Rick
    Publisher: Dennis McMillan $ 30 ISBN: 0939767473 Date: 2003
    starPW
    Updated 10.7.03
  • Pompeii
    Author: Harris, Robert
    Publisher: Random $ 24.95 ISBN: 0679428895 Date: 2003
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    Ancient Rome is the setting for the superb new novel from Robert Harris, author of the number one bestsellers Fatherland, Enigma and Archangel. - Publisher Marketing.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Crime Fiction Stars | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 10.23.03
  • The Murder Room
    Author: James, P.D.
    Publisher: Knopf $ 25.95 ISBN: 1400041414 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    Commander Adam Dalgliesh, James's formidable and fascinating detective, returns to find himself enmeshed in a terrifying story of passion and mystery--and in love.
    Suggested Reading: British Police
    Updated 10.2.03
  • Dynamite Road
    Author: Klavan, Andrew
    Publisher: Forge $ 25.95 ISBN: 0765307855 Date: 2003
    starPW
    For readers who like their tough guys really tough, their femmes fatale and the action explosive--welcome to Dynamite Road and the world of Jim Bishop--a hard man, as cold as the wind off the water and tough to the point of brutality.
    Suggested Reading: Hardboiled | Noir | P.I. Stars
    Updated 11.3.03
  • Sky Woman Falling
    Author: Mitchell, Kirk
    Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime $ 22.95 ISBN: 0425191915 Date: 2003
    starPW
    The body of Brenda Two Kettles seems to have fallen from the sky, like Sky Woman of the Oneido creation myth. But when Anna Turnipseed and Emmett Parker discover that Brenda was at the center of a bitter land dispute, the team must figure out where myth ends--and a deadly reality begins.
    Updated 10.14.03
  • The Big Bad Wolf
    Author: Patterson, James
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 27.95 ISBN: 0316602906 Date: 2003
    starPW
    Number 1 bestselling author James Patterson's Alex Cross makes his debut with the FBI in this action-packed rollercoaster of a thriller.
    Suggested Reading: Thrillers
    Updated 10.7.03
  • Dying for Dana
    Author: Patton, Jim
    Publisher: Forge $ 24.95 ISBN: 0765306492 Date: 2003
    starPW
    Max Travis is one of the country's best prosecutors. In court, few can match his determination to bring criminals to justice, even if it's at the expense of his own personal life. When two of Max's close friends are the victims of a violent robbery, that leaves one of them critically injured, Max begins an investigation into the crime, only to have life throw him a curve ball in the form of Dana Waverleigh-a beautiful woman who may just turn out to be the love of his life. But there are things about Dana that Max hasn't discovered. Running from the past, Dana is trying to escape her ex-lover, Jack Nizhl,, one of the robbers in Max's case. When Jack learns of Dana's involvement with Max, he pressures her for information, causing her to question where her true love lies. All the while, Jack's partner, an unbalanced meth addict, comes closer and closer to taking out any and all people who might have a hand in bringing him in, including his partner's former lover. As Max becomes further entangled in this dangerous web of deceit, he no longer knows whom he can trust, only that if he doesn't bring in the criminals soon, he and the woman he's grown to love may be the next victims. - Publisher Marketing.
    Updated 9.22.03
  • The Enemy Within
    Author: Spencer, Sally
    Publisher: Severn $ 26.99 ISBN: 0727859315 Date: 2003
    starKirkus
    Updated 11.12.03
  • The Big Killing
    Author: Wilson, Robert
    Publisher: Harvest $ 14 (paper) ISBN: 0156011190 Date: 2003
    starPW
    In this second novel of the Bruce Medway series, the hero, a go-between and "fixer" for traders in steamy West Africa, smells trouble when a porn merchant asks him to deliver a video at a secret location.
    Suggested Reading: Hardboiled | Noir
    Updated 10.7.03
  • A Killing Climate: The Collected Mystery Stories
    Author: Wright, Eric
    Publisher: Crimmpen & Landru $ 17 (paper) ISBN: 1885947870 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    Updated 10.23.03

December

  • Reflections: A Novel of Suspense
    Author: Bannister, Jo
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 22.95 ISBN: 031231938x Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    Though Brodie Farrell runs a business called "Looking for Something?" she tries to avoid missing people cases. But she can't refuse when her friend in the police asks her to find the long-lost aunt of two girls after their mother is murdered and their father disappears. When an intruder breaks into the girls' home, Brodie must act quickly to save them from a dangerous, elusive murderer.
    Updated 11.12.03
  • For the Love of Mike
    Author: Bowen, Rhys
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312313004 Date: 2003
    starKirkus
    Full of the rich detail of New York's teeming immigrant community and the colorful historical personalities of the age, For the Love of Mike is the triumphant third installment in Rhys Bowen's Agatha Award-winning series. - Publisher Marketing.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Mystery Stars
    Updated 9.25.03
  • Pretty Dead: A Jack McMorrow Novel
    Author: Boyle, Gerry
    Publisher: Prime Crime $ 23.95 ISBN: 0425192016 Date: 2003
    starPW
    In the series that's "a sure thing for anyone who has enjoyed Parker's Spenser novels" (Library Journal), reporter Jack McMorrow investigates the murder of a woman with ties to a very wealthy and prominent Boston family--who might have buried their dirty secrets with the victim.
    Updated 11.12..03
  • Trojan Odyssey
    Author: Cussler, Clive
    Publisher: Putnam $ 27.95 ISBN: 0399150803 Date: 2003
    starKirkus
    An audacious work from Cussler--Dirk Pitt, one of the most popular heroes in adventure fiction is back, battling his most dangerous foe--with help from a very unexpected source.
    Suggested Reading: Action & Adventure | If You Like Clive Cussler
    Updated 10.8.03
  • The Weaver and the Factory Maid
    Author: Grabien, Deborah
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 22.95 ISBN: 0312314221 Date: 2003
    starLJ
    Haunted by the ghosts of characters memorialized in their songs, a pair of lovers must uncover the truth behind the ghosts' deaths. - Publisher Marketing.
    Suggested Reading: Music and Fiction
    Updated 9.25.03
  • Midnight Pass: Lew Fonesca
    Author: Kaminsky, Stuart M.
    Publisher: Forge $ 23.95 ISBN: 0765304627 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    For a man who just wants to ease through life without any complications, Lew Fonesca has a pretty full plate. When people start showing up dead, he knows he's in way over his head--and this time he may not be able make it all come out okay.
    Updated 1.6.04
  • Odd Thomas
    Author: Koontz,Dean
    Publisher: Bantam $ 26.95 ISBN: 0553802496 Date: 2003
    starPWstarBooklist
    Fate and destiny converge in this haunting tale of love and terror, suspense and self-discovery. Odd Thomas is an unassuming young hero who regularly communicates with the dead--a gallant sentinel called upon to stop a mysterious man on a day of catastrophe.
    Suggested Reading: Psychological Suspense Stars | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 1.6.04
  • Twisted: The Collected Stories of Jeffrey Deaver
    Author: Deaver, Jeffrey
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster $ 24.95 ISBN: 0743260953 Date: 2003
    starBooklist
    For fans of The Vanished Man and The Stone Monkey comes this thrilling collection of Deaver's short fiction.
    Updated 1.6.04
  • Rumpole and the Primrose Path
    Author: Mortimer, John
    Publisher: Viking $ 24.95 ISBN: 0670013461 Date: 2003
    starPWstarBooklist
    In six new stories, Horace Rumpole, despite a heart attack that left him at death's door in the previous volume, deftly parries everything from the admonitions of his wife, Hilda, to the vagaries of his legal colleagues and their new director of marketing.
    Suggested Reading: Legal Stars
    Updated 10.23.03
  • Belshazzar's Daughter: A Mystery of Istanbul
    Author: Nadel, Barbara
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312316534 Date: 2003
    starPWstarBooklist
    When a brutal murder shocks Istanbul's Jewish quarter, the Turkish police force unleashes its best weapon, the highly eccentric Inspector Cetin Ikmen.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Crime Fiction Stars
    Updated 1.6.04
  • Winter's End
    Author: Rickets, John
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312310978 Date: 2003
    starKirkus
    In this powerful debut, the small town of Winter's End is beset by a pervading sense of evil as the sheriff realizes he may well be part of a killer's game--a game that is not yet over.
    Suggested Reading: Fiction & Mystery Debuts
    Updated 10.8.03
  • Wine of Violence: A Medieval Mystery
    Author: Royal, Priscilla
    Publisher: Poisoned Pen $ 24.95 ISBN: 1590580885 Date: 2003
    starPW
    It is late summer in the year 1270 and England is as weary as its aging king, Henry III. Although the Simon de Montfort rebellion is over, the smell of death still hangs like smoke over the land. Even in the small priory of Tyndal on the remote East Anglian coast, the monks and nuns of the Order of Fontevraud long for a return to tranquil routine. Their hopes are dashed, however, when the young and inexperienced Eleanor of Wynethorpe is appointed their new prioress over someone of their own choosing. Nor are Eleanor's own prayers for a peaceful transition answered. Only a day after her arrival, a brutally murdered monk is found in the cloister gardens, and Brother Thomas, a young priest with a troubled past, arrives to bring her a more personal grief. Now she must not only struggle to gain the respect of her terrified and resentful flock but also cope with violence, lust and greed in a place dedicated to love and peace. - Publisher Marketing.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Mystery Stars
    Updated 11.12..03
  • Charlie Opera
    Author: Stella, Charlie
    Publisher: Carroll & Graf $ 25 ISBN: 0786712139 Date: 2003
    starPWstarBooklist
    A gritty underworld thriller that takes mob bosses, hit men, and gangland wannabes to Las Vegas, where the name of their game is Charlie Opera.
    Suggested Reading: Mobbed Up | Hardboiled | Noir
    Updated 11.25.03

 

Starred Review Lists

Books that received at least one starred review from Booklist, Kirkus, LJ, and PW.

2013 Crime Fiction: Jan-June | Fiction: Jan-June | Speculative Fiction

2012 Crime Fiction: July-Dec | Fiction: July-Dec | Speculative Fiction

Hotlists@ Google Docs

Crime Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

(lists of new and notable books - lists are sortable and can be downloaded)

more stars lists...

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