Author: Kathy Phillips

The Juror by George Dawes Green

Warner (first), 1995 The jury is being chosen in the murder and conspiracy trial of a very bad mob boss. Juror 224, also known as Annie Laird of Pharaoh, New York, is a bit odd and not quite with it; she relies on her twelve-year-old son Oliver for a translation of the import of the trial. An employee (if that’s what he is) of the mob boss known as “the Teacher” and Vincent and Eben and Zach decides that she’s his candidate to get an acquittal. So he threatens her, lets her know that he can get Oliver any time he wants. She learns he’s bugged her home, her studio, […]

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Pray for Us Sinners by Philip Luber

Fawcett (first), 1998 Psychiatrist Harry Kline, Concord, Mass. widower, reluctantly agrees to help his girlfriend, FBI agent and former prosecutor Veronica Pace (although Kline’s daughter and others think he’s too old to have a “girlfriend”) discover who killed her mother in a break-in twenty years earlier. A nine-year-old Veronica had been in the house, saw her mother killed, held a gun on the intruder but couldn’t fire, and she has lived with the terror of the moment ever since. Luber writes very well, his characters are fully-formed and attractive, and the introduction of a couple of the Boston mob is a neat touch, but with all that and a good […]

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Slow Burn by G.M. Ford

Avon (first), 1998 PI Leo Waterman isn’t easy to keep up with, but it’s worth the effort. In Slow Burn, the royalty running competing steak house chains has descended on Seattle for a haute cuisine convention; Waterman takes on the job of maintaining an uneasy balance among them. Waterman’s Boys (and a couple of Girls), denizens of the streets, are cleaned up, sobered up and dressed up so that they can help Leo prevent the public roasting of a prize bull raised by one faction by the nasties of the other faction. Ford owns the rights to the capsule character creation. His pavement residents have developed individual personalities in the […]

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Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton

Viking (first), 1998 The fourth in the series featuring Aunt Dimity, the caring ghostly presence resident in the rural English cottage, finds Lori, husband Bill and infant twin sons up to their ears in local conflict. Archaeologists have descended on the town of Finch upon the uncovering of Roman artifacts which, Lori learns, may have been planted by a disaffected resident many years earlier. The treatise in which he confesses to the burial has been stolen from the vicarage, so the only residents privy to its contents are the minister and his wife. It’s discovery becomes crucial when the town’s residents begin to take up sides and tempers escalate. With […]

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Mandarin Plaid by S.J. Rozan

St. Martin’s (first) ,1996 Rozan’s unique concept for her series featuring New York City private eyes Lydia Chin and her sometime partner Bill Smith is firmly established with Mandarin Plaid, the third in the series, the second in ABC (American-born Chinese) Lydia’s smart and lively voice. Last year’s Shamus-winning Concourse featuring the tough, almost-but-not-quite world weary Bill Smith was a corker, and although Lydia’s case seems pale by comparison, it stands up well on its own. The debut show for “Mandarin Plaid,” the collection created by fashion designer Genna Jing, is jeopardized when the sketches for the collection are stolen. Lydia is hired to pay the ransom and retrieve the […]

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