Tonstant Weader Reviews

Opinionated Book Reviews.

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

Move over, Annelise Keating, and let Maud show you how to really get away with murder. In Helene Tursten's short story collection An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good, we are introduced to Maud, a singularly self-involved aged woman. Maud does... Continue Reading →


Virgil Wander by Leif Enger

Virgil Wander captured me from the first three paragraphs with its wry and gentle prose. It's narrated by the title character, Virgil Wander, who has a very contrary name for a man who stays very close to home. His home is... Continue Reading →

The Dictionary of Animal Languages by Heidi Sopinka

Michelangelo would be baffled by today's separation of art and science, whether he hid anatomical drawings in The Sistine Chapel or not. Ivory Frame, however, finds a way to unite art and science in creating her "Dictionary of Animal Languages." A narrative... Continue Reading →

The Ancient Nine by Ian Smith

In The Ancient Nine, Dr. Ian Smith, author of many books on diet and health, tries his hand at crafting a mystery rooted in historical fact. Spencer Collins, our fictive hero, is a Harvard freshman, a young black man from the south... Continue Reading →

How Fascism Works by Jason Stanley

How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us vs. Them has the perfect title. There are many books about increasing authoritarianism and ethnonationalism around the world. We see this happening in Russia, Poland, Turkey, Hungary, the Phillippines, India, Brazil, and here in... Continue Reading →

Moving Targets by Warren C. Easley

Moving Targets is the sixth book in Warren C. Easley's mystery series featuring Portland lawyer Cal Claxton. When Angela Wingate came into Claxton's law office in Old Town to ask him to look for the hit-and-run driver who killed her mother,... Continue Reading →

Treacherous Is the Night by Anna Lee Huber

Treacherous Is the Night is the second in the Verity Kent series by Anna Lee Huber. Verity served as a spy in World War I which provides the backstory for the series which begins after World War I has ended. Treacherous... Continue Reading →

Melmoth by Sarah Perry

Melmoth is a horror story designed for book lovers. It has old manuscripts, libraries, and a haunting presence you can acquire just by reading about her. Melmoth is the woman who saw the risen Jesus and denied it and is now... Continue Reading →

The First Prehistoric Serial Killer and Other Stories by Teresa Solano

The First Prehistoric Serial Killer and Other Stories is a collection of short stories, many of them connected with a noir sensibility. The title story opens the anthology and it is hilarifying. Someone is smashing the heads of tribesmen while they sleep. After the... Continue Reading →

Under My Skin by Lisa Unger

Unreliable narrators have become incredibly popular since the explosive success of "Gone Girl." Poppy, the narrator in Lisa Unger's Under My Skin might be the most unreliable narrator of all, or so it seems. She has more than a "lost weekend" after her... Continue Reading →

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is perfectly timed for the Halloween season, a Gothic Groundhog Day thriller with a twist as our hero starts each new day in a different one of the house guests attending a week-long country manor... Continue Reading →

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

The Clockmaker's Daughter is a complex history covering several people who through accident or design find themselves at Birchwood Manor,  a place that makes people feel safe and secure, blessed by the Faery Queen for sheltering the Eldritch Children according to... Continue Reading →

Rage Becomes Her by Soraya Chemaly

Rage Becomes Her is at once the worst and best book to have started in the midst of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation. I was already enraged and this book has so much more to make me angry, but it also puts... Continue Reading →

November Road by Lou Berney

Jim Guidry was a happy mob fixer until he heard the news that JFK had been shot in Dallas. All of a sudden, that car he parked in Dallas looms large. He quickly realized he was a loose end that... Continue Reading →

A Sorrowful Sanctuary by Iona Whishaw

Lane Winslow has a knack for finding bodies. She's spending a delightful summer afternoon fishing with her neighbors and their children. They did nothing so cliche as snag a body and reel it in, but they did see a boat... Continue Reading →

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