Reviews of Crime Novels from the First Half of This Year

Reviews of Crime Novels from the First Half of This Year

A night unsettled, creepy with rumbled omens.
Lightning! Counting to the slam of sky collisions.
Beneath a cone of lamplight, I turn the page
to the solstice reviewer who tots up semi-annual
sales pitches and slams of stories: mercenaries,
billboard illustrators, rotting heiresses in mansions,
and unearthed manuscripts revealing secrets.
He critiques the covers of homicide stories

as the sky gods slam strikes. The wood pins fly,
quarrel of might and right and wrong and wrath.
Little Dog jumps in my lap as if the night
works to murder her, a storm phobia between
the longest day of the year and the Fourth of July’s
sky-mayhem that ignites shadows so creatures
like this little one shudder and shake.

A fit time, I suppose, to analyze unreliable male
narrators, flashbacks, the fallout from infant death,
mute witnesses, pathological caretakers, cold cases
turned sizzling, private eyes and heinous manipulations
of air, water, ice, toxins, carbon, and plastics,
that stir up climate’s perfect-storm aberrations
that scare all beasts to our core.


Tricia Knoll is a Vermont poet who has been reading detective novels far more than usual during the pandemic. And she is one of those scared beasts as  she looks out from the thunderstorms at the world at large. Website: triciaknoll.com

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