Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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M is for Mallory-Kathy Mallory, bestseller O'Connell's powerful and powerfully flawed New York Special Crimes Unit detective. M is also for morbid, macabre, and mordant-adjectives that can be applied to the plot, the prose, and the humor of this dazzling 11th novel in the series (after 2012's The Chalk Girl). An audience death on opening night stops Peter Beck's play The Brass Bed, based on the slaughter of a Nebraska family, as does the discovery of Beck's bloody corpse in a front-row seat the next night. Add to the strange mix of cast members a mysterious ghostwriter working on the script who leaves taunting messages for Mallory. Mallory makes startling deductions; manipulates witnesses, suspects, and colleagues unsparingly; humiliates a brash official who tries to grab her case; and draws the smalltown sheriff who investigated the actual slayings to Manhattan. Her bravura performance wreaks justice both inside and outside the legal system. Author tour. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

This latest addition to the popular Mallory series, launched in 1995 with Mallory's Oracle, seems almost like a send-up of the tough detective novel, so over the top are Mallory's appearances and other people's reactions to her. Kathy Mallory is an NYPD detective whose beauty and insight overwhelm everyone. As does her rudeness: Mallory's way of ordering people around more befits a traffic cop than a detective. This one has a Broadway background: two deaths occur in two nights in the audience of a play; the second one is that of the playwright. O'Connell resurrects the Phantom of the Opera device of having notes delivered to the actors; here, someone writes threats and directions on a backstage blackboard. This does intensify the suspense but in a somewhat formulaic way. Not at the level of some other Mallory mysteries but necessary reading for devoted fans.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Broadway's hottest ticket is a killer show-literally. When a woman dies of fright on opening night, the crowds flock in, but the next deaths are rather more deliberate. Enter Kathy Mallory, NYC's scariest detective, a borderline psychopath with little compassion but her own sense of justice, who was last seen in The Chalk Girl. She has no patience with the obfuscations and histrionics of the theater company. No one is telling the truth, but just how many crimes are they covering up? The play, which has uncanny ties to an actual murder, is being rewritten nightly by an unknown hand-and the ghostwriter is now targeting Mallory. Like all the Mallory novels, this one is a solid police procedural with a twisty plot, and Mallory is a fascinating, rich character. Adding to the fun is a turf war between cops and the portrayal of the Big Apple as gritty, dangerous, and corrupt instead of the sanitized Bloomberg version. VERDICT This may not be the easiest entry point for readers new to Mallory's dark world, but fans won't want to miss another solid mystery from O'Connell.-Devon Thomas, Chelsea, MI (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

M is for Mallory-Kathy Mallory, bestseller O'Connell's powerful and powerfully flawed New York Special Crimes Unit detective. M is also for morbid, macabre, and mordant-adjectives that can be applied to the plot, the prose, and the humor of this dazzling 11th novel in the series (after 2012's The Chalk Girl). An audience death on opening night stops Peter Beck's play The Brass Bed, based on the slaughter of a Nebraska family, as does the discovery of Beck's bloody corpse in a front-row seat the next night. Add to the strange mix of cast members a mysterious ghostwriter working on the script who leaves taunting messages for Mallory. Mallory makes startling deductions; manipulates witnesses, suspects, and colleagues unsparingly; humiliates a brash official who tries to grab her case; and draws the smalltown sheriff who investigated the actual slayings to Manhattan. Her bravura performance wreaks justice both inside and outside the legal system. Author tour. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.