By Leighton Gage (Soho, 281 pages, $25)

Detective Mario Silva of the Brazilian Federal Police investigates crime in a country of corrupt politicians and strutting government ministers. He is a man after truth even as other police are content to put the innocent behind bars. Innocence, justice and revenge are the heart of Leighton Gage's latest crime novel, "Every Bitter Thing." This is the fourth in the Detective Silva series, but there is no need to have read the others to enjoy it. It begins with three men dead, and Silva is assigned the politically sensitive job of investigating one of the cases -- the murder of a Venezuelan diplomat's son in Brazil. Silva soon discovers a string of similar killings, all unsolved because nobody has put the clues together. The book has clever dialogue, a twisting plot and an adventurous glimpse at the seamy parts of Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Sao Paulo. The case takes Silva and his team all over Brazil in an engaging, fast-paced story that is hard to put away for the night.


and furthermore

By Judi Dench. (St. Martin's Press, 304 pages, $25.99)

Dame Judi Dench is a great actor, but readers should take note of this unambiguous statement prefacing her follow-up to biographies by John Miller: "I do not consider this an autobiography. I have neither the time nor the skill to write one." She has, however, led an event-filled life and seems quite satisfied with it, whether trading onstage pranks with Tim Pigott-Smith or simulating scorn for Pierce Brosnan as "M" in "Golden Eye." Still one longs for more when, at 35, she's shocked to be offered the role of Hermione in "The Winter's Tale." But her measured note to the director -- "Is it mother's parts already?" -- undoubtedly did more to persuade him to cast her in both mother and daughter roles than if she had expressed more outrage. Perhaps there's more than meets the eye in this tale, after all.