Nominated for the Shamus Award - Best First Novel - Private Eye Writers of America
"Mitchell... presents a first novel as satisfying as the debuts of such classic series heroes as Parker's Spenser and Grafton's Kinsey Millhone. The instantly likeable Brinker is full of surprises, and the secondary characters who surround him also have great depth. Based on his first case, Brinker should have a long and successful run. Outstanding." Booklist, starred review, July, 2003.
"Set along the Arizona-Mexico frontera, Mitchell's impressive, well-crafted debut captures the gritty reality of border life." Publishers Weekly, June 30, 2003.
"A polished, fast-paced first from a lawyer who clearly knows his way around immunity grants, warrants, and grand juries." Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2003.
"Solid prose, crafty plotting, and realistic characters recommend this to all collections." Library Journal, July, 2003.
"First-time author James C. Mitchell starts out with a bang in this tale set in Tucson and the crossing for undocumented aliensthe 'Lovers Crossing'near Nogales." Book Passage Mystery Mavens, January-February, 2004.
"A well-plotted suspenseful read with appealing characters and a strong sense of place." Clues Unlimited Newsletter, July-August, 2003.
"If all first books were this professional -- well plotted, with well defined characters and beautifully written -- a book reviewer's life would be one good read after another. Mitchell provides all of this and more." Margot Petit Nichols, Carmel Pine Cone, Nov. 7, 2003.
"Lovers Crossing gets the border area right. It's a place where cultures and languages clash and merge, where optimism mixes with desperation, where dreams and drugs collide. It's also a great place for a crime series, and Brinker might just be the man to take us there." Jody Jaffe, Baltimore Sun, Aug. 31, 2003.
"Mitchell's first novel features a detective as tenacious as he is sure-footed in the face of complicated motives and dangerous enemies." Laurie Trimble, Dallas Morning News, July 25, 2003.
"The corruption and poverty in Mexico is described in convincing detail, as are the problems of the Border Patrol.... An impressive first novel.... Readers will probably wish to see more of Brinker, a new kind of border detective." Dick Saxe, Mystery News, Aug.-Sept., 2003.
"The whole time you are reading it, you are thinking and hoping it will be a series.... Everything, the characters, the dialogue and towns all feel and sound real." Tammy Michaels, Storyteller: A Novel View, September, 2003.
"What a clean, organized, poignant first novel! Mitchell memorably sets the scene in the desert and along the border without giving us a travelogue, and he lets us know Brink from the inside as life happens to him... this polished first effort is, I'm glad to report, the first in a series." Joy Matkowski, reviewingtheevidence.com, July, 2003.
"With the confidence of an old pro, Mitchell does not resolve all the dilemmas facing his characters. This leaves him an opening for sequels, and he is hard at work on them." J.C. Martin, Arizona Daily Star, August 3, 2003.
Nominated for the Shamus Award - Best Novel - Private Eye Writers of America
"The second Brinker case Lovers Crossing was his deservedly praised debut is equal parts classic PI novel, social critique, and psychological drama. Brinker... brings down the bad guys in classic tough-guy fashion with a brilliantly executed plan. Brinker is the real deal, folks, and he'll be around for a long, long time." Wes Lukowsky, Booklist, starred review, Oct. 1, 2004.
A "strong follow-up to Lovers Crossing... Mitchell knows the border region intimately and has created in Brinker a likeable and complex character... a gripping crime novel that should appeal to a wide audience." Publishers Weekly, Oct. 4, 2004.
The "plot, culled from today's headlines, is made memorable by Brinker... Some actor bucking for superstardom should snap this one up." Kirkus Reviews, Sept. 1, 2004.
"Brinker is a man with a conscience and the wit to win a high-stakes game in this compelling story of betrayal and death." Laurie Trimble, Dallas Morning News, Oct. 29, 2004.
"The book's deceptively off-hand dialogue is well-crafted and pulls you into relationships that are both interesting and unpredictable. If those qualities don't hook you, the pervasive noir feel, as well as Brinker's classic role as reluctant hero, will." Bonnie Walker, San Antonio Express-News, Dec. 2, 2004.
"Mitchell provides another sure-handed entry with his strong characterization and deft plotting in his latest Brinker crime novel; he's definitely a writer to watch." Ray Walsh, Lansing State Journal, Jan. 2, 2005.
"Lots of Tucson and Mexican border atmosphere with a look at the maquiladora industry thrown in." Southwest Books of the Year - Best Reading of 2004.
"A strong sense of place--of windswept LA, the deserts of Arizona, and the frenetic border towns of Mexico--where jobs, money, drugs, and sex create a vibrant but dangerous society." Rob Preece, booksforabuck.com.
"Good local color, sharp dialogue, and a contemporary plot make this a solid second entry in a promising Arizona series." Poisoned Pen Booknews, October, 2004.
"Outstanding series... I couldn't put this one down." Chris Acevedo, Clues Unlimited Newsletter.
"A fantastic novel." The Mysterious Bookshop Newsletter.
OUR LADY OF THE NORTH
"Fast moving... well written and informative about the illegal scene." J.C. Martin, Arizona Daily Star.