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US Books Received- 02/2009  Next Month / Last Month
In order to provide timely reviews, we prefer to receive Advance Reader Copies of books when possible. Send books to Gayle Surrette / Editor c/o Gumshoe 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

Avon

Evil Without a Face by Jordan Dane (Avon 01 February 2009 / $7.99) - Product Description: The Sweet Justice thrillers will focus on the lives and loves of three women--a bounty hunter operating outside the law, an ambitious vice cop, and a former international operative with a mysterious past. These women give Lady Justice a whole new reason to wear blinders. And their brand of justice is anything but sweet. (see review)

Bantam

The Coldest Mile by Tom Piccirilli (Bantam 24 February 2009 / $6.99) - Product Description: Raised to be a thief and getaway driver, Chase left the bent life after he found his true love, Lila. For ten years he walked the straight and narrowóuntil Lila was murdered. Now Chase is looking for his grandfather Jonah, the stone-cold-killer con man who raised him anis the last living repository of his family's darkest secrets. In returning to his criminal roots, Chase hopes to save Jonah's infant daughter from the life that Chase himself can't escape.

But first he'll need a score. Chase thinks he's found it as a driver for a dysfunctional crime family that's anything but organized. With the Langans' patriarch dying, the once powerful syndicate may unravel before Chase can rip it off. If he survives the bloodbath to come, he'll face an even uglier showdown. Because his grandfather Jonah is waiting for him at the coldest family reunion this side of hell. (Source: Bantam)

The Crystal Skull by Manda Scott (Bantam 24 February 2009 / $7.50) - Product Description: 12.21.12. The date is set. Time is running out.
In a spellbinding blend of history, myth, and science, bestselling novelist Manda Scott unleashes a thriller that sweeps from the secrets of the Mayans to the court of a sixteenth-century queen to a shattering end-times prophecy.

Ancient lore predicts the end of the world with chilling precision: 21 December 2012. But the prophecies provide the key to stopping Armageddon: a flawless sapphire carved into the perfect likeness of a human skull.

One woman has inherited the skull's legacy of deadly secrets, intrigue, and murder. Can she crack the only code that could save the world? (see review)

Berkley

A Fool and His Honey (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries, No. 6) by Charlaine Harris (Berkley 03 February 2009 / $7.99) - Product Description: Aurora's been around long enough to know that when a day starts out with your handyman going crazy in your front yard, it probably won't get any better. Sure enough, her husband Martin's niece Regina shows up with a baby whom no one knew she was expecting. Then she disappears, leaving behind the child—and a murdered husband. To find her, Roe and Martin retrace her steps from sunny Georgia back to snowy Ohio, where they will uncover dark family secrets—at their own peril. (Source: Berkley)

A Lie for a Lie (Ministry is Murder Mystery) by Emilie Richards (Berkley 03 February 2009 / $7.99) - Product Description: Actor and singer Grady Barber has returned to his hometown to judge the Emerald Springs Idyll, a talent show to help raise funds for the local hospital. As the newest volunteer on the fund-raising committee, Aggie is assigned the unenviable task of ensuring that Grady's needs are met. Unfortunately, Grady's needs are legion as are the enemies he makes.

So when Aggie stumbles upon his dead body, she isn't terribly surprised. But when "Sister" Nora, of a controversial circus that preaches the dangers of global warming, turns out to be Grady's ex-wife, seh is surprised. And when Nora is arrested for his murder, more than Aggie's patience is tried. She must use every skill to clear the name of the unlikely prophet, before Nora spends her final days preaching on death row. (see review)

Bookmarked For Death by Lorna Barrett (Berkley 03 February 2009 / $6.99) - Product Description: To celebrate her bookstore's anniversary, Tricia Miles hosts a book signing for bestselling author Zoe Carter. But the event takes a terrible turn when the author is found dead in the washroom. Before long, both police and reporters are demanding the real story. So far, the author's obnoxious assistant/niece is the only suspect. With a sheriff who provides more obstacles than answers, Tricia will have to take matters into her own hands--and read between the lines to solve this mystery... (see review)

Corked by Cabernet: A Wine Lover's Mystery by Michele Scott (Berkley 03 February 2009 / $7.99) - Product Description: Nikki Sands couldn't be happier settling into the vineyard with her boyfriend, Derek. But when a guru and his followers check into the winery's boutique hotel and spa for a retreat, she feels far from enlightened as she's forced to take on the role of event coordinator. Their first outing on the famous Napa Valley Wine Train reinforces her doubt when a member of the group goes missing. The guru's devotee is found in the wine storage car where someone quite literally--and fatally--put a cork in him. It's up to Nikki to stop a killer who's developed a real taste for murder... (Source: Berkley)

Death Takes the Cake: A Della Cooks Mystery by Melinda Wells (Berkley 03 February 2009 / $7.99) - Product Description: To help boost ratings for her show, Della Carmichael agrees to enter a televised cake competition sponsored by Reggi-Mixx, even though the company's owner, Regina Davis, is an old college nemesis. When she finds someone drowned in a mixing bowl of batter, Della realizes solving this murder will be no cakewalk. (Source: Berkley)

Fed Up by Jessica Conant-Park (Berkley 03 February 2009 / $23.95) - Product Description: Part-time student Chloe Carter is planning her best friend's wedding, working for her parents—and glued to her chef boyfriend, Josh, as he competes to star in a new TV series. The premise: Josh hijacks unsuspecting grocery shoppers and prepares them gourmet dinners. Everything's going great—until one shopper drops dead.

With the cameras on him from the beginning, Josh is obviously innocent, but Chloe wonders: Was it one of Josh's competitors? Or the deceased's husband? Or someone on the crew?

Sifting through suspects, Chloe deals with wedding chaos and Josh's erratic behavior. She'll have to balance her plate while trying to catch a food felon… (Source: Berkley)

Malice in Miniature: A Miniature Mystery by Margaret Grace (Berkley 03 February 2009 / $7.99) - Product Description: Geraldine (Gerry) Porter's neighbor June Chinn has shocking news. June's friend Zoe has been arrested for murder. Zoe's boyfriend, a local artist, was found artfully killed--and now June desperately needs help. But Gerry soon discovers that there are some unsavory folks who think that Gerry's better off sticking to room boxes than sticking her nose where it doesn't belong... (see review)

Turn Up the Heat (A Gourmet Girl Mystery) by Susan Conant & Jessica Conant-Park (Berkley 03 February 2009 / $7.99) - Product Description: Chloe Carter is helping her chef boyfriend with his new restaurant on Boston's posh Newbury Street, when a crabby waitress is found dead in a fish truck. Was this a prank gone awry? Or did somebody want her to sleep with the fishes? (Source: Berkley)

DAW

Crime Spells by (DAW 03 February 2009 / $7.99) - Product Description: Sixteen original stories about magic-fueled crimes and those who investigate them. When magic is used for criminal purposes, all sorts of ethical and logistical questions arise beyond the realm of everyday law and order.

Now, sixteen top tale-tellers offer fascinating new stories of those who commit magic crimes, those who investigate them, and those who prosecute them. From a young woman who uses out-of-body excursions to research paranormal crimes to a bookie who's been paying for hex protection against magical interference to an artist who does divination through his sketched visions which may lead to a murderer's undoing, here are powerful tales of magical crimes and punishments. (see review)

Five Star (ME)

The Drowning Pool by Jacqueline Seewald (Five Star (ME) 18 February 2009 / $25.95) - From publisher's website: Kim Reynolds, academic librarian, and Mike Gardner, police lieutenant, are spending a passionate, romantic evening together at Kim's apartment when Mike gets a call about a homicide. Kim and Mike join forces to solve the puzzling death of a man found floating in the locked pool of Kim's garden apartment complex in New Jersey. The victim, a womanizer, had many enemies. The excitement builds when the hunters become the hunted. Join Kim and Mike in this romantic suspense-filled follow-up to The Inferno Collection. (see review)

Forge Books

Boca Knights by Steven M. Forman (Forge Books 03 February 2009 / $24.95) - Product Description: In a debut novel sure to both excite passions and elicit laughter, a different kind of hero emerges in that most unlikely criminal hotbed: Boca Raton.

Eddie Perlmutter is capable of fighting with fearless frenzy, but only does so to defend the defenseless. Eddie's career as a much-honored Boston cop has come to an end. At sixty, he's still energetic and virile, but decades of harsh New England winters and collaring the pug-uglies of Boston's underworld have taken their toll—especially on his knees. So what¬†does a lonely, retired cop with arthritic knees do? Head to sunny Florida, of course.

Country-club politics and early-bird specials are a far cry from the street toughs, scuffles, and arrests of his former life. But some things never change. Instead of enjoying a relaxed, laid-back retirement, Eddie quickly discovers the darker side of Boca Raton's endless sun and palm trees, where hate crimes, counterfeiting, and worse lurk beneath the deceptively calm surface of cushy retirement communities.

With his no-nonsense crime-fighting skills and roll-with-the punches attitude, Eddie hits Boca Raton like of a Nor'easter from Hell, fast, fresh, and unstoppable. A compulsively readable comic thriller with an egalitarian message that will inspire readers of all ages, Boca Knights will have readers in stitches and keep them on the edge of their seats. (Source: Forge Books)

Critical Mass by Whitley Strieber (Forge Books 17 February 2009 / $24.95) - Product Description: What would we do if a nuclear weapon was detonated in Washington, and the US government suddenly disappeared? What would we do if a terrorist organization announced that it had concealed nuclear weapons in ever major western city and then demanded that the entire planet embrace its twisted brand of Muslin fundamentalism? ¬†In Critcal Mass, nuclear interdiction expert James Deutsh and his tormented Muslim wife, Nabila, struggle to stop an impending nuclear attack on an American city. Along the way, they delve deep into the hidden world of nuclear terrorism and the experts who strive to contain it, and get a compelling look at the titanic battle within Islam over its own future--fundamentalist and rejecting, or compassionate and life-embracing? ¬†Like Whitley Strieber's classics Warday and The Coming Global Superstorm, Critical Mass is torn straight from the dark pages of a very dangerous and very possible future. (see review)

Irish Tweed: A Nuala Anne McGrail Novel by Andrew M. Greeley (Forge Books 17 February 2009 / $24.95) - Product Description: Countless readers have been delighted by Father Andrew M. Greeley's bestselling tales of Nuala Anne McGrail, a fey, Irish-speaking woman blessed with the gift of second sight, and her husband and accomplice, Dermot Michael Coyne.

In Irish Tweed, Nuala Anne and her daughter have taken up karate to fight off schoolyard bullies who are harassing the family, while their incredibly shy nanny, Julie, is courted by a new fellow. Dermot pores over a memoir of a famine refugee whose family died of a mysterious fever, looking for clues into the illness' real cause.

Father Greeley's many fans look forward to each installment, and Irish Tweed is another captivating tale in a series by one of America's best loved storytellers. (see review)

Gumshoe

Interview: Robert Mayer by (Gumshoe 19 February 2009 / ) -

Harper

Nameless Night by G.M. Ford (Harper 01 February 2009 / $7.99) - Product Description: Discovered near death in a railroad car—his body broken, his mind destroyed—the man they call "Paul Hardy" has spent the past seven years living in a group home for disabled adults, mute, unresponsive, and eternally lost in a dull, gray haze.

But in the aftermath of a horrific car accident, he awakens in the hospital with a reconstructed face, a voice, and a mind clouded with memory. No longer Paul Hardy, he's someone even he himself cannot recognize. And he's got a purpose: to follow the confusing images in his brain to his lost past and identity. But his strange rebirth has attracted the dangerous attentions of powerful government men determined to keep a devastating secret buried forever. And now he must run . . . or die.

(see review)

The Dark Tide by Andrew Gross (Harper 01 February 2009 / $7.99) - Product Description: On the morning Karen Friedman learns that her husband, a hedge fund manager, has been tragically killed, Detective Ty Hauck begins his investigation of another man's death in a suspicious hit-and-run in Karen's hometown.

The two seemingly unrelated tragedies are about to plunge a beautiful widow and a determined investigator into a maelstrom of murder, vast sums of missing money, and international conspiracy.

(see review)

The Devil's Bones: A Body Farm Novel by Jefferson Bass (Harper 01 February 2009 / $7.99) - Product Description: A burned car sits on a Tennessee hilltop, a woman's lifeless, charred body seated inside. Forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton's job is to discover the truth hidden in the fire-desecrated corpse. Was the woman's death accidental . . . or was she incinerated to cover up her murder?

But his research into the effect of flame on flesh and bone is about to collide with reality like a lit match meeting spilled gasoline. The arrival of a mysterious package—a set of suspiciously unnatural cremated remains—is pulling Brockton toward a nightmare too inhuman to imagine. And an old nemesis is waiting in the shadows to put him to the ultimate test, one that could reduce Brockton's life to smoldering ruins.

(see review)

The Rosetta Key: An Ethan Gage Adventure by William Dietrich (Harper 01 February 2009 / $7.99) - Product Description: American adventurer Ethan Gage barely escaped with his life from murderous thieves, survived a nerve-racking sea voyage and the deadly Egyptian sands when attached to Napoleon's army, and solved a five-thousand-year-old riddle with the help of a mysterious medallion.

But that was child's play . . .

The year is 1799. As Bonaparte's army descends upon Israel, intent upon conquest, Ethan Gage finds himself embroiled in an ancient mystery in the Holy Land, searching for a legendary Egyptian scroll imbued with awesome powers.

The courageous and resourceful Gage must keep the mysterious document from his enemy, Napoleon—or, failing that, wrest it from him, even if it means pursuing his vengeful adversary back to France. And the wisdom of his great mentor, Benjamin Franklin, will offer Gage no solace should Bonaparte succeed in unlocking the terrible secrets of the Book of Thoth—for whoever masters its magic will rule the world.

(Source: Harper)

Jove

The Third Revelation: The Rosary Chronicles by Ralph McInenry (Jove 24 February 2009 / $7.99) - Product Description: An astounding miracle. Two vicious murders. A secret that could change the world. The Rosary Chronicles begin.

Retired CIA operative Vincent Traeger spent years working undercover in Rome. But when the Vatican's Secretary of State is brutally murdered along with a prefect of the Vatican Library, Traeger must not only solve the murders, but fight an unseen enemy and navigate a treacherous maze through history, faith, and his own past if he is ever to discover the astonishing truth. (Source: Jove)

Knopf

Spade & Archer: The Prequel to Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon by Joe Gores (Knopf 10 February 2009 / $24.00) - Product Description:

When Sam Spade gets drawn into the Maltese Falcon case, we know what to expect: straight talk, hard questions, no favors, and no way for anyone to get underneath the protective shell he wears like a second skin. We know that his late partner, Miles Archer, was a son of a bitch; that Spade is sleeping with Archer's wife, Iva; that his tomboyish secretary, Effie Perine, is the only innocent in his life. What we don't know is how Spade became who he is. Spade & Archer completes the picture.

1921: Spade sets up his own agency in San Francisco and clients quickly start coming through the door. The next seven years will see him dealing with booze runners, waterfront thugs, stowaways, banking swindlers, gold smugglers, bumbling cops, and the illegitimate daughter of Sun Yat-sen; with murder, other men's mistresses, and long-missing money. He'll bring in Archer as a partner, though it was Archer who stole his girl while he was fighting in World War I. He'll tangle with a villain who never loses his desire to make Spade pay big for ruining what should've been the perfect crime. And he'll fall in loveóthough it won't turn out for the best. It never does with dames . . .

Spade & Archer is a gritty, pitch-perfect, hard-boiled novelóthe work of a master mystery writeródestined to become a classic in its own right.

(see review)

NAL

Batter Off Dead: A Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery by Tamar Myers (NAL 03 February 2009 / $22.95) - Product Description: During a church breakfast, Minerva J. Jay, known for her prodigious appetite, slumps over after ingesting several stacks of pancakes. Police Chief Chris Ackerman wonders if the serving of the fatal flapjacks is a case of assault and batter. Magdalena has her own bun in the oven, but that doesn't stop the chief from asking for her help with the investigation.

Before Magdalena can begin, however, she has to make a special delivery of her own—and just when she thinks she's found her number one suspect, he turns up dead, squished flatter than a pancake by a driverless cement truck. Now, to stop the killer from cooking up another crime, Magdalena has no choice but to jump from the frying pan into the fire. (Source: NAL)

Dakota by Martha Grimes (NAL 03 February 2009 / $16.00) - Product Description: In Martha Grimes's acclaimed novel Biting the Moon, amnesiac drifter Andi Oliver sought the one man who held the key to her past. Now, Andi continues from one small town to the next, surviving the dangerous expanse of the Western plains, until she finds her mission—and menace—in Dakota. Taking a job at Klavan's pig farming facility, Andi learns the gruesome truth of modern livestock management. As she begins to uncover the even darker secrets about Klavan's sister facility, Big Sun, a stranger from her past comes to the surface— demanding information of which Andi has no memory. (Source: NAL)

Point

Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten (Point 01 February 2009 / $16.99) - Product Description:

Nina was beautiful, wild & adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But, one day, Nina disappeared. 2 years later, everyone has given up hope that Nina will return, but Ellie knows her sister is out there. If only Ellie had a clue where to look.Then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing. Determined to find Nina, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she's got a chance - her hot, adventurous new crush. Along the way,Ellie finds a few things she wasn't planning on. Like love. Lies. And the most shocking thing of all: the truth.

*The book contains interior black-and-white illustrations, since the sister's drawings play a crucial role in the story* (YA) (Source: Point)

Putnam

Promises in Death by J.D. Robb (Putnam 24 February 2009 / $26.95) - Product Description: #1 New York TimesĖ bestselling author J. D. Robb takes us to the New York City of 2060, where Lieutenant Eve Dallas faces down a cop killer.

A Amaryllis Coltraine may have recently transferred to the New York City police force from Atlanta, but she's been a cop long enough to know how to defend herself against an assailant. When she's taken down just steps away from her apartment, killed with her own weapon, for Eve the victim isn't just "one of us."

Dallas's friend Chief Medical Examiner Morris and Coltraine had started a serious relationship, and from all accounts the two were headed for a happy future together. But someone has put an end to all that. After breaking the news to Morris, Eve starts questioning everyone from Coltraine's squad, informants, and neighbors, while Eve's husband, Roarke, digs into computer data on Coltraine's life back in Atlanta. To their shock, they discover a connection between this case and their own painful, shadowy pasts.

The truth will need to be uncovered one layer at a time, starting with the box that arrives at Cop Central addressed to Eve containing Coltraine's guns, badge, and a note from her killer: "You can have them back. Maybe someday soon, I'll be sending yours to somebody else."

But Eve Dallas doesn't take too kindly to personal threats, and she is going to break this case, whatever it takes. And that's a promise. (see review)

Scholastic

Blizzard On Blue Mountain (Cabin Creek Mysteries) by Kristiana Gregory (Scholastic 01 February 2009 / $4.99) - Product Description: In Cabin Creek, winter means sledding, ice skating, snow boarding -- and a broken ski lift? A blizzard has blown into town and tourists are filling up the lodge to hit the slopes, which means there are all the more suspects in the cousins' latest case. Jeff, David, and Claire can't wait to get to the bottom of this frosty puzzle.

Each of the six books in this series features atmospheric spot art throughout. (RL3 007-010) (Source: Scholastic)

Scholastic Press

Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman (Scholastic Press 01 February 2009 / $14.99) - Product Description: Strange things are happening in Skeleton Creek . . . and Ryan and Sarah are trying to get to the heart of it. But after an eerie accident leaves Ryan housebound and forbidden to see Sarah, their investigation takes two tracks: Ryan records everything in his journal, while Sarah uses her videocam to search things out. . .and then email the clips for Ryan to see.

In a new, groundbreaking format, the story is broken into two parts -- Ryan's text in the book, and Sarah's videos on a special website, with links and passwords given throughout the book.

(see review)

Severn House

Monkey in the Middle by Stephen Solomita (Severn House 01 February 2009 / $15.95) - Product Description: When a hit is carried out on known mobster Anthony Maguire, New York's Organized Crime Control Bureau goes into damage limitation mode.

Public hysteria will erupt if the press link this murder to those of three other members of the infamous Paulie 'Margarine' Marginella's crew. It's Lieutenant Solly Epstein's job to make sure that doesn't happen, and especially not before his wife has had a baby that's already two weeks late.

As rival gangs are implicated and the hitman no longer seems under anyone's control, livelihoods -- and lives -- hang in the balance in this contemporary noir mystery set in the seedy underworld of New York. (Source: Severn House)

Signet

Evil in Carnations (Flower Shop Mysteries, No. 8) by Kate Collins (Signet 03 February 2009 / $6.99) - Product Description: The dating scene can be a killer...
Determined to help her roommate Nikki out of her singles slump, Abby Knight encourages her to give speed dating a try. Of course, Nikki wants the guy at the very bottom of Abby's list, Jonas Treatóa.k.a. "Treat the Cheat"óand figures just one date with him couldn't hurt. But then Jonas is found deadóand evidence points to Nikki as his killer.

To clear Nikki's name, Abby enlists the help of her hunky ex-Army Ranger boyfriend, Marco. But Marco's rambunctious extended family turns Abby's hectic life into a disaster zone. With her patience seriously wilting, and a killer on the loose, Abby is determined to dig herself out of this messóbefore someone buries her instead... (Source: Signet)

Homicide in Hardcover (Bibliophile) by Kate Carlisle (Signet 03 February 2009 / $6.99) - From back of book: Brooklyn Wainwright is a skilled surgeon. Sure, her patients might smell like mold and have spines made of leather, but no ailing book is going to die on her watch. The same can't be said of Abraham Karastovsky, Brooklyn's friend and former employer.

On the eve of a celebration for his latest book restoration, Brooklyn finds her mentor lying in a pool of his own blood. With his final breath, Abraham leaves Brooklyn a cryptic message, "Remember the devil," and smiles as she takes possession of his priceless--and supposedly cursed--copy of Goethe's Faust.

Brooklyn suddenly finds herself accused of murder and theft, thanks to Derek Stone, the humorless--and annoyingly attractive--British security officer who found her kneeling over the body. Now she has to make sense of the clues left behind by her mentor if she hopes to restore justice... (see review)

Scattered Graves: A Diane Fallon Forensic Investigation by Beverly Connor (Signet 03 February 2009 / $7.99) - From back of book: Local politics gets nasty when Rosewood, Georgia, elects a new mayor, and the honorable Spence Jefferies makes it his first order of business to replace Diane Fallon with an incompetent crony as head of the crime lab. But just as Diane is adjusting to life without murder, a double whammy hits: Within a twenty-four-hour period, the newly appointed chief of police and the mayor himself are shot dead.

Back on the job, Diane sees but can't quite believe the evidence damning the former chief of detectives as the shooter. Someone with plenty to gain intends to get away with more than murder, and as the investigation reveals an ever-widening web of corruption and treachery, Diane realizes that no one is safe--least of all her. (see review)

Shattered: A High Risk Novel by JoAnn Ross (Signet 03 February 2009 / $7.99) - Product Description: More than a year after his red-hot affair in Baghdad with Army doctor Kirby Campbell, Army pilot Shane Garrett is trying to rebuild his life stateside. Kirby is also stateside, but when she learns a friend is being held hostage in Central America, she works with Phoenix Team to organize a rescue—and Shane isn't about to let them leave him behind. Or let Kirby get away. But when Kirby and Shane stare danger in the face, they come to know each other in the way no civilian could ever understand. And they wonder: can they fight for their country, for their lives—and for love? (Source: Signet)

Soho Constable

Death of a Pilgrim by David Dickinson (Soho Constable 01 February 2009 / $25.00) - Product Description: 1905. A pilgrim is killed in Le Puy-en-Velay, France, and Lord Francis Powerscourt is summoned to investigate. More deaths plague pilgrims traveling to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, before Powerscourt solves the murders.

David Dickinson has an honors degree in classics from Cambridge. He is a BBC editor and the author of eight mysteries in the Lord Powerscourt series. He lives in Barnes, West London, United Kingdom.

(see review)

No More Dying by David Roberts (Soho Constable 01 February 2009 / $25.00) - Product Description: February, 1939. Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne are invited to Clivenden in Buckinghamshire, renowned as the headquarters for those prepared to go to any lengths to avert war. Murder stalks the formal gardens as private and public passions come to a climax.

David Roberts is the author of eight mysteries featuring Lord Corinth and Verity Browne. He is married and divides his time between London and Wiltshire, England.

(see review)

Soho Crime

Moonlight Downs by Adrian Hyland (Soho Crime 01 February 2009 / $13.00) - Product Description: Emily Tempest has been away from Australia for a long time, but now she's returned to the Moonlight Downs "mob," the community where she grew up, half in the Aboriginal world, half in the white. She is looking forward to a reunion with her childhood friend, Hazel, and to catching up with the rest of the group.

Within hours of her arrival, an old friend, Lincoln Flinders, the tribe's elderly leader, is murdered and mutilated. The police suspect Blakie Japanangka, a renegade aborigine sorcerer, but Emily believes that the old man was slain for worldly reasons, and she starts asking questions.

Adrian Hyland spent many years in the Northern Territory, Australia, living and working among indigenous people. He now teaches at LaTrobe University. Moonlight Downs, published as Diamond Dove in Australia, is his first novel.

(see review)

The Samaritan's Secret by Matt Beynon Rees (Soho Crime 01 February 2009 / $24.00) - Product Description:

A member of the tiny but ancient Samaritan community has been murdered. The dead man controlled hundreds of millions of dollars of government money. If the World Bank cannot locate it within the next several days, all aid money to the Palestinians will be cut off. Visiting Nablus, Omar Yussef must solve the murder and find the money, or all Palestinians will suffer.

(see review)

Speck Press

Dekok and the Dead Harlequin by A. C. Baantjer (Speck Press 28 February 2009 / $14.00) - Product Description: This latest Baantjer mystery delves into a grotesque double murder in a well-known Amsterdam hotel. In a surprising twist, Inspector DeKok has nightly conversations with the murderer and tries everything possible to prevent the man from giving himself up to the police. Risking the anger of his superiors, DeKok goes so far as to disappear in order to prevent the perpetrator from being found. Meanwhile, two unexpected characters add to the web of confusion: a six-year-old girl who never sleeps and a respected accountant who seeks DeKok s advice on committing the perfect crime. With Dead Harlequin, Baantjer has created yet another intelligent, absorbing tale. (Source: Speck Press)

Spectra

Made to Be Broken (Nadia Stafford, Book 2) by Kelley Armstrong (Spectra 24 February 2009 / $6.99) - Product Description: The author of the acclaimed Women of the Otherworld series returns with her latest novel featuring an exciting heroine with a lethal hidden talent. This time she's hot on the trail of a young woman no one else cares about—and a killer who's bound to strike again.

Nadia Stafford isn't your typical nature lodge owner. An ex-cop with a legal code all her own, she's known only as "Dee" to her current employer: a New York crime family that pays her handsomely to bump off traitors. But when Nadia discovers that a troubled teenage employee and her baby have vanished in the Canadian woods, the memory of a past loss comes back with a vengeance and her old instincts go into overdrive.

With her enigmatic mentor, Jack, covering her back, Nadia unearths sinister clues that point to an increasingly darker and deadlier mystery. Now, with her obsession over the case deepening, the only way Nadia can right the wrongs of the present is to face her own painful ghosts—and either bury them for good, or die trying. Because in her book everyone deserves a chance. And everyone deserves justice. (see review)

St. Martin's Minotaur

Kingdom of Silence by Lee Wood (St. Martin's Minotaur 17 February 2009 / $25.95) - Product Description: After a U.S. marshal and her¬†prisoner are gunned down outside of London's Heathrow Airport before the prisoner can testify against her boyfriend, the head of a violent animal-rights group, Leeds Detective Sergeant Keen Dunliffe doesn't seem like the right man for the case. But with an American federal agent dead and homegrown terrorists on the loose, Keen's undercover experience and knowledge of Yorkshire—the terrorists' backyard—come into play.

He's ordered to head up a sting operation with Rachel Colver, an inexperienced police constable, who may have personal ties that will help her infiltrate the animal-rights group. However, Keen is worried about a plan that puts Rachel in obvious peril. The two hunker down and start working the case from the inside—while at the same time the most widespread outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease ever to strike the English countryside is decimating livestock.

Brutal extremists and police politics collide in a plot involving murder, intimidation, smuggling, and blackmail—with lethal consequences—in Kingdom of Silence, the second mystery in¬†Lee Wood's¬†richly imagined and superbly nuanced series featuring DS Keen Dunliffe.

(Source: St. Martin's Minotaur)

Posed for Murder by Meredith Cole (St. Martin's Minotaur 17 February 2009 / $24.95) - Product Description: Lydia McKenzie is an artist whose medium is the camera. She's having her first one-woman show. It is a series that ties to actual murders committed in the city's past. Her method is to find a model-someone who can match in a general way the actual female victim-and pose her in the clothes and position in which the actual victim was found. The night of her showing. however, is disappointing; the owner of the gallery makes her pay for the invitations down to the stamps, hang the whole show herself and rush for the usual wine and snacks. But what happens next is much worse: two plainclothes policemen shut down the event and take Lydia in for questioning. A Young woman whom she knew well, and who was the model in one of her photographs. has been murdered. Worried that the police aren't doing what they should. Lydia and another friend set out to find the killer. (Source: St. Martin's Minotaur)

The Big Dirt Nap: A Dirty Business Mystery by Rosemary Harris (St. Martin's Minotaur 17 February 2009 / $24.95) - Product Description: A hit with mystery lovers and gardening fans nationwide, Pushing Up Daisies introduced Paula Holliday, ex-NYC media exec turned Connecticut gardener, in Rosemary Harris's celebrated series debut. Now in The Big Dirt Nap, Paula is back in a second scent-sational thriller.

Something stinks to Paula Holliday, and it isn't just the corpse flower, titan arum, named for its off-putting fragrance. When Paula's friend Lucy asks her to tag along on an all-expense-paid junket to the Titans Hotel, it seems like a good idea. Paula even manages to squeeze a few bucks and a byline out of the local paper for writing an article on the titan arum, a rare flower that's just about to bloom and on display at the hotel.

But when her friend is unavoidably detained, a would-be suitor is found with a gaping hole in his head, and the corpse flower refuses to bloom, the entire venture starts to seem like less of a good idea. (Source: St. Martin's Minotaur)

The Shanghai Moon: A Lydia Chin/Bill Smith Novel by S. J. Rozan (St. Martin's Minotaur 03 February 2009 / $24.95) - Product Description: With The Shanghai Moon, S.J. Rozan returns to her award-winning, critically acclaimed, and much-loved characters Lydia Chin and Bill Smith in the first new novel in the series in seven years.¬†Estranged for months from fellow P.I. Bill Smith, Chinese-American private investigator Lydia Chin is¬†brought in by colleague and former mentor Joel Pilarsky to help with a case that crosses continents, cultures, and decades.¬†¬†¬†In Shanghai, excavation has unearthed¬†a cache of European jewelry dating back to¬†World War II, when Shanghai was an open city¬†providing safe haven for¬†thousands of Jewish¬†refugees. The jewelry, identifed as¬†having belonged to one such refugee - Rosalie¬†Gilder - was immediately stolen by a Chinese official¬†who fled to New York City. Hired by a lawyer¬†specializing in the recovery of Holocaust assets, Chin and Pilarsky are to find any and all leads to the missing jewels.However, Lydia soon learns that there is much more to the story than they've been told: The Shanghai Moon, one of the world's most sought after missing jewels, reputed to be worth millions, is believed to have been part of the same stash.¬†Before Lydia can act on this new information, Joel Pilarsky is murdered, Lydia is fired from the case, and Bill Smith finally reappears on the scene.¬†Now Lydia and Bill must unravel the truth about the Shanghai Moon and the events that surrounded its disappearance sixty years ago during the chaos of war and revolution, if they are to stop more killings and uncover the truth of what is going on today. (Source: St. Martin's Minotaur)

William Morrow

Blood and Bone by William Lashner (William Morrow 01 February 2009 / $24.99) - Product Description: For a son, every funeral before his father's death is a rehearsal and every funeral thereafter is a memorial.

Kyle Byrne, the illegitimate son of a prominent Philadelphia lawyer, had to sneak into his father's funeral when he was fourteen years old. Twelve years later, his father's death still casts a shadow upon his heart.

Now amiable and handsome, Kyle finds himself drifting through a life of slack. With his house in foreclosure and his part-time job lost, he spends his days playing Xbox and his nights in Philly bars, drinking way too much and sleeping with the wrong type of women. Life is, well, actually pretty damn sweet.

But when his father's former law partner is brutally murdered, the cops see Kyle as a possible suspect and start asking uncomfortable questions about his father's death. And after a strange encounter with one of his father's former clients, Kyle enters into a search for answers that leads from his father's past to the highest pinnacles of power—and forces Kyle to lay bare the deceptions and losses in his own life.

Just when it seems he's close to learning the truth about his father and the murder, Kyle is reminded of that old adage "be careful what you wish for." Because Kyle Byrne's most fervent wish is suddenly about to come true—with a vengeance.

(see review)

Cat Playing Cupid: A Joe Grey Mystery (Joe Grey Mysteries) by Shirley Rousseau Murphy (William Morrow 01 February 2009 / $16.99) - Product Description:

Love—and murder—is in the air. . . .

It took Joe Grey's human, Clyde, nearly forever to pop the question to Ryan Flannery, and what more romantic time to tie the knot than on Valentine's Day? But dark secrets from the past, uncovered by Joe and his feline pals, threaten to ruin the happy union.

First, a body discovered many miles away reopens a ten-year-old cold case involving a man who disappeared days before his own wedding. The jilted bride is back in town and eager to find the truth . . . or to hide evidence of her own wrongdoing. Trouble is, she's soon involved with Ryan's father, who is house-sitting and preparing meals for Joe Grey while Clyde and Ryan are on their honeymoon.

Then another body is found closer to home on the grounds of a ruined estate, deserted save for a band of unusual feral cats. Around the wrist of the corpse is a bracelet bearing the image of a rearing cat, and the cats discover a rare literary volume hidden nearby that divulges their own secret: their special ability to speak.

But as the police investigate the two murders, located more than five hundred miles apart, only Joe Grey suspects that the crimes are related. It takes a chase from which the tomcat wonders if he'll emerge alive for anyone to hone in on the connection between the murders. Finally, feline perception and cop sense combine to bring a killer to justice in this delightful new tale involving Shirley Rousseau Murphy's three amazing cats.

(Source: William Morrow)

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