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US Books Received- 02/2010  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

The Seventh Witch (Ophelia & Abby Mysteries, No. 7) by Shirley Damsgaard (Avon 01 February 2010 / $7.99) - From press release: Shirley Damsgaard's seventh and concluding paranormal mystery, featuring lovable witches Ophelia and Abby and Ophelia's adopted teenage daughter Tink, who is also a medium. The most recent volume in this series was The Witch's Grave. (Source: Avon)

Berkley

A Stitch in Crime (Crochet Mystery) by Betty Hechtman (Berkley 02 February 2010 / $7.99) - Product Description: Molly's been handed the reins for this year's creative retreat-an exhilarating weekend out on the Monterey Peninsula, complete with crochet classes. Unfortunately for one teacher, though, the breathtaking scenery is where she'll take her last breath. Now Molly will have to find a new instructor, and, if she can squeeze it in, solve this murder-with the help of her pals from the Tarzana Hookers.

(Source: Berkley)

Avenging Angels (A Beaufort & Company Mystery) by Mary Stanton (Berkley 02 February 2010 / $7.99) - Product Description: Law school hasn't prepared Bree to appeal cases for the dead. After inheriting her great-uncle's haunted law firm, she must now represent ex-banker O'Rourke, who supposedly killed himself after losing a fortune. But with a merry widow and evidence mounting, it's beginning to look like murder. So Bree and her team of angels begin to investigate. But Bree soon discovers that someone would rather see her deceased than debriefed.

(see review)

Storm Peak: A Jesse Parker Mystery by John A. Flanagan (Berkley 02 February 2010 / $15.00) - Product Description: The debut of a brand-new mystery series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Ranger's Apprentice novels.

Ex-Denver police detective Jesse Parker has returned home to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to spend the winter working ski patrol and forgetting about his past. But a killer has other ideas. It begins when a skier is found brutally murdered. Local Sheriff Lee Torrens asks her old friend to help out with the investigation, and Jesse finds himself reluctantly dragged back into a world of violence and death.

As Jesse and Lee work together, the memories of what they felt for each other long ago resurface- even as a madman strikes again and again, leaving no clue or trace as to identity or motive. Because for the killer, there are more important things to do than lead the authorities on...

Like deciding who will die next. (Source: Berkley)

The Diva Paints the Town (A Domestic Diva Mystery) by Krista Davis (Berkley 02 February 2010 / $6.99) - Product Description: When Sophie's neighbor-a reclusive professor-dies, his final wish is for the Domestic Diva to throw a dinner party in his honor, and he's planned everything down to the letter. But what no one planned for is the corpse of a student that Sophie finds in his house. (Source: Berkley)

The Forensic Psychology of Criminal Minds by Katherine Ramsland (Berkley 02 February 2010 / $15.00) - Product Description: The bestselling author of The Forensic Science of C.S.I. examines the real-life cases behind the hit television series Criminal Minds

Week after week, the hit TV show Criminal Minds gives viewers a look inside the psyches of the fictional serial killers tracked by the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit). This elite team of FBI agents travels the country assisting law enforcement officials by examining the crime scene, "profiling" the perpetrator, and aiding in arrest and interrogation. In this book Katherine Ramsland reveals how reality differs from fiction and how forensic psychologists actually use their knowledge of human behavior and motivations as consultants in criminal investigations-as well as detailing the real cases that influenced some of Criminal Minds's most memorable episodes.

The Pendragon Murders (A Merlin Investigation) by J.M.C. Blair (Berkley 02 February 2010 / $7.99) - Product Description: Merlin investigates a royal mystery at Stonehenge.

A baron and his sons are found dead at Stonehenge. King Arthur's potential heirs start to mysteriously die. And only Merlin can prove that the murders are not the work of the plague, but something much more sinister.

(Source: Berkley)

The Proof is in the Pudding (Della Cooks Mystery) by Melinda Wells (Berkley 02 February 2010 / $7.99) - Product Description: A mouthwatering new Della Cools mystery-recipes included.

Owner of a Santa Monica cooking school and cable cooking show star Della Carmichael is one of three judges for an A-list cook-off-but it's the celebrities who are getting knocked off.

(Source: Berkley)

Town In a Blueberry Jam (Candy Holliday Mystery) by B.B. Haywood (Berkley 02 February 2010 / $6.99) - Product Description: First in the fabulous new Candy Holliday Murder mystery series.
In the seaside village of Cape Willington, Maine, Candy Holliday has an idyllic life tending to the Blueberry Acres farm she runs with her father. But, when an aging playboy and the newly crowned Blueberry Queen are killed, Candy investigates to clear the name of a local handyman. And as she sorts through the town's juicy secrets, things start to get sticky indeed... (Source: Berkley)

Wild Penance by Sandi Ault (Berkley 02 February 2010 / $24.95) - Product Description: Bureau of Land Management agent Jamaica Wild has always been fascinated by Los Penitentes, a secret, ancient religious group that reenacts Jesus' crucifixion and practices excessive penance. And a recent, dramatic death she witnesses in the Gorge seems to be part of their rituals. But a haunted priest warns Jamaica not to investigate too closely.

Too many strange things are happening to let this go. And when someone makes an attempt on her life, Jamaica sets out on a fact-finding mission that could send her over the edge.

(see review)

Forge Books

Boca Mournings by Steven M. Forman (Forge Books 02 February 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description:

"Part Robert Parker, part Carl Hiaasen, Eddie Perlmutter is a high testosterone, no-nonsense detective with a tender core, and makes turning sixty a carnal, tropical ride." --Andrew Gross, bestselling author of The Blue Zone, on Boca Knights 

Since he arrived in sunny Florida, Eddie has survived a run-in with the Russian mafia and tangled with Boca's own family of neo-Nazis. But crime and punishment in the land of the Early Bird Special is complicated. The Russians have fled . . . but their evil lingers on; and though the neo-Nazis' junior thug is guilty, punishing him is a lot more complicated than Eddie thought it would be when he caught the little creep harassing decent folks in the name of white supremacy. And that's just Eddie's unfinished business. Helped by a reformed computer conman, he's busier with new cases than he was in Boston, ranging from a mysteriously haunted elevator to a double kidnapping. He's got cases with trails as far as Russia and Israel. Retirement, my foot.

Good thing he didn't retire from matters of the heart . . . because the women won't let him. Between his amorous adventures and his burgeoning sleuth business, the twists and turns of Eddie's life make this an edge-of-your-seat, uproariously funny thriller . . .

(Source: Forge Books)

Last Snow by Eric Van Lustbader (Forge Books 16 February 2010 / $25.99) - Product Description: Jack McClure, Special Advisor and closest friend to the new President of the United States, interprets the world very differently from the rest of us. It's his greatest liability, and his greatest asset.

An American senator, supposedly on a political trip to the Ukraine, turns up dead on the island of Capri. When the President asks him to find out how and why, Jack sets out from Moscow across Eastern Europe, following a perilous trail of diplomats, criminals, and corrupt politicians. Thrust into the midst of a global jigsaw puzzle, Jack's unique dyslexic mind allows him to put together the pieces that others can't even see.

Still unreconciled to the recent death of his daughter and the dissolution of his marriage, Jack takes on a personal mission along with his official one: keeping safe from harm his two unlikely, unexpected, and incompatible companionsAnnika Dementieva, a rogue Russian FSB agent, and Alli Carson, the President's daughter. As he struggles to keep both young women safe and unearth the answers he seeks, hunted by everyone from the Russian mafia to the Ukrainian police to his own NSA, Jack learns just how far up the American and Russian political ladders corruption and treachery has reached.

In the vein of Eric Van Lustbader's latest bestselling Jason Bourne novels, Lustbader takes us on an international adventure in this powerful page-turner that will keep you reading through the night.

(Source: Forge Books)

Harper

Fugitive by Phillip Margolin (Harper 01 February 2010 / $9.99) - Product Description: Amanda Jaffe, the heroine of Wild Justice and Proof Positive, is backin this twisting tale of international intrigue and murder that leads her deep into the past . . . and into the crosshairs of a killer.

Charlie Marsh, a petty thief and con man, becomes a national hero when he rescues the warden of a state penitentiary during a prison riot, but it doesn't take long before he is wanted again, suspected of killing a United States congressman. After twelve years of living in the African nation of Batanga, at the mercy of Jean-Claude Baptiste, a sadistic, power-mad dictator, Charlie flees for home to face his murder charge, when Baptiste learns about Charlie's affair with the tyrant's favorite wife.

But it's not just the state of Oregon that's got it in for the philandering con. Criminal lawyer Amanda Jaffe has her work cut out for her. She must keep Charlie off death row, protect him from the head of Baptiste's deadly secret police, and prevent him from being caught by a shadowy killer who will stop at nothing to keep the truth about a decade-old crime buried forever.

(Source: Harper)

The Dakota Cipher: An Ethan Gage Adventure by William Dietrich (Harper 01 February 2010 / $9.99) - Product Description: With President Thomas Jefferson's blessings, Ethan and Magnus embark upon an expedition into the western wildernesskeeping their eyes open for woolly mammoths. But another prize secretly impels them: the mythical hammer of the Norse god Thor, allegedly carried to North America more than a century before Columbus. Across a landscape no white man has ever traversed, Gage's skills will be tested as never beforeas he braves unimaginable peril en route to the most incredible discovery of all time.

(Source: Harper)

Knopf

Occupied City by David Peace (Knopf 02 February 2010 / $25.95) - Product Description: A fierce, exquisitely dark novel that plunges us into postWorld War II Occupied Japan in a Rashomon-like retelling of a mass poisoning (based on an actual event), its aftermath, and the hidden wartime atrocities that led to the crime.

On January 26, 1948, a man identifying himself as a public health official arrives at a bank in Tokyo. There has been an outbreak of dysentery in the neighborhood, he explains, and he has been assigned by Occupation authorities to treat everyone who might have been exposed to the disease. Soon after drinking the medicine he administers, twelve employees are dead, four are unconscious, and the "official" has fled . . .

Twelve voices tell the story of the murder from different perspectives. One of the victims speaks, for all the victims, from the grave. We read the increasingly mad notes of one of the case detectives, the desperate letters of an American occupier, the testimony of a traumatized survivor. We meet a journalist, a gangster-turned-businessman, an "occult detective," a Soviet soldier, a well-known painter. Each voice enlarges and deepens the portrait of a city and a people making their way out of a war-induced hell. (Source: Knopf)

Mainly Murder Press

Shot to Death by Stephen D. Rogers (Mainly Murder Press 15 February 2010 / $14.95) - Product Description: Thirty-one thought-provoking mystery stories by acclaimed author Stephen D. Rogers, all set in the cities and small towns of his native New England. (Source: Mainly Murder Press)

McArthur & Company Publishing, Ltd.

Margarita Nights: A Sherri Travis Mystery by Phyllis Smallman (McArthur & Company Publishing, Ltd. 25 February 2010 / $19.95) - Product Description: Margarita Nights is a cozy with grit--serving Jack Daniels instead of tea. In a small Florida beach town, Sherri Travis is a bartender with attitude and a woman with an inconveniently murdered husband who turns out to be as much trouble to her dead as he was alive. Sifting through the debris of Jimmy's life, Sherri finds more than a few people who wanted her lying, scheming, scam artist husband gone--but which one actually did the deed? (see review)

MIDNIGHT INK

Corpse on the Cob: An Odelia Grey Mystery by Sue Ann Jaffarian (MIDNIGHT INK 01 February 2010 / $14.95) - Product Description: What do you have to lose when you go searching for the mother who walked out of your life thirty-four years ago? I mean besides your pride, your nerves, and your sanity?

Odelia finds herself up to her ears in trouble when she reunites with her mom in a corn maze at the Autumn Fair in Holmsbury, Massachusetts. For starters, there's finding the dead body in the cornfieldand seeing her long-lost mom crouched beside the corpse with blood on her hands . . . (Source: MIDNIGHT INK)

Minotaur Books

A Night Too Dark (Kate Shugak) by Dana Stabenow (Minotaur Books 16 February 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: A Night Too Dark is New York Times bestselling writer Dana Stabenow's latest, the seventeenth in a series chronicling life, death, love, tragedy, mischief, controversy, nature, and survival in Alaska, America's last real frontier.

In Alaska, people disappear every day. In Aleut detective Kate Shugak's Park, they've been disappearing a lot lately. Hikers head into the wilderness unprepared and get lost. Miners quit without notice at the busy Suulutaq Mine. Suicides leave farewell notes and vanish.

Not only are Park rats disappearing at an alarming rate, but so is life in the Park as Kate knows it. Alaska state trooper Jim Chopin's workload has increased to where he doesn't make it home three nights out of four, the controversial mine has seduced Johnny and his classmates with summer jobs and divided the Niniltna Native Associationthe aunties are to a woman selling outand a hostile environmental activist organization has embraced the Suulutaq Mine as their reason for being.

It's almost a relief when Kate finds a body. This she can handle. Until the identity of the body vanishes, too. In this latest Kate Shugak novel, the smart, sexy PI, her wolf/husky hybrid Mutt, and Chopper Jim are only just beginning to realize the fallout from the discovery of the world's second-largest gold mine in their backyard. (see review)

Bamboo and Blood: An Inspector O Novel by James Church (Minotaur Books 16 February 2010 / $13.99) - Product Description: Inspector O returns . . . In the winter of 1997, trying to stay alive during a famine that has devastated much of North Korea, Inspector O is ordered to play host to an Israeli agent who appears in Pyongyang. When the wife of a North Korean diplomat in Pakistan dies under suspicious circumstances, O is told to investigate, with a curious proviso: Don't look too closely at the details, and stay away from the question of missiles. O knows he can't avoid finding out what he is supposed to ignore on a trail that leads him from the dark, chilly rooms of Pyongyang to an abandoned secret facility deep in the countryside, guarded by a lonely general; and from the streets of New York to a bench beneath a horse chestnut tree on the shores of Lake Geneva, where the Inspector discovers he is up to his ears in missiles---and worse. Stalked by the past and wary of the future, O is convinced there is no one he can trust, and no one he can't suspect. Swiss intelligence wants him out of the country; someone else wants him dead. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Bellfield Hall: Or, The Observations of Miss Dido Kent by Anna Dean (Minotaur Books 02 February 2010 / $23.99) - Product Description: 1805. An engagement party is taking place for Mr Richard Montague, son of wealthy landowner Sir Edgar Montague, and his fiancee Catherine. During a dance with his beloved, a strange thing happens: a man appears at Richard's shoulder and appears to communicate something to him without saying a word. Instantly breaking off the engagement, he rushes off to speak to his father, never to be seen again. Distraught with worry, Catherine sends for her spinster aunt, Miss Dido Kent, who has a penchant for solving mysteries. Catherine pleads with her to find her fiance and to discover the truth behind his disappearance. It's going to take a lot of logical thinking to untangle the complex threads of this multi-layered mystery, and Miss Dido Kent is just the woman to do it. (Source: Minotaur Books)

City of Dragons: A San Francisco Mystery by Kelli Stanley (Minotaur Books 02 February 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: February, 1940. In San Francisco's Chinatown, fireworks explode as the city celebrates Chinese New Year with a Rice Bowl Party, a three day-and-night carnival designed to raise money and support for China war relief. Miranda Corbie is a 33-year-old private investigator who stumbles upon the fatally shot body of Eddie Takahashi. The Chamber of Commerce wants it covered up. The cops acquiesce. All Miranda wants is justice--whatever it costs. From Chinatown tenements, to a tattered tailor's shop in Little Osaka, to a high-class bordello draped in Southern Gothic, she shakes down the city--her city--seeking the truth. (see review)

Let It Ride by John McFetridge (Minotaur Books 16 February 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: Vernard 'Get' McGetty is back from serving in Afghanistan, back dealing drugs in Detroit and looking to move up with his buddy JT, a guy he met in Kandahar who also happens to be the leader of the Saints of Hella notorious Ontario biker gang currently in the process of taking over all North of the border drug traffic. Commuting weekly across the line into the center of JT's high flying empire, Get hooks up with Sunitha, a decidedly independent woman who's gone from working seedy massage parlors to robbing them at gunpointand has dreams of a much bigger score: taking the Saints for the millions they have stashed in gold bars. Meanwhile, the Toronto cops have the Saints under a microscope. Detectives Price and McKeon are getting nowhere with a double drive-by killing on the Gardiner Expresswaya husband and wife returning from a swingers partyand the investigation keeps leading back to the Saints... (Source: Minotaur Books)

Print the Legend by Craig McDonald (Minotaur Books 16 February 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: It was the shot heard around the world: On July 2, 1961, Ernest Hemingway died from a shotgun blast to the head...4 years later, two men have come to Idaho to confront the widow Hemingwaymen who have doubts about the circumstances of Hemingway's death. One is crime novelist Hector Lassiter, the oldest and best of Hem's friends...the last man standing of the Lost Generation. Hector has heardrumors of some surviving Hemingway manuscripts: a "lost" chapter of A Moveable Feast and a full-lengthnovel written by a deluded Hemingway that Hector fears might compromise his own reputation The other man is professor Richard Paulson, who along with hispregnant wife Hannah, herselfan aspiring writer, isbent on provingthat Mary Hemingway murdered Papa. As Hector digs into the mystery of Hemingway's lost writings, he uncovers an audacious, decades-longconspiracy tied to the emergent art movements of 1920's Paris, the most duplicitous of Cold War espionage tactics, and J. Edgar Hoover's FBI... (Source: Minotaur Books)

Rescuing Olivia by Julie Compton (Minotaur Books 02 February 2010 / $25.99) - Product Description: Anders Erickson has fallen for Olivia, wholikes to live in the moment anddoesn't want to talkabout her past. That's fine with Anderswho has his own memories he'd like to forgetuntila car runs their motorcycle off the road and causes an accident that puts Olivia in a coma.

Olivia's estranged father blames Andersand denies his pleas to see her.When she mysteriously disappears from the hospital and Anders tries to learn what happened, her father stops at nothing to prevent him from discovering the truth.

But Anders refuses to accept that she's gone for good. Determined to find answers, he sets out on a dangerous path that exposes Olivia's traumatic past and places him squarely in the way of her father's plans. When he discovers her very life is threatened, his search for answers becomes a race against time, and he is forced to finally confront his own past if he is to have any chance of rescuing Olivia from hers. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Sherlock Holmes: The American Years by (Minotaur Books 02 February 2010 / $25.99) - Product Description: A compelling volume of original tales concerning Sherlock Holmes' legendary time in America With an introduction by Leslie S. Klinger, editor and compiler of all three volumes of the Annotated Sherlock Holmes, this collection of ten original stories brings light to one of the least examined periods in the life of the great detectivehis time in the former colonies, the United States. This Holmes is a youthful onea young man not yet set upon his course in life and in his famous lodgings at 221B Baker Street. In Richard Lupoff 's "Inga Sigerson Weds," he's come to America to represent the family at his sister's wedding. In "My Silk Umbrella," Mark Twain narrates his fateful encounter with Holmes at a baseball game in Hartford, Connecticut; Steve Hockensmith narrates the meeting of the young William Gillette and the object of his later, most famous turn upon the stage; and Peter Tremayne reveals the intersection of Holmes and the Irish in the 19th century American midwestern landscape. With further stories by Marta Randall, Rhys Bowen, Peter Beagle, and others, the legend, the mythology and even the history of the world's greatest detective is further enhanced by these charming, clever and mystifying tales. (see review)

Slow Fire by Ken Mercer (Minotaur Books 16 February 2010 / $25.99) - Product Description: One morning, Will Magowan opens his mail and finds a mysterious job offer to become the police chief of Haydenville, a tiny town in rural Northern California.

Once a highly decorated LAPD narcotics detective, Will was terminated after a devastating personal tragedy drove him to become addicted to the heroin he was charged with keeping off the streets. Fresh out of rehab but jobless and estranged from his wife, Will now lives alone in an old Airstream trailer on the fringes of L.A.

Out of options, Will accepts the job. After moving to Haydenville, he discovers that the once postcard-perfect town is being corrupted by a criminal influence that threatens to destroy it.

Haydenville's normally law-abiding citizens begin to erupt in acts of unspeakable violence. Pets are going missing at an alarming rate. Stately Victorian homes are falling into disrepair.

With only a rookie officer at his disposal, Will risks everything in his quest to save Haydenvilleentering a labyrinth of dark secrets that have remained buried for almost 40 years. (see review)

The Puzzle Lady vs. The Sudoku Lady: A Puzzle Lady Mystery by Parnell Hall (Minotaur Books 02 February 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: It's the battle of the century when Minami, the Sudoku Lady, shows up in Bakerhaven, Connecticut, to meet Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady, whose sudoku books have just edged Minami's off of the Japanese bestseller list. Before the rivals have a chance to square off, a killer strikes, and a sudoku puzzle is found at the scene of the murder. Now it's a fight to the finish to see who can unmask the killer.

Cora is eager to undo her Japanese counterpart---at least until the poor woman is arrested for murder and Cora realizes that she accidentally framed her for the crime. As if that weren't frustrating enough, the publicity of her arrest drives Minami's sales through the roof!

Now it's up to Cora to clear her rival's name, get her off the bestseller list, and trap the real killer, but she'd better do it fast, before the cops find out what Cora did, and she winds up facing more jail time than Minami.latest adventure makes for a rollicking good read.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Winterland by Alan Glynn (Minotaur Books 02 February 2010 / $25.99) - Product Description: Winterland is a blistering unputdownable novel about power, lies and the corrupting influence of money. It is the first in a series on the dark and clandestine underside of globalization and announces a compelling new voice in contemporary crime writing.

The worlds of business, politics and crime collide when two men with the same name, from the same family, die on the same nightone death is a gangland murder, the other, apparently, a road accident. Was it a coincidence? That's the official version of events. But when a family member, Gina Rafferty, starts asking questions, this notion quickly unravels.

Devastated by her loss, Gina's grief is tempered, and increasingly fuelled, by angerbecause the more she's told that it was all a coincidence, that gangland violence is commonplace, that people die on our roads every day of the week, the less she's prepared to accept it. Told repeatedly that she should stop asking questions, Gina becomes more determined than ever to find out the truth, to establish a connection between the two deathsbut in doing so she embarks on a path that will push certain powerful people to their limits... (see review)

NAL

Butter Safe Than Sorry: A Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery by Tamar Myers (NAL 02 February 2010 / $14.00) - Product Description: Mennonite innkeeper Magdalena Yoder is at the bank with her four-year- old son when three armed Amish men burst in and start shooting and-more surprisingly-cursing. Magdalena protects Little Jacob, and the robbers flee at the sound of police sirens.

When Jacob wonders why the bandits had mustaches-unlike all the other Amish men he knows-Magdalena springs into action to catch the thieves. They may be armed, but they may not be Amish!

(Source: NAL)

Picador

Security: A Novel by Stephen Amidon (Picador 02 February 2010 / $15.00) - Product Description: There isn't much crime in Stoneleigh, Massachusetts, a college town, a mountain getaway for the quietly rich. So when Edward Inman, owner of Stoneleigh Sentinel security, gets a late-night alarm from the home of one of his wealthiest clients, Doyle Cutler, he does a routine check and thinks nothing more of ituntil a local student claims that she was sexually assaulted that night at Cutler's house.

Edward soon finds himself drawn into the girl's story,and hisinvestigation leads him to his old girlfriend, whose teenage son may know the truth about what happenedthat night. (Source: Picador)

Shadow of the Wolf: A Novel by Brent Ghelfi (Picador 02 February 2010 / $14.00) - Product Description: He left the blood-soaked mountains of Chechnya behind to become a gun-for-hire in the new Moscow. But an international cabal is luring Alexei Volkovoy back to those mountains and toward a confrontation with his old nemesis.

The headquarters of an American oil company spits smoke into the Moscow night, the aftermath of an apparent terrorist attack. A Russian army captain carrying a Faberg egg and digital evidence of horrific wartime atrocities is murdered, and relieved of both. And in the snowy mountains of southern Russia, a terrorist named AbregVolk's old enemyhatches a plan to lure him back into his grasp.

Shadow of the Wolf finds Colonel Alexei Volkovoycovert agent of the Russian army and major player in the Moscow underworldonce again struggling to stay afloat in the swirling currents of Russian political and economic intrigue. (Source: Picador)

Pocket

Lay Down My Sword and Shield by James Lee Burke (Pocket 16 February 2010 / $15.00) - Product Description: Against the backdrop of growing civil rights turmoil in a sultry border town, the hard-drinking ex-POW attorney yields to the myriad urgings of his wife, his brother, and his so-called friends to make a bid for a congressional seat -- and finds himself embroiled in the seamy world of Texas powerbrokers. And when Hack attempts to overturn an old army buddy's conviction, and crosses paths with a beautiful union organizer who speaks to his heart in a way no one else has, he finds both a new love and a new purpose as he breaks free from the shackles of wealth and expectation to bring justice to the underserved. (Source: Pocket)

The Little Death by P.J. Parrish (Pocket 16 February 2010 / $7.99) - Product Description: Most people would kill to live in glamorous Palm Beach, with its beautiful women, five-star resorts, and dazzling coast. But most people don't know what really goes on in the bedrooms of the rich and famous....Mark Durand did -- and now the handsome high-class "walker," who escorted the wealthiest women to posh affairs, is dead, his beheaded corpse found in an abandoned cattle pen.

South Florida detective Louis Kincaid feels out of his element in Palm Beach, especially after receiving a ticket for driving an ugly car. But plunged into the gruesome homicide case, he's agreed to help prime suspect Reggie Kent, an aging male walker who may or may not have been the victim's lover. And as his investigation snakes through the privileged class,Kincaid uncovers shocking truths about a powerful lady senatorwhose husband collects dangerous weaponry...a silver tongued dowager with a taste for gossip...and a seductive socialite who tries to make Kincaid forget about his girlfriendJoe Frye -- by whispering three little words: "Die with me." (Source: Pocket)

Putnam

Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb (Putnam 23 February 2010 / $26.95) - Product Description: Bart Minnock, founder of the computer-gaming giant U-Play, enters his private playroom, and eagerly can't wait to lose himself in an imaginary world, to play the role of a sword-wielding warrior king, in his company's latest top-secret project, Fantastical.

The next morning, he is found in the same locked room, in a pool of blood, his head separated from his body. It is the most puzzling case Eve Dallas has ever faced, and it is not a game. . . .

NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas is having as much trouble figuring out how Bart Minnock was murdered as who did the murdering. The victim's girlfriend seems sincerely grief-stricken, and his quirky-but-brilliant partners at U-Play appear equally shocked. No one seemed to have a problem with the enthusiastic, high-spirited millionaire. Of course, success can attract jealousy, and gaming, like any business, has its fierce rivalries and dirty tricks-as Eve's husband, Roarke, one of U- Play's competitors, knows well. But Minnock was not naive, and quite capable of fighting back in the real world as well as the virtual one.

Eve and her team are about to enter the next level of police work, in a world where fantasy is the ultimate seduction-and the price of defeat is death. . . .

(see review)

Signet

How to Host a Killer Party: A Party-Planning Mystery by Penny Warner (Signet 02 February 2010 / $6.99) - Product Description: Presley Parker was just happy to get her party planning business off the ground. Now she's gotten the gig of the year, planning Mayor Davin Green's sumptuous "surprise" wedding for his socialite fiance, to be held on Alcatraz.

But when the bride is found floating in the bay and the original party planner is found murdered, Presley becomes the prime suspect. If the attractive crime scene cleaner, Brad Matthews, doesn't help her tidy her reputation, she'll be exchanging her formal wear for prison stripes... (see review)

If Books Could Kill: A Bibliophile Mystery by Kate Carlisle (Signet 02 February 2010 / $6.99) - Product Description: Book restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright is attending the world- renowned Book Fair when her ex Kyle shows up with a bombshell. He has an original copy of a scandalous text that could change history-and humiliate the beloved British monarchy.

When Kyle turns up dead, the police are convinced Brooklyn's the culprit. But with an entire convention of suspects, Brooklyn's conducting her own investigation to find out if the motive for murder was a 200-year-old secret-or something much more personal. (see review)

Sleeping With Anemone: A Flower Shop Mystery by Kate Collins (Signet 02 February 2010 / $6.99) - Product Description: Maybe Abby Knight shouldn't have chosen a home and garden show sponsored by Uniworld Food as the venue for her protest against the corporation's harmful farming practices. But being bodily removed from the event won't stop her campaign. Nor will a burning brick thrown through her flower shop's window.

After she narrowly escapes being kidnapped three times, Abby calls in the big guns-her ex-Ranger boyfriend Marco and her friends and family. And then the stakes are raised by murder... (Source: Signet)

Soho Crime

The Fourth Assassin: An Omar Yussef Mystery by Matt Beynon Rees (Soho Crime 01 February 2010 / $24.00) - Product Description: Arriving to visit his son in a heavily Palestinian area of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Omar Yussef discovers the beheaded body of one of the boy's roommates. When his son is arrested as a suspect, Omar Yussef must prove his innocence.

Matt Beynon Rees was born in South Wales. He was previously the Jerusalem bureau chief for TIME magazine and has covered the Middle East as a journalist for over a decade. He is the author of Cain's Field: Faith, Fratricide, and Fear in the Middle East, as well as four books in the Omar Yussef series. He won the Crime Writers' Association New Blood Dagger for the first mystery in the series.

(see review)

St. Martin's Griffin

Liars Anonymous by Louise Ure (St. Martin's Griffin 02 February 2010 / $14.99) - Product Description: When Roadside Assistance Operator Jessie Dancing receives a call from real estate tycoon Darren Markson, she hears him being killed while she's on the phone with him: she's now the only witness to a murder, but it's not going to be that simple. (Source: St. Martin's Griffin)

St. Martin's Press

The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer (St. Martin's Press 16 February 2010 / $26.99) - Product Description: Three accidents. Two suicides. One left
THE LAST SURGEON -- Michael Palmer's latest novel pits a flawed doctor against a ruthless psychopath, who has made murder his art form. Dr. Nick Garrity, a vet suffering from PTSDpost traumatic stress disorderspends his days and nights dispensing medical treatment from a mobile clinic to the homeless and disenfranchised in D.C. and Baltimore. In addition, he is constantly on the lookout for his war buddy Umberto Vasquez, who was plucked from the streets by the military four years ago for a secret mission and has not been seen since.

Psych nurse Gillian Coates wants to find her sister's killer. She does not believe that Belle Coates, an ICU nurse, took her own life, even though every bit of evidence indicates that she didevery bit save one. Belle has left Gillian a subtle clue that connects her with Nick Garrity.

Together, Nick and Gillian determine that one-by-one, each of those in the operating room for a fatally botched case is dying. Their discoveries pit them against genius Franz Koller--the highly-paid master of the "non-kill"the art of murder that does not look like murder. As Doctor and nurse move closer to finding the terrifying secret behind these killings, Koller has been given a new directive: his mission will not be complete until Gillian Coates and Garrity, the last surgeon, are dead. (Source: St. Martin's Press)

Vintage

Nineteen Eighty-Three by David Peace (Vintage 09 February 2010 / $15.00) - Product Description: In Nineteen Eighty-Three, David Peace brings his astonishing series of riveting, gritty crime novels to a shocking conclusion. With three separate narrators whose paths are on a collision course, Peace makes a dark study of perverted justice, retribution, and urban decay. Maurice Jobson is a Yorkshire cop whose greed and corruption has rotted the police force to the core; BJ is a local street thug who finds he can no longer safely lurk in the shadows; and John Piggott, a lawyer, is as honest and forthright as they come. His investigation of a long-cold murder might just be the cure for Yorkshire's woes, but he'll need to get through it alive first. (Source: Vintage)

William Morrow

The Bricklayer: A Novel by Noah Boyd (William Morrow 01 February 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: The Bricklayer is the pulse-pounding novel introducing Steve Vail, one of the most charismatic new heroes to come along in thriller fiction in many years. He's an exFBI agent who's been fired for insubordination but is lured back to the Bureau to work a case that has become more unsolvableand more deadlyby the hour.

A woman steps out of the shower in her Los Angeles home and is startled by an intruder sitting calmly in her bedroom holding a gun. But she is frozen with fear by what he has to say about the FBIand what he says he must do. . . .

A young agent slips into the night water off a rocky beach. He's been instructed to swim to a nearby island to deposit a million dollars demanded by a blackmailer. But his mission is riddled with hazardous tests, as if someone wanted to destroy him rather than collect the money. . . .

Vail has resigned himself to his dismissal and is content with his life as a bricklayer. But the FBI, especially Deputy Assistant Director Kate Bannon, needs help with a shadowy group that has initiated a brilliant extortion plot. The group will keep killing their targets until the agency pays them off, the amount and number of bodies escalating each time the FBI fails. One thing is clear: someone who knows a little too much about the inner workings of the Bureau is very clever and very angryand will kill and kill again if it means he can disgrace the FBI.

Steve Vail's options and his time to find answersare swiftly running out.

Noah Boyd's The Bricklayer is written with the bracing authenticity only someone who has been a crack FBI investigator can provide. And in this masterful debut Boyd has created a mind-bending maze of clues and traps inside a nonstop thrill ride that is sure to leave readers exhilarated and enthralled.

(Source: William Morrow)

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