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US Books Received- 02/2011  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

AmazonEncore

Shaken (Jacqueline by J.A. Konrath (AmazonEncore 22 February 2011 / $14.95) - Product Description: Chicago cop Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels has chased and caught dozens of dangerous criminals over the course of her career. But she's about to meet her match. When Jack wakes up in a storage locker, bound and gagged, she knows with chilling certainty who her abductor is. He's called "Mr. K," and more than two hundred homicides have been attributed to him. His victims have died in the most horrible ways imaginable: he is the essence of evil. Some think he's just an urban legend, but he's very, very real. Jack has tangled with him twice in the past, and both times he managed to slip away. Now Jack will finally have the chance to confront the maniac she's been hunting for over twenty-five years. Unfortunately, it won't be on her terms. In less than two hours, Mr. K is going to do to Jack what he's done to countless others. And Jack is going to learn that sometimes the good guys don't win... (Source: AmazonEncore)

Avon

Death Echo by Elizabeth Lowell (Avon 01 February 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Emma Cross abandoned the blood, guilt, and tribal wars of CIA life for the elite security consulting firm St. Kilda's. Now she's tracking the yacht Blackbird, believed to be carrying a lethal cargo that will destroy a major American city...in just seven days.

Emma's partner, MacKenzie Durand--a former special ops killer well-honed in the world's nastiest regions--is more dangerous and unpredictable than the worst enemy she's ever faced. And other eyes are watching Blackbird as well--cold and calculating, looking to alter the geopolitical balance through violence and terror.

In a deadly game where the rules change without warning, Emma and Mac must find answers or watch the innocent die in unthinkable numbers. The race is on—and there's no telling who will cross the finish line alive....

(Source: Avon)

The Glass Is Always Greener (Den of Antiquity Mysteries) by Tamar Myers (Avon 01 February 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: All antiques and no play make Abby a dull girl. So Abigail Timberlake Washburn takes a hiatus from her Charleston shop and accompanies best male friend, Rob, to the wake of his loco Aunt Jerry—who, as it happens, is nowhere near deceased, but will be soon according to her trusted psychic. Watching the crazy, caustic old gal gleefully disowning assembled relatives left and right is a hoot and a half...until Aunt Jerry turns up truly dead in the deep freeze with a priceless emerald ring missing from her lifeless finger. And wouldn't you know, Abby's the prime suspect!

Spunky Ms. Timberlake's not about to let herself be railroaded into prison. And neither are her loyal family and friends, including dear, ditzy mother Mozella, ex-sister-in-law C.J., and best female friend, Wynnell. But they may be more hindrance than help in Abby's desperate hunt for a lost stone and a stone-cold killer among an increasingly vicious family circle.

(Source: Avon)

Berkley

A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square) by Lorraine Bartlett (Berkley 01 February 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: The last thing Katie Bonner wanted was to become the manager of Artisans Alley. But when her business partner, Ezra Hilton, is found bludgeoned to death, she has no other choice. A collection of booths for artisans and craft sellers in a renovated apple warehouse, Artisan Alley is the main attraction in the quint Victoria Square shopping area. But business under Ezra had been faltering--enough to provoke someone to murder?

Katie has had more than her share of death--her late husband (and Ezra's former partner), Chad, died in a car accident six months ago. But as she digs deeper into Ezra's murder, her husband's death starts to look suspicious. While the cops are proceeding by the book, Katie is investigating by the booths--for the answer to the killer's identity lies in the hidden secrets of Artisans Alley itself. (Source: Berkley)

Angel's Verdict (A Beaufort & Company Mystery) by Mary Stanton (Berkley 01 February 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Celestial advocate Brianna Winston-Beaufort is eager to set aside handling appeals for condemned souls and get back to practicing law in the land of the living. Three months after taking over the family practice Bree jumps at the opportunity to work for an earthly client. But when elderly actress Justine Coville walks into Beaufort & Company's office to make changes to her will, she drags Bree right back into a whole other-world of troubles. (Source: Berkley)

Blast from the Past (A Where Are They Now? Mystery) by Toni L. P. Kelner (Berkley 01 February 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Before becoming an action film star, John Laryea appeared on The Blastoffs, a Saturday morning kid's show about a rock band in space. His former co-star, Pete Ellis, now drives a limo for a living. So when someone tries to run Laryea over, Ellis becomes the prime suspect-and it's up to Tilda to clear his name. (Source: Berkley)

Drip Dead (A GEORGIANA NEVERALL MYSTERY) by Christy Evans (Berkley 01 February 2011 / $6.99) - Product Description: When plumber's apprentice Georgiana Neverall crawls under her mother's house to check the pipes, she's horrified to find her mother's flashy fiancé, real estate mogul Gregory Whitlock, dead in the dirt. Instead of a wedding ring, Georgiana's mother is soon wearing handcuffs, accused of killing the man she loved. To clear her mother's name, Georgiana's going to have to crawl into a few more dark spaces and uncover secrets Whitlock was hiding. (Source: Berkley)

Polished Off (Southern Beauty Shop) by Lila Dare (Berkley 01 February 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Audrey Faye sashays into Violetta's Salon looking for stylists for the Miss Magnolia Blossom pageant. Hairdresser Grace Terhune's opportunity quickly turns into a nightmare with anti-pageant protestors, angry mothers, frantic contestants...and then, a very dead Audrey. The murder weapon was a nail file, making Violetta's manicurist, Stella, the prime suspect. Now Grace must find the real murderer before she is polished off permanently. (Source: Berkley)

Town In a Lobster Stew (Candy Holliday Mystery) by B.B. Haywood (Berkley 01 February 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Things start to boil over at the annual Lobster Stew Cook-Off when an award-winning recipe is stolen and a seven-time contest champion mysteriously disappears-leaving Candy no choice but to find out who in Cape Willington, Maine, would get steamed enough to break the law. (see review)

Wild Penance (Wild Mystery) by Sandi Ault (Berkley 01 February 2011 / $14.00) - Product Description: Bureau of Land Management agent Jamaica Wild is horrified to see a man, nailed to a cross, plummeting down into the Rio Grande Gorge to his death. Ever since she learned about Los Penitentes, a secret, ancient religious group that reenacts Jesus' crucifixion and practices excessive penance, Jamaica's been putting together a book of her research. But when an attempt is made on her life, her mission could also send her over the edge.

Read Don Metzler's review of Wild Penance from our May 2010 issue.

(Source: Berkley)

Berkley Trade

Snow Angels (An Inspector Vaara Novel) by James M. Thompson (Berkley Trade 01 February 2011 / $14.00) - Product Description: It is called kaamos-two weeks of unrelenting darkness and soul-numbing cold that falls upon Finnish Lapland, a hundred miles into the Arctic Circle, just before Christmas. Some get through it with the help of cheap Russian alcohol; some sink into depression.

This year, it may have driven someone mad enough to commit murder. The brutalized body of a beautiful Somali woman has been found in the snow, and Inspector Kari Vaara must find her killer. It will be a challenge in a place where ugly things lurk under frozen surfaces, and silence is a way of life. (Source: Berkley Trade)

Felony & Mayhem

Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter by Simon Brett (Felony & Mayhem 16 February 2011 / $14.95) - Product Description: It's that glorious period between the two world wars, and the exiled king of Mitteleuropa is visiting the ancestral home of the Duke of Tawcester. When the ex-king's daughter is kidnapped, noblesse obliges the Duke's handsome, brave, and rather stupid son (known to all as Blotto) to drive off to the rescue. Luckily, he's aided by his brilliant sister, Twinks. Plus, he's got a really swell car. (see review)

Five Star

Family Skeletons by Bobbie O'Keefe (Five Star 06 February 2011 / ) - From back of book: Every family has its skeletons--some figuratively, some literally--and the Corday family has both.

Sunny Corday is a complex mixture of brash and vulnerable, a romantically gun-shy woman who has survived two disastrous marriages as well as a stint in rehab for a drug problem. She's trying to put the past behind her, but it's difficult when one's missing father is the root of the problem.

Jonathan Corday, a distant cousin she never knew she had, is as persnickety as Sunny is daring. He's simply looking for a relaxing vacation at the old Victorian they've jointly inherited on the northern California coast, but relaxation goes out the window when they literally run into each other--and then start discovering skeletons.

(see review)

Harper

Money to Burn by James Grippando (Harper 01 February 2011 / $9.99) - Product Description: Michael Cantella is a rising star at Saxton Silvers, Wall Street's premier investment bank, when his new wife, Ivy Layton, vanishes on their honeymoon in the Bahamas. Four years later--with a beautiful new wife and his career back on track--Michael checks his investment accounts online...and discovers he's been wiped out. All the money is gone. And there's an e-mail message: Just as planned. xo xo.

Michael's life as he knows it has been liquidated. Saxton Silvers is on the brink of bankruptcy and he's suspected of orchestrating its ruin. Framed, embroiled in corporate espionage, facing divorce--and much worse--he's desperate to clear his name as FBI agents and a psychotic assassin close in for the kill. All signs seem to suggest the unthinkable: Ivy is back from the dead...and a key player in Michael's deadly downfall. Or his only hope.

(Source: Harper)

Supreme Justice: A Novel of Suspense by Phillip Margolin (Harper 01 February 2011 / $9.99) - Product Description: Sarah Woodruff, on death row in Oregon for murdering her lover, John Finley, has appealed her case to the Supreme Court just when a prominent justice resigns, leaving a vacancy.

Then, for no apparent reason, another justice is mysteriously attacked. Dana Cutler—one of the heroes from Margolin's bestselling Executive Privilege—is quietly called in to investigate. She looks for links between the Woodruff appeal and the ominous incidents in the justices' chambers, which eventually lead her to a shoot-out that took place years ago on a small freighter docked upriver in Shelby, Oregon, containing a dead crew and illegal drugs. The only survivor on board? John Finley.

With the help of Brad Miller and Keith Evans, Dana uncovers a plot by a rogue element in the American intelligence community involving the president's nominee to the Supreme Court, and soon the trio is thrown back into the grips of a deadly, executive danger.

Read Steve Sawicki's review of Supreme Justice from our October 2010 issue. (Source: Harper)

This Body of Death: An Inspector Lynley Novel by Elizabeth George (Harper 01 February 2011 / $11.99) - Product Description: On compassionate leave after the murder of his wife, Thomas Lynley is called back to Scotland Yard when the body of a woman is found stabbed and abandoned in an isolated London cemetery. His former team doesn't trust the leadership of their new department chief, Isabelle Ardery, whose management style seems to rub everyone the wrong way. In fact, Lynley may be the sole person who can see beneath his superior officer's hard-as-nails exterior to a hidden—and possibly attractive—vulnerability.

While Lynley works in London, his former colleagues, Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata, follow the murder trail south to the New Forest. There they discover a beautiful and strange place, where animals roam free and outsiders are not entirely welcome. What they don't know is that more than one dark secret lurks among the trees, and that their investigation will lead them to an outcome that is both tragic and shocking.

(Source: Harper)

Minotaur Books

Bad Bird by Chris Knopf (Minotaur Books 01 February 2011 / $25.99) - Product Description: Jackie Swaitkowski may not be the most buttoned-up lawyer in the Hamptons, but a plane crash before her very eyes is hard to miss. Just before the struggling air taxi takes a nosedive, its female pilot tosses out a camera case. To Jackie, the accident's only witness, the case (so to speak) seems meant for her.

The camera's memory card holds an unusual set of photos. Jackie recognizes more than a few of the faces in those pictures. Are they telling her the story of the crash? The pilot, a hard-nosed biker chick named Eugenie Birkson, came from a family tree filled with ex-cons, and boasted a passenger list packed with high society.  And Jackie soon learns that solving the mystery of Eugenie's death will mean uncovering some dark secrets from her own past as well.

All this and a freshly revived romance with gentle giant Harry Goodlander, and Jackie yet again has her heart and her hands full. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Eyes of the Innocent by Brad Parks (Minotaur Books 01 February 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: Carter Ross, the sometimes-dashing investigative reporter for the Newark Eagle-Examiner, is back, and reporting on the latest tragedy to befall Newark, New Jersey, a fast-moving house fire that kills two boys.

With the help of the paper's newest intern, a bubbly blonde known as "Sweet Thang," Carter finds the victims' mother, Akilah Harris, who spins a tale of woe about a mortgage rate reset that forced her to work two jobs and leave her young boys without child care. Carter turns in a front-page feature, but soon discovers Akilah isn't what she seems. And neither is the fire.

When Newark councilman Windy Byers is reported missing, it launches Carter into the sordid world of urban house-flipping and Jersey-style political corruption. With his usual mix of humor, compassion, and street smarts, Carter is soon calling on some of his friends—gay Cuban sidekick Tommy Hernandez, T-shirt-selling buddy Tee Jamison, and on-and-off girlfriend Tina Thompson—for help in tracking down the shadowy figure behind it all.

Brad Parks's debut, Faces of the Gone, won the Shamus Award and Nero Award for Best American Mystery. It was heralded as an engaging mix of Harlan Coben and Janet Evanovich. Now Parks solidifies his place as one of the brightest new talents in crime fiction with this authentic, entertaining thriller.

(see review)

Faces of the Gone: A Mystery by Brad Parks (Minotaur Books 01 February 2011 / $14.99) - Product Description: Four bodies, each with a single bullet wound in the back of the head, stacked like cordwood in a weed-choked vacant lot: That's the front-page news facing Carter Ross, investigative reporter with the Newark Eagle-Examiner.  Immediately dispatched to the scene, Carter learns that the four victims—an exotic dancer, a drug dealer, a hustler, and a mama's boy—came from different parts of the city and didn't seem to know one another.

The police, eager to calm jittery residents, leak a theory that the murders are revenge for a bar stickup, and Carter's paper, hungry for a scoop, hastily prints it. Carter doesn't come from the streets, but he understands a thing or two about Newark's neighborhoods. And he knows there are no quick answers when dealing with a crime like this.

Determined to uncover the true story, he enlists the aide of Tina Thompson, the paper's smoking-hot city editor, to run interference at the office; Tommy Hernandez, the paper's gay Cuban intern, to help him with legwork on the streets; and Tynesha Dales, a local stripper, to take him to Newark's underside. It turns out that the four victims have one connection after all, and this knowledge will put Carter on the path of one very ambitious killer.

Read Joseph B. Hoyos's review of Faces of the Gone: A Mystery hardcover from our March 2010 issue. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Heaven Is High: A Barbara Holloway Novel by Kate Wilhelm (Minotaur Books 01 February 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: Barbara Holloway is a low-key attorney in Eugene, Oregon who left her father's high powered firm to handle small legal problems for local residents and ponder her own next move. But while trying to sort out her own future, two people, desperate for help, show up on her doorstep: former pro football player Martin Owens and his wife Binnie. Binnie, who is mute, met her husband when she snuck aboard his boat while it was docked in Haiti and smuggled herself into the U. S. Now Immigration is seeking to deport her back to Haiti, which would be a death sentence. Born to a woman from Belize who was kidnapped and enslaved by pirates, Binnie's only hope is to prove her and her mother's real identity. With only days to find the truth and protect Binnie, Holloway sets off for Belize. But what she knows is only the tip of the iceberg in what turns out to be one of her most complex, compelling and dangerous cases yet. (see review)

On Borrowed Time by David Rosenfelt (Minotaur Books 15 February 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: What if it were possible that your most cherished memories were lies... and that finding out the truth could cost you your life?

Richard Kilmer is head over heels in love with Jennifer Ryan, who takes him home to meet her parents, where she accepts his marriage proposal. While visiting, they set out on a nostalgic drive up to Kendrick Falls. On their way there, a freak storm rolls in, Richard loses control of his car, and it rolls. When the storm clears in a matter of seconds, Jen is gone. Richard can't find her, and neither can the police who respond to the scene. More horrifying is that no one in Richard's life will even confirm Jen's existence, and all traces of her have disappeared.

Where could she be? Has Richard lost his mind, or has something far worse happened?

(see review)

The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson (Minotaur Books 01 February 2011 / $13.99) - Product Description: In Los Angeles, a geological surveyor maps out a proposed subway route—and then goes missing. His eight-year-old daughter in her desperation turns to the one person she thinks might help—she writes a letter to Sherlock Holmes.

That letter creates an uproar at 221b Baker Street, which now houses the law offices of attorney and man about town Reggie Heath and his hapless brother Nigel. Instead of filing the letter like he's supposed to, Nigel decides to investigate. Soon he's flying off to L.A., inconsiderately leaving a very dead body on the floor in his office. Big brother Reggie follows Nigel to California, as does Reggie's sometime lover, Laura – a quick-witted stage actress who's captured the hearts of both brothers.

When Nigel is arrested, Reggie must use all his wits to solve a case that Sherlock Holmes would have savored, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fans will adore. (see review)

The Curse-Maker by Kelli Stanley (Minotaur Books 01 February 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: When Roman physician Arcturus and his stunning wife Gwyna arrive at Bath for a holiday, a dead body is floating in the sacred spring. It turns out that the murdered man is a curse maker whose curses actually come true, and as murder follows murder, it looks like there's now a curse on Arcturus.

An exciting and exotic look at the sideshow world of fake healers, ghost-raisers and medicine men, The Curse-Maker is the story of a spa town where people go to heal. . . only to wind up dead. And it takes the doctor protagonist on a dark road—into Roman cemeteries, silver mines, underground water tunnels, and the twisted mind of a killer bent on revenge. (see review)

Though Not Dead (Kate Shugak) by Dana Stabenow (Minotaur Books 01 February 2011 / $25.99) - Product Description: The residents of Alaska's largest national park are stunned by the death of one of their oldest members, eighty-seven-year-old Old Sam Dementieff…Even private investigator Kate Shugak. Sam, a lifelong resident, dubbed the "father" of all of the Park rats—even though he had no children of his own—was especially close to Kate, his niece, but even she is surprised to discover that in his will he's left her everything, including a letter instructing her simply to, "find my father."

Easier said than done, since Sam's father is something of a mystery. An outsider, he disappeared shortly after learning about Sam's existence, taking with him a priceless tribal artifact, a Russian icon. And in the three days after Kate begins her search through Sam's background, she gets threatened—and worse.

The flashbacks from Sam's fascinating life, including scenes from major events in Alaska's colorful history, punctuate a gripping story in which Kate does her best to fulfill Sam's last wish without losing her own life to the people who are following her every move, though what they are searching for Kate doesn't even know. (see review)

Pocket Books

State of the Union: A Thriller by Brad Thor (Pocket Books 22 February 2011 / $9.99) - Product Description: America's worst nightmare has just become a brutal reality. The most unlikely terrorist enemy of all now holds a knife against the country's throat. With both diplomatic and conventional military options swept from the table, the president calls upon Navy SEAL turned Secret Service agent Scot Harvath to disable a brilliantly orchestrated conspiracy intended to bring the United States to its knees. Teamed with beautiful Russian Intelligence agent Alexandra Ivanova and a highly trained CIA paramilitary detachment, Harvath embarks on an adrenaline-fueled search that spans the world—and leads to a final, deadly showdown on American soil, with a lethal and sinister enemy from the past. (see review)

Putnam

Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb (Putnam 22 February 2011 / $26.95) - Product Description: In the latest from the #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon, Eve Dallas tracks down those who break the law-including the ones sworn to uphold it.

Detective Eve Dallas and her partner, Peabody, are following up on a senseless crime-an elderly grocery owner killed by three stoned punks for nothing more than kicks and snacks. This is Peabody's first case as primary detective-good thing she learned from the master.

But Peabody soon stumbles upon a trickier situation. After a hard workout, she's all alone in the locker room when the gym door clatters open; and-while hiding inside a shower stall trying not to make a sound-she overhears two fellow officers, Garnet and Oberman, arguing. It doesn't take long to realize they're both crooked-guilty not just of corruption but of murder. Now Peabody, Eve, and Eve's husband, Roarke, are trying to get the hard evidence they need to bring the dirty cops down-knowing all the while that the two are willing to kill to keep their secret. (see review)

Signet

Curiosity Thrilled the Cat: A Magical Cats Mystery by Sofie Kelly (Signet 01 February 2011 / $6.99) - Product Description: When librarian Kathleen Paulson moved to Mayville Heights, Minnesota, she had no idea that two strays would nuzzle their way into her life. Owen is a tabby with a catnip addiction and Hercules is a stocky tuxedo cat who shares Kathleen's fondness for Barry Manilow. But beyond all the fur and purrs, there's something more to these felines.

When murder interrupts Mayville's Music Festival, Kathleen finds herself the prime suspect. More stunning is her realization that Owen and Hercules are magical-and she's relying on their skills to solve a purr-fect murder. (see review)

Shot Through Velvet: A Crime of Fashion Mystery by Ellen Byerrum (Signet 01 February 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian is touring a failing velvet factory in Virginia on its final day of operations-and finds one of the factory owners dead, lashed to a spool of velvet and soaked in blue dye. The workers are delighted, since they blamed the "Blue Devil" for killing their jobs.

But when another nickname, the "Velvet Avenger", makes the rounds, and ribbons of blue velvet start popping up, it could be more than Lacey's job at stake-it could be her life... (see review)

Stitch Me Deadly: An Embroidery Mystery by Amanda Lee (Signet 01 February 2011 / $6.99) - Product Description: Maggie Singer owns The Seven Year Stitch, an embroidery specialty shop in the small town of Tallulah Falls, Oregon. Her best friend, Sadie, owns the coffee shop down the street, and her Irish wolfhound, Angus, is practically the shop's mascot. But trouble strikes when an elderly woman brings an antique piece of embroidery to Marcy...and promptly dies of unnatural causes.

Marcy is convinced that the antique sampler holds a clue to an even older crime and that somebody may have killed to hide it. Now it's up to Marcy and her pals--two-legged and four-legged--to unravel this mystery. (Source: Signet)

Soho Crime

Devil-Devil:Sergeant Kella and Sister Conchita Series by Graeme Kent (Soho Crime 08 February 2011 / $25.00) - Product Description: It's not easy being Ben Kella. As a sergeant in the Solomon Islands Police Force, as well as an aofia, a hereditary spiritual peacekeeper of the Lau people, he is viewed with distrust by both the indigenous islanders and the British colonial authorities. In the past few days he has been cursed by a magic man, stumbled across evidence of a cargo cult uprising, and failed to find an American anthropologist who had been scouring the mountains for a priceless pornographic icon. Then, at a mission station, Kella discovers an independent and rebellious young American nun, Sister Conchita, secretly trying to bury a skeleton. The unlikely pair of Kella and Conchita are forced to team up to solve a series of murders that tie into all these other strange goingson.

Set in the 60s in one of the most beautiful and dangerous areas of the South Pacific, Devil-Devil launches an exciting new series. (see review)

The Fourth Assassin: An Omar Yussef Mystery by Matt Beynon Rees (Soho Crime 08 February 2011 / $14.00) - Product Description: Arriving to visit his son Ala in the heavily Palestinian neighborhood of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Omar Yussef discovers the beheaded body of one of the boy's roommates. When Ala is arrested as a suspect, Omar Yussef must investigate to prove his son's innocence, uncovering a deadly conspiracy of international proportions.

Read Mel Jacob's review of The Fourth Assassin from our February 2010 issue. (Source: Soho Crime)

Spellbinder Press

Dying for Justice: A Detective Jackson Mystery (Volume 5) by L.J. Sellers (Spellbinder Press 26 February 2011 / $13.99) - Product Description: When Gina wakes up from a two-year coma, she realizes someone tried to kill her and make it look like suicide. Detective-in-training Lara Evans is assigned the case, but when she discovers who the main suspect is, she fears she's in way over her head. Meanwhile Detective Jackson learns the man in prison for murdering his parents is innocent of the crime and another officer coerced the detainee into a confession. As the two investigators work the cold files, members of their own department come under suspicion and their cases begin to overlap. Can they find the killers before the crimes of the past explode in the present? (Source: Spellbinder Press)

Viking

Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree by Nancy Atherton (Viking 17 February 2011 / $24.95) - Product Description: In Atherton's sixteenth mystery, Lori Shepherd returns from Down Under to her normal life in the village of Finch. But Lori's normal quickly becomes anything but.

Her debonair father-in-law has moved to town and is renovating Fairworth House, a grand estate nearby. William Sr. expects a quiet, small-town life, but among the spinsters vying for his attention, shifty servants, and the discovery of a mysterious painting of a family tree in Fairworth's attic, he discovers that life in Finch is anything but quiet. On top of it all, Lori and William are embroiled in a case of deception and false identity by one of Finch's own. It's nothing the plucky Lori can't handle, but once things get truly peculiar at Fairworth-moving furniture, strange sounds, and mysterious visitors-she calls on Aunt Dimity for her otherworldly guidance and uncovers the shadowy past beneath the estate's magnificent surface. (see review)

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