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US Books Received- 03/2011  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

Bantam

Love You More: A Novel by Lisa Gardner (Bantam 08 March 2011 / $26.00) - Product Description: WHO DO YOU LOVE? One question, a split-second decision, and Brian Darby lies dead on the kitchen floor. His wife, state police trooper Tessa Leoni, claims to have shot him in self-defense, and bears the bruises to back up her tale. For veteran detective D. D. Warren it should be an open-and-shut case. But where is their six-year-old daughter?

AND HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO . . . As the homicide investigation ratchets into a frantic statewide search for a missing child, D. D. Warren must partner with former lover Bobby Dodge to break through the blue wall of police brotherhood, seeking to understand the inner workings of a trooper's mind while also unearthing family secrets. Would a trained police officer truly shoot her own husband? And would a mother harm her own child?

...TO SAVE HER? For Tessa Leoni, the worst has not yet happened. She is walking a tightrope, with nowhere to turn, no one to trust, as the clock ticks down to a terrifying deadline. She has one goal in sight, and she will use every ounce of her training, every trick at her disposal, to do what must be done. No sacrifice is too great, no action unthinkable. A mother knows who she loves. And all others will be made to pay. (see review)

Berkley

A Deadly Cliche (Books by the Bay) by Ellery Adams (Berkley 01 March 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: While walking her poodle, Olivia Limoges discovers a dead body buried in the sand. Could it be connected to the bizarre burglaries plaguing Oyster Bay, North Carolina? At every crime scene, the thieves set up odd tableaus: a stick of butter with a knife through it, dolls with silver spoons in their mouths, a deck of cards with a missing queen. Olivia realizes each setup represents a cliché. And who better to decode the cliché clues than her Bayside Book Writers group? (Source: Berkley)

A Touch of Gold (A Missing Pieces Mystery) by Joyce and Jim Lavene (Berkley 01 March 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Long before he became curator of the Duck Historical Museum, Max Caudle discovered its greatest treasure-a wooden chest full of gold. But a thief with his eye on the gold fires a cannonball into the museum, destroying the building-and killing Max.

Injured in the explosion, Dae finds her abilities have been amplified, overwhelming her with intense visions every time she touches an object. Now if ex-FBI agent-and burgeoning beau-Kevin Brickman can help Dae decipher her visions, she just might be able to stop the modern-day buccaneer from killing again. (Source: Berkley)

Beaglemania (A Pet Rescue Mystery) by Linda O. Johnston (Berkley 01 March 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Lauren Vancouver is the head of HotRescues, a no-kill animal shelter north of Los Angeles, but it's often human nature that puts her in the path of danger. Just like when she helps rescue four adorable beagle puppies that were dumped down a drainpipe at a nasty puppy mill. One of the mill's employees has a history of dog abuse-and a bone to pick with Lauren. And when he's found dead at HotRescues after threatening her, Lauren will have to sniff out the real killer to keep herself out of a cage... (see review)

Death Along the Spirit Road (Manny Tanno) by C.M. Wendelboe (Berkley 01 March 2011 / $14.00) - Product Description: First in a new series featuring FBI agent Manny Tanno--a Native American returning to the reservation home he thought he left behind.

The body of local Native American land developer Jason Red Cloud is found on the site for his new resort on the Pine Ridge Reservation. A war club is lodged in his skull--appearing as if someone may have performed a ritual at the crime scene.

FBI Special Agent Manny Tanno arrives in Pine Ridge to find that not everything has changed since he left. His former rival, now in charge of the Tribal Police, is just as bitter as ever, and has no intention of making Manny's life easy. And the spirit of Red Cloud haunting Manny's dreams is not much help either, leaving him on his own in hunting down a cold-blooded killer-and one misstep could send him down the spirit road as well.. (see review)

Formula for Murder (Maternal Instincts) by Diana Orgain (Berkley 01 March 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Sleuth and first-time mom Kate Connolly and her baby are the victims of a hit-and-run, but escape unharmed. A witness identifies the car's French diplomatic license plates, yet when Kate and her hubby try to get some answers, they get le cold shoulder. But there's something going on at the French consulate that's dirtier-and far deadlier-than any diaper. (Source: Berkley)

Fruit of All Evil (A Farmers' Market Mystery) by Paige Shelton (Berkley 01 March 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Becca Robbins sells her farm-made jams and preserves at the local farmers' market to make a living. But when a local lovely decides to tie the knot at the same market, someone else decides to make a killing-and only Becca has the down-home know-how to shut the lid on a canny killer. (see review)

Scones & Bones (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs (Berkley 01 March 2011 / $25.95) - Product Description: Savor the latest from the New York Times bestselling author of The Teaberry Strangler.

Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is lured into attending the Heritage Society's "Pirates and Plunder" soiree. But it's an antique diamond skull ring that gets plundered by someone who murders a history intern in the process. Theodosia knows she'll have to whet her investigative skills to find the killer among a raft of suspects. (see review)

Sealed with a Kill (A Decoupage Mystery) by Lucy Lawrence (Berkley 01 March 2011 / $6.99) - Product Description: Autumn in New England brings out the changing leaves, and the leaves bring out the tourists. When Brenna Miller gets stuck as the tour guide for a group of leaf peepers, she tries to make the best of it. But it's hard to stay enthusiastic after the trial leads them straight to a dead body. (Source: Berkley)

ChiZine

Every Shallow Cut by Tom Piccirilli (ChiZine 29 March 2011 / $10.95) - Product Description: He's nameless, faceless, and has nothing left to lose - and now he has a gun! Alone except for his beloved bulldog, Churchill, a man who's failed at his career, his marriage, and his own simple hopes makes his way across the American landscape and the spectacle of his own bitter past, heading home to his brother when he knows there's no home left for him. Tom Piccirilli brings us a story for our current struggling times, taken directly from a broken heart. It is full of realism, grit, and a depth that gives voice to the fears most of us can barely imagine. The terror of loss, the overwhelming dread of failure, the horror of missed-out, mediocre dreams. And the all-too average explosive rage. (see review)

CreateSpace

Little Mountain by Bob Sanchez (CreateSpace 22 March 2011 / $15.00) - Product Description: Cambodian refugee Sam Long becomes an American citizen and eventually a homicide detective. A murder in a Massachusetts refugee community revives ghosts from his past. He must solve the crime and face down his demons if he is to find his own peace. (see review)

Doubleday

Twice a Spy: A Novel by Keith Thomson (Doubleday 08 March 2011 / $25.95) - Product Description: On the heels of Once a Spy, which PW hailed as a "wildly original debut [with] an action-packed story line," Keith Thomson returns with a breakneck thriller that's twice as explosive as the original.

In the tradition of Robert Ludlum, with a witty twist, Thomson's second novel featuring a former spy and his son once again poses the question: What happens when a former CIA agent can no longer trust his own mind?

Charlie and Drummond Clark are now in Switzerland, hiding out from criminal charges in America and using the time to experiment with treatments to retrieve Drummond's memory. When NSA operative Alice Rutherford, with whom Charlie has fallen in love, is kidnapped, the Clarks must dodge a formidable CIA case officer and his team to get her back. (Source: Doubleday)

Five Star

As the Crow Flies by Maris Soule (Five Star 16 March 2011 / $25.95) - Maris Soule continues the adventures of P.J. Benson, CPA, in As the Crow Flies. P.J. repeats her history of becoming involved in murders and risking her life to solve them. When elderly Ida Delaney asks her help stopping her nephew's blackmail attempt, P.J. refuses. However, her grandmother helps Ida put a briefcase in P.J.'s trunk. Curiosity prompts P.J. to investigate the contents. Inside, she finds aerial photos, a map with marks, soil sample analyses, boxes of soil, and a pass worded cell phone. None of it makes any sense to P.J. (see review)

Forge Books

Earthway (Ella Clah) by Aimee & David Thurlo (Forge Books 01 March 2011 / $14.99) - Product Description: Ella Clah has found her place on the Navajo Reservation, in her tribe, her clan, and her family. She has seen the Diné at their worst--and at their best--as they balance the modern era with the traditional Navajo way of life.

The Navajo are building a nuclear power plant on the Reservation. Though the tribe voted for the plant, there are those who believe that nuclear power is inherently dangerous--and particularly so for the Navajo, due to past uranium mining operations that contaminated land and water and sickened many Navajo workers and their families.

A group of activists is determined to do whatever is necessary to stop the plant--assault, sabotage, domestic terrorism. When a fellow Navajo Police officer is injured in an attack aimed at Ella's boyfriend, Ella vows to do whatever it takes to find the terrorists and bring them to justice.

(Source: Forge Books)

Fall from Grace by Wayne Arthurson (Forge Books 29 March 2011 / $25.99) - Product Description: Marking the debut of Leo Desroches, one of the most unusual amateur detectives ever to appear in Canada or points south, this fast-paced, enthralling mystery is the story of a man who had everything, lost it all, and is trying to get it back. Leo Desroches doesn't look like a native, but his mother was Cree, and he understands the problems of indigenous Canadians of the First Nations. Which is probably why the Edmonton newspaper he writes for decides he should be their Aboriginal Issues reporter.

He has his own issues to deal with: his compulsive gambling that he couldn't stop even after it cost him his wife and children; his alcoholism; the risk-taking that threatens to derail him every time he starts to get his life back together.

When he's assigned to cover the murder of a young native prostitute, it's just one more story...until the cop in charge lets him view the corpse, something the Edmonton police never do. When Leo writes his article, it starts a chain of events that leads him to discover a much, much bigger story, one that could bring down the entire police department...if it doesn't get him killed. (Source: Forge Books)

The Beloved Dead by Tony Hays (Forge Books 29 March 2011 / $25.99) - Product Description: Malgwyn ap Cuneglas was one of King Arthur's earliest companions and now is his most trusted counsellor. Despite the malice of his enemies, and the machinations of the still powerful druids who mightily resist him, Malgwyn knows that Arthur will stop at nothing in his efforts to lead his people to Christ and help to bring civil law and justice to a people who have known little such. To consolidate his power, Arthur decides that it is time to take a noble wife. But in this Malgwyn knows his lord's sorrow, for Arthur must set aside his love, Guinevere, because he believes that the scandal surrounding their affair has tainted her for the crown. Malgwyn is sent north to fetch the young woman who is to be Arthur's bride. The way is fraught with tension for there are forces who would not see the king wed. Malgwyn discovers a string of killings of young virginal women who are slaughtered in a horrific manner - not unlike a ritual sacrifice - and is left with a question that he must answer quickly. Are these murders portents of the gods taking vengeance on the intrusion of a new faith? Or are mortal men plotting to unseat the king? (Source: Forge Books)

Free Press

The Ice Princess: A Novel by Camilla Läckberg (Free Press 29 March 2011 / $15.00) - Product Description: In this electrifying tale of suspense from an international crime-writing sensation, a grisly death exposes the dark heart of a Scandinavian seaside village. Erica Falck returns to her tiny, remote hometown of Fjällbacka, Sweden, after her parents' deaths only to encounter another tragedy: the suicide of her childhood best friend, Alex. It's Erica herself who finds Alex's body—suspended in a bathtub of frozen water, her wrists slashed. Erica is bewildered: Why would a beautiful woman who had it all take her own life? Teaming up with police detective Patrik Hedström, Erica begins to uncover shocking events from Alex's childhood. As one horrifying fact after another comes to light, Erica and Patrik's curiosity gives way to obsession—and their flirtation grows into uncontrollable attraction. But it's not long before one thing becomes very clear: a deadly secret is at stake, and there's someone out there who will do anything—even commit murder—to protect it. (see review)

Harper

Executive Intent by Dale Brown (Harper 01 March 2011 / $9.99) - Product Description: The U.S. has unleashed Thor's Hammer, a missile-launching satellite that can strike anywhere on the planet in seconds. But when President Joseph Gardner elects to employ the still-untested weapon against terrorists firing missiles at Indian cities, the Hammer misses its mark, killing thousands of Pakistani civilians. In retaliation, Pakistan and its neighbors grant China a strategic naval advantage over America through access to Middle Eastern ports.

China responds swiftly and brutally, attacking and occupying Somalia, then setting up missile pads to target U.S. naval ships across vital sea-lanes. While in Earth's orbit, Chinese and Russian spacecraft surround an American space station with one clear message: back down or watch as your navy is crippled.

With a president battling for his political life in D.C., retired Air Force Lieutenant General Patrick McLanahan and Kai Raydon, commander of the U.S. Space Defense Force, race to defuse the crisis—as every second brings the world closer to a full-scale war of superpowers on Earth...and miles above it.

(see review)

Reckless by Andrew Gross (Harper 01 March 2011 / $9.99) - Product Description: A close friend from investigator Ty Hauck's past is murdered along with her family in a terrifying home invasion. Now Ty will risk everything he loves to avenge her death...

An international financier sees his world about to crumble—and realizes his family is in unfathomable danger...

A tenacious government agent's blood freezes when she watches bank transfers of millions in cash, suspecting that this is the first step in a plot to unleash a new global terror . . .

Following the trail of murders, Ty Hauck—along with agent Naomi Blum of the U.S. Department of Treasury—steps into the crosshairs of an unthinkable conspiracy.

Read Steve Sawicki's review of Reckless from our December 2010 issue. (Source: Harper)

The Bone Thief: A Body Farm Novel by Jefferson Bass (Harper 01 March 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Dr. Bill Brockton has been called in on a seemingly routine case, to exhume a body and obtain a bone sample for a DNA paternity test. But when the coffin is opened, Brockton and his colleagues, including his graduate assistant Miranda Lovelady, are stunned to see that the corpse has been horribly violated.

Brockton's initial shock gives way to astonishment as he uncovers a flourishing and lucrative black market in body parts. At the center of this ghoulish empire is a daring and prosperous grave robber. Soon Brockton finds himself drawn into the dangerous enterprise when the FBI recruits him to bring down the postmortem chop shop—using corpses from the Body Farm as bait in an undercover sting operation.

As Brockton struggles to play the unscrupulous role the FBI asks of him, his friend and colleague medical examiner Eddie Garcia faces a devastating injury that could end his career. Exposed to a near-lethal dose of radioactivity, Dr. Garcia has lost most of his right hand and his entire left hand. Out of options, he embarks on a desperate quest: both of his ravaged hands will be severed at the wrist and replaced with those from a cadaver. But unless suitable ones are found soon, the opportunity will be lost.

As Brockton delves deep into the clandestine trade, he is faced with an agonizing choice: Is he willing to risk an FBI investigation—and his own principles—to help his friend? Will he be able to live with himself if he crosses that line? Will he be able to live with himself if he doesn't? And as the criminal case and the medical crisis converge, a pair of simpler questions arise: Will Dr. Garcia survive—and will Brockton?

(Source: Harper)

Wildcase: A Rail Black Novel by Neil Russell (Harper 01 March 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: In a bedroom community populated by good cops and bad cops, a retired police officer and his wife have been brutally tortured and slain. A "wildcase" with no apparent rhyme or reason, it has caught the attention of the FBI...and Hollywood billionaire, ex-Delta Force operative Rail Black, who called the slaughtered pair his friends.

With his frighteningly efficient skills and more money than he could ever spend, Rail believes in helping people he cares about—even if it means clashing with the government's enforcers. But this wildcase has toxic tendrils rooted in a distant past, snaking through a shady megachurch, through Sin City, and into shadowy places halfway around the globe. And the precious blood already spilled is nothing compared to the deluge to come—with Rail's own added to the mix if he gets too close.

(Source: Harper)

Knopf

The Troubled Man (Kurt Wallander) by Henning Mankell (Knopf 29 March 2011 / $26.95) - Product Description: On a winter day in 2008, Håkan von Enke, a retired high-ranking naval officer, vanishes during his daily walk in a forest near Stockholm. The investigation into his disappearance falls under the jurisdiction of the Stockholm police. It has nothing to do with Wallander--officially. But von Enke is his daughter's future father-in-law. And so, with his inimitable disregard for normal procedure, Wallander is soon interfering in matters that are not his responsibility, making promises he won't keep, telling lies when it suits him—and getting results. But the results hint at elaborate Cold War espionage activities that seem inextricably confounding, even to Wallander, who, in any case, is troubled in more personal ways as well. Negligent of his health, he's become convinced that, having turned sixty, he is on the threshold of senility. Desperate to live up to the hope that a new granddaughter represents, he is continually haunted by his past. And looking toward the future with profound uncertainty, he will have no choice but to come face-to-face with his most intractable adversary: himself. (see review)

Minotaur Books

A Gentleman of Fortune: Or, the Suspicions of Miss Dido Kent by Anna Dean (Minotaur Books 29 March 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: With all the charm of a Georgette Heyer novel, the sequel to Bellfield Hall finds Miss Dido Kent vacationing at the home of her cousin. When a neighbor passes away quite suddenly, Dido feels she is ideally placed to observe the reaction of the community, but her suitor, Mr. William Lomax, feels otherwise. As Dido presses on, she learns more about the dirty dealings among the upper classes of Surrey than even she could have imagined. Anna Dean has crafted a delightful historical mystery series; the next best thing to reading Jane Austen. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Bless the Bride (Molly Murphy) by Rhys Bowen (Minotaur Books 01 March 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: With Molly Murphy's wedding to NYPD Captain Daniel Sullivan quickly approaching, the Irish sleuth heads to the Westchester County countryside, where his mother can lend her a hand and advise her on a bride's proper place. And shockingly, Molly seems to be agreeing. She has already promised that she'll close up her PI business and settle down after marrying, but she isn't a married woman yet. So, when she gets word of a possible case, she sneaks back into the city to squeeze in a little more sleuthing before the wedding bells can ring.

A wealthy Chinese immigrant wants her to find his missing bride, and Molly--sure she isn't getting the whole story--suspects that his bride ran off. But where could she go? The only Chinese women in early-twentieth-century New York are kept under lock and key, and Molly can't help but wonder if she's saving the woman from the streets or helping to lock her away for good.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Devil's Slew: A Detective Barrett Raines Mystery by Darryl Wimberley (Minotaur Books 01 March 2011 / $25.99) - Product Description: When a hardhat diver snags a canvas bag and a pair of severed heads from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, the murder investigation brings in federal and county law enforcement, and Special Agent Barrett Raines. (see review)

The Bone House by Brian Freeman (Minotaur Books 29 March 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description:

Hilary and Mark Bradley are trapped in a web of suspicion. Last year, accusations of a torrid affair with a student cost Mark his teaching job and made the young couple into outcasts in their remote island town off the Lake Michigan coast. Now another teenage girl is found dead on a deserted beach. . . and once again, Mark faces a hostile town convinced of his guilt.

Hilary Bradley is determined to prove that Mark is innocent, but she's on a lonely, dangerous quest. Even when she discovers that the murdered girl was witness to a horrific crime years earlier, the police are certain she's throwing up a smoke screen to protect her husband. Only a quirky detective named Cab Bolton seems willing to believe Hilary's story.

Hilary and Cab soon find that people in this community are willing to kill to keep their secrets hidden—and to make sure Mark doesn't get away with murder. And with each shocking revelation, even Hilary begins to wonder whether her husband is truly innocent. Freeman's first stand-alone thriller since his Stride novels is a knockout.
(see review)

The Last Fix by K.O. Dahl (Minotaur Books 29 March 2011 / $15.99) - Product Description: Award-winning author K.O. Dahl has achieved international acclaim with his Oslo Detectives series featuring inspectors Frølich and Gunnarstranda. Now he returns with the third book in the series, combining rare psychological insight and elegant prose rich with dark humor.

Katrine Bratterud, a recovering drug addict, is almost finished with her time in rehab. One evening, contemplating her success at the shore of a lake, she senses that she is not alone. To her shock, a naked man approaches from the woods.  The discovery of Katrine's corpse the following day brings Inspectors Frølich and Gunnarstranda onto the case and into a web of secrets and lies that stretches back generations. Katrine's dark past makes her easy prey to a series of men, who immediately become suspects—and victims of the killer's rage. (Source: Minotaur Books)

The Lock Artist: A Novel by Steve Hamilton (Minotaur Books 01 March 2011 / $14.99) - Product Description: Marked by tragedy, traumatized at the age of eight, Michael, now eighteen, is no ordinary young man. Besides not uttering a single word in ten years, he discovers the one thing he can somehow do better than anyone else. Whether it's a locked door without a key, a padlock with no combination, or even an eight-hundred pound safe ... he can open them all.

It's an unforgivable talent. A talent that will make young Michael a hot commodity with the wrong people and, whether he likes it or not, push him ever close to a life of crime. Until he finally sees his chance to escape, and with one desperate gamble risks everything to come back home to the only person he ever loved, and to unlock the secret that has kept him silent for so long.

Read Lynne LeGrow's review of The Lock Artist from our April 2010 issue.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

The Lost Sister by Russel D McLean (Minotaur Books 15 March 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: A teenage girl is missing. Her godfather is a known criminal and her mother is hiding a dark secret. For Private Investigator J. McNee, what starts as a favor for a friend soon becomes a nightmare as he races to find the girl before it's too late. (see review)

NAL

Where Shadows Dance: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery by C.S. Harris (NAL 01 March 2011 / $24.95) - Product Description: Sebastian St. Cyr finds himself in the realm of international intrigue when he investigates the murder of a foreign office diplomat-a murder his reluctant bride-to-be, Hero Jarvis, knows something about. And when a second body is found, Sebastian must race to unmask a ruthless killer who is now threatening Hero's life-and the life of their unborn child. (Source: NAL)

Oceanview Publishing

Stuff to Spy For by Don Bruns (Oceanview Publishing 07 March 2011 / $15.00) - Product Description: Best friends James Lessor and Skip Moore are still stuck in dead-end jobs, still living in their ratty apartment in Carol City, Florida, and still dreaming of hitting the big time. It seems those dreams are finally within reach when James lands a job to install a state-of-the-art security system for Synco Systems. There's a huge commission-and plenty of strings-attached. To collect on the cash, James will have to provide "additional services" by assuming the role of pretend boyfriend of Sarah Crumbly, an employee who's having an affair with Sandler Conroy, Synco's married president.

When Sandler's wife offers James a tidy sum for the dirty details about what's going on at Synco, James and Skip resurrect their entrepreneurial dreams and go into the business of being spies. The spymobile-their beloved, rattletrap of a boxtruck-is on its last legs, and they'll have to spend a small fortune on spy equipment, but there's no business like spy business.In this spy game, James and Skip may be the ones who get played-or worse. (see review)

Picador

Elegy for April: A Novel by Benjamin Black (Picador 29 March 2011 / $15.00) - Product Description: April Latimer, a junior doctor at a local hospital, is something of a scandal in the conservative and highly patriarchal society of 1950s Dublin. She's known for being independent, and her taste in men is decidedly unconventional. Now April has vanished, and her friend Phoebe Griffin suspects the worst. Phoebe seeks out Quirke, her brilliant but erratic father, and asks him for help. Sober again after intensive treatment for alcoholism, Quirke follows April's trail through some of the darker byways of the city, and finds himself deeply involved in April's murky story, facing ugly truths about family savagery, Catholic ruthlessness, and race hatred. Both an absorbing crime novel and a brilliant portrait of a father and his daughter, this is Benjamin Black at his sparkling best.

(Source: Picador)

Ransom Note Press

Nine Man's Murder by Eric Keith (Ransom Note Press 01 March 2011 / $13.95) - Product Description: Nine graduates of Damien Anderson's Detective Training Agency assemble at an isolated vacation home for a class reunion, but their host remains elusive ... until he is found dead in a closet. Soon thereafter, the murders begin. One by one, the graduates are eliminated by a mysterious person who has decided to pit his or her wits against the guests'. As a snowstorm traps the party, the survivors realize that the murderer must be one of them. Yet the killings continue, despite locked doors and windows. What is the killer's motivation? Is an old grudge at work? Could the explanation be related to a series of mysterious accidents on the set of a film titled Nine Man Morris, which the classmates had investigated fifteen years earlier? (Source: Ransom Note Press)

Signet

Begging for Trouble: A Dog Walker Mystery by Judi McCoy (Signet 01 March 2011 / $6.99) - Product Description: When Ellie, New York City's most enterprising dog walker, goes to see one of her clients perform in a show, the screams aren't just for the fantastic dance numbers...

A murder happens backstage, and the only witness is a dog named Bitsy. Taking Bitsy to a dog psychic might not be standard procedure, but it may stop a killer from biting again. (see review)

How to Survive a Killer Seance: A Party-Planning Mystery by Penny Warner (Signet 01 March 2011 / $6.99) - Product Description: Presley Parker's newest gig is a séance party at San Jose's famous Winchester Mystery House. Her client Jonathan Ellington plans to use the event to unveil his new holographic technology, which will appear to bring former owner Sarah Winchester back from the dead.

But the stunt backfires when a disembodied voice accuses Ellington of infidelity in front of his wife and business associates, and the techie monitoring the holograph is found murdered. Suspicion fall on Ellington, but as Presley tries to get at the truth, she doesn't need a Ouija board to tell her someone wants to scare her to death. (Source: Signet)

Murder of a Bookstore Babe: A Scumble River Mystery by Denise Swanson (Signet 01 March 2011 / $6.99) - Product Description: Who could be driven to kill by books and sweets? While school psychologist Skye Denison eagerly anticipates the grand opening of a new bookstore called Tales and Treats, many of Scumble River's most outspoken citizens want to shut down the owners before they even open--and one is angry enough to commit murder...

Dropping off some old books at Tales and Treats, Skye trips over a toppled bookcase, which has crushed a woman beneath its weight. While the police search for motives, Skye sees the messy aftermath of a half-baked plot to murder somebody else. Skye is juggling her how busy life, but when all the clues lead to dead ends, she turns up the heat on her investigation...and stumbles upon the deadly secret that got the bookstore babe done in. And if Skye isn't careful, the killer might just make her the sequel.... (Source: Signet)

Murder, She Wrote: Nashville Noir by Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain (Signet 01 March 2011 / $6.99) - Product Description: Weeks after young Cabot Cove singer Cyndi Gabriel is sent on scholarship to Nashville, everyone is stunned when she's charged with the murder of a brash music publisher. Now it's up to Jessica to uncover the truth, or poor Cyndi will never get the chance for an encore. (Source: Signet)

Soho Constable

Death in a Scarlet Coat: A Lord Francis Powerscourt Investigation by David Dickinson (Soho Constable 15 March 2011 / $25.00) - Product Description: Instead of leading his riders to the hunt, the fifteenth Earl of Candlesby is found dead, his body wrapped in blankets atop his horse, a corner of his scarlet coat visible in the morning mist. Three people see the body. One dies. Another vanishes. Now only one man knows how he was killed. Lord Powerscourt is summoned to investigate the murder. Powerscourt uncovers a tangled web of jealousy, revenge, and hatred on a rundown estate where the father and his sons are equally dangerous. The fifteenth Earl has left a trail of dueling, theft, and adultery across the flatlands of Lincolnshire. It will take another murder and a perilous chase beneath the crumbling estate before Powerscourt unlocks the mystery. (Source: Soho Constable)

Soho Crime

Murder in Passy: An Aimee Leduc Investigation by Cara Black (Soho Crime 08 March 2011 / $25.00) - Product Description: The village-like neighborhood of Passy, home to many of Paris's wealthiest residents, is the last place one would expect a murder. But when Aimée Leduc's godfather, Morbier, a police commissaire, asks her to check on his girlfriend at her home there, that's exactly what Aimée finds. Xavierre, a haut bourgeois matron of Basque origin, is strangled in her garden while Aimée waits inside. Circumstantial evidence makes Morbier the prime suspect, and to vindicate him, Aimée must identify the real killer. Her investigation leads her to police corruption; the radical Basque terrorist group, ETA; and a kidnapped Spanish princess. (see review)

Murder in the Palais Royal: An Aimee Leduc Investigation by Cara Black (Soho Crime 08 March 2011 / $14.00) - Product Description: Just as Aimée is about to leave for New York City to follow up on a lead about a possible younger brother, her partner in Leduc Detective, René Friant, is wounded by a near-fatal gun shot. Eyewitnesses identify Aimée as the culprit. The police have pegged her as the guilty party. Aimée is distraught over René's condition and horrified to be under suspicion.
 
At the same time, a large, mysterious sum appears in their firm's bank account, and the tax authorities descend upon Aimée. She has no idea who would have sent this money.
 
It seems that someone is impersonating Aimée, someone who wants revenge. But for what? Two murders ensue. How do they relate to the youth whom Aimée's testimony sent to jail in the very first Aimée Leduc investigation, Murder in the Marais? (Source: Soho Crime)

Vintage

Death Before Bedtime by Gore Vidal (Vintage 22 March 2011 / $14.95) - Product Description: In Death Before Bedtime, dashing P.R. man Peter Sargent is invited to the home of a venerable senator to help strategize his imminent run for president. On the night before he's to announce, though, the senator is murdered in his bed. No longer needed as a political publicist, Sargent finds himself helping the police find the killer. He deftly navigates an eccentric cast of characters, all of whom are suspects: the rebellious daughter; the sycophantic aide; the grieving widow; and the power-hungry governor with his eye on the senator's job. Somehow, between charming the senator's daughter and glad-handing Washington's elite, Sargent still manages to methodically put the pieces into place and sees that politics truly is a cut-throat business. (see review)

Death in the Fifth Position (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by Gore Vidal (Vintage 22 March 2011 / $14.95) - Product Description: In Death in the Fifth Position, dashing P.R. man Peter Sargent is hired by a ballet company on the eve of a major upcoming performance. Handling the press seems to be no problem, but when a rising star in the company is killed during the performance—dropped from thirty feet above the stage, crashing to her death in a perfect fifth position—Sargent has a real case on his hands. As he ingratiates himself with the players behind the scenes (especially one lovely young ballerina), he finds that this seemingly graceful ballet company is performing their most dramatic acts behind the curtain. There are sharp rivalries, sordid affairs, and shady characters. Sargent, though, has no trouble staying on point and proving that the ballerina killer is no match for his keen eye and raffish charm. (Source: Vintage)

Death Likes It Hot by Gore Vidal (Vintage 22 March 2011 / $14.95) - Product Description: In Death Likes it Hot, dashing P.R. man Peter Sargeant travels out to a posh beach community to help a wealthy socialite plan an end-of-summer party. His enjoyment of the sun, the surf, and the company of a lovely young fashion reporter is interrupted by the death of the socialite's niece: she mysteriously drowns while swimming on a crowded beach. No one suspects murder until the police find a lethal dose of sleeping pills in her system. As Sargeant watches the police's investigation unfold, he keeps an eye on the grieving socialite; the victim's famous painter husband; a suspiciously cheery brother and sister; and a garrulous tabloid columnist. Now, instead of planning guest lists, wine choices, and menus, Sargeant is faced with a killer unlike he's ever faced: highly sophisticated, devilishly clever, and just as smooth as he is.

(Source: Vintage)

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