gumshoereview Logo with link to Main Page  
US Books Received- 08/2011  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

Berkley

A Killer Column (A Mystery by the Numbers) by Casey Mayes (Berkley 02 August 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Savannah Stone has a conundrum. Derrick Duncan her puzzle editor and syndicator, is terminating their working relationship. To finally be free of Derrick's abusive conduct and air-tight contract should be a cause for celebration. But he's sold Savannah's column to a syndicate. She greets this news with a very ugly--and very public--reaction.

Once her cooler head has prevailed, Savannah returns to Derrick to apologize--only to find he's been stabbed to death. The police are already looking at her as the prime suspect, but Savannah knows that Derrick's temperament was legendary and that she wasn't the only puzzle maker to cross words with him. (Source: Berkley)

A Sheetcake Named Desire (A Piece of Cake Mystery) by Jacklyn Brady (Berkley 02 August 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: New Orleans pastry chef Rita Lucero is out to bake her way to the top. But when she finds her almost-ex-husband killed with a chef's knife in his back, she becomes suspect number one. Now it's up to her to find the real killer before she winds up as the next victim served. (Source: Berkley)

Bitter Harvest (Orchard Mystery) by Sheila Connolly (Berkley 02 August 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Now that Meg Corey's apples have been harvested and sold, she's enjoying some free time. Especially since she's snowed in without power or heat. Luckily, her maybe boyfriend, Seth Chapin, is keeping her company, and has agreed to help her clean out the house.

In a dusty corner Meg finds an early nineteenth-century silk sampler embroidered with apple trees, but she doesn't recognize the names on it as any of the earlier owners of the house. Then she starts being plagued by a series of small but annoying mishaps. Meg doesn't want to appear paranoid, but when she finds herself locked in the unheated barn overnight, and then her kitchen window is shot out, she can't ignore the problem any longer. And if she doesn't figure out how the sampler she found is connected to the motive of her modern-day tormentor, her first harvest could be her last.... (Source: Berkley)

Die Buying (Mall Cop) by Laura DiSilverio (Berkley 02 August 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Emma-Joy Ferris likes mall cop work, even though it's a bit more humdrum than the military policing she did in the army. But there's no time to be bored when someone 'liberates' a 15-foot python from the Herpetology Hut, and a mannequin turns out to be a very real corpse. (see review)

Harrowing Hats (Renaissance Faire Mystery) by Joyce and Jim Lavene (Berkley 02 August 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Working as a hat-maker in the Renaissance Faire Village is pretty sweet for Jessie Morton-until one of the fair's chocolatiers is found drowned in a vat of chocolate in his shop. Now Jessie must sort through a long list of knaves, knights, and wenches who might have wanted to see the chocolatier double- dipped and dead. (Source: Berkley)

Murder by Mocha (Coffee House Mystery) by Cleo Coyle (Berkley 02 August 2011 / $25.95) - Product Description: The national bestselling author of Roast Mortem serves readers a fresh new Coffeehouse Mystery. Includes chocolate recipes!

A divorced, single mom in her forties, Clare Cosi is a coffee shop manager by day, an irrepressible snoop by night. When something is wrong, she considers it her mission in life to right it, and murder is as wrong as it gets.

Can coffee enhance your love life? Clare's Village Blend coffee beans are being used to create a new java love potion: a Mocha Magic Coffee that's laced with an herbal aphrodisiac. The product, expected to rake in millions, will be sold exclusively on Aphrodite's Village, one of the most popular online communities for women. But at the product's launch party, one of the website's editors is murdered. Clare is convinced someone wants control of the coffee's secret formula and is willing to kill to get it. Can she stir up evidence against this bitter killer? Or will she be next on the hit list? (see review)

Tempest in the Tea Leaves (A Fortune Teller Mystery) by Kari Lee Townsend (Berkley 02 August 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Leaving the Big Apple for the quaint town of Divinity, New York, Sunny is determined to make it on her own as a psychic. With an ancient Victorian house as her place of business, Sunny uses various psychic methods to aid the town's residents. But when she uses tea leaves to give a reading for a frazzled librarian what she finds at the bottom of the cup is anything but helpful.

Sunny informs the police of her deadly vision, but her warning is too late. And with hard-nosed, ruggedly handsome Detective Mitch Stone denying her abilities and naming her prime suspect, the situation is dire. Now Sunny has to use her visions to clear her name before the killer can put an end to the psychic's future.

(Source: Berkley)

CreateSpace

Danger in Deer Ridge: A Blackthorne, Inc. by Terry Odell (CreateSpace 22 August 2011 / $10.99) - Product Description: Another adventure with the covert ops team of Blackthorne, Inc.

What do you do when your life turns upside down? Whatever it takes. When Elizabeth Parker arrives in Deer Ridge with her eight-year-old son, she's constantly looking over her shoulder, afraid her husband won't believe she's dead, despite the new identity provided by the high-end firm of Blackthorne, Inc. Within hours of her arrival, a man shows up claiming he's there to hook up her gas line. When he keeps turning up, she's wary as to his motives. For Elizabeth, trust doesn't come easy. She'll never let her husband lay a hand on her son, no matter what, and if this man is working for her husband, she wants no part of him.

Mark Grinciewicz, Grinch to everyone who knows him, was Blackthorne, Inc.'s top pilot. When his ex-wife dies, he is left with custody of a five-year-old son he hardly knows, and everything changes. Determined to do what it takes to help his son adjust to a new life, Grinch finds himself tethered to the ground, unable to do what he loves—fly. When he gets a call from Blackthorne, requesting that he take a simple assignment--teach a woman how to fit into the community under her new identity--he reluctantly accepts the task. Bad enough he's not supposed to let on he's aware of her identity, or that he's on her side. But what he doesn't know is that she has something her husband needs, and the man will do just about anything to get it back. Suddenly, everyone is a potential threat. Can Grinch break through her defenses and earn her trust in time to save her without endangering her son or his?

(see review)

Five Star

No Rest for the Wicked by Elizabeth C. Main (Five Star 17 August 2011 / $25.95) - From back of book: Jane Serrano, 44-year-old widow and founder of the Murder of the Month Book Club, just wants life to return to normal at Thornton's Books in Juniper, Oregon. Ten months after being dubbed the "Bookstore Heroine" for unexpectedly bringing a killer to justice, her life hasn't settled down at all. Though Jane at first found the attention flattering, now she's had enough and wants to explore the intriguing possibilities of a romantic relationship with local attorney Nick Constantine.

However, the other charter members of the book club relish the ride on the celebrity bandwagon. Business at Thornton's Books is booming and the club's been swamped with entreaties to join--no surprise, given the widespread publicity the group received. Between the fan mail and the tourists stopping by, they've barely had time to read mysteries for their regular meetings. Jane attempts to keep the unwieldy group grounded in reality, but it's tough going.

Following the discovery of a new corpse in the sagebrush, book club member Alix Boudreau finds the finger of the law pointed straight at her. The murdered man, Hunter Blackburn, was a skilled con artist...and Alix's ex-husband. Alix had both motive and opportunity to kill Blackburn. Her friends set about finding the real killer, using the goodhearted ineptitude they first demonstrated in Murder of the Month. Jane tosses aside her hope of tranquility and sets to work. Solving the earlier crime was righteous fun. This time it's deadly serious. (Source: Five Star)

Forge Books

Bye Bye, Baby (The Memoirs of Nathan Heller) by Max Allan Collins (Forge Books 16 August 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: It's 1962, and Twentieth Century Fox is threatening to fire Marilyn Monroe. The blond goddess hires Nate Heller, private eye to the stars, to tap her phone so she will have a record of their calls in case they take her to court. When Heller starts listening, he uncovers far more than nasty conversations. The CIA, the FBI, the Mafia—even the Russians—are involved in actions focused on Marilyn. She's the quintessential American cultural icon, idolized by women, desired by men, but her private life is... complicated...and her connection to the Kennedys makes her an object of interest to some parties with sinister intentions.

Not long after Heller signs on, Marilyn winds up dead of a convenient overdose. The detective feels he owes her, and the Kennedys, with whom he busted up corrupt unions in the 1950s. But now, as Heller investigates all possible people—famous, infamous, or deeply cloaked—who might be responsible for Marilyn's death, he realizes that what has become his most challenging assignment may also be the end of him.

PI Nathan Heller returns in his first new novel in a decade, as Max Allan Collins brings to life a vivid star-studded cast, from JFK and RFK to Frank Sinatra and Peter Lawford, from Jimmy Hoffa and Joe DiMaggio to Hugh Hefner and Sam Giancana. Bye Bye, Baby is a Hollywood tale you never thought could happen…but probably did.

(see review)

Cat in a Vegas Gold Vendetta: A Midnight Louie Mystery by Carole Nelson Douglas (Forge Books 02 August 2011 / $24.99) - From back of book: B-movie actress Savannah Ashleigh begs Temple Barr to investigate the suspicious death of her rich aunt's handyman. Temple happily accepts the case, if for no other reason than to take her mind off her chaotic private life. Her ex-fiancé, the Mystifying Max is back--minus his memory. And current fiancé Matt Devine has shown up from a stint in Chicago with the promise of a surprising future. Which may or may not include Temple.

As Temple digs into the handyman's untimely demise she finds pleanty of greedy humans swarming around Aunt Violet, who means to leave her estate to her resident cats. Temple thinks she's close to solving the case, but it becomes clear to Midnight Louie, Temple's roommate and ace feline detective, that there are more deaths--both human and feline--coming. Add in the return of a mysterious stalker from the past, and it's murder and mayhem on all fronts for Temple, Louie, and the ones they love. (Source: Forge Books)

Harper

Act of Deceit: A Harlan Donnally Novel by Steven Gore (Harper 30 August 2011 / $9.99) - Product Description: From the author of Final Target and Absolute Risk, here comes the first book in a thrilling series featuring a compelling new hero, former San Francisco homicide detective Harlan Donnally.

With Act of Deceit, Gore enters the crime fiction domain of Harlan Coben, Robert B. Parker, Stuart Woods, and Robert Crais, and immediately proves he can stand tall with the best of them. A heart-racing masterwork of mystery, thrills, and suspense, Act of Deceit plunges Donnally into a deadly morass of murder, sex trafficking, and church corruption as he seeks the dark truth about the death of a sister of a dying friend.

(Source: Harper)

Final Reckoning, The by Sam Bourne (Harper 30 August 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Once an idealistic lawyer, Tom Byrne will work for anyone now, if the money's right. An official at the United Nations needs him to placate the family of a harmless old man mistaken for a suicide bomber and shot to death by UN Security. But Byrne soon discovers this victim was not quite as innocent as he appeared to be.

Together with the dead man's daughter, Byrne uncovers the existence of a clandestine brotherhood responsible for hundreds of unexplained deaths worldwide. Now Tom is a marked man—a target of assassins who will destroy him for what he's learned—as he races to unearth a mystery buried for more than six decades...the last great secret of World War II.

(see review)

The Redbreast: A Harry Hole Novel by Jo Nesbo (Harper 30 August 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Detective Harry Hole embarrassed the force, and for his sins he's been reassigned to mundane surveillance tasks. But while monitoring neo-Nazi activities in Oslo, Hole is inadvertently drawn into a mystery with deep roots in Norway's dark past, when members of the government willingly collaborated with Nazi Germany. More than sixty years later, this black mark won't wash away—and disgraced old soldiers who once survived a brutal Russian winter are being murdered, one by one. Now, with only a stained and guilty conscience to guide him, an angry, alcoholic, error-prone policeman must make his way safely past the traps and mirrors of a twisted criminal mind. For a conspiracy is taking rapid and hideous shape around Hole...and Norway's darkest hour may be still to come.

(see review)

Minotaur

Cut, Paste, Kill: A Lomax & Biggs Mystery by Marshall Karp (Minotaur 02 August 2011 / $14.99) - Product Description: When Eleanor Bellingham-Crump--a socialite responsible for the death of a ten-year-old boy--turns up murdered on the floor of a Hollywood hotel bathroom, Lomax and Biggs are confronted with a crime of artistic brutality. Along with the scissors sticking out of Eleanor's lifeless body, the two detectives find a meticulous scrapbook documenting a motive for vengeance in lurid detail.

As more bodies are discovered, each one connected by the intricate scrapbooks left at the murder scenes, Mike and Terry are on the hunt for a vigilante stalking unpunished criminals. They must race to decode the meaning behind the scrapbooks before the crafty avenger has time to cut and paste the story for another kill.

With laugh-out-loud humor and crackling dialogue, the chapters hurtle toward a killer finale in the most thrilling Lomax & Biggs adventure yet.

(Source: Minotaur)

Minotaur Books

A Murder in Tuscany by Christobel Kent (Minotaur Books 02 August 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: Sandro Cellini, P.I., Florence's answer to Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti, returns in this atmospheric mystery set in a forbidding castle.

As Sandro Cellini comes to grips with the tough realities of life as a private detective, touting for business among old contacts and following errant teenagers, an old case comes back to haunt him.

Once the subject of a routine background check back in Sandro's earliest days as a private investigator, the glamorous, charming, and ruthless Loni Meadows, the director of an American-Italian artistic retreat in a castle in the hills outside Florence, goes off the icy road in her car one night. The circumstances of her death seem less than accidental to Sandro. However inconvenient his suspicions might be, both to Sandro—whose marriage appears to be disintegrating in the aftermath of his wife's illness—and to Meadows's erstwhile employers, the detective presses on. As he attempts to uncover the truth of Meadows's violent and lonely death, Sandro finds himself drawn into the lives of the castle's highly strung community and the closed world they inhabit in the isolated Etruscan hills of the Maremma. (see review)

Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur Books 16 August 2011 / $23.99) - Product Description: Fans of Jacqueline Winspear will be totally enamored of this series featuring Dandy Gilver, a witty, wealthy, and totally original aristocrat who puts her status to good use by solving crimes. When Dandy gets a letter from a woman who thinks her husband is going to kill her, she must go undercover as a maid to get the complete story. Perfect for fans of Julian Fellowes and Gosford Park, this series brings readers a sleuth they will find irresistible. (see review)

Death and the Maiden: A Daniel Jacobus Mystery by Gerald Elias (Minotaur Books 16 August 2011 / $25.99) - Product Description: Dogged by internal dissension and by a potentially devastating lawsuit from its fired second violinist, the famed New Magini String Quartet is on the brink of professional and personal collapse.  The quartet pins its hopes on a multi-media Carnegie Hall performance of Franz Schubert's masterpiece, "Death and the Maiden," to resurrect its faltering fortunes.  But as the fateful downbeat approaches, a la Agatha Christie, one by one the quartet's musicians mysteriously vanish, including second violinist, Yumi Shinagawa, former student of renowned blind pedagogue and amateur sleuth, Daniel Jacobus.It is left up to the begrudging Jacobus, with his old friend, Nathaniel Williams, and a new member of the detective team, Trotsky the bulldog, to unravel the deadly puzzle.  As usual, it ends up more than Jacobus bargained for.

(see review)

Garden of Secrets Past: An English Garden Mystery by Anthony Eglin (Minotaur Books 16 August 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: Can Lawrence Kingston unearth the key to a deadly secret hidden by a mysterious ancient garden inscription in the newest English Garden Mystery?

Codebreakers have tried for centuries to decipher the enigmatic inscription on a strange monument in the garden at Sturminster Hall, but no one has ever succeeded. When a murder occurs on the garden grounds, the intellectual puzzle becomes all too real, and Dr. Lawrence Kingston—retired professor of botany and reluctant sleuth—is called in to investigate.

Other than a scrap of paper bearing a random sequence of letters found on the victim, the police have no meaningful clues. Convinced that the crime must be linked to the seemingly unbreakable centuries-old code, Kingston begins hunting for clues that will help him unmask the murderer's identity as well as the arcane mystery of the monument. But he quickly finds himself swept along in the dangerous undertow of a centuries' old family conflict and a second murder, by poisoning. What could be so valuable, so important to justify such extreme measures and complex codes to keep sacrosanct for over two centuries?

To unlock the garden's dark secret, Kingston must delve into the brilliant minds of three famous men to fathom what part each may have played in masterminding the riddle: an Admiral hailed as father of Britain's navy, the author of England's most celebrated poem, and Great Britain's first Prime Minister.  But as Kingston's investigation into an England's past leads him closer to a killer in the very dangerous present, his own prospects for survival start to look less and less assured.

(see review)

Murder Most Persuasive: A Mystery by Tracy Kiely (Minotaur Books 30 August 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: After the death of Elizabeth Parker's great-uncle Martin Reynolds, the family's house in the picturesque Maryland town of St. Michaels is sold. When the new owners dig up the pool, they find the body of the man thought to have run off eight years earlier after embezzling over a million dollars from the family business.

This grisly discovery not only unearths old questions about what really happened to the stolen money, but it brings Detective Joe Muldoon back into the family's lives. Eight years earlier, Elizabeth's cousin Ann reluctantly broke off her relationship with Joe due to family pressure. Ann always regretted that decision and now fears that it is too late for her and Joe–especially after she becomes the main suspect.

In a clever and entertaining story with echoes of Jane Austen's Persuasion, Elizabeth tries to not only match wits against a killer who's had an eight year head-start, but to also try her hand at matchmaking.

(see review)

On the Line: A Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novel by S.J. Rozan (Minotaur Books 30 August 2011 / $14.99) - Product Description: P.I. Bill Smith is sent on a high stakes chase when an electronically modified voice on his cell phone informs him that Lydia Chin, his occasional partner, has been kidnapped. Now if Bill wants to keep Lydia alive, he'll have to play an elaborate game of the kidnapper's devising.  The first move sends him to an abandoned building wherein Bill finds the corpse of a small Chinese woman dressed like Lydia and discovers that the building is being rapidly surrounded by police. Now Bill is on the run from the cops and in the worst trouble of his very troubled life. With the help of Lydia's hacker cousin Linus, and Linus's cohort Trella, Bill has to not only stay one step ahead of the cops, he has to uncover the secret behind the kidnapper's identity and the reason he's come after Bill, if he's to reach Lydia before it's too late.

Read Cathy Green's review of On the Line from our February 2011 issue. (see review)

Red Herring (Joe Gunther) by Archer Mayor (Minotaur Books 30 August 2011 / $14.99) - Product Description: VBI (Vermont Bureau of Investigation) head Joe Gunther and his team are called in to investigate a series of violent deaths that appear unrelated until telltale clues reveal a linkage between them and that all of the deaths are, in fact, murders. However, apart from a single drop of unexplained blood left at each crime scene, there are no obvious connections between the victims or the cases. The police are faced with more questions than answers including what do the mysterious deposits of blood mean, coming as they do from three additional unknown people. In their search for the elusive truth, the VBI must plumb the depths of every suspect's past, every victim's most intimate details, and examine each piece of evidence down to the smallest detail—an examination which includes a trip to the Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island and an exploration of cutting edge forensic technology.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Stealing Mona Lisa by Carson Morton (Minotaur Books 02 August 2011 / $25.99) - Product Description: What happens when you mix a Parisian street orphan, a hot-tempered Spanish forger, a beautiful American pickpocket, an unloved wife, and one priceless painting?

The charming Eduardo de Valfierno makes a very respectable living in Argentina fleecing the nouveau rich--they pay him to steal valuable pieces of art, and Valfierno sells them flawless forgeries instead. But when Eduardo meets the beautiful Mrs. Hart on his latest con, he takes a risk that forces him back to the city he loved and left behind--Paris. There he assembles his team of con artists for their final and most ambitious theft, one that will enable them to leave the game forever: The Mona Lisa.

But when a member of the team turns up missing, and Mr. Hart shows up in Paris, Valfierno and his crew must stay one step ahead of a relentless police inspector, endure a devastating flood, and conquer their own doubts to keep the priceless painting in play—and survive.

(see review)

The Brink of Fame by Irene Fleming (Minotaur Books 16 August 2011 / $25.99) - Product Description: In 1913, Emily Daggett Weiss is left stranded and destitute. Film tycoon Carl Laemmle comes to her rescue with a job offer directing a film in Hollywood, provided she can track down and bring back Laemmle's own missing star actor. . .

(see review)

The Hand That Trembles (Ann Lindell) by Kjell Eriksson (Minotaur Books 02 August 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: A Swedish county commissioner walks out of a high-level meeting and disappears. Many years later, one of the town's natives is convinced that he's caught a glimpse of the missing man while traveling in Bangalore, India. When the rumors reach his hometown, a veteran police officer stumbles across a seemingly unrelated case. Ann Lindell, Eriksson's series detective, must investigate a severed female foot found where a striking number of inhabitants are single men. But the owner of the house where the victim believed to have lived is no longer able to answer any questions....

(see review)

The Man with the Baltic Stare: An Inspector O Novel by James Church (Minotaur Books 16 August 2011 / $14.99) - Product Description: Autumn brings unwelcome news to Inspector O: wrenched from retirement, he has been ordered to Pyongyang for an assignment. The two Koreas are now cooperating--very quietly--to maintain stability in the North. Stability requires compromise; stability requires peace; stability requires that O investigate a crime of passion committed by the young man who has been selected as the best leader of a transition government. 

O is instructed to make sure the case goes away. Then he learns that several groups—remnants of the old regime, foreign powers, rival gangs—all want a piece of the action, and all make clear that if O values his life, he will not get in their way. O isn't sure where his loyalties lie, and he doesn't have much time to figure out whether 'tis better to be noble or be dead.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Mira

Saint's Gate by Carla Neggers (Mira 23 August 2011 / $24.95) - Product Description: When Emma Sharpe is summoned to a convent on the Maine coast, it's partly for her art crimes work with the FBI, partly because of her past with the religious order. At issue is a mysterious painting depicting scenes of Irish lore and Viking legends, and her family's connection to the work. But when the nun who contacted her is murdered, it seems legend is becoming deadly reality.

Colin Donovan is one of the FBI's most valuable assets--a deep-cover agent who prefers to go it alone. He's back home in Maine after wrapping up his latest mission, but his friend Father Bracken presents him with an intrigue of murder, international art heists and a convent's long-held secrets that is too tempting to resist. As the danger spirals ever closer, Colin is certain of only one thing—the very intriguing Emma Sharp is at the center of it all.

A ruthless killer has Emma and Colin in the crosshairs, plunging them into a race against time and drawing them deeper into a twisted legacy of betrayal and deceit. (see review)

Other Press

Calling Mr. King by Ronald De Feo (Other Press 30 August 2011 / $14.95) - Product Description: Long considered cool, distant, and absolutely reliable, an American-born hit man, working throughout Europe, grows increasingly distracted and begins to develop an unexpected passion for architecture and art while engaged in his deadly profession. Although he welcomes this energizing break from his routine, he comes to realize that it is an unwise trajectory for a man in his business, particularly when he is sent on the most difficult job of his career.

(see review)

PM Press

The Wrong Thing (Switchblade) by Barry Graham (PM Press 01 August 2011 / $14.95) - Product Description: A dark Latino legend of the Southwest's urban badlands, the kid is spoken of in whispers in dive bars near closing time. Some claim to have met him, and others say he doesn't exist—a phantom blamed for every unsolved act of violence, a ghost who haunts every blood-splattered crime scene. In reality, he is young man with a love of cooking and reading, an abiding loneliness, and an appetite for violence. He is a projection of the dreams and nightmares of the people ignored by Phoenix's economic boom and a contemporary outlaw in search of an ordinary life. Love brings him the chance to start anew with Vanjii, a beautiful, but damaged woman, but try as he might to abandon the past, it won't abandon him. Fighting back in the only way he knows sets in motion a tragic sequence of events that leads to an explosive conclusion shocking in both its brutality and tenderness.

(Source: PM Press)

Poisoned Pen Press

Dead Man's Switch: A Kate Reilly Mystery by Tammy Kaehler (Poisoned Pen Press 02 August 2011 / $24.95) - Product Description: Aspiring racecar driver Kate Reilly goes looking for a full-time ride in the American Le Mans Series—and stumbles over a dead driver. When she takes that driver's job just hours later, she also takes pole position on the list of suspects in his murder. Suddenly she's in the hot seat with little time to clear her name and get ready to race a Corvette at Lime Rock Park.

Amidst suspicion, Kate buckles down, quickly getting to know the racecar and team, bumping into plenty of suspects who might have committed murder. Clues fly at her as fast as the turns on the track, including a cryptic list of blackmail victims, unexplainable car performance at racing speed, a jealous husband with an adulterous wife, and drivers and crew who are openly happy her predecessor is dead. Kate finds exhilaration and hazards exist on- and off-track as she throttles up both the Corvette's V8 and a murder investigation.

The green-flag countdown ticks away, and Kate must decide who she can trust to help probe alibis, untangle rumors of team breakups and personal betrayals, and determine whose drive to win also constitutes a willingness to kill. Because what's at stake in Kate's race to the truth is her career... only by uncovering a murderer can Kate restore her reputation and prove she belongs in the racing world.

(Source: Poisoned Pen Press)

Signet

Pleating for Mercy: A Magical Dressmaking Mystery by Melissa Bourbon (Signet 02 August 2011 / $6.99) - Product Description: All the Cassidy women possess special gifts. Harlow Jane Cassidy's is creating beautiful dresses. But she's about to discover secrets in her own family and another gift-one that can reach beyond the grave....

When her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and moves back to Bliss, Texas. But soon after she opens Buttons & Bows, a custom dressmaking boutique in the old farmhouse she inherited, Harlow begins to feel an inexplicable presence....

One of her first clients is her old friend Josie, who needs a gown for her upcoming wedding. But when Josie's boss turns up dead, it starts to look as if the bride-to-be may be wearing handcuffs instead of a veil. Suddenly, Josie needs a lot more from Harlow than the perfect dress. Can Harlow find the real killer-with a little help from beyond? (Source: Signet)

Till Death Do Us Bark: A Dog Walker Mystery by Judi McCoy (Signet 02 August 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Professional dog walker Ellie Engleman may have a psychic connection with dogs, but she was hoping she would not get roped into dealing with the wet-nosed guests at the Hamptons wedding she's been invited to. But soon she's chasing her tail over trouble of the two-legged variety. Before the bride can say, "I do," someone is murdered. And Ellie and her yorkiepoo Rudy must put their noses to the ground to sniff out the killer. (Source: Signet)

Soho Constable

The Calling: A DC Goodhew Investigation by Alison Bruce (Soho Constable 16 August 2011 / $25.00) - Product Description: Kaye Whiting went to buy a birthday present and didn't come back. When DC Goodhew hears the recording of the mysterious call made to the station, informing them that Kaye is still alive and that a man named Peter Walsh is responsbile, he knows it's more than a prank call.  Why does Mr. Walsh not seem surprised to see Goodhew at his doorstep, and who is the woman who goes to the same diner every day, just so she can watch Mr. Walsh walk out of his building with his new lover? (Source: Soho Constable)

Soho Crime

Snake: A Kramer and Zondi Investigation by James McClure (Soho Crime 09 August 2011 / $14.00) - Product Description: Lieutenant Kramer and Sergeant Zondi have their hands full. On the same day that an adult entertainer known as Eve is found accidentally strangled to death in her dressing room, her pet python wrapped dead around her neck, a beloved candy shop owner named "Lucky" Siyayo is shot to death at his counter in a botched robbery. The detective duo quickly realize neither death is as simple as it looks on the surface: Lucky Siyayo's cash register was all but empty the day he was murdered, which suddenly throws a whole rash of fatal neighborhood robberies into perspective—were none of them robberies at all? It becomes clear a killer is on the loose, but Zondi and Kramer must figure out what the killer is after.

Meanwhile, postmortem analysis reveals that Eve didn't die at the time her ex-boss had stated he'd discovered her body; the more Kramer picks the circumstances apart, the less they make sense. With two very different sets of crimes to solve, Kramer and Zondi set off on treks that take them all over town, from the poorer villages to the sleazy dressing rooms of con artists and pimps to gorgeous steop of the South African countryside in another surefire investigation full of both stirring observations of Apartheid and plenty of mischief. Only one thing is for sure—no one is getting to take his day off this week! (Source: Soho Crime)

Strange Images of Death: A Joe Sandilands Murder Mystery by Barbara Cleverly (Soho Crime 30 August 2011 / $14.00) - Product Description: Provence, 1926. Scotland Yard detective Joe Sandilands is on leave, driving his way south to the Riviera while dropping off his niece at an ancient chateau.

A troubling crime committed at the chateau just before their arrival leaves a clear message that more violence is to come. To allay panic, Joe agrees to stay on and root out the guilty person. But, despite Joe's vigilance, a child goes missing and an artist's beautiful young model is murdered in circumstances eerily recreating a six hundred-year-old crime of passion.

Helped and hindered by a rising star of the French Police Judiciaire, Joe must delve into a horror story from the castle's past before he can tear the mask from the diseased soul responsible for these contemporary crimes. (Source: Soho Crime)

The Last Kashmiri Rose: Introducing Detective Joe Sandilands by Barbara Cleverly (Soho Crime 30 August 2011 / $14.00) - Product Description: In a land of saffron sunsets and blazing summer heat, an Englishwoman has been found dead, her wrists slit, her body floating in a bathtub of blood and water. But is it suicide or murder? The case falls to Scotland Yard inspector Joe Sandilands, who survived the horror of the Western Front and has endured six sultry months in English-ruled Calcutta. Sandilands is ordered to investigate, and soon discovers that there have been other mysterious deaths, hearkening sinister ties to the present case.

Now, as the sovereignty of Britain is in decline and an insurgent India is on the rise, Sandilands must navigate the treacherous corridors of political decorum to bring a cunning killer to justice, knowing the next victim is already marked to die.

(Source: Soho Crime)

Wyatt by Garry Disher (Soho Crime 09 August 2011 / $25.00) - Product Description: Garry Disher's cool, enigmatic anti-hero Wyatt has a job--a jewel heist. The kind Wyatt likes. Nothing extravagant, nothing greedy. Stake out the international courier, one Alain Le Page, hold up the goods in transit and get away fast.

Wyatt prefers to work alone, but this is Eddie Oberin's job. Eddie's very smart ex-wife Lydia has the inside information. Add Wyatt's planning genius and meticulous preparation, and what could possibly go wrong? Plenty. And when you wrong Wyatt, you don't get to just walk away.

(see review)

St. Martin's Griffin

Following Polly by Karen Bergreen (St. Martin's Griffin 16 August 2011 / $14.99) - Product Description: Would you call Alice Teakle a stalker? Or just someone with an, um, healthy obsession with golden girl Polly Linley Dawson?  No one much notices Alice: not her boss, not the neighbors, not even her mother. Besides, everyone follows Polly: her business selling high-end lingerie you can only imagine her wearing, her all-over-the-social-pages marriage to movie director Humphrey Dawson, her chic looks, her wardrobe. Alice just follows her a little more….closely.

Yet one Manhattan autumn afternoon, when Alice loses her job and starts to follow Polly, she stumbles on the object of her attention sprawled dead on the floor of a boutique and is forced to become truly invisible. Because she's accused of murder. But can another obsession help save Alice? Charlie is Alice's longtime unattainable crush.  He might be able to help her out of the mess she's in...in return for a favor or two, that is. But how will Alice find out if Charlie is really the man she thinks he is?

(Source: St. Martin's Griffin)

Tyrus Books

Liquid Smoke by Jeff Shelby (Tyrus Books 01 August 2011 / $24.95) - Product Description: Private eye Noah Braddock has finally found peace in his once tumultuous relationship with Detective Liz Santangelo and has called a tentative truce with his alcoholic mother, Carolina. So when lawyer Darcy Gill demands that he look into a hopeless death row case, he's more interested in catching some waves before San Diego's rare winter weather takes hold. Then Darcy plays her trump card: the man scheduled to die—convicted of killing two men in cold blood—is the father Noah never knew.

(Source: Tyrus Books)

Walker Books

Between by Jessica Warman (Walker Books 02 August 2011 / $17.99) - Product Description: Elizabeth Valchar-pretty, popular, and perfect--wakes up the morning after her eighteenth birthday party on her family's yacht, where she'd been celebrating with her six closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, what she finds will change everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and everything in between. As Liz begins to unravel the circumstances surrounding her birthday night, she will find that no one around her, least of all Liz herself, was perfect-or innocent. Critically acclaimed author Jessica Warman brings readers along on a roller-coaster ride of a mystery, one that is also a heartbreaking character study, a touching romance, and ultimately a hopeful tale of redemption, love, and letting go.

(Source: Walker Books)

William Morrow

All the Pretty Hearses: A Bed-and-Breakfast Mystery by Mary Daheim (William Morrow 09 August 2011 / $23.99) - Product Description: There's no "fun" in "fund-raiser" for Judith McMonigle Flynn when she donates an overnight stay at Hillside Manor for the parish school's annual auction--not when the pricey winning bid goes to the persnickety Paine family. Dinner is included--if Judith can sort through the endless allergies and aversions of the painfully picky Paines. The last thing she needs is another B&B guest who checks out permanently. Thankfully, her husband, Joe, is home early. His latest surveillance job has just ended abruptly with a .38 Smith & Wesson blowing away the insurance fraud suspect. Unfortunately, the gun belongs to Joe, who finds himself in a jail cell as a murder suspect while Judith tries to find what's left of her mind—and the real killer.

But Joe's dilemma and the unbearable Paines aren't Judith's only problems. Her cantankerous mother, Gertrude, has agreed to let a wealthy parishioner stable a horse in her toolshed apartment; cousin Renie is trying to force-feed her loathsome Shrimp Dump recipe to the parish cookbook fundraising committee; and neighbor Arlene Rankers wants to know why some parish schoolkids, including her grandson, are sick after the weekly hamburger lunch.

Judith figures she's already got way too much on her plate, so what else could possibly go wrong? On the other hand, at Hillside Manor, what can possibly go right?

(Source: William Morrow)

Return to Index

With a few exceptions, books sent get listed, and possibly even commented on.
With fewer exceptions, books not sent don't.
Send books to: Gayle Surrette / Editor
c/o Gumshoe 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

© 2002-Gumshoe

advertising index / info
Our advertisers make Gumshoe possible, and your consideration is appreciated.

Our Other Pubs:

Do You SFRevu? Thousands of Intelligent Beings Do Every Month

Gumshoe Review - a literary investigation.

© 2002-Gumshoe