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US Books Received- 03/2012  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

Amazon Digital Services

Party Doll (The Bubba Mabry Mysteries) by Steve Brewer (Amazon Digital Services 20 March 2012 / $1.99) - Product Description: Bubba Mabry returns in a new novella guaranteed to thrill and amuse fans of the series featuring the Albuquerque, NM, private eye.

Bubba bumbles back into action when he's hired to find a missing stripper who goes by the stage name Joy Forever. Joy's boss says business has been off since she disappeared, owing him money. He wants Bubba to find Joy and find her fast.

But there's more here than meets the eye. A federal prosecutor is interested in Joy as well, and Bubba's wife, newspaper reporter Felicia Quattlebaum, is working on a crusade that seems to be entangled with the case.

(Source: Amazon Digital Services)


Dead by Midnight (Death on Demand) by Carolyn Hart (Avon 27 March 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Solving puzzles comes naturally to Annie Darling, cheerful owner of the Death on Demand mystery bookstore on the lovely sea island of Broward's Rock. Annie is aided and abetted by her admiring husband, Max, who runs an unusual business that offers help to people in trouble.

A recent death appears to be suicide, but Annie suspects murder. To solve the case, she unravels the mystery of a towel hidden at midnight in a gazebo, the lack of fingerprints on a crystal mug, blood on a teenager's blue shirt, and the secret of a lovers' tryst. Annie believes she has set the perfect trap for a merciless killer ... until her cell phone rings and Death whispers in her ear.

(Source: Avon)


Adrift on St. John (Mystery in the Islands) by Rebecca M. Hale (Berkley 06 March 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: No one knows better than resort manager Pen Hofstra that the idea of a tropical paradise is an illusion. So when a young woman named Hannah Sheridan disappears off the island of St. John, she is not surprised that all is not what it seems to be. Pointing out Hannah's resemblance to the Amina Slave Princess from the 1733 slave revolt on St. John--whose ghost is rumored to haunt the island--the local community quickly latches on to the belief that her spirit is behind the sinking and the disappearance... (see review)

Agony of the Leaves (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs (Berkley 06 March 2012 / $25.95) - Product Description: In the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Scones and Bones, Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning finds herself in hot water when a body surfaces at the grand opening of Charleston's Neptune Aquarium...

The opening of the aquarium is a major Charleston event, and Theodosia has been hired to cater tea, scones, and sandwiches for the private party to honor dignitaries and big buck donors. Things are going swimmingly, until Theodosia escapes the party for a momentary rest, only to discover the body of a man entangled in a net, drowned in one of the aquarium's state-of-the-art tanks.

To make matters worse, the victim is Theodosia's former boyfriend Parker Scully. The EMTs on the scene think Parker's drowning was an accident, but when Theodosia notices what look like defense wounds on his hands, she realizes that someone wanted Parker dead. The local police aren't keen on hearing her theory-especially because of her ties to the victim-so Theodosia knows that if she wants Parker's killer brought to justice, she'll have to jump into the deep end and start her own investigation... (INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS.) (see review)

Cat's Claw (A Pecan Springs Mystery) by Susan Wittig Albert (Berkley 06 March 2012 / $25.95) - Product Description: Police Chief Sheila Dawson believes the death of Pecan Spring's computer guru, Larry Kirk, to be a suicide, perhaps triggered by his painful divorce. Further investigation reveals that Kirk's death wasn't self-inflicted. And the truth is reinforced by her friend China Bayles' news-Larry recently asked her for legal advice in regards to a stalker.

As a police chief in a male-dominated force, Sheila meets many challenges, especially when her theories rock the boat in high profile cases like that of George Timms. He was caught breaking into Larry's computer shop to steal his own computer back because of dangerous personal information it contained. Now that Larry is dead, she's sure it's connected to the burglary. And she's also sure she'll get plenty of resistance on her assessment...

Timms's time to turn himself in to the police comes and goes, and he's nowhere to be found. In her investigation, Sheila uncovers secrets, terrible secrets that would drive anyone to kill. So who then? It's up to Sheila to prove she's got what it takes to hunt down the predator that's loose on the streets of Pecan Springs... (see review)

Due or Die (Library Lover's) by Jenn McKinlay (Berkley 06 March 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Answering tricky reference questions is excitement enough for library director Lindsey Norris. Until a murder is committed in her cozy hometown of Briar Creek, Connecticut, and the question of who did it must be answered before someone else is checked out--for good.

Carrie Rushton, the president of the Friends of the Library, has been accused of murdering her husband. The evidence is stacking up against Carrie, but neither Lindsey nor the Briar Creek crafternoon club is buying it.

When a nor'easter buries the small coastal town, the police are too busy digging out the locals to investigate the murder. With the help of her crafternoon friends and an abandoned puppy they name Heathcliff, Lindsey has to solve the question of who murdered Mr. Rushton before the killer closes the book on Carrie.

(Source: Berkley)

Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) by Sheila Connolly (Berkley 06 March 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: When the entire collection of the Fireman's Museum ironically goes up in flames, Nell Pratt discovers one of the charred pictures isn't the one that was originally exhibited. But getting to the bottom of the mystery is bound to get Nell burned... (Source: Berkley)

Murder Buys a T-Shirt (A Haunted Souvenir) by Christy Fifield (Berkley 06 March 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Glory Martine has inherited her uncle's Florida souvenir shop, one stuffed with collectibles, mementos of times gone by--and ghosts--who, like her customers, refuse to let go of the past. But things take an even more unexpected turn when a local football hero dies far too suddenly and suspiciously. Now, Glory has to uncover the truth before someone makes her history... (Source: Berkley)

Sketch a Falling Star (A Portrait of Crime Mystery) by Sharon Pape (Berkley 06 March 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: When the Way Off Broadway Players get swept up in a flash flood while sightseeing in Arizona, Rory McCain's aunt Helene and her fellow amateur thespians survive--with the exception of Preston Wright. The victim was actually quite an actor--he was a womanizing seam artist who duped nearly everyone in the troupe, as well as an ex-con who operated under various aliases.

While Preston's death was found to be an act of nature, Rory can't discount the possibility that human nature may have contributed to his drowning. But even as she investigates the cast of characters to find out which one played the villain, Rory is finally on the verge of solving a very personal cold case: the murder of her ghost partner, Zeke.... (Source: Berkley)

The Probability of Murder (Professor Sophie Knowles) by Ada Madison (Berkley 06 March 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Dr. Sophie Knowles is a professor with a way of making even the most complex math problems fun for her students. But when the school's beloved librarian is found shot to death in the stacks, Sophie learns that her friend was more complex than she ever knew. Now, Sophie must take on some rigorous deduction homework before the chances for another murder on campus increase exponentially... (Source: Berkley)


The Truth of All Things: A Novel by Kieran Shields (Crown 27 March 2012 / $25.00) - Product Description: Two hundred years after the Salem witch trials, in the summer of 1892, a grisly new witch hunt is beginning....

When newly appointed Deputy Marshal Archie Lean is called in to investigate a prostitute's murder in Portland, Maine, he's surprised to find the body laid out like a pentagram and pinned to the earth with a pitchfork.  He's even more surprised to learn that this death by "sticking" is a traditional method of killing a witch.

Baffled by the ritualized murder scene, Lean secretly enlists the help of historian Helen Prescott and brilliant criminalist Perceval Grey.  Distrusted by officials because of his mixed Abenaki Indian ancestry, Grey is even more notorious for combining modern investigative techniques with an almost eerie perceptiveness. Although skeptical of each other's methods, together the detectives pursue the killer's trail through postmortems and opium dens, into the spiritualist societies and lunatic asylums of gothic New England.

Before the killer closes in on his final victim, Lean and Grey must decipher the secret pattern to these murders--a pattern hidden within the dark history of the Salem witch trials. (Source: Crown)

Five Star

Death, Island Style by Maggie Toussaint (Five Star 07 March 2012 / $25.95) - Book Description: Recent widow MaryBeth Cashour moved six hundred miles to escape memories of her late mother’s betrayal and her husband’s mysterious death. While beachcombing for seashells to use at her artsy Christmas shop, MaryBeth finds a corpse rolling in the surf on Sandy Shores Island.

The horror doesn’t end there. When detectives uncover a connection between the murdered man and MaryBeth, she’s their prime suspect. It’s not her fault the dead guy had one of her hand-painted Christmas sharks in his pocket—she doesn’t even know him. Besides, lots of people from the Mid-Atlantic region vacation in coastal Georgia. She insists it’s a coincidence he’s here. The cops don’t believe her.

As her world comes unglued, MaryBeth strips the shellac from her memories, discovering secrets that endanger her life. But time to prove her innocence is running out faster than a rip tide. The killer is crafting up a new murder – MaryBeth's.

(see review)

Paradise Falls by Jonnie Jacobs (Five Star 07 March 2012 / $25.95) - Book Description: Fifteen-year-old Caitlin Whittington, last seen waiting for a ride home from school, is the second girl in Paradise Falls to disappear in five months. Fears grow that she won't be the last as the town begins to suspect a serial killer might be loose.

With her daughter's disappearance, Grace Whittington makes some surprising and unsettling discoveries about her stepson, Adam. When she uncovers information that seems to implicate him, the fault lines of a happily blended family crack wide open.

The case falls to Detective Rayna Godwin, who is hampered by memories of her own murdered daughter and the suspicion that there is more to the string of unsolved disappearances than meets the eye. When her ex-lover, FBI agent Jack Cody, is called in against Rayna's wishes, her job becomes even more difficult.

And Adam, scared and stung by the distrust of those closest to him, is afraid to speak the truth.

(see review)

Redemption by Kate Flora (Five Star 07 March 2012 / $25.95) - Book Description: All emotionally damaged Vietnam veteran Reggie Libby wanted was normal. Normal wife, normal family, normal job. What he got was a life on the streets of Portland, Maine. Pushing a shopping cart, collecting bottles for redemption. Trying to get right, losing his grip, and trying again. Now Reggie is dead, his body pulled frtom Portland harbor, and his buddy, homicide detective Joe Burgess, is grieving.

Grief and mourning are thrust aside when the medical examiner determines that Reggie drowned in a bathtub, with bruising that suggests it was no accident. Who would want to harm Reggie? Plenty of people, it seems. His doctor suspects toxic exposure, possibly workplace related. Reggie was working, but it was under the table, and no one knows where.Reggie's ex-wife and his son have been surveying land Reggie owned with an eye toward development. Reggie's cousin Star, a witch who claims he abused her as a child, has been sending him threatening letters.

Burgess has been longing for normal, too, a hope shattered when his girlfriend Chris decides to adopt two needy foster children. Parenthood is not for him. As he loses himself in the investigation, avoiding his personal life, his team is threatened when Det. Stan Perry's nocturnal adventures involve him with a voluptuous hottie and her gun-toting husband, and Stan ends up in custody. The ex-wife stonewalls. The son has disappeared. The employer remains a mystery. The witch serves up a poisonous brew. Burgess and his team soldier on.

On a wild, rainy October night as Burgess and his team race to save Reggie's brother, a suspect's bullet exploding from the darkness may mean Burgess will never find the answers. (Source: Five Star)

Forge Books

Blowout by Byron L. Dorgan and David Hagberg (Forge Books 27 March 2012 / $25.99) - Product Description: America is on the brink of crisis. Unless we can curb our dangerous appetite for foreign oil, petroleum-rich countries and speculators will bring our economy to its knees…long before CO2 emissions will devastate our ecosystem. The President has answered the call with the Dakota District Initiative, a top secret research team hidden deep in the Badlands of North Dakota. The Initiative is developing a way to produce clean energy from coal.

But powerful enemies will stop at nothing to sabotage this revolutionary technology. A cadre of oil hedge fund managers hires a crew of mercenary fanatics to attack the Initiative's experimental power station. Despite the bloody assault, the research continues as war-hero sheriff Nate Osborne and brash journalist Ashley Borden search for the attackers.

The stakes couldn't be higher: Unless the Initiative succeeds we could be faced with gasoline at twenty dollars per gallon or more, putting an impossible strain on an already fragile economy. If the project fails, we will continue to poison the very air we breathe. Either way, the Badlands will run red with blood.

(Source: Forge Books)

Sailor by Tom Epperson (Forge Books 27 March 2012 / $24.99) - Product Description: Gina fell for the wrong guy. Joe came into her life promising her everything, and he gave it to her, along with a world of hell.

But Gina was stronger than Joe realized. After years of suffering the terror of being married to a criminal, she took the one thing he ever gave her that she wanted—her son, Luke. Then she turned the bastard in.

With her husband behind bars, her father-in-law will stop at nothing for revenge. He wants his grandson back, the heir to his criminal empire. With a vast network that stretches across the country, every favor is called in to kill Gina and return Luke to his grandfather.

Gina can trust no one. Even the U.S. Marshall assigned to keep Gina and Luke safe is on the payroll. So with a gun and stolen diamonds in her purse, and derelicts, the law, and hit men on her tail, Gina takes Luke and runs.

Los Angeles was only supposed to be a quick stop—sleep, eat, and continue running—but then they meet Gray…. He says he's a sailor, but he seems to be hiding a lot. And when the time comes, he's the only thing standing between her and the grave.

(see review)

The Illusion of Murder by Carol McCleary (Forge Books 01 March 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: The intrepid Nellie Bly—Victorian Age detective, reporter, and feminist—embarks on an adventure that will test her courage and determine the fate of nations.

Jules Verne challenges Nellie to travel around the world in less than the eighty days it took his fictional hero. Nellie knows she has what it takes, even if her publisher, Joseph Pulitzer, thinks the journey is far too dangerous for any woman to attempt.

But when Nellie witnesses a tragic murder and is drawn into a mystifying web of international intrigue, she realizes that she may indeed be in over her head. As Nellie sails from the Land of the Pharaohs to the exotic Orient and across the Pacific, a killer follows. It will take every ounce of Nellie Bly's charm and boundless determination to circumnavigate the globe, find a murderer, and stay alive.

Read our review of The Illusion of Murder in our July 2011 issue. (Source: Forge Books)

Gallery Books

Till Death Do Us Purl by Anne Canadeo (Gallery Books 06 March 2012 / $15.00) - Product Description: Maggie Messina, owner of the Black Sheep Knitting Shop, has volunteered her knitting circle to help a local bride who is barely holding her wedding plans together by a thread. With the big day rapidly approaching, perhaps Rebecca Bailey was a bit ambitious when she decided to knit her own gown. Most girls dream of wearing pearls...but purls? Fortunately, the five close-knit pals can easily stitch their way through this challenge. The shocking events after the ceremony are not so easily untangled.

Wedding bouquets are quickly exchanged for funeral wreaths when a mysterious explosion rocks the chemical company owned by the groom's wealthy family. As the Black Sheep knitters offer comfort, they are drawn into a complicated pattern of deception, secrets, and betrayal. Is the blushing bride spinning a yarn? Or are her privileged new in-laws a very crafty clan? It's clear someone in Plum Harbor has donned sheep's clothing, and the knitters must unravel the clues before this wolf strikes again...and picks off one of their own. (see review)


A Hard Death by Jonathan Hayes (Harper 27 March 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Forensic pathologist Edward Jenner survived the horrific ordeal of the Inquisitor serial slayings in New York, but not the political fallout. With his state medical license suspended, he hopes to repair his shattered life while working as a medical examiner in Douglas County, Florida. But evil is not confined to big cities alone.

Two corpses pulled from a sunken car—followed by the grisly discovery of four more bodies hanging in the Everglades—are evidence of an insidious rot infecting this quiet coastal resort community. Suddenly Jenner's investigation is turning up grim traces of a nightmarish conspiracy—and with no one to trust and nowhere to turn, his only hope of survival is to walk away ... something Jenner could never do.

Read our review of A Hard Death: A Novel from our December 2011 issue. (Source: Harper)

Elegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear (Harper 27 March 2012 / $25.99) - Product Description: Early April 1933. To the costermongers of Covent Garden— sellers of fruit and vegetables on the streets of London — Eddie Pettit was a gentle soul with a near-magical gift for working with horses. When Eddie is killed in a violent accident, the grieving costers are deeply skeptical about the cause of his death. Who would want to kill Eddie — and why?

Maisie Dobbs' father, Frankie, had been a costermonger, so she had known the men since childhood. She remembers Eddie fondly and is determined to offer her help. But it soon becomes clear that powerful political and financial forces are equally determined to prevent her from learning the truth behind Eddie's death. Plunging into the investigation, Maisie begins her search for answers on the working-class streets of Lambeth where Eddie had lived and where she had grown up. The inquiry quickly leads her to a callous press baron; a has-been politician named Winston Churchill, lingering in the hinterlands of power; and, most surprisingly, to Douglas Partridge, the husband of her dearest friend, Priscilla. As Maisie uncovers lies and manipulation on a national scale, she must decide whether to risk it all to see justice done.

The story of a London affected by the march to another war years before the first shot is fired and of an innocent victim caught in the crossfire, Elegy for Eddie is Jacqueline Winspear's most poignant and powerful novel yet.

(Source: Harper)

Scorpion Betrayal by Andrew Kaplan (Harper 27 March 2012 / $9.99) - Product Description: The head of Egypt's State Internal Security is brutally murdered in a Cairo café - his assailant a faceless killer known only as "the Palestinian". It is the opening move in a chilling game of terror that has caught the international intelligence community completely off-guard, and the CIA turns to the one man they believe can get to the twisted roots of a looming nightmare shrouded in mystery: a former Company operative code-named Scorpion.

The breakneck hunt for a mastermind is leading Scorpion from the Middle East to the dangerous underworld of the capitals of Europe. With the fate of the free world in the hands of two well- matched adversaries there is no margin for error. But a shocking truth has been kept from the determined manhunter . . . and beauty will blind him to the ultimate betrayal.

(see review)

The Bone Yard: A Body Farm Novel by Jefferson Bass (Harper 27 March 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: At a friend's request, Dr. Bill Brockton is called away from the Body Farm—his human-decomposition research facility at the University of Tennessee—to help prove that a woman's suicide was, in fact, murder. But Brockton's quick consulting trip takes a harrowing detour through the Florida panhandle when two adolescent skulls are discovered near the ruins of a once-notorious juvenile detention facility, destroyed by fire more than four decades ago.

Local stories about the North Florida Boys' Reformatory are chilling: nightmarish tales of savage beatings, torture, and worse. Guided by the diary of a former "student," Brockton's team soon makes a grisly discovery: a cluster of shallow graves containing the bones of teenage boys, all of whom suffered violent deaths. But the search for answers becomes more perilous the closer Brockton comes to the truth—because unexpected skeletons reside in some surprisingly prominent closets ... and summoning ghosts from the past can have devastating consequences in the present.

(Source: Harper)

The Devil Colony: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins (Harper 27 March 2012 / $9.99) - Product Description: Deep in the Rocky Mountains, a gruesome discovery—hundreds of mummified bodies—stirs international attention and fervent controversy. Despite doubts about the bodies' origins, the local Native American Heritage Commission lays claim to the prehistoric remains, along with the strange artifacts found in the same cavern: gold plates inscribed with an unfathomable script.

During a riot at the dig site, an anthropologist dies horribly, burned to ashes in a fiery explosion in plain view of television cameras. All evidence points to a radical group of Native Americans, including one agitator, a teenage firebrand who escapes with a vital clue to the murder and calls on the one person who might help—her uncle, Painter Crowe, Director of Sigma Force.

To protect his niece and uncover the truth, Painter will ignite a war among the nation's most powerful intelligence agencies. Yet an even greater threat looms as events in the Rocky Mountains have set in motion a frightening chain reaction, a geological meltdown that threatens the entire western half of the U.S.

Read our review of The Devil Colony from our July 2011 issue. (Source: Harper)

Minotaur Books

Ashes to Dust by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Minotaur Books 27 March 2012 / $14.99) - Product Description: Named One of the Year's Top Ten Crime Books in the UK… A Masterwork of Suspense from "Iceland's Crime Queen" (The Scotsman)

In 1973, a volcanic eruption buried an entire Icelandic village in lava and ash. Now this macabre tourist attraction proves deadly once again—when the discovery of fresh bodies casts a shadow of suspicion onto Markus Magnusson, a man accused of killing his childhood sweetheart. His attorney Thora Gudmundsdottir finds that her client has a most inventive story to tell. But the locals seem oddly reluctant to back him up…

Filled with unforgettable characters, unexpected twists, and superb psychological suspense, Ashes to Dust is a superlative thriller from an acclaimed master of Nordic fiction.

(see review)

Death of an Artist by Kate Wilhelm (Minotaur Books 27 March 2012 / $24.99) - Product Description: In Kate Wilhelm's latest crime novel, a small Oregon town is rocked by a wheels-within-wheels case of art, fraud, and murder.

Silver Bay, Oregon, a small coastal resort town with nearly a thousand residents, is home to three generations of women: Marnie, the long-widowed owner of a small gift shop; Van, her granddaughter who is about to graduate medical school; and Stef, mercurial, difficult, and a brilliant artist who refuses to sell her work. When Stef discovers that Dale Oliver—the latest husband/paramour in a very long line—is trying to sell her work behind her back, she puts a stop to it and threatens to do the same to him. Shortly thereafter, Stef dies in an accident in her studio, and Dale shows up with a signed contract granting him the right to sell her work. Convinced that Stef was murdered in order to steal her artwork, Marie and Van—grandmother and granddaughter—decide to do whatever is necessary to see that Dale doesn't get away with any of it. This includes enlisting the help of the new stranger in town, Tony, a former New York City cop, who might be the only one who can prove it was murder and bring the killer to justice. (see review)

Dolled Up for Murder (Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries) by Jane K. Cleland (Minotaur Books 27 March 2012 / $24.99) - Product Description: Crime-solving antiques dealer Josie Prescott is back—tracking down a doll collection to die for.

On a sparkling spring day in the cozy coastal town of Rocky Point, New Hampshire, with the lilacs in full bloom and the wisteria hanging low, antiques dealer Josie Prescott is showing a stellar doll collection she's just acquired to Alice Michaels, the queen of the local investment community. Moments later, Josie watches in horror as Alice is shot and killed. Within hours, one of Josie's employees, Eric, is kidnapped. The kidnapper's ransom demand is simple—he wants the doll collection. Working against the clock with the local police chief, Josie discovers that the dolls hold secrets that will save Eric and uncover the truth behind Alice's murder. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Play Nice (Anna Smith and Nick Dade Mysteries) by Gemma Halliday (Minotaur Books 13 March 2012 / $24.99) - Product Description: Anya Danielovich was an assassin in her former life. But that was a long time ago. Today she's just Anna Smith—a single, thirtysomething woman living in San Francisco with a simple desire to lead a better life. But she's still haunted by her past—the people she killed, the mentor she betrayed, the woman she was. She's taken care to cover her tracks, but she's beginning to feel like she's being watched.

Nick Dade is a hired gunman—the best of the best. He's read Anya's file and, after weeks of surveillance, he's ready to pull the trigger...until someone else beats him to the punch. With his agenda shattered, Nick suddenly finds himself thrown together with the woman he's been sent to eliminate. Who is she really? Who hired the second hit? And who can he trust? Together Nick and Anna find themselves embroiled in a web of deceit and desire as an unknown enemy closes in. To unravel the truth, Anna must face her past even if that means risking both Nick's life and her own. (see review)

The Girl Next Door by Brad Parks (Minotaur Books 13 March 2012 / $24.99) - Product Description:

Reading his own newspaper's obituaries, veteran reporter Carter Ross comes across that of a woman named Nancy Marino, who was the victim of a hit-and-run while she was on the job delivering copies of that very paper, the Eagle-Examiner. Struck by the opportunity to write a heroic piece about an everyday woman killed too young, he heads to her wake to gather tributes and anecdotes. It's the last place Ross expects to find controversy—which is exactly what happens when one of Nancy's sisters convinces him that the accident might not have been accidental at all.

It turns out that the kind and generous Nancy may have made a few enemies, starting with her boss at the diner where she was a part-time waitress, and even including the publisher of the Eagle-Examiner. Carter's investigation of this seemingly simple story soon has him in big trouble with his full-time editor and sometime girlfriend, Tina Thompson, not to mention the rest of his bosses at the paper, but he can't let it go—the story is just too good, and it keeps getting better. But will his nose for trouble finally take him too far?

Brad Parks's smart-mouthed, quick-witted reporter returns in The Girl Next Door—another action-packed entry in his award-winning series, written with an unforgettable mix of humor and suspense.

(see review)

Mulholland Books

Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale (Mulholland Books 25 March 2012 / $25.99) - Product Description: Mark Twain meets classic Stephen King--a bold new direction for widely acclaimed Edgar Award winner Joe R. Lansdale.

May Lynn was once a pretty girl who dreamed of becoming a Hollywood star. Now she's dead, her body dredged up from the Sabine River.

Sue Ellen, May Lynn's strong-willed teenage friend, sets out to dig up May Lynn's body, burn it to ash, and take those ashes to Hollywood to spread around. If May Lynn can't become a star, then at least her ashes will end up in the land of her dreams.

Along with her friends Terry and Jinx and her alcoholic mother, Sue Ellen steals a raft and heads downriver to carry May Lynn's remains to Hollywood.

Only problem is, Sue Ellen has some stolen money that her enemies will do anything to get back. And what looks like a prime opportunity to escape from a worthless life will instead lead to disastrous consequences. In the end, Sue Ellen will learn a harsh lesson on just how hard growing up can really be.


When Maidens Mourn: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery by CS. Harris (NAL 06 March 2012 / $24.95) - Product Description: When Gabrielle Tennyson is murdered, aristocratic investigator Sebastian St. Cyr and his new reluctant bride, the fiercely independent Hero Jarvis, find themselves involved in an intrigue concerning the myth of King Arthur, Camelot, and a future poet laureate...

(Source: NAL)


A Death in Summer (Quirke Mystery) by Benjamin Black (Picador 27 March 2012 / $15.00) - Product Description: On a sweltering summer afternoon, newspaper tycoon Richard Jewell—known to his many enemies as Diamond Dick—is discovered with his head blown off by a shotgun blast. But is it suicide or murder? For help with the investigation, Detective Inspector Hackett calls in his old friend Quirke, who has unusual access to Dublin's elite.

Jewell's coolly elegant French wife, Françoise, seems less than shocked by her husband's death. But Dannie, Jewell's high-strung sister, is devastated, and Quirke is surprised to learn that in her grief she has turned to an unexpected friend: David Sinclair, Quirke's ambitious assistant in the pathology lab at the Hospital of the Holy Family. Further, Sinclair has been seeing Quirke's fractious daughter Phoebe, and an unlikely romance is blossoming between the two. As a record heat wave envelops the city and the secret deals underpinning Diamond Dick's empire begin to be revealed, Quirke and Hackett find themselves caught up in a dark web of intrigue and violence that threatens to end in disaster.

(Source: Picador)

Smilla's Sense of Snow: A Novel by Peter Høeg (Picador 27 March 2012 / $17.00) - Review: In this international bestseller, Peter Høeg successfully combines the pleasures of literary fiction with those of the thriller. Smilla Jaspersen, half Danish, half Greenlander, attempts to understand the death of a small boy who falls from the roof of her apartment building. Her childhood in Greenland gives her an appreciation for the complex structures of snow, and when she notices that the boy's footprints show he ran to his death, she decides to find out who was chasing him. As she attempts to solve the mystery, she uncovers a series of conspiracies and cover-ups and quickly realizes that she can trust nobody. Her investigation takes her from the streets of Copenhagen to an icebound island off the coast of Greenland. What she finds there has implications far beyond the death of a single child. The unusual setting, gripping plot, and compelling central character add up to one of the most fascinating and literate thrillers of recent years. (Source: Picador)

Pocket Books

A Conflict of Interest by Adam Mitzner (Pocket Books 27 March 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Criminal defense attorney Alex Miller has the life he's always dreamed of: a loving and patient wife, a beautiful daughter, and a career as the youngest partner in one of the most powerful law firms in New York City. At his father's funeral, Alex meets a wealthy and mysterious family friend who requests his representation in a high-profile criminal investigation of an alleged brokerage scam that has cost investors hundreds of millions of dollars. The shocking facts of the case propel Alex to unscrupulous depths in a desperate search for the truth, forcing him to confront a past defined by deception and a future in jeopardy. One false step will close the case on Alex and everything he holds dear forever. (Source: Pocket Books)


Perception: A Clarity Novel by Kim Harrington (Point 01 March 2012 / $16.99) - Product Description: Everybody knows about Clarity "Clare" Fern. She's the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past. Only, Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her.

But then someone starts playing with her head and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare's pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare's hopeful ex-boyfriend who'd do anything to win her back?

One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. Because the messages are becoming sinister, and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared. Clare needs to see her way to the truth -- before it's much too late. (Source: Point)

Ransom Note Press

The Cop With the Pink Pistol by Gray Basnight (Ransom Note Press 06 March 2012 / $14.95) - Product Description: She doesn't do jiggle. She isn't into shoes or jewelry. She doesn't wear makeup (or, as she calls it, war paint). NYPD Homicide Detective Donna Prima's sole concession to modern womanhood is the pink .38 she wears strapped to her ankle. Not that she has much opportunity to use it, having been demoted to desk duty for a serious infraction of NYPD regulations.

On a routine burglary follow-up in Greenwich Village, Donna meets soap-opera actor Conner Anderson (Crawford on the top-rated Vampire Love Nest), who alerts her to some strange goings-on in a liquor store across the street. Sick of being chained to her desk, Donna decides to investigate. Meanwhile, the Feds need her help on a cold murder case as they investigate a theft from a nuclear power plant.

But would-be detective Conner Anderson wants to come along for the ride. And Donna, an Italian-American from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, can't deny the mutual chemistry she feels with this Southern WASP from Tupelo, Mississippi. Will taking on Conner as a civilian partner be the start of something beautiful or the biggest mistake of Donna's life?

(Source: Ransom Note Press)

Scholastic Press

The Mastermind Plot (Suzanna Snow Mysteries) by Angie Frazier (Scholastic Press 01 March 2012 / $16.99) - Product Description: Suzanna "Zanna" Snow can hardly believe her luck: She's just arrived in Boston, the city she's wanted to visit for as long as she can remember. Think of all the mysteries waiting to be solved here! Her grandmother and cousin, Will, welcome her warmly, but her famous detective uncle, Bruce Snow, seems anything but pleased. He doesn't want Zanna meddling in his current case involving a string of mysterious warehouse fires along the harbor front. But Zanna can't help herself. Is someone setting the fires? Just when she thinks she's on to something, a strange man starts following her. Is he a threat? Zanna needs to solve the case before she has the chance to find out. (Source: Scholastic Press)


Fashion Faux Paw: A Dog Walker Mystery by Judi McCoy (Signet 06 March 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's Fashion Week in New York and Ellie's in charge of the dogs' modeling outfits that match their mommy-mdoels for a fashion competition. But before the first round closes, one of the designers drops dead of anaphylactic shock, her Epipen useless because someone's emptied it.

(Source: Signet)

Little Shop of Homicide: A Devereaux's Dime Store Mystery by Denise Swanson (Signet 06 March 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: After Joelle Ayers, the fiancée of Dev's ex-boyfriend is found handcuffed to a hotel bed, murdered with a champagne bottle and a stiletto-heeled shoe, a revenge-crazed cop is determined to put Dev behind bars. The cuffs and the champagne were part of a gift basket Dev put together for the victim, and they have her fingerprints all over them.

Desperate to clear her good name, Dev enlists her two longtime pals, Poppy and Boone, to help investigate. Luckily, the sexy new guy in town, Jake Del Vecchio, also feels compelled to assist, and it doesn't hurt that he's a deputy U.S. marshal. But Dev had better fight her attraction to Jake and focus on discovering the killer--or this brand-new business owner may find herself trading her nostalgic five-and-dime store for a modern-day prison cell. (First of new series) (see review)

Soho Constable

Death at the Jesus Hospital: A Lord Francis Powerscourt Investigation by David Dickinson (Soho Constable 13 March 2012 / $25.00) - Product Description: Three men are found with their throats cut, and all are connected in some way to an ancient City of London livery company, the Silkworkers. Lord Powerscourt has no shortage of suspects or suspicions. The first victim had shadowy links with the Secret Service. The second had wiped fifteen years out of his own past. The third, a man who collected women at church during Christmas Carol services, had been threatened by angry husbands and disinherited sons.

All the victims had been opposed to the reorganization of the Silkworkers' finances and, interestingly, Sir Peregrine Fishborne, the head of the Silkworkers, was present just before each victim's death. Lord knows that the key to solving the mystery lies in the strange markings found on the bodies, which no coroners can identify. (Source: Soho Constable)

Soho Crime

Lie in the Dark by Dan Fesperman (Soho Crime 06 March 2012 / $14.00) - Product Description: Chasing murderers in the middle of a civil war might seem absurd, and also dangerous. But that is Investigator Petric’s job as one of the few homicide detectives left in Sarajevo. Anarchy masquerades as authority, and Petric must struggle against the chaos even to remain the policeman and not become the prey.

Lie in the Dark brilliantly renders the fragmented society and underworld of Sarajevo at war—the freelancing gangsters, guilty bystanders, the drop-in foreign correspondents, and the bureaucrats frightened for their jobs and very lives. It weaves through this torn cityscape the alienation and terror of one man’s desperate and deadly pursuit of bad people in an even worse place. (Source: Soho Crime)

Murder at the Lanterne Rouge: An Aimee Leduc Investigation by Cara Black (Soho Crime 06 March 2012 / $25.00) - Product Description: Aimée Leduc is happy her long-time business partner René has found a girlfriend. Really, she is. It's not her fault if she can't suppress her doubts about the relationship; René is moving way too fast, and Aimée’s instincts tell her Meizi, this supposed love of René’s life, isn't trustworthy. And her misgivings may not be far off the mark: Meizi disappears during a Chinatown dinner to take a phone call and never comes back to the restaurant. Minutes later, the body of a young man, a science prodigy and volunteer at the nearby Musée, is found shrink-wrapped in an alleyway--with Meizi's photo in his wallet.

Aimée does not like this scenario one bit, but she can't figure out how the murder is connected to Meizi's disappearance. The dead genius was sitting on a discovery that has France's secret service keeping tabs on him. Now they’re keeping tabs on Aimée. A missing young woman, an illegal immigrant raid in progress, botched affairs of the heart, dirty policemen, the French secret service, cutting-edge science secrets and a murderer on the loose--what has she gotten herself into? And can she get herself--and her friends--back out of it all alive?

(see review)

Murder in Passy: An Aimee Leduc Investigation by Cara Black (Soho Crime 06 March 2012 / $14.00) - 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.

Read our review of Murder in Passy in our March 2011 issue.

(Source: Soho Crime)

The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura (Soho Crime 20 March 2012 / $23.00) - Product Description: The Thief is a seasoned pickpocket. Anonymous in his tailored suit, he weaves in and out of Tokyo crowds, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly sometimes he doesn’t even remember the snatch. Most people are just a blur to him, nameless faces from whom he chooses his victims. He has no family, no friends, no connections.... But he does have a past, which finally catches up with him when Ishikawa, his first partner, reappears in his life, and offers him a job he can’t refuse. It’s an easy job: tie up an old rich man, steal the contents of the safe. No one gets hurt. Only the day after the job does he learn that the old man was a prominent politician, and that he was brutally killed after the robbery. And now the Thief is caught in a tangle even he might not be able to escape. (see review)

Tor Books

The Summoning God (Anasazi Mysteries) by Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear (Tor Books 13 March 2012 / $16.99) - Product Description: Available in trade paperback for the first time, the second book in the Anasazi Mysteries series by the bestselling authors and archaeologists Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear

Archaeologist Dusty Stewart is stunned when he uncovers an ancient Anasazi kiva, a ceremonial chamber, filled with the burned bodies of thirty-three children and two adults. Desperate to understand what happened at this small pueblo in A.D. 1263, Dusty calls in his archnemesis, Dr. Maureen Cole, hoping she can help him unravel the mystery of this tragedy.

Across the thin veil of time, the Katsinas People walk the same trails, touch the same objects—and are stalked by a serial murderer. He is a holy warrior, fighting for a dying god, and his brutality knows no bounds. But who is he? And how can they stop him? (Source: Tor Books)

Wide Open by Deborah Coates (Tor Books 13 March 2012 / $24.99) - Product Description: When Sergeant Hallie Michaels comes back to South Dakota from Afghanistan on ten days' compassionate leave, her sister Dell's ghost is waiting at the airport to greet her.

The sheriff says that Dell's death was suicide, but Hallie doesn't believe it. Something happened or Dell's ghost wouldn't still be hanging around. Friends and family, mourning Dell's loss, think Hallie's letting her grief interfere with her judgment.

The one person who seems willing to listen is the deputy sheriff, Boyd Davies, who shows up everywhere and helps when he doesn't have to.

As Hallie asks more questions, she attracts new ghosts, women who disappeared without a trace. Soon, someone's trying to beat her up, burn down her father's ranch, and stop her investigation.

Hallie's going to need Boyd, her friends, and all the ghosts she can find to defeat an enemy who has an unimaginable ancient power at his command. (Source: Tor Books)

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