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US Books Received- 04/2012  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

Avon

The Body in the Gazebo: A Faith Fairchild Mystery by Katherine Hall Page (Avon 24 April 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: "I have to tell you something...something that happened a long time ago."

These words, spoken by Ursula Rowe from her Aleford, Massachusetts, sickbed, take Faith Fairchild completely by surprise. Having agreed to keep an eye on her best friend Pix Millers's mother while Pix is involved in her son's out-of-town wedding preparations, Faith never dreamed she'd become ensnared in the tale the slowly recovering Ursula spins over the next few weeks—a bizarre account of an unsolved crime dating back to the Great Depression. Now the caterer-turned-sleuth is hooked, determined to solve a mystery more than eight decades old—while at the same time trying to clear the name of her husband, Reverend Thomas Fairchild, who's been falsely accused of pilfering the church's discretionary fund.

And meanwhile, when Pix Miller meets her in-laws-to-be for the very first time, she's in for the shock of her life.

(Source: Avon)

Berkley

50% Off Murder (Good Buy Girls) by Josie Belle (Berkley 03 April 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Maggie Gerber-one of the founding members of the Good Buy Birls- loves her quiet life in St. Stanley, Virginia. But all that changes when Sam Collins, her old flame, moves back to town as the new sheriff. On top of that, Claire Freemont, a librarian and the newest member of the Good Buy Girls, starts acting utterly strange.

When Maggie goes to visit her the next day at the library, she finds the body of a very dead man. Turns out the man is someone from Claire's past. As the handsome new sheriff zeroes in on Claire, it's up to Maggie and the rest of the Good Buy Girls to use their bargain-hunting skills to hunt a killer-while making sure they don't pay too much in the process... (First in new series)

A Killer Read (An Ashton Corners) by Erika Chase (Berkley 03 April 2012 / $6.99) - Product Description: For the first meeting of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society, six friends gather in Molly Matthews's old Southern mansion-including Lizzie Turner, a reading specialist with a penchant for mysteries. But the mystery book club meeting becomes the scene of an actual murder when a stranger is shot-and nobody knows who the victim is, or how Molly' antique gun came to be used as the murder weapon.

Then Lizzie begins finding mysterious manuscript chapters in her mailbox. As she and the book club members try to read between the lines, Molly surfaces as the next name on the killer's list...

Death Comes Silently (Death on Demand Mysteries) by Carolyn G. Hart (Berkley 03 April 2012 / $24.95) - Product Description: Winter has arrived in Broward's Rock, South Carolina, and business has slowed for Annie Darling, owner of mystery bookstore Death on Demand. So when the island's resident writer publishes the latest in her popular mystery series, Annie jumps at the chance to host a book signing, even though it conflicts with her shift at the local charity shop, Better Tomorrow.

Luckily, fellow volunteer Gretchen Burkholt agrees to sub for her. The signing goes well, but Gretchen interrupts the event multiple times, leaving voice mails about scandalous news she's dying to share. Even though Gretchen tends to be excitable, Annie heads over to Better Tomorrow, where she finds Gretchen dead on the floor, an axe by her side.

Annie enlists the help of her husband, Max, to piece together a puzzle involving an overturned kayak, a stolen motorboat, a troubled love affair, and a reckless teenager. And she must tread carefully in her investigation, because a killer is on the loose, and that killer works well in the foggy days of winter...

(Source: Berkley)

Dread on Arrival (A Hemlock Falls Mystery) by Claudia Bishop (Berkley 03 April 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description:

The bitter rivalry between two employees of antique collecting television shows heats up when they come to Hemlock Falls to have it out in a cooking contest. And it's a good thing that inn owners Meg and Sarah Quilliam are experts at appraising motives for murder when one of them keels over on camera...

(Source: Berkley)

Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward (Berkley 03 April 2012 / $15.00) - Product Description: Meet Paul and Lacey Hansen: orphaned, pot-growing twentysomething siblings eking out a living in rural Northern California. When a headless corpse appears on their property, they can't exactly dial 911, so they move the body and wait for the police to find it. Instead, the corpse reappears, a few days riper . . . and an amateur sleuth is born. Make that two.

When collaborators Lutz and Hayward (former romantic partners) start to disagree about how the story should unfold, the body count rises, victims and suspects alike develop surprising characteristics (meet Brandy Chester, the stripper with the Mensa IQ), and sibling rivalry reaches homicidal intensity. Think Adaptation crossed with Weeds. Will the authors solve the mystery without killing each other first? (Source: Berkley)

Hounds Abound (A Pet Rescue Mystery) by Linda O. Johnston (Berkley 03 April 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Saving animals and solving murders seem to go paw-in-paw for shelter manager and amateur sleuth Lauren Vancouver. But this time, mixed up in a murder that may close a much-needed new shelter. Lauren will have to keep herself and her critters safe from an unleashed killer. (Source: Berkley)

Reap What You Sew (Southern Sewing Circle) by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (Berkley 03 April 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Sweet Briar is chosen for the setting of a new movie, and everyone is hoping to be cast as an extra-and lucky Tori Sinclair lands the gig. But fame has its price, as the town learns when the film's leading actress is found murdered. When suspicion falls on a member of the sewing circle, Tori must catch the killer to keep the tight-knit group from coming apart at the seams. (Source: Berkley)

The Deathly Portent (A Lady Fan Mystery) by Elizabeth Bailey (Berkley 03 April 2012 / $15.00) - Product Description: A violent murder has left the village of Witherley aghast. The locals are convinced that a witch doing the devil's work is to blame-a young woman believed to have second sight. The new vicar, Aidan, taking up the cudgels in her defence, fears the witch hunt is escalating out of his control. But help is at hand.

The bright and perceptive Ottilia, once a lady's companion and now bride to Lord Francis Fanshawe, is drawn to Witherley by an insatiable curiosity. Ottilia rapidly uncovers a raft of suspects with grudges against the dead man, one of whom is determined to incriminate the "witch". And as foul play runs rampant, Ottilia must wade through the growing hysteria to unravel the tangle and point a finger at the one true menace...

(Source: Berkley)

The Scarlet Pepper (A White House Gardener Mystery) by Dorothy St. James (Berkley 03 April 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: As the White House's organic gardener, Casey Calhoun is up to her elbows in dirt. But when someone starts tampering with the Presidential vegetable garden, embarrassing the First lady-and a hard-nosed investigative reporter is found dead, Casey realizes that the next thing buried in the dirt might just be her. (see review)

Five Star

With Full Malice by Brenda Hill (Five Star 11 April 2012 / $25.95) - Book Description: Newspaper food critic Madison Young lives a safe, controlled life in Yucaipa, a quiet California town below Big Bear, afraid of the dark, afraid to take chances. Since the night her parents were murdered, she’s haunted by the killer’s threat to return for her. But she's forced out of her sheltered world when a paroled sex offender is shot execution-style, and her out-of-town editor needs her to cover the story.

Reluctantly interviewing a witness, Madison jots down one word, one seemingly insignificant word that will link to a chain of murders across the country, and to a secret society, a vast and deadly organization whose tentacles invade her own life. She traces clues, shocked when they reveal a connection to the man who slaughtered her parents, horrified when warnings to stop the investigation become deadly. When her editor dies mysteriously and a family member is threatened, Madison discovers no one is who they seem, and few can be trusted.

With the Society closing in, she turns to family friend, San Bernardino homicide detective Dexter Quinn, to unravel the deceit before she runs out of time. Together, they discover a terrifying adversary—one who’ll stop at nothing to protect the Society’s secrets.

(see review)

Forge Books

A Killing Winter by Wayne Arthurson (Forge Books 10 April 2012 / $24.99) - Product Description: Leo Desroches, a half-Cree, half–French-Canadian reporter in Edmonton, returns in A Killing Winter, the sequel to Wayne Arthurson's lauded debut murder mystery Fall from Grace. Undercover as a homeless man, Leo's got his hands full both on the job and in his personal life. As he tries to reconnect with his estranged son and fight his urge to gamble, he is consumed by a story that turns into a personal crusade: a search for a missing Native street kid he's befriended. When the boy is found brutally murdered, Leo explores the depths of Native street culture in a local gang. As Leo delves deeper into the gang, secrets emerge that threaten not only their members, but Leo's life…and his sanity.

(Source: Forge Books)

The Stolen Bride by Tony Hays (Forge Books 10 April 2012 / $26.99) - Product Description: Malgwyn ap Cuneglas is counselor to Arthur, High King of the Britons. When he accompanies his liege to the West to broker a deal between warring tribes they come across a scene of utmost depravity and murder to sicken even the most battle-hardened warrior. Things don't get any better when they finally arrive at their destination to discover that King Doged is fighting to keep his kingdom safe from both Saxons from abroad and younger nobles vying for power. Doged loses that fight when shortly after Arthur and his counselor arrive, he is murdered. His young wife, defenseless and alone, appeals to Arthur to find her husband's killer. Arthur quickly agrees and Malgwyn is given this almost impossible task.

Why would Arthur be so interested in helping keep this small region stable and under the High King influence? Perhaps because Doged's people had discovered caves that might contain huge veins of gold.

(Source: Forge Books)

Harper

A Time for Patriots by Dale Brown (Harper 24 April 2012 / $9.99) - Product Description: Welcome to Battlefield America. When the stock markets crash and the U.S. economy falls into a crippling recession, everything changes for newly elected president Kenneth Phoenix. With reductions in education and transportation, an incapacitated National Guard, and the loss of public safety budgets, entire communities of armed citizens band together for survival and mutual protection. Against this dismal backdrop, a group calling themselves the Knights of the True Republic ambush a SWAT team and steal radioactive materials ... and the battle against the government is taken to a deadlier level.

In this time of crisis, the Nevada Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP)—led by retired Air Force Lieutenant-General Patrick McLanahan, his son, Bradley, and other volunteers—rises to the task of protecting their fellow countrymen. But when the homegrown terrorists detonate a dirty bomb in Reno and Bradley is caught in a perilous double-cross, Patrick McLanahan will have to fight to discover where his friends' true loyalties lie.

(see review)

Betrayal of Trust: A J.P. Beaumont Novel by J.A. Jance (Harper 24 April 2012 / $9.99) - Product Description: At first glance, what happens on the video appears to be a childish game: a teenage girl with dark, wavy hair smiles for the camera, a blue scarf tied around her neck. Then things turn dark and gruesome, and the girl ends up dead.

When a snuff film is discovered on a cell phone belonging to the governor of Washington State's grandson--a boy with a troubled background who swears he doesn't know the victim--the governor turns to an old friend, J.P. Beaumont, for help. Of the many horrors the Seattle private investigator has witnessed over the years, this one ranks near the top--especially since the crime's multiple perpetrators might well be minors.

But this case of an apparent juvenile prank gone hideously wrong has deeper, more startling implications, leading Beau and Mel Soames--his partner in life and work--down a twisted path of corruption and lies that must be exposed before more young lives are obliterated.

(Source: Harper)

Capitol Murder: A Novel of Suspense by Phillip Margolin (Harper 03 April 2012 / $26.99) - Product Description:

Deadly intrigue, breathtaking twists, and exhilarating suspense await in the third book of Phillip Margolin's New York Times bestselling Washington Trilogy. Hot on the heels of Supreme Justice, Margolin delivers another heart-pounding thriller featuring private investigator Dana Cutler and lawyer Brad Miller, who are forced by a terrorist attack on a football stadium—and by the escape of Executive Privilege's convicted serial killer Clarence Little—to follow a sinister trail of lies, treachery, and betrayal into an unexpected new arena: the U.S. Congress.

"Phillip Margolin knows how to pack in the thrills." —Tess Gerritsen

(see review)

KBL: Kill Bin Laden: A Novel Based on True Events by John Weisman (Harper 24 April 2012 / $7.99) - From back of book: A riveting novel drawn from actual events, KBL: Kill Bin Laden brings to life the drama behind SEAL Team 6's stunning raid that brought about the long-awaited destruction of the 21st century's most ruthless killer. From the political battlefields of Washington, D.C., and the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, to the dusty streets of Peshawar, Lahore, and Abbotabad, Pakistan, John Weisman brilliantly imagines what may well have transpired during the breathtaking hunt, discover, and execution of Usama Bin Laden. (Source: Harper)

Henry Holt and Co.

The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith (Henry Holt and Co. 10 April 2012 / $27.00) - Product Description: Geiger has a gift: he knows a lie the instant he hears it. And in his business—called "information retrieval" by its practitioners—that gift is invaluable, because truth is the hottest thing on the market.

Geiger's clients count on him to extract the truth from even the most reluctant subjects. Unlike most of his competitors, Geiger rarely sheds blood, but he does use a variety of techniques—some physical, many psychological—to push his subjects to a point where pain takes a backseat to fear. Because only then will they finally stop lying.

One of Geiger's rules is that he never works with children. So when his partner, former journalist Harry Boddicker, unwittingly brings in a client who demands that Geiger interrogate a twelve-year-old boy, Geiger responds instinctively. He rescues the boy from his captor, removes him to the safety of his New York City loft, and promises to protect him from further harm. But if Geiger and Harry cannot quickly discover why the client is so desperate to learn the boy's secret, they themselves will become the victims of an utterly ruthless adversary. (see review)

Malevolent Books

Devil's Bait, The by Jeffrey J Mariotte (Malevolent Books 20 April 2012 / $14.99) - Product Description: "Jeff Mariotte has written a compelling heroine in banker Jessie Dawn Cutler, whose well-ordered world implodes when she witnesses a cold-blooded killing by her biggest client. Now Jessie must pit her courage and resourcefulness against a remorseless killer whose reach is limitless. In this heart-pounding thriller set against the glittering backdrop of international banking, Jessie must hold her own against tremendous odds to survive. "Fast-paced and gripping, THE DEVIL'S BAIT takes you full-throttle from beginning to end. One heck of a ride!" -J. Carson Black, bestselling author of DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN and THE SHOP

Minotaur Books

Kings of Midnight by Wallace Stroby (Minotaur Books 10 April 2012 / $24.99) - Product Description: Crissa Stone is a career criminal who has pulled a number of impressive heists by knowing how to keep her mouth shut and her temper in check. Still, as good as she is, she wants to get out of the life. All she needs is one last big score, enough to bribe her lover's way out on parole, set up a safe and stable new life, and get her daughter back. However, things keep going wrong, like when her last two partners lost their cool and fought over the take instead of walking away $150K richer. The mess they made of the job and each other has put her on the run again.

She's not the only one. Benny Roth, a former mobster, has been straight for years, but now he has his own problems. A face from the past has popped up to tell him that boss Joey Dio is finally dead and to ask about the five million dollars that Joey was rumored to have stashed away years ago. Benny denies knowing anything about it and claims he's out of the business. That may be what he says, but he's willing to risk almost everything for one last shot.

With the law and mobsters on the lookout and five million dollars on the line, it isn't long before Crissa and Benny find themselves on a collision course that neither of them can avoid. This hard-boiled world, where the stakes---and the risks---are always high, unfolds at breakneck speed in Kings of Midnight, another dark and thrilling masterwork of crime fiction from Wallace Stroby.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Purgatory Chasm by Steve Ulfelder (Minotaur Books 24 April 2012 / $14.99) - Product Description: Nominated for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Winner of the Reviewer's Choice Award from RT BookReviews for Best First Mystery of 2011.

The job seems simple. Conway Sax, a no-nonsense auto mechanic with a knack for solving difficult problems, has never liked Tander Phigg. But Tander's a Barnburner, a member of the unique AA group that rescued Conway, and when a Barnburner has a problem, Conway takes care of it. Besides, all Tander wants is to get back his vintage Mercedes from a shady auto shop. But Conway soon discovers there's much more to the problem–especially when Tander turns up dead. Conway was the last person seen with the victim, and on top of that, he has a record. He must catch the killer to clear himself, but he's also a man who honors his promises, even when the guy he made them to is dead.  In the tradition of Robert B. Parker and Dennis Lehane, Steve Ulfelder's crackling debut mystery features a gritty, razor-sharp new voice in crime fiction that will stay with you long after the last page.

Read our review of Purgatory Chasm from our June 2011 issue. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Silenced by Allison Brennan (Minotaur Books 24 April 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: It has been seven years since Lucy was attacked--and almost killed--by an online predator. Today, she is well on her way toward a new life. While waiting to begin her training at the FBI Academy, Lucy's is tireless in her fight against cyber sex crime. Her current mission: to find out who killed a high-priced call girl linked to a powerful Congressman.

A number of known prostitutes--with scores of high profile clients--are turning up dead all over D.C. Is this the work of a depraved killer? Or the result of an inside job? Lucy's investigation will take her into an underground network of prostitutes, the chambers of the country's most powerful players, and her own dark past to confront an unknown enemy who's always one step ahead of her. With the help of her P.I. boyfriend Sean Rogan, Lucy must find and protect the only witness who can identify the killer and end the conspiracy, but can the witness be trusted? Lucy will risk everything to expose the truth and ensure justice is served, even if that means putting herself in the line of fire. (Source: Minotaur Books)

NAL

Murder, She Wrote: Trouble at High Tide by Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain (NAL 03 April 2012 / $23.95) - Product Description: While on vacation in Bermuda, Jessica Fletcher is surprised to hear the local population is abuzz over a trio of murders, each bearing an eerie resemblance to the 1888 Jack the Ripper killings.

Jessica dismisses the panicked chatter as just that-until her friend Thomas Betterton's niece is found dead on the beach after a party. And when Scotland Yard Inspector George Sutherland arrives to investigate, Jessica can't help but get involved-an act that brings her dangerously close to a killer...

(Source: NAL)

Perseverance Press

Barnstorming: A Gail McCarthy Mystery by Laura Crum (Perseverance Press 02 April 2012 / $14.95) - Product Description: Gail McCarthy has turned fifty, and is considering resuming her career as a horse veterinarian. Life interrupts her plans when she embarks on a solitary ride and finds a fellow equestrian shot dead. Gail's friend Detective Jeri Ward heads up the investigation, and Gail is drawn into the escalating chain of events when a second rider is murdered. She must make sense of this threat to her beloved hills and trails... or she may be the sniper's next victim. (Source: Perseverance Press)

Mix-up in Miniature: A Miniature Mystery by Margaret Grace (Perseverance Press 02 April 2012 / $15.95) - Product Description: Geraldine Porter is thrilled to meet bestselling author and miniatures enthusiast Varena Young. The celebrity seems to seek friendship with Gerry and her crafts group, and makes a generous offer of a house from her collection for a library fund-raiser. But Young is suddenly murdered, and Gerry is left to investigate the crime. She and her eleven-year-old granddaughter Maddie delve for information on Young's mysterious past, and they find a clue to her murder in a secret room...of a dollhouse. Margaret Grace (aka Camille Minichino) compares writing fiction to creating miniature houses and rooms. "In each case,” she writes, "I'm creating a model of reality, a fictional world where things can be easier and often make more sense than in the life-size world.... In the world of dollhouses, there's no laundry to do, and a houseful of carpeting can be changed in a matter of minutes. In my mystery novels, the good guys always win and justice is always served. What could be more satisfying?” (see review)

Poisoned Pen Press

Cats Can't Shoot: A Pru Marlowe Pet Noir by Clea Simon (Poisoned Pen Press 03 April 2012 / $14.95) - Product Description: When Pru Marlowe gets the call that there’s been a cat shooting, she’s furious. Animal brutality is the one thing that this tough animal psychic won’t stand for, and in her role as a behaviorist she’s determined to care for the traumatized pet. But when Pru finds out that the cat did the shooting – accidentally setting off a rare dueling pistol – she realizes something else is going on. Could the white Persian really have killed her owner – or did the whole bloody mess have something to do with that pricey collectible? With the white cat turning a deaf ear to her questions, Pru must tune in to Beauville’s other pampered residents – from the dead man’s elite social set to their equally spoiled pets – and learn the truth before her ex, a former New York cop, gets too close. In a world where value is determined by a price tag, only Pru Marlowe and her trusty tabby Wallis can figure out if this was a case of feline felony – or if some human has set the Persian up to be the ultimate cat’s paw. (Source: Poisoned Pen Press)

Putnam

The Witness by Nora Roberts (Putnam 17 April 2012 / $27.95) - Product Description: Daughter of a controlling mother, Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.

Twelve years later, the woman known as Abigail Lowery lives on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she designs sophisticated security systems — and supplements her own security with a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. But Abigail's reserve only intrigues police chief Brooks Gleason. Her logical mind, her secretive nature, and her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something — and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed. (see review)

Severn House

Grey Expectations (Dulcie Schwartz) by Clea Simon (Severn House 01 April 2012 / $27.95) - Product Description: The new 'Dulcie Schwartz’ cat mystery - Could a missing book be haunted? Dulcie Schwartz doesn’t want to think so, but ever since it disappeared from the university, things have gone from bad to worse – one of her colleagues accused of homicide, and another revealed as an impostor. To top it all off, both the ghost cat Mr Grey and the kitten Esmé seem to have switched their allegiance to her boyfriend. Deprived of feline assistance, Dulcie must uncover the truth by herself, or else find herself on the hook for the theft – and murder. (see review)

Signet

Let Them Eat Stake: A Vampire Chef Mystery by Sarah Zettel (Signet 03 April 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's a dream for a "Vampire Chef"-cater the high-profile wedding of a 200-year-old vampire and a wealthy witch. So why did celebrity chef Oscar Simmons walk away from this gig? Charlotte agrees to take his place, even though she knows this event, thrown by power-hungry vampires and witches, could make (or break) her career, her restaurant, and her life. But when Simmons turns up dead, the groom's family starts vanishing, and the police start asking pointed questions, Charlotte fears she may have picked the wrong wedding to stake her reputation on...

(Source: Signet)

The Cat, the Wife and the Weapon: A Cats in Trouble Mystery by Leann Sweeney (Signet 03 April 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: When quilter Jillian Hart returns to her lake house in Mercy, South Carolina, she discovered her friend, Tom, is missing-and his estranged half-brother has moved into Tom's house. Jillian doesn't trust the guy, especially since he allowed Tom's diabetic cat to escape. When police officers find Tom's wrecked car with a dead stranger inside, Jillian is determined to find out what happened to Tom-before someone else turns up dead.

(Source: Signet)

The Long Stitch Good Night: An Embroidery Mystery by Amanda Lee (Signet 03 April 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Although she's taken an interest in Irish embroidery, Marcy Singer can't help but abandon her needlecraft when handsome local brewer Todd finds himself accused of murder. Both Todd and his friend Blake's fingerprints are on the murder weapon, and neither is talking about what happened. Marcy is determined to stitch together some luck from more than a few four-leaf clovers and prove that the culprit was someone else...

(Source: Signet)

Soho Constable

Murder of Gonzago: An Antonia Darcy and Major Payne Investigation by R.T. Raichev (Soho Constable 17 April 2012 / $25.00) - Product Description: Lord Remnant’s eccentric parties on his privately owned Caribbean island of Grenadin are the stuff of legends ... but then the 12th Earl suddenly dies in the course of an amateur production of The Murder of Gonzago, the play within a play in Hamlet. The Times obituary gives the cause of death as heart attack. However, an anonymous video tape showing Lord Remnant’s final moments makes it clear that the nobleman’s demise was far from natural.

As it happens so often, Antonia and Hugh Payne get involved in the sinister events surrounding Lord Remnant’s death entirely by accident. They are intrigued by the boldness of the murder, which seems to have been committed within a full view of Lord Remnant’s wife Clarissa and their four guests. Who killed Lord Remnant? Was it his drug-addicted stepson Stephan? Was it Clarissa’s Aunt Hortense, whose past contains a dark and shocking secret? Was it, as Stephan claims, the demonic “Grimaud”? Or perhaps it is the elusive Mr. Quin, who is left a vast amount of money in Lord Remnant’s will, for no apparent reason. (see review)

Soho Crime

The Blood of an Englishman: A Kramer and Zondi Investigation by James McClure (Soho Crime 17 April 2012 / $14.00) - Product Description: Six days into their search for a man who put a .32-caliber bullet into a South African antique dealer, neither Kramer of the Murder Squad nor his Bantu assistant, Zondi, has a single lead in the case. On the seventh day, Mrs. Digby-Smith opens the trunk of her car and discovers the hideous, tied-up corpse of her younger brother. Two violent crimes—seemingly unconnected. But as Kramer and Zondi pursue their investigation, startling connections turn up in the sordid underworld of Terkkersburg and in the secret, unresolved enmities of World War II. (Source: Soho Crime)

The Fallen: A Jade de Jong Investigation by Jassy Mackenzie (Soho Crime 10 April 2012 / $25.00) - Product Description: When P.I. Jade de Jong invites Superintendent David Patel on a scuba diving holiday in St. Lucia, she hopes the time away will rebuild their conflicted relationship. Jade's dreams are soon shattered when David calls off their affair, forcing her into the arms of environmentalist Craig Niewoudt. But the next morning, romantic issues are put aside when a scuba diving instructor, Amanda Bolton, is found brutally stabbed to death.

Amanda is a most unlikely candidate for murder—a quiet and intelligent woman who until a few months ago pursued a high-powered career as an air traffic controller. She had few acquaintances and no lovers. The only loose end is a postcard in her room from Jo'burg-based Themba Msamaya, asking how she is doing "after 813 and The Fallen". Jade and David put their differences aside and start the deadly hunt. (see review)

Viral by James Lilliefors (Soho Crime 10 April 2012 / $25.00) - Product Description: In remote pockets of the Third World, a deadly virus is quietly sweeping through impoverished farming villages and shanty towns with frightening speed and potency. Meanwhile, in Washington, a three-word message left in a safe-deposit box may be the key to stopping the crisis--if, that is, Charles Mallory, a private intelligence contractor and former CIA operative, can decipher the puzzle before time runs out.

What Mallory begins to discover are the traces of a secret war, with a bold objective--to create a new, technologically advanced society. With the help of his brother Jon, an investigative reporter, can he break the story to the world before it is too late--before a planned “humane depopulation” takes place?

As the stakes and strategies of this secret war become more evident, the Mallory brothers find themselves in a complex game of wits with an enemy they can’t see: a new sort of superpower led by a brilliant, elusive tactician who believes that ends justify means.

(see review)

Viking

Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch by Nancy Atherton (Viking 26 April 2012 / $25.95) - Product Description: Nancy Atherton's seventeenth cozy mystery featuring the beloved Aunt Dimity-the original paranormal detective.

When Amelia Thistle moves to Finch, her new neighbors welcome her with open arms-and inquiring minds. Among them is Lori Shepherd, who isn't fooled by Amelia's unassuming persona. Amelia is, in fact, a world-famous artist with a rabid and eager-to-stalk fan base.

In order to keep peace in Finch, Lori must help Amelia conceal her identity. Amelia, meanwhile, sets about working on the riddle that brought her to town in the first place. A fragment of a family diary hints that one of Amelia's ancestors might have been Mistress Meg, the Mad Witch of Finch. Following the clue, Lori hunts through Finch's darkest and most secret corners, all the while dodging nosy neighbors and Amelia's frantic fans. With Aunt Dimity's otherworldly help, Lori inches closer to the true story of Mistress Meg-and Amelia.

(see review)

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