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US Books Received- 07/2012  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

Berkley

A Sinister Sense (A Raven's Nest) by Allison Kingsley (Berkley 03 July 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Visions of the future and turning into people's thoughts come naturally to Clara Quinn thanks to her inherited Quinn Sense. Unfortunately, it offers no insight into her love life--or lack thereof--especially where hardware store owner Rick Sanders is concerned. But even though she's still nursing a broken heart, Clara offers Rick a home for his troublesome dog, Tatters.

But Tatters is the least of Rick's problems when a dead body is discovered in the back of his truck. The victim was seen in the hardware store--and bludgeoned to death with a hammer stolen from there. Clara believes Rick is innocent, but she's not sure whether that belief comes from the Quinn Sense in her head or simply from a desire in her heart. (Source: Berkley)

Beef Stolen-Off (A Clueless Cook Mystery) by Liz Lipperman (Berkley 03 July 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: As the food columnist for The Ranchero Globe, Jordan McAllister catches the eye of cattle baron Lucas Santana, who invites her to the Cattleman’s Ball, hoping a positive review for the ball might boost the county’s sagging beef sales.

To ensure Jordan enjoys herself, Santana sets her up with a prime cowboy companion for the event—Rusty Morales. Jordan’s delighted to go with him and two-step the night away. But instead, she winds up in the emergency room where her date is DOA.

When Rusty’s mother begs her for help, Jordan knows she needs to grab the bull by the horns and get to the bottom of this mystery before she corrals herself into trouble… (see review)

Cloaked in Malice (A Vintage Magic Mystery) by Annette Blair (Berkley 03 July 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: There's nothing Maddie loves more than fabulous vintage clothes, but the visions she gets while touching them are starting to wear her down. Even so, when a beautifully dressed girl comes to Vintage Magic in search of her past, Maddie isn't about to turn her away, especially since she bears a striking resemblance to her good friend Dolly Sweet.

When Maddie touches Paisley Skye's exquisitely crafted child's cloak, the vision she receives is of the ugliest sort: a decades-old case of kidnapping and murder. To give herself more time to investigate, Maddie enlists the help of her FBI Agent boyfriend Nick and takes Paisley into her home. But when Dolly suddenly skips town, Maddie realizes that uncovering the folds of Paisley's past will reveal more than one vintage crime. (Source: Berkley)

Haven (A Bishop/SCU Novel) by Kay Hooper (Berkley 31 July 2012 / $26.95) - Product Description: New York Times bestselling author Kay Hooper returns with a breathtaking new thriller of a young woman’s homecoming—to a town of menacing whispers, bad dreams, and dangerous secrets…

Another nightmare, in the woods this time. Different: She was running. Trying to escape.
But the same ending. Always the same ending. Another dead girl…


Emma Rayburn was born and raised in Baron Hollow, North Carolina, and it was a quiet life. Then came the accident…and the nightmares—each filled with unshakable visions of darkness, blind panic, and desperate women chased toward inevitable death. With no reports of local women missing or found dead, Emma has written it off to troubled imaginings—night after dreaded night. Until her sister arrives.

Jessie Rayburn, psychic investigator for a firm called Haven, has been estranged from Emma for years. Unresolved issues from Jessie’s past have not only kept them apart but have been clouding Jessie’s unique abilities. A return to her hometown to face a dark and violent incident from years gone by is her chance to regain them. But reconciliation with the past comes with a price. Few people in Baron Hollow are welcoming Jessie back. No one dares to breathe a word. And in this conspiracy of silence, Emma’s nightmares are becoming more vivid than ever.

Even with the help of Noah Bishop, head of the FBI Special Crimes Unit and co-founder of Haven, Jessie and Emma soon find themselves outnumbered by the secrets buried in Baron Hollow—and outrunning an evil that has been festering for years, one that’s targeting Jessie and Emma one last time.


(see review)

Murder for Choir (Glee Club Mystery) by Joelle Charbonneau (Berkley 03 July 2012 / $7.99) - From author's website: Paige Marshall has worked hard to become the next opera sensation, only the big break she's been dreaming of still hasn't come. With bills to pay, she moves into her aunt’s house in the northern suburbs of Chicago and takes a job as a vocal coach and show choir instructor at Prospect Glen High School. After all, she's sung at the Lyric Opera. How hard can coaching show choir be? After two days of teaching at the end of summer annual show choir camp, Paige decides coaching show choir is hell. The students don’t trust a classical singer to lead them to victory and the other coaches treat her like an unwelcome outsider. But when Paige finds a rival director strangled with a microphone cord and one of her students comes under suspicion she realizes she has one choice: to give the performance of a lifetime and track down the real killer before the killer strikes again.

Murder on the Half Shelf (A Booktown Mystery) by Lorna Barrett (Berkley 03 July 2012 / $24.95) - Product Description: Stoneham, New Hampshire, is a haven to bookstores, including Tricia’s own mystery shop, Haven't Got a Clue, but is sadly lacking in bed and breakfasts. Pippa and Jon Comfort's Sheer Comfort Inn opens its doors to the public in a week and the couple has offered some locals a free night as a trial run.

But what should have been a pleasant overnight stay for Tricia becomes a nightmare when she makes two startling discoveries: Pippa's murdered body in the backyard, and the fact that her husband Jon is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved—and believed dead—for nearly twenty years.

Now Harry is the prime suspect, but Tricia doesn't believe him capable of murder, regardless of her own feelings toward him. And even though Harry's led a life of lies, Tricia's learning that Pippa had her share of secrets that some people may have not wanted revealed. (Source: Berkley)

Pies and Prejudice (Charmed Pie Shoppe) by Ellery Adams (Berkley 03 July 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: The first slice is Magic -- When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LeFaye bakes pie. So when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flaky crust. But her pies aren't just delicious, they're also having magical effects on the people who eat them--and the public is hungry for more.

The second is Murder -- Having discovered her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella May makes her own wish come true by opening The Charmed Pie Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has more than pie on her plate. And when Loralyn's financé is found dead--killed with Ella Mae's rolling pin--it'll take all her sweet magic to clear her name. (see review)

Red Velvet Revenge (Cupcake Bakery Mystery) by Jenn McKinlay (Berkley 03 July 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: It may be summertime, but sales at Fairy Tale Cupcakes are below zero--and owners Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are willing to try anything to heat things up. So when local legend Slim Hazard offers them the chance to sell cupcakes at the annual Juniper Pass Rodeo, they're determined to rope in a pretty payday.

But not everyone at Juniper Pass is as sweet for Fairy Tale Cupcakes as Slim--including star bull-rider Ty Stokes. Mel and Angie try to steer clear of the cowboy's short fuse, but when his dead body is found facedown in the hay, it's a whole different rodeo.

With a vengeful murderer on the loose, the ladies are quickly realizing that while they came to save their business, they may have to save themselves--and that's no bull. (see review)

Caambridge Books

No Motive for Murder: Dangerous Journeys Series, Vol. 3 (Volume 3) by Virginia Winters (Caambridge Books 13 July 2012 / $18.95) - Product Description: Anne McPhail is on holiday in Bermuda, visiting her sister. She stumbles upon a murder in progress and this time, she is more than just a witness, she is a suspect, dealing with a police officer who decides Anne is guilty, and sticks to it in face of the evidence or lack of it. But more is going on than a random murder. Anne is caught in the middle a dangerous assassination plot. When she inadvertently upsets the killer's plan, he turns his attention to her. The risk spreads to her family and friends and then Thomas Beauchamp arrives on Bermuda. When his role is revealed, Anne's life takes a dangerous turn. (Source: Caambridge Books)

Crown

Let the Devil Sleep: A Novel by John Verdon (Crown 24 July 2012 / $25.00) - Product Description: In this latest novel from bestselling author John Verdon, ingenious puzzle solver Dave Gurney puts under the magnifying glass a notorious serial murder case – one whose motives have been enshrined as law-enforcement dogma - and discovers that everyone has it wrong.

The most decorated homicide detective in NYPD history, Dave Gurney is still trying to adjust to his life of quasi-retirement in upstate New York when a young woman who is producing a documentary on a notorious murder spree seeks his counsel. Soon after, Gurney begins feeling threatened: a razor-sharp hunting arrow lands in his yard, and he narrowly escapes serious injury in a booby-trapped basement.  As things grow more bizarre, he finds himself reexamining the case of The Good Shepherd, which ten years before involved a series of roadside shootings and a rage-against-the-rich manifesto.  The killings ceased, and a cult of analysis grew up around the case with a consensus opinion that no one would dream of challenging  -- no one, that is, but Dave Gurney.

Mocked even by some who’d been his supporters in previous investigations, Dave realizes that the killer is too clever to ever be found. The only gambit that may make sense is also the most dangerous – to make himself a target and get the killer to come to him.

To survive, Gurney must rely on three allies: his beloved wife Madeleine, impressively intuitive and a beacon of light in the gathering darkness; his de-facto investigative "partner" Jack Hardwick, always ready to spit in authority’s face but wily when it counts; and his son Kyle, who has come back into Gurney’s life with surprising force, love and loyalty. (Source: Crown)

Five Star

A Class on Murder: A Ronnie Raven Mystery by K.B. Gibson (Five Star 06 July 2012 / $25.95) - Book Description: Ronnie Raven. She's smart, she's funny, and she might be next on a killer's list! As the half-Cherokee, half-Irish daughter of a noted Native American artist, Ronnie Raven grew up learning to speak her mind. After years of trying to find her place in the world, she's settled in as a Behavioral Psychology Professor at her Oklahoma alma mater, Pursley University. When Ronnie's not rebelling against dress codes or the expectations of her department head, she enjoys teaching. That is, until she returns from a disastrous spring break to stumble across the body of a very dead colleague. Although framed to look like a suicide, it doesn't take the police long to figure out that Weldon Crutchfield was murdered!

No one cared for Crutchfield, least of all Ronnie. But since when is that grounds for murder? When a detective investigating the crime wants to pin the crime on her, Ronnie becomes a rebel with a cause as she tries to learned who killed Crutchfield before facing murder charges. Ronnie discovers that many people had a reason to kill the professor. Was it the department head that Crutchfield was blackmailing? A student Crutchfield was sexually harassing? The flunking football player? Or a colleague who wants to take Crutchfield's place in the University hierarchy?

Can Ronnie Raven figure out who the killer is--with the help of her drama professor best friend and a campus cop who just might be a new romantic interest--before she becomes the next victim? (see review)

Brigands Key by Ken Pelham (Five Star 18 July 2012 / $25.95) - Book Description: An ageless, impossible body at the bottom of the sea. A lethal plague. A ruthless murderer. A monster hurricane. Archaeologist Carson Grant came to Brigands Key to escape the limelight and repair his shattered reputation, and finds himself instead staring down the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

When Grant discovers the body of a man in a cave at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, suspicion of murder falls squarely upon him. Citizens mysteriously begin to fall ill and die, others vanish, and others are murdered, while an ambitious governor and an unbending president battle in a test of wills over the fate of Brigands Key. As Hurricane Celeste bears down on the quarantined island, Grant enlists infectious diseases expert Kyoko Nakamura and local misfit Charley Fawcett in a desperate race to break the spiral of death destroying the terror-stricken town. They must unravel the mystery of a decades-old corpse and a staggeringly valuable prize that is shrouded in secrecy and a bizarre story from the past. Pitted against them is a killer who will stop at nothing to claim it. Grant and Nakamura become Brigands Key’s last hope, the thin line between salvation and destruction. (Source: Five Star)

Death of a Second Wife: Dotsy Lamb Travel Mystery by Maria Hudgins (Five Star 06 July 2012 / $25.95) - Book Description: In their third adventure, Dotsy and her friend Lettie Osgood are joined by Lettie's husband, Ollie, and Dotsy's friend from Florence, Marco Quattrocchi. They're taking a cruise on the Aegean Sea with scheduled visits to the beautiful islands of Mykonos, Rhodes, Patmos, Crete, and Santorini.

The sky is bright, the water blue, but trouble hops aboard on their very first night when Ollie's poker buddy disappears off the stern deck. (see review)

Exercise is Murder by Janis Patterson (Five Star 09 July 2012 / $25.95) - From back of book: Invalided out of the Dallas Police Force after a brutal shootout set up by her dirty cop ex-lover, Rebecca Cloudwebb has become an antique dealer. While delivering some earrings to Flora Melkiot at Madam Norina's Temple of Health exercise solon in the exclusive Olympus House condominium highrise, Rebecca is among the witnesses to brutal murder.

Laura Tyler, a plumber's window from the suburb of Garland, has just moved into the Olympus House with dreams of becoming a socialite, but on her first day in class fatally finds her mineral water laden with drain crystals. Flora Melkiot is a nosy, gossipy old woman convinced the police are idiots; she is not only determined to investigate, but determined that Rebecca will help her. Against her will Rebecca finds herself being drawn into and fascinated by the case.

Almost everyone connected with the murder has multiple reasons to kill everyone else connected with the murder, but no one that anyone can find had any motive to poison Laura Tyler. A mad mix of politics, extra-marital affairs, blackmail, strong personalities, gambling and assorted secrets, the mystery proves almost impossible to solve, but solve it Rebecca does, and in the process learns something about her own problems since the shooting that crippled her. (Source: Five Star)

Hard Currency: Post-Communist Mystery by Steven Owad (Five Star 06 July 2012 / $25.95) - Book Description: Warsaw, 1992. What happens when the regime you have been fighting your whole life is suddenly gone – replaced by something possibly worse? Anything goes in the newly free Poland, and the victims of crime and corruption are legion.

For ex-democracy crusader Julian Krol, the free-market jungle is as cruel as the worst days of the past. And he has to confront its darkest elements if he wants to find out who killed his sister. (see review)

Haunted (A Lexie Starr Mystery) by Jeanne Gildewell (Five Star 18 July 2012 / $25.95) - Book Description: Stone Van Patten has recently renovated an old mansion in the historic region of the small town of Rockdale, Missouri, into a thriving bed and breakfast. Stone's girlfriend, forty-nine year old widow Lexie Starr, and her daughter, Wendy, decide to promote the inn by turning it into a haunted house in late October. But when the young man Lexie hires to dress as a vampire and scare the children, turns up dead in the makeshift coffin in the parlor, Lexie decides to get involved with the murder investigation to help protect the integrity of Stone's new business venture. After all, the inn is still in its infancy when this second death occurs there. Lexie fears people will think of the inn as a real haunted house and not encourage their family and friends to patronize the establishment while visiting Rockdale.

While trying to shield her impulsive actions from Stone, who wants only to protect her, Lexie soon discovers a number of people who might have a motive to kill the young man. Like the local police department, she has trouble pin-pointing the killer when several individuals appear to have an axe to grind with the victim. (see review)

St. Rose Goes Hawaiian by Annette Mahon (Five Star 18 July 2012 / $25.95) - Book Description: The St. Rose Quilting Bee is back, and they are on their way to Hawaii. The Quilting Bee and a few of their friends have signed up for a quilt tour. They will be learning all about Hawaiian quilting while they tour the island, view quilts and see the places that inspired the designs. Unfortunately, while at a luau on their second night there, their hostess' husband Sam is murdered. Right in front of everyone, with no one aware of it until the police arrive the next morning. Once again, the women use their time stitching to dissect the characters of the people involved and help the police solve the crime.

There is Lurline, their gracious hostess and the quilter leading their lessons. Her daughter Makana, also a quilter, but a young woman with obvious personal issues. Manu, Lurline's ex-husband and Makana's father, a wonderful cook and all around cheerful personality. In their tour group there is Isis, the woman who arranged the trip and who seems to have some secrets of her own; and Judy, a former St. Rose parishioner who now lives on the Big Island. She had a brief liaison with the dead man and seems to be trying too hard to have fun.

Who wanted Sam dead? There are secrets and mistaken identities, and the women will have to examine some of their old friends as well as their new ones. (see review)

The Last Temptation by Gerrie Ferris Finger (Five Star 18 July 2012 / $25.95) - From back of book: Recovering addict Eileen Cameron and her daughter Linley Witney have vanished from Eileen's Palm Spings home. Linley's custodial father, Bradley Whitney, lives in Atlanta. Eileen and Bradley are locked in a custody battle, and Bradley believes Eileen has taken Linley to hide with the Indians in the desert. The court hires Moriah Dru of Child Trace to find and bring Linley home.

Bradley's academic credentials are solid, but Dru is wary. He's rich and involved with the secretive Cloisters. Dru and lover, police Lieutenant Richard Lake, delve into Bradley's past, while Lake investigates the Atlanta Suburban Girl murders.

In Palm Springs, Dru meets a host of glitzy suspects, including Dartagnan LeRoi, a cop; Arlo Cameron, Eileen's movie director husband; Heidi, Arlo's widowed neighbor; Eileen's hairdresser, a cross-dresser named Theodosia; donut-maker named Zing; Indian princess Contessa (Tess) Rosovo; and Phillippe, a self-styled Frenchman who claims he's a Cordon Bleu chef. Phillippe says everyone in "The Springs" is an actor.

(see review)

The Wrath of Shiva: An Anita Ray Mystery by Susan Oleksiw (Five Star 06 July 2012 / $25.95) - Book Description: On an old estate along a quiet river in South India, a family waits for the arrival of a granddaughter they haven't seen in quite a while. When she fails to appear at the airport or at the estate, and doesn't even call, no one wants to believe she has once again changed her plans without consulting anyone. But when she fails to call and offer any explanation, the family begins to worry.

Anita Ray accompanies her Auntie Meena to her gradmother's house to comfort her and try to figure out where her cousin has got to. While she is there, a maidservant falls into a trance. The maidservant reports from her trances that Devi, the Great Goddess, is angry with the family, very angry. Even worse, the maidservant has predicted that Surya, the granddaughter, will never arrive.

The family astrologer advises an exorcism to cure the maidservant, and with this begins Anita's unrelenting curiosity about the astrologer, his associates, and a number of family antiques that have gone missing. (see review)

Forge Books

A City of Broken Glass (Hannah Vogel) by Rebecca Cantrell (Forge Books 17 July 2012 / $25.99) - Product Description: In Rebecca Cantrell's A City of Broken Glass, journalist Hannah Vogel is in Poland with her son Anton to cover the 1938 St. Martin festival when she hears that 12,000 Polish Jews have been deported from Germany. Hannah drops everything to get the story on the refugees, and walks directly into danger.

Kidnapped by the SS, and driven across the German border, Hannah is rescued by Anton and her lover, Lars Lang, who she had presumed dead two years before. Hannah doesn't know if she can trust Lars again, with her heart or with her life, but she has little choice. Injured in the escape attempt and wanted by the Gestapo, Hannah and Anton are trapped with Lars in Berlin. While Hannah works on an exit strategy, she helps to search for Ruth, the missing toddler of her Jewish friend Paul, who was disappeared during the deportation.

Trapped in Nazi Germany with her son just days before Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, Hannah knows the dangers of staying any longer than needed. But she can't turn her back on this one little girl, even if it plunges her and her family into danger.

(Source: Forge Books)

Hellbox (Nameless Detective Mysteries) by Bill Pronzini (Forge Books 03 July 2012 / $24.99) - Product Description: Bill, the "Nameless Detective", and his wife Kerry were in the Sierra foothills, just outside of Six Pines, falling in love with a cabin. It was all perfect, until Kerry went missing.

They'd seen Balfour at breakfast at the diner and Kerry remembered his name…PR people are like that. Which was unfortunate, because when she ran into him along the trail on that sunny afternoon and called him by name, he panicked. And that's when Bill's nightmare began.

In a small town with limited resources, where a major case was keeping everyone busy, a private investigator demanding action wasn't very popular.  They were doing all they could, Bill was told. But it wasn't enough.

With the help of his longtime associate Jake Runyon, Bill begins a search that uncovers just what price the citizens in a town without pity might have to pay. Bill and Jake follow the few leads they have, and come face to face with the Hellbox.

(see review)

Strong Vengeance (Caitlin Strong) by Jon Land (Forge Books 17 July 2012 / $24.99) - Product Description: 1818: In the Gulf waters off the Texas coast, the pirate Jean Lefitte and his partner Jim Bowie launch an attack on the Mother Mary, a slave ship carrying an invaluable treasure.

The Present:  Fifth-generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong finds herself investigating the murder of the oil rig crew that had found the long-lost wreckage of the Mother Mary. The crew also uncovered something else beneath the surface of the sea—something connected to a terrorist attack about to be launched by a mad American-born cleric who has recruited an army of homegrown terrorists.

With the stakes higher than any she has encountered before, Caitlin races to find the connection between the secret treasure of the Mother Mary and the deadly secret hidden on the bottom of the ocean.

Caitlin's only chance to defeat the terrorists lies in the darkest reaches of the Louisiana bayou. In the end, only the strongest of vengeance can win the day.

(see review)

The Formula for Murder by Carol McCleary (Forge Books 17 July 2012 / $24.99) - Product Description: History, mystery, murder, and mad science accompany plucky Victorian newspaper reporter Nellie Bly when she travels to the haunted moors of England to investigate the mysterious death of another journalist.

Refusing to believe the young writer committed suicide, Nellie's search for the truth takes her from foggy Londontown to the ancient Roman ruins at Bath and the eerie landscape of Dartmoor. Stalked by a killer as she unravels the mystery behind a series of deaths, Nellie encounters a handsome young biology teacher named H.G. Wells, whose knowledge leads Nellie into the realm of science gone mad.

Joined by Oscar Wilde, fleeing a sex scandal, and Arthur Conan Doyle, pursuing a legendary beast of the moors, Nellie struggles to stay alive as she hunts down a scientist who is trying to recreate in a test tube the work of God. Join Nellie Bly again in this third installment to Carol McCleary's hit mystery series.

(see review)

Harper

Deadly Little Secrets: The Minister, His Mistress, and a Heartless Texas Murder by Kathryn Casey (Harper 31 July 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: To his parishioners, minister Matt Baker seemed a pious and good man. To his wife, Kari, he was a devoted husband and caring father. Always sunny and vivacious, Kari never questioned their frequent relocations from one small Texas Baptist church to another. Even when tragedy struck, Kari remained strong—until one day, inexplicably, she took her own life.

To friends and family, Kari's suicide made no sense—and they struggled with questions they couldn't answer. Why couldn't Matt hold a job with any one church? Why did he cut off all contact with Kari's devastated parents soon after her death? And who was the blond companion he began appearing with just days after the funeral? But it would take a team of investigators and dogged determination to bring Matt Baker's dark secrets to light—revealing a shocking history of lies, infidelity, cruelty, and sexual obsession that may have led a serial predator cloaked in God's word to commit murder.

(Source: Harper)

Power Blind: A Graham Gage Thriller by Steven Gore (Harper 31 July 2012 / $9.99) - Product Description: Power corrupts. Power and money corrupt absolutely.
In Washington, Senator Landon Meyer—leading presidential candidate and pivotal voice in a divided senate—imposes his choices to fill two Supreme Court vacancies on the President. In San Francisco, Charlie Palmer—a specialist in burying the crimes of the political and financial elite—lies paralyzed by a gunshot. Linking the two is the senator's all-too-cunning brother—a federal judge secretly managing his campaign.

An hour before his death, Palmer reaches out to private investigator Graham Gage, a man he's both feared and admired, but his words remain choked in his throat. A funeral-day burglary of Palmer's office and a wife's plea for the truth about her husband's misdeeds plunge Gage into a morass of murder, corporate cover-ups, and corrupted justice that masks a political money-laundering scheme threatening to destroy not only our democracy, but all that is dear to Gage.

(Source: Harper)

Scorpion Winter by Andrew Kaplan (Harper 31 July 2012 / $9.99) - Product Description: In the frozen wastes of Siberia, a silver artifact is stolen from a dead man ... In the Middle East, the carefully planned strike on a terrorist leader goes disastrously wrong ... Two seemingly unrelated incidents have placed the former CIA covert operative-turned-freelance spy, code-named Scorpion, in a desperate position: joining forces with a beautiful woman to prevent the assassination of a powerful Ukrainian politician.

But treachery breeds terror in the long shadow of a dangerous Russia, as Scorpion finds himself caught in a lethal trap sprung by an unknown enemy--perhaps someone on his own side of the game. And now time is ticking rapidly away with the whole world balancing on a knife's edge, just days from the opening salvos of a catastrophic war that could leave the earth itself in ruins.

(see review)

Koehler Books

The Footloose Killer (Beach Murder Mysteries) by Michelle L. Johnson (Koehler Books 20 July 2012 / $14.95) - Product Description: When another dismembered foot washes up along the Virginia Beach oceanfront, the VBPD is stumped. It's the eighth year in a row, always just as the frenzied tourist season starts. And for the eighth year in a row, there is no body, and there are no suspects.

Detectives Lexi Sawyer and Morgan Pryce have never felt more pressure to solve the case, just as their personal lives face a crucial test. The media is relentless in its coverage. The new Mayor demands an arrest. The police chief is hiding something. And their only lead points straight to the famous talk show host, Dr. Hill, who has a few secrets--not to mention millions of dollars--of his own to protect. (see review)

Minotaur Books

Behold a Pale Horse: Sister Fidelma Mystery by Peter Tremayne (Minotaur Books 17 July 2012 / $25.99) - Product Description: A perplexing case of murder and conspiracy in the pagan wilds of Northern Italy.

In 664 A.D., just after the events detailed in Shroud for the Archbishop, Fidelma of Cashel takes a unexpected detour on her trip home from Rome. While in the port at Genua (modern day Genoa), Fidelma—sister of one Ireland's kings and an advocate in her country's law courts—receives word  that one of her old teachers, Brother Ruadan, is reaching the end of his days. Determined to see her old mentor one last time, Fidelma takes the treacherous journey to a remote abbey in the countryside—a place where the old pagan religion still has a hold and where even the Christians are often in bloody conflict with each other. But after she hears her dying teacher's last words, Fidelma's most dangerous adventure has just begun. With one murder after the next and a vicious war in the offing, it is up to Fidelma, alone and on her own, to unravel an extraordinary conspiracy before it is too late.

(see review)

Blind Faith by C.J. Lyons (Minotaur Books 31 July 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Sarah Durandt knows the killer is dead. She watched him die from a lethal injection in the execution chamber. But Sarah finds little comfort in knowing that the deranged psychopath who murdered her husband and son will never kill again. Since he never revealed the location of their bodies, she never found a sense of closure. So now, Sarah has decided to return to her home in the Adirondacks, to search for whatever remains of her loved ones. An unmarked grave. An article of clothing. Anything to make this terrible dream seem real. But what Sarah uncovers is far more unnerving—and much too horrifying—to even consider…. Maybe they executed the wrong man. Maybe the killer is still out there. Maybe, for Sarah, the nightmare is just beginning. (Source: Minotaur Books)

City of Secrets (Miranda Corbie Mystery) by Kelli Stanley (Minotaur Books 17 July 2012 / $14.99) - Product Description: This powerful sequel to Kelli Stanley's scorching City of Dragons, which introduced unique and unforgettable series heroine Miranda Corbie, begins on May 25th, 1940, opening day for the World's Fair. When a woman is found dead, private investigator Miranda Corbie is soon hot on the trail of a vicious murderer. Set against the backdrop of a Europe defeated by Nazi Germany and an America unsure of where to turn, City of Secrets is a fast-paced mystery featuring a P.I. who will stop at nothing to right the world's wrongs.

Read our review of City of Secrets in our June 2012 issue. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Die a Stranger: An Alex McKnight Novel by Steve Hamilton (Minotaur Books 03 July 2012 / $25.99) - Product Description: Late one night, a plane lands on a deserted airstrip. Five dead bodies are found there the next morning.

And now Vinnie LeBlanc is missing. Vinnie is an Ojibwa tribal member, a blackjack dealer at the Bay Mills Casino, and he just might be Alex McKnight's best friend. He's come through for Alex more than once in the past, and he never ever misses a day of work. So Alex can't help but be worried. There's a deadly crime war creeping into Michigan's Upper Peninsula, leaving bodies in its wake, and Alex never would think for a minute that his friend could be involved. But when an unexpected and unwelcome stranger arrives in town, Alex will soon find out that the stakes are higher than he ever could have imagined. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Invisible Country by Annamaria Alfieri (Minotaur Books 03 July 2012 / $25.99) - Product Description: From the author of City of Silver, a beautifully rich and puzzling historical mystery set in Paraguay, 1868.

A war against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay has devastated Paraguay. Ninety percent of the males between the ages of eight and eighty have died in the conflict and food is scarce. In the small village of Santa Caterina, Padre Gregorio advises the women of his congregation to abandon the laws of the church and get pregnant by what men are available. As he leaves the pulpit, he discovers the murdered body of Ricardo Yotté, one of the most powerful men in the country, at the bottom of the belfry.

There are many suspects: Eliza Lynch, a former Parisian courtesan who is now the consort of the brutal dictator, Francisco Solano López, and who entrusted to Yotté the country's treasury of gold and jewels; López himself, who may have suspected his ally Yotté of carrying on an affair with the beautiful Eliza; Comandante Luis Menenez, local representative of the dictator, who competed with Yotté for López's favor, and a wounded Brazilian soldier who has secretly taken up with one of the village girls.

Lynch is desperate to recover the missing gold, and the comandante is desperate to prove his usefulness to López. To avoid having an innocent person dragged off to torture and death, a band of villagers undertake to solve the crime, including Padre Gregorio, the village midwife, her crippled husband returned from combat, their spirited daughter, and a war widow. Each carries secrets they seek to protect from the others, while they pursue their quest for the truth. (see review)

Leader of the Pack (Andy Carpenter) by David Rosenfelt (Minotaur Books 17 July 2012 / $24.99) - Product Description: Over the course of his legal career, Andy Carpenter has lost a few cases. But that doesn't mean he forgets his clients. Andy has always been convinced that Joey Desimone, a man convicted of murder nine years ago, was innocent and believes that Joey's family's connections to organized crime played a pivotal role in his conviction. While there isn't much Andy can do for him while he serves out his prison sentence, Joey suggests that he check up on Joey's elderly uncle. He'd rather not, but as a favor to Joey, Andy agrees to take his dog, Tara, on a few visits.

The old man's memory is going, but when Andy tries to explain why he's there, it jogs something in the man's mind, and his comments leave Andy wondering if Uncle Nick is confused, or if he just might hold the key to Joey's freedom after all this time.

Andy grabs on to this thread of possibility and follows it into a world where the oath of silence is stronger than blood ties, and where people will do anything to make sure their secrets are kept. (see review)

Some Like It Hawk: A Meg Langslow Mystery by Donna Andrews (Minotaur Books 17 July 2012 / $24.99) - Product Description: Meg Langslow helps run Caerphilly's town fair while trying to solve a murder in Some Like it Hawk, the next installment in the award-winning New York Times bestselling series.

Meg Langslow is plying her blacksmith's trade at Caerphilly Days, a festival inspired by the town's sudden notoriety as "The Town That Mortgaged Its Jail". The lender has foreclosed on all Caerphilly's public buildings, and all employees have evacuated -- except one.  Phineas Throckmorton, the town clerk, has been barricaded in the courthouse basement for over a year.

Mr. Throckmorton's long siege has only been possible because of a pre-Civil War tunnel leading from the courthouse basement to a crawl space beneath the bandstand. The real reason for Caerphilly Days is to conceal the existence of the tunnel:  the tourist crowds camouflage supply deliveries, and the ghastly screeching of the tunnel's rusty trap door is drowned out by as many noisy activities as the locals can arrange. But the lender seems increasingly determined to evict Mr. Throckmorton -- and may succeed after one of its executives is found shot, apparently from inside the basement. Meg and her fellow townspeople suspect that someone hopes to end the siege by framing Mr. Throckmorton. Unless the real killer can be found quickly, the town will have to reveal the secret of the tunnel -- and the fact that they've been aiding and abetting Mr. Throckmorton. Meg soon deduces that the killer isn't just trying to end the siege but to conceal information that would help the town reclaim its buildings -- if the townspeople can find it before the lender destroys it.

(see review)

The Assassin in the Marais: A Victor Legris Mystery by Claude Izner (Minotaur Books 03 July 2012 / $14.99) - Product Description: The clock of the Église Trinité had just struck eight o'clock in the morning when, without warning, an ear-splitting explosion ripped through the district. A building on rue de Clichy rocked on its foundations, and within seconds its staircase had collapsed from top to bottom and its windows had shattered.

His body vibrated with the shock of the blast and he thought only: Apocalypse. The street began to dance before his eyes. The dust pricked his nostrils, but what invaded him was something other than its bitter odour, something that seemed to emerge as a long-suppressed memory of a past experience. It was the echo of what had happened long ago. A sign.

Paris, Spring 1892. Intrepid bookseller Victor Legris stumbles upon a new case to investigate when his business partner Kenji Mori's apartment is burgled. Curiously, the only item stolen is a decorative goblet of little value. But on learning that two people who were connected to the goblet have been murdered, Victor becomes convinced of its secret significance. He launches himself into the investigation, which takes him through the underbelly of Paris, in hot pursuit of the goblet as it is thrown in the garbage, picked up by a rag collector, and resold by several antique merchants, all the while leaving more dead bodies in its wake. How quickly can Victor recover the goblet and end the killing spree, in a city beset with terrorist activity by anarchists? Equal parts action, character, and atmosphere, this is Victor's most challenging case yet. (Source: Minotaur Books)

The Portrait of Doreene Gray: A Chihuahua Mystery (Tripping Magazine Mysteries) by Esri Allbritten (Minotaur Books 03 July 2012 / $24.99) - Product Description: In this laugh-out-loud-funny mystery, Angus MacGregor and the zany staff of Tripping Magazine, a travel magazine that covers paranormal destinations, investigate a bizarre story in a town brimming with secrets. Forty years ago, Maureene Pinter painted a portrait of her twin sister, Doreene. In an eerie turn of events, Doreene hasn't aged, although her portrait has. When Doreene decides to sell the portrait, the Tripping team travel to Doreene's mansion in Port Townsend, Washington, a Victorian town wreathed in mists and mysteries, to get the scoop on this intriguing story.

When strange strips of paper appear in her soup, Doreene invites Tripping to stay and solve the town's many puzzles. Why does a man named Enrico Russo sit in a white Impala outside the mansion? And what does Lupita, the housekeeper, fear? Soon, it becomes clear that while Doreene has kept her youthful looks, the past is catching up with her. (see review)

NAL

Lethal Outlook: A Psychic Eye Mystery by Victoria Laurie (NAL 03 July 2012 / $23.95) - Product Description: When a mysterious client approaches Abigail "Abby" Cooper with a cryptic message about a young mother who has vanished, Abby is more than willing to get involved.  After all, it’s the perfect distraction from dealing with the headache of her sister Cat – who has flown into town and turned Abby and Dutch’s impending nuptials into Weddingpalooza.

After Abby recruits her business partner and BFF, Candice, to assist, they meet with the parents of the missing woman.  But the parents refuse to put their faith in a psychic. What’s worse, due to a grave misunderstanding, the family suspects Abby has a connection to their daughter’s husband – the man they believe to be responsible for her disappearance.

So while the family may be blind to the truth, with a potential killer in her sights, Abby is determined to keep her eyes wide open...

(see review)

Mistress of Mourning by Karen Harper (NAL 03 July 2012 / $15.00) - Product Description: London, 1501. In a time of political unrest, Varina Westcott, a young widow and candle maker for court and church, agrees to perform a clandestine service for Queen Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII--carve wax figures of four dead children, two of her offspring lost in infancy and her two brothers, the Princes of the Tower, whose mysterious disappearance years ago has never been solved. Having lost a child herself, Varina feels a sympathetic bond with the queen. And as she works under the watchful eye of handsome Nicholas Sutton, an ambitious assistant to the royals, she develops feelings of quite a different nature.

Then news comes from Wales of the unexpected death of newly married Prince Arthur, the queen’s eldest child and heir to the throne. Deeply grieving, Elizabeth suspects that Arthur did not die of a sudden illness, as reported, but was actually murdered by her husband’s enemies. This time her task for Varina and Nicholas is of vital importance--travel into the Welsh wilderness to investigate the prince’s death. But as the couple unearths one unsettling clue after another, they begin to fear that the conspiracy they’re confronting is far more ambitious and treacherous than even the queen imagined. And it aims to utterly destroy the Tudor dynasty.

(see review)

Pocket Books

Creep by Jennifer Hillier (Pocket Books 31 July 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: IF HE CAN'T HAVE HER... Dr. Sheila Tao is a professor of psychology, an expert in human behavior with her own hidden past. But she's not the only one keeping secrets. When Sheila began an affair with her sexy graduate assistant Ethan Wolfe, she knew she was playing with fire. Consumed by lust when they were together, she was riddled with guilt when they were apart. Now she's finally engaged to a good man, and it's time to end the dangerous liaison. But Ethan has something different in mind. He intends to make her pay for rejecting him.

...NO ONE CAN. As Sheila attempts to counter Ethan's increasingly threatening moves, he schemes to reveal her darkest, most intimate secrets by destroying her prestigious career...and then her. Caught in a terrifying cat-and-mouse game, Sheila must fight for her life and free herself from the ex-lover whom she couldn't resist--who is now the manipulative monster who won't let her go.

(Source: Pocket Books)

The Sauvignon Secret (Wine Country) by Ellen Crosby (Pocket Books 31 July 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Among the world-class vineyards of the Napa Valley, “Virginia’s favorite vintner-detective” (Library Journal) and her winemaker ex-beau investigate the role of a secret society in two mysterious deaths— and whether there is hope for their rocky romance.

When Lucie Montgomery finds the dead body of a prominent wine merchant hanging from a beam in his art studio, she is unwittingly dragged into his murky past and its dangerous implications for a family friend. The puzzle sends Lucie to California wine country where she teams up with former lover Quinn Santori. Soon they are embroiled in a deadly cat-and-mouse game to discover whether a killer is seeking vengeance for a longago cover-up. As Lucie and Quinn examine clues from the past, they must also decide whether they have a future together. Ellen Crosby blends an intriguing mystery with an absorbing plot, vivid characters, and a richly evoked setting in a charming tale that should be savored like a glass of fine wine. (Source: Pocket Books)

Poisoned Pen Press

Endangered: A Zoo Mystery (Zoo Mysteries) by Ann Littlewood (Poisoned Pen Press 03 July 2012 / $24.95) - Product Description: Zoo keeper Iris Oakley is sent to a remote farm in Washington State to rescue exotic animals after a drug bust. Instead of pets, she finds smuggled parrots and tortoises destined for sale to unscrupulous or unsuspecting collectors. The zoo's facilities are full, and she ends up with two macaws shrieking in her basement. The marijuana grow operation and the meth lab are the cops' problem. The smuggling side-line is hers. An outraged Iris is determined to break the criminal pipeline that snatches rare animals from the wild and leaves them neglected in old barns.

Then she discovers a woman who escaped the bust—dead. Iris has stumbled onto a violent crime, something far too dangerous for a widow with a young son. But it's too late to untangle herself. Brothers from the farm, both murder suspects, invade her home, demanding information she doesn't have.

Iris flees with her child, but soon her only option is to go on the offensive. People she counts on are not who they claim to be. A friend is shot during a break-in at the zoo and may not survive.

Hunting for the brothers, Iris sorts through baffling clues and trips over secrets old and new. Why steal an ordinary drinking glass? Why do the brothers think she knows where their father’s fortune is hidden? Could the noisy parrots be hiding crucial information in plain sight? She realizes a key piece is missing, but finding it means confronting a determined killer. (Source: Poisoned Pen Press)

Signet

How to Dine on Killer Wine: A Party-Planning Mystery by Penny Warner (Signet 03 July 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: For Presley Parker, a wine-tasting event at the boutique winery the Purple Grape is a job worth savoring. But she quickly discovers that even in idyllic Napa Valley, local politics can have a bitter finish. JoAnne Douglas, president of the Green Grape Association environmental group, believes the wineries are damaging the local environment and she's determined to sabotage the event. But Presley manages to pull the party off without a hitch. Until JoAnne's lifeless body is discovered under one of the tables.

JoAnne had plenty of enemies in the area, but all evidence points to Purple Grape owners, Rob and Marie Christopher, as the murderers. Now it's up to Presley to clear their names before someone else gets corked. (Source: Signet)

In a Witch's Wardrobe: A Witchcraft Mystery by Juliet Blackwell (Signet 03 July 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Taking a night off from running her successful San Francisco clothing store, Lily Ivory attends a local Art Deco ball, where vintage fashions steal the show. But when a young woman at the event falls under a mysterious sleeping sickness. Lily senses that a curse was placed on the woman's corsage.

Before Lily can solve the woman's magical ailment, she's asked to assist in investigating a string of poisonings in the Bay Area witchcraft community. She's gained the trust of the local covens by supporting women's charities through her clothing store. But soon Lily suspects that one of her new acquaintances might not be so well-intentioned and could be dabbling in dark magic and deadly botany. (see review)

Plotting at the PTA by Laura Alden (Signet 03 July 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Beth Kennedy is excited about the PTA's spring Senior Story Project, which pairs elderly residents of Sunny Rest Assisted Living with Tarver Elementary students to produce a book that the PTA can sell as a fund-raiser.

But her enthusiasm is dampened when she discovers that Amy Jacobson, one of her regular customers at the bookstore, has died from bee stings. What are bees doing out so unseasonably early in Wisconsin-and why wouldn't Amy, who was deathly allergic, have taken greater care to avoid them?

Now it's up to Beth to get the buzz on who used killer bees to send Amy Jacobson to her eternal rest. (Source: Signet)

Soho Crime

The Fear Artist (Poke Rafferty) by Timothy Hallinan (Soho Crime 17 July 2012 / $25.00) - Product Description: An accidental collision on a Bangkok sidewalk goes very wrong when the man who ran into Rafferty dies in his arms, but not before saying three words: Helen Eckersley. Cheyenne. Seconds later, the police arrive, denying that the man was shot. That night, Rafferty is interrogated by Thai secret agents who demand to know what the dead man said, but Rafferty can't remember. When he's finally released, Rafferty arrives home to find that his apartment has been ransacked. In the days that follow, he realizes he's under surveillance. The second time men in uniform show up at his door, he manages to escape the building and begins a new life as a fugitive. As he learns more about his situation, it becomes apparent that he's been caught on the margins of the war on terror, and that his opponent is a virtuoso artist whose medium is fear. (Source: Soho Crime)

The Joy Brigade by Martin Limon (Soho Crime 31 July 2012 / $25.00) - Product Description: In this pulse-racing ninth adventure, Sergeant George Sueño heads north of Korea's DMZ on a mission to prevent war between the Communist North and the American-allied South.

Seoul, early 1970s: US Army Sergeant George Sueño is on a mission of extreme importance to the South Korean government, as well as the US Army. Kim Il-Sung has vowed to reunite North and South Korea into one country before he hands control of the government over to his son, which means North Korea is planning to cross the DMZ and overpower the American-allied South Korean government. Sueño's mission is to prevent this by sneaking into North Korea and obtaining an ancient map detailing the network of secret tunnels that run underneath the DMZ. To do so, he will have to go undercover and infiltrate the North Korean Communist inner sanctum.

Aware of the often dubious nature of the US Military's tactics, Sueño is skeptical about his assignment. But he has other things on his mind. The keeper of the map is Doc Yong, a former lover of Sueño's who was forced to flee South Korea the year before--and she has a son. Before they can be happily reunited, the plan falls to pieces, and Sueño is captured. Can he rely on the enigmatic Hero Kang, his sole contact in the hostile country? Will the lovely Rhee Mi-Sook, the leader of the North Korean secret police, be too much to handle? And who are the mysterious group of women known as the Joy Brigade? (Source: Soho Crime)

St. Martin's

The Ties That Bind by Natalie R. Collins (St. Martin's 31 July 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: In her acclaimed thrillers, Natalie R. Collins reveals the secrets that lurk in every town, the darkness that lies in every heart, and the ties that bind every family—till death…

The first victim is found hanging from a tree in her backyard. A popular cheerleader in the small town of Kanesville, Utah, she appears to have committed suicide. As does the next girl…Then comes a third death, and a growing suspicion that these are not suicides at all. Police Detective Samantha Montgomery has seen her share of tragedy back in Salt Lake City—but this is different. This is methodical, planned, perfectly executed. This is the work of a serial killer.

Visiting Detective Gage Flint knows Sam from her Salt Lake City days. After a brutal case left her traumatized—and Gage broke her heart—Sam decided to return to her hometown, never thinking she'd have another chance to work with Gage…or that another case would hit so close to home. The deeper she digs into the murders, the more she uncovers about her own family's past. Somehow, the two seem connected—and Sam could be the next target of a killer's obsession… (Source: St. Martin's)

Stark House Press

Rough Riders by Charlie Stella (Stark House Press 31 July 2012 / $15.95) - Product Description: Washington Stewart used to be James Singleton, a drug dealing murderer now in the witness protection program. As Singleton he was shot in the face by a mobster (Eddie's World, 2001) and now is playing ball with the FBI as Stewart. Instead of a life sentence, he's given a new identity and another chance. If he helps the Feds sting a Las Vegas heroin connection running through Missouri and North Dakota, he'll keep his new life, courtesy of Uncle Sam.

But Stewart has his own plans, made with an air force colonel looking to get rid of his wandering wife. The colonel stumbled upon bundles of smuggled Afghani heroin and he sets up a scheme of his own to cash in. But he needs Stewart's help to do it, who still has a score to settle with the man who disfigured him for life. No problem, Stewart thinks, but before he can dodge the FBI, he has to deal with one of the NYPD detectives who came after him when he was Singleton.

There's too much money, too much crime, and too much murder for anything to work out quite like anyone thinks it will. (Source: Stark House Press)

The Feminist Press at CUNY

Mother Finds a Body (Femmes Fatales) by Gypsy Rose Lee (The Feminist Press at CUNY 03 July 2012 / $13.95) - Product Description: In this steamy sequel to The G-String Murders, Gypsy Rose Lee's noir thriller reads as if it's ripped from her own diary pages. When her mother finds a dead body in Gypsy's trailer during her honeymoon, Gypsy realizes that no one is who they seem to be, and everyone is worthy of suspicion. (see review)

Thomas Dunne Books

Ripper (Event Group) by David L. Golemon (Thomas Dunne Books 17 July 2012 / $25.99) - Product Description: Ripper is the latest in an action-packed series about the nation's most secret agency -- The Event Group. In 1887, the British Empire contracted brilliant American professor Lawrence Ambrose to create a mutant gene to turn an ordinary person into an aggressive fighting machine. But all too quickly, Ambrose was found to be behind a streak of vicious murders, and in a cover-up of massive proportions, Queen Victoria ordered the project, and Ambrose, terminated. Thus the legend of Jack the Ripper was born.

The killings stopped as suddenly as they had begun -- but not because Ambrose was caught. Instead, he escaped and returned home to America where he and his formula faded into history. But in 2012, a raid against a Mexican drug lord uncovers a small cache of antiquated notebooks containing long-buried instructions to create blind killers out of normal men. Enter the Event Group and Col. Jack Collins, who are desperate to stop one of their most feared enemies. When the formula is loosed in the underground halls and vaults of the Event Group complex itself, brother will battle brother, and for the first time in many men's brave lives they will understand the true meaning of fear.

(Source: Thomas Dunne Books)

Vintage

Blackjack: A Cross Novel (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by Andrew Vachss (Vintage 10 July 2012 / $13.95) - Product Description: Cross and his team claim to have identified a pattern to the signature-kills, and believe they can predict a forthcoming strike. They are prepared to personally confront-and-capture, but financial arrangement alone not sufficient. What you describe as a requested "Get out of Jail Free" card is hereby APPROVED. (Source: Vintage)

Crime and Guilt: Stories by Ferdinand von Schirach (Vintage 10 July 2012 / $13.95) - Product Description: From Ferdinand von Schirach, one of Germany's most prominent defense attorneys, comes a jolting debut collection of short stories that daringly brings to light the motivations stirring within the criminal mind. By turns witty and sorrowful, unflinchingly brutal and heartbreaking, the deeply affecting, quietly unnerving cases presented in Crime urge a closer examination of guilt and innocence.

In "Fähner," a small-town physician and avid gardener betrays little emotion when he takes an ax to his wife's head, an act that shocks the locals but provides a long-awaited reprieve for the good doctor. Abbas, a Palestinian refugee who is cornered into a life of crime, finds true love and seemingly a saving grace with a beautiful student named Stefanie in "Summertime." But when she is viciously murdered in a hotel room after having been paid to sleep with one of the country's wealthiest men, is Abbas to blame or is it the man who seems to have it all? And in the startling story "Love," a young man's infatuation with his girlfriend takes a grisly turn as he comes to grips with his unconventional—and uncontrollable—impulses to truly know a woman.

"Guilt," writes von Schirach, "always presents a bit of a problem." In this beautifully nuanced and telling collection, guilt is indeed never as clear-cut as the crime, and justice is more nebulous still. (see review)

Thick as Thieves by Peter Spiegelman (Vintage 10 July 2012 / $13.95) - Product Description:
TO: Mr. Boyce
FROM: Tina
SUBJECT: Prager job
PRIORITY: High
THE SCORE: $100 million in black money from Curtis Prager, hedge fund titan turned international criminal banker. A hard target, but a team of seasoned pros might pull it off.
THE CREW:
CARR—Ex-CIA. Expert planner and organizer, but a reluctant and untested leader.
VALERIE—Chameleon, honey trap, master manipulator, and lately, Carr’s lover. Has an agenda of her own—maybe more than one.
LATIN MIKE—Safecracker, muscle, a hot-headed hardcase.  Unhappy with Carr's management, but the promised payout from the Prager job has so far kept him in line.
BOBBY—Surveillance and security systems, and Latin Mike's running buddy.  If Mike is making his own play, Bobby's certain to be a part of it.
DENNIS—Ace hacker, youngest member of the team, brilliant but gun-shy.
The death of their old boss, Declan, on their last job, has left the crew tense and paranoid. The Prager job could leave them set for life if they don't self-destruct first.
UPDATE: A new security chief is beefing up protections around Prager's Cayman Islands front. Carr and his crew have to tighten their already punishing timetable. A nearly impossible job just got even harder. (Source: Vintage)

White Shotgun: An FBI Special Agent Ana Grey Novel by April Smith (Vintage 10 July 2012 / $13.95) - Product Description: FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION MEMORANDUM [TRUSTED AGENTS ONLY]
TO: SAC Robert Galloway, Los Angeles Field Office
FROM: Special Agent Dennis Rizzio, FBI LEGAT, Rome
SUBJECT: Special Agent ANA GREY
LOCATION: Siena, Italy
TARGET: NICOLI NICOSA, head of successful coffee import business. Suspected mafia involvement.
CONTACT: CECILIA MARIA NICOSA, wife of Nicoli Nicosa.  Popular socialite. Claims to be Special Agent Grey’s sister.
THE MISSION: Special Agent Grey to make close contact with Cecilia Maria Nicosa. Penetrate family. Investigate disappearance of mafia operative, LUCIA VINCENZA, Nicosa's mistress. Gather intelligence on Nicosa's possible ties to cocaine trafficking.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Special Agent Grey will arrive during Il Palio, a famous horse race and time of high tension in the city. Violent outbreaks among rival contradas (neighborhoods) are common.
WARNING: THE SOUTHERN MAFIAS HAVE BEEN MAKING STRONG INROADS IN THIS PART OF ITALY. MANY ENEMIES GO "WHITE SHOTGUN." THEY DISAPPEAR.
UPDATE: Cecilia Maria Nicosa has been kidnapped and their sixteen year-old son, Giovanni, severely beaten. Nicoli Nicosa suspicious of FBI involvement. Special Agent Grey to exercise extreme caution.

(Source: Vintage)

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