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US Books Received- 10/2013  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 Finder's Fee (A Missing Pieces Mystery) by Joyce and Jim Lavene (Berkley 01 October 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: The mayor of Duck, North Carolina, Dae O'Donnell, is a woman with a gift for finding lost things. Sometimes it leads her to lost keys or earrings--and sometimes it leads her to murder.

Two weeks before the mayoral election, Dae gets sidetracked from her political aspirations by a spirit in need of rescuing. An antique amber necklace allows Dae to connect with Maggie Madison, a witch who wants Dae to rebury her bones so she can rest in peace. But digging leads Dae to an even bigger mystery, a forty-year-old murder with ties to Randal "Mad Dog" Wilson, her mayoral opponent.

Dae wants to run a clean race, but town sentiment is mixed about whether she's using her abilities to get the election to go her way. And when she learns that her own grandfather--the former sheriff of Dare County--might be mixed up in the long-buried tragedy, Dae will have to uncover the real killer and put Maggie to rest, before her political career ends up six feet under. (Source: Berkley)

Afoot on St. Croix (Mystery in the Islands) by Rebecca M. Hale (Berkley 01 October 2013 / $7.99) - From author's website: For tourists, the idyllic island of St. Croix is a perfect escape from the world. For Charlie Baker, it's a trap. He hasn't set foot on the island since his life fell apart there ten years ago. But now his ex-wife is luring him back with a promise of a family reunion—a promise she keeps breaking.

He always knew Mira was a little crazy, but returning one last time—determined to see his children no matter what—he's about to discover just how crazy she is. And with a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows who could be the source of the terrifying Goat Foot Woman legend, he will also learn what dark fate the island has in store for him. (Source: Berkley)

Buried in Bargains (Good Buy Girls) by Josie Belle (Berkley 01 October 2013 / $7.99) - Book Description: Maggie Gerber and those discount divas, the Good Buy Girls, are gearing up for their first big holiday thrift shop sale. But one of the Girls—Joanne Claramotta, pregnant with her first child—is acting less than festive. It could be hormones. Or it could be Diane Jenkins, the young knockout her husband, Michael, hired as his new deli assistant.

Calming Joanne's nerves proves impossible when Maggie finds Michael unconscious on his deli floor--and with Diane next to him, strangled to death with her apron strings. Then Maggie discovers something even more disturbing.

There's no record of Diane having been hired. In fact, she has no history at all. It's as if she never even existed. Now Maggie fears that unwrapping Michael’s secrets could really kill her holiday spirit. (Source: Berkley)

Chili Con Carnage (A Chili Cook-Off Mystery) by Kylie Logan (Berkley 01 October 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: Romance is supposed to be the spice of life. But Maxie Pierce is so done with bad relationships--well, almost. She just has to get rid of the latest loser, Roberto. Besides, she has more important things to worry about. Her daddy, Texas Jack Pierce, king of the chili cook-off circuit, has been missing for nearly six weeks now. In his place, she must team up with her irritating half sister, Sylvia, to promote the family business at the Taos Chili Showdown, to be judged by celebrity chef Carter Donnelly.

But when Maxie discovers Roberto's body in the chef's trailer--only hours after publicly breaking up with him while wearing a giant red chili pepper costume--she suddenly finds she's the one in the spotlight as the police pepper her with questions. Now this Chili Chick needs to kick up the search to catch the real killer and get back to finding her father. (Includes recipes. First of a new series.) (Source: Berkley)

Drizzled with Death (A Sugar Grove Mystery) by Jessie Crockett (Berkley 01 October 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: Meet Dani Greene--a fourth-generation maple syrup maker dealing with a first-class troublemaker.

The annual pre-Thanksgiving pancake-eating contest is a big event in Sugar Grove, New Hampshire. It's sponsored by the Sap Bucket Brigade, aka the firefighters auxiliary, and the Greene family farm provides the syrup. But when obnoxious outsider Alanza Speedwell flops face first into a stack of flapjacks during the contest, Greener Pastures' syrup falls under suspicion.

Dani knows the police--including her ex-boyfriend--are barking up the wrong tree, and she's determined to pull her loved ones out of a very sticky situation. The odds may be stacked against her, but she's got to tap the real killer before some poor sap in her own family ends up trading the sugar house for the Big House. (Source: Berkley)

Ghost Gone Wild (Bailey Ruth, Ghost) by Carolyn Hart (Berkley 01 October 2013 / $25.95) - Product Description: Bailey Ruth loves to return to earth as an emissary from Heaven's Department of Good Intentions. Problem is, she's a bit of a loose cannon as far as ghosts go--forgetting to remain invisible, alarming earthly creatures--so she's far from the top of department head Wiggins's go-to list for assignments.

That's why she's surprised when the Heaven-sent Rescue Express drops her off at a frame house on the outskirts of her old hometown, Adelaide, Oklahoma, where a young man is playing the drums. What kind of rescuing does he need--drum lessons? But when a window cracks and a rifle barrel is thrust inside, only Bailey Ruth's hasty intervention saves Nick Magruder from taking a bullet. When she materializes to reassure him, she finds she can't go back to vanishing. What gives?

It turns out she's been tricked by Nick's late aunt--Delilah Delahunt Duvall--to come to the young man's rescue, which means she isn't back on earth in service of the department. Wiggins has no idea where she is--and now she may be trapped in Adelaide forever. Unless she can help Aunt Dee snare the person who wants her nephew dead. (Source: Berkley)

Gilt Trip (Scrapbooking) by Laura Childs with Diana Orgain (Berkley 01 October 2013 / $25.95) - Product Description: Louisiana businessman Jerry Earl Leland served only a fraction of his five-year sentence for white-collar crime, thanks to some political connections and a few greased palms. But he won't have long to enjoy his freedom.

After Jerry Earl's early release, his wife, Margo--a much-married Garden District doyenne--throws an extravagant Get Out of Jail Free Party, complete with a Zydeco band, champagne ice luge, and waiters in ties and tails. The guest list includes many prominent New Orleans socialites, as well as scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava Gruiex.  But sometime during the swirl of partying and drinking, Jerry Earl is brutally murdered--then stuffed inside a clothes dryer.

Carmela has earned a reputation around town for solving murders, and when the grieving widow turns to her for help, she can't say no. But Jerry Earl took a lot of people to the cleaners with his underhanded business tactics, so Carmela's going to be hard-pressed to identify which of his enemies was steamed enough to kill him. As she sorts through Jerry Earl's dirty laundry, she needs to collar the killer before another victim is set to tumble dry. (Scrapbooking Tips and Recipes Included) (Source: Berkley)

Golden Malicious (Orchard Mystery) by Sheila Connolly (Berkley 01 October 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: While orchard owner Meg Corey dreads the labor of manual irrigation to stave off a drought, her boyfriend, Seth, couldn't be more excited about doing historic renovation on one of Granford's oldest houses. Tagging along as he picks up supplies is supposed to give Meg a much-needed break, but the trip turns rotten when she almost trips over a dead body at an old saw mill's forest reserve.

But the body isn't the only frightening discovery she makes. A mysterious insect infestation seems to have migrated to the area--one that could bring serious harm to local woodlands. And it's up to Meg to find out what's behind this sudden swarm of trouble. (Includes Delicious Recipes) (Source: Berkley)

Mrs. Jeffries and the Merry Gentlemen (A Victorian Mystery) by Emily Brightwell (Berkley 29 October 2013 / $23.95) - Product Description: The holiday season brings a mix of merriment, mayhem, and murder. And it falls to Inspector Witherspoon--with a significant portion of help from the ever-watchful Mrs. Jeffries--to find the culprit.

Orlando Edison is a stockbroker using London's infatuation with foreign mining ventures to make a fortune. He has curried favor with the nation's most respected aristocrats, even inviting three of the most influential investors in England--known as the Merry Gentlemen--to be part of his latest enterprise.

Despite his mysterious past, Edison is now welcomed in the highest circles and moves with ease among the rich and powerful. Yet a few days before Christmas, he is found sprawled across his doorstep, murdered. Charismatic and charming, Edison was kind to his servants and generous with his friends. Why would someone want him dead?

Inspector Witherspoon and his household are all looking forward to the festive season. Witherspoon is eager to spend time with his godchild. Wiggins, the footman, is infatuated with football and would rather cheer goals than chase down clues. And Mrs. Goodge longs to bake recipes from the latest cookbooks. But they all know their duty, and led by the intrepid Mrs. Jeffries, they plan to see justice served for the holidays. (Source: Berkley)

Mulled Murder (Pennyfoot Holiday Mysteries) by Kate Kingsbury (Berkley 29 October 2013 / $15.00) - Product Description: With one of her housemaids leaving to get married, Cecily Sinclair Baxter wants nothing more for Christmas than some good help. Instead of visions of sugar plums, she's calling the plumber to deal with flooded bathrooms. Then there's the surly new janitor, who acts like he got coal in his stocking.

But as Cecily scrambles to hire and train new staff in time for the holidays, one of her guests is beyond help. Gerald Evans is found stabbed to death on the beach, and Cecily soon discovers he was a private investigator from London looking into dark doings involving the Pennyfoot. Who among the staff or guests was being pursued, and what secret drove that person to cold-blooded murder? (Source: Berkley)

Poisoned Prose (Books by the Bay) by Ellery Adams (Berkley 01 October 2013 / $7.99) - From author's website: When Olivia Limoges and other Oyster Bay patrons of the arts sponsor a retreat for famous storytellers, one of them is going to have a very unhappy ending.

Olivia thought gathering some of the most renowned storytellers in one place would be a nice, simple way for herself and the Bayside Book Writers to appreciate their talents. But things take a dark turn when the most famous storyteller in the nation—the captivating performer Violetta Devereaux--announces onstage that she will meet her end in Oyster Bay.

When Violetta is discovered murdered after the show, everyone involved with the retreat becomes a suspect. There are rumors that Violetta, who grew up in extreme poverty in the Appalachian Mountains, possessed an invaluable treasure. Now Chief Rawlings and the Bayside Book Writers must work at a frenzied pace to solve the crime before someone closes the book on them. (Source: Berkley)

Exhibit A

The Clearing by Dan Newman (Exhibit A 29 October 2013 / $14.99) - Product Description: "This childhood nightmare never went away..." In 1971, four boys walked into a jungle. Only three came back alive. They blamed what happened on a mythical monster, but no-one believed them. Forty years later, the truth is finally coming out...Journalist, Nate Mason, is one of the survivors. Haunted by memories he doesn't fully understand, he returns to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia to unravel the tragic events of his childhood. Back then, as the son of a diplomat, Nate was part of an elite social circle. This included the island's "royal family", the De Villiers, who owned a decaying mansion deep in the jungle, staffed by the descendants of slaves. It was here, during a weekend of whispered childhood secrets and dares, that Nate's innocence was torn apart. But Nate's not the only one obsessed with the demons in his past. Within hours of arriving back on the island, he becomes convinced he's being followed. But even though he soon realizes he's risking his sanity as well as his life, he can't stop himself from searching for the answers he came here to find. Can childhood nightmares haunt you for the rest of your life? How much do you need to believe in a monster for it to become real?

The Clearing is a dark and atmospheric psychological thriller, full of intrigue, terror and superstition, which examines our deep fear of the unknown. (Source: Exhibit A)

Five Star

Beyond Redress (Harry Brock) by Kinley Roby (Five Star 23 October 2013 / $25.95) - From publicity material: When PI Harry Brock commits himself to finding the killer of Henrico Perez, a prominent community activist, he soon learns that Gwyneth Benbow, the recently divorced, wealthy and beautiful socialite who hired him, is the leading suspect. When Gwyneth is wounded in an attempt on her life, Harry learns that she was a suspect in her first husband's death some years before. As Harry begins to unravel the contradictions, he is attacked and nearly killed. Once out of the hospital, he finds evidence to suggest Gwyneth's ex-husband may have reason to kill both her and Perez. Meanwhile, learning that his first wife is dying of cancer, Harry is drawn back into painful and unresolved conflicts from earlier in his life. (Source: Five Star)

Dazzled (Nikki Easton) by Maxine Numes (Five Star 23 October 2013 / $25.95) - From back of book: Nikki Easton had never seen anything like the battered girl on a gurney at the morgue. Nikki had seen brutality before. She'd been a fifteen-year-old runaway, she'd survived the streets and set down roots in the rootless city of Los Angeles. But was this really her best friend, a beautiful young actress on the verge of stardom? Nikki's relentless search for the truth lays bare secrets that have been buried for decades, and opens widening layers of corruption that reach far beyond Hollywood to the highest levels of government. (Source: Five Star)

Missing (Casey Jansen) by C.T. Jorgensen (Five Star 23 October 2013 / $25.95) - From back of book: Wrongly suspected of kidnapping a child, Karin Preston changed her name, moved frequently, and confided in no one when her own little girl was born. She kept her daughter a secret even from the child's father, Joe Canan, who left the country before he knew of her pregnancy. Distrustful and fiercely independent, Karin has reared her five-year-old daughter Haley entirely on her own. But it has been hard and lonely.

Then she meets Melanie Allen, another young mother who understands the stress of parenthood alone. Karin can barely believe her good fortune. Melanie is the perfect friend and the perfect babysitter. Until she and Haley disappear.

The first few hours are crucial, but the police are slow, their questions endless, their skepticism clear--especially when all evidence of Haley's existence seems to have vanished along with her. Detective Casey Jansen at first believes Karin is imagining things, possibly unstable. Then he connects her to the unsolved kidnapping six years prior, and things take a darker turn. How can Karin convince him she is innocent and her own child in danger? And when Joe arrives home unexpectedly, wanting to work things out, how can she tell him his child is missing--let alone explain why she hid Haley and is now running from the police?

Evil has planned carefully, Karin will need all her courage and wits to save her daughter and herself. (Source: Five Star)

Murder by Sunlight: The Charity Quilt by Barbara Graham (Five Star 23 October 2013 / $25.95) - From publicity material: Tennessee Sheriff Tony Abernathy and his small staff are hoping the upcoming celebration of the nation's birthday will be a quiet one. The quilters are hanging a show and antique cars promise to liven up the parade. Life is good. And then it's not. A man's body is found in a tree and suddenly the county's whole population seems embroiled in mischief, mayhem or murder. Sweet little ladies are fighting at funerals. An intruder attacks with a hammer and wrench. A woman is murdered, left in a greenhouse and plants are stolen. Blackmail, midnight memorials and a spy game complicate Tony's job. Theo, his wife is designing a mystery quilt and gathering clues at her shop, "gossip central". (see review)

Gallic Books

The Châtelet Apprentice (Nicholas Le Floch Investigation) by Jean-François Parot (Gallic Books 13 October 2013 / $15.95) - Book Description: France 1761. Beyond the glittering court of Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour at Versailles, lies Paris, a capital in the grip of crime and immorality …

A police officer disappears and Nicolas Le Floch, a young recruit to the force, is instructed to find him. When unidentified human remains suddenly come to light, he seems to have a murder investigation on his hands. As the city descends into Carnival debauchery, Le Floch will need all his skill, courage and integrity to unravel a mystery which threatens to implicate the highest in the land. (Source: Gallic Books)

Minotaur Books

Airtight by David Rosenfelt (Minotaur Books 29 October 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: Judge Daniel Brennan is only days away from achieving a seat on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals bench when he's brutally stabbed to death in his garage. An army of media and law enforcement descend on the case, and thousands of tips pour in from the public. When one tip leads New Jersey policeman Luke Somers to Steven Gallagher, things quickly go wrong, but Luke is instantly glorified for solving the case.

But to one man, Luke is no hero. Chris Gallagher raised his brother, Steven, almost single-handedly, and, certain that Steven is innocent, he won't rest until he sets the record straight. Thanks to Luke's newfound fame, he’s an easy man to find, and Chris quickly makes it clear that Luke's own brother will die if Luke refuses to help clear Steven’s name. So begins Luke’s desperate attempt to find another suspect--any other suspect--in Judge Brennan's death. But Luke’s investigation might open the door to powerful forces even more dangerous than Chris Gallagher.

Read our review of Airtight in our April 2013 issue. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Cold Snap (Lucy Kincaid Novels) by Allison Brennan (Minotaur Books 29 October 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: On his way home to San Diego, P.I. Patrick Kincaid takes a detour through San Francisco to check on the wellbeing of a family friend who's mysteriously been unreachable. What he doesn't expect is to be shot at before he can find out why attorney Elle Santana won't ask the police for help in finding a missing girl. Soon, he's on the run from both good guys and bad as he and Elle race to find the witness and take down a sweatshop run by a corrupt businessman with a penchant for violence.

Newly sworn FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid can't remember the last time she spent the holidays with her whole family, but getting home by December 25th is proving to be a bit of a problem. A blizzard shut down the airports and she and her boyfriend Sean Rogan are stuck in a Denver hotel ... with a dead body. And if that wasn't all, back in San Diego Colonel Kincaid ends up in the hospital, where an even greater danger awaits ... a man with a vendetta who will kill anyone who gets in his way. This Christmas, the Kincaid family needs nothing less than a miracle to survive. And time is running out. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Crooked Numbers (Raymond Donne) by Tim O'Mara (Minotaur Books 15 October 2013 / $25.99) - Product Description: Raymond Donne's former student Douglas Lee had everything going for him thanks to a scholarship to an exclusive private school in Manhattan, but all of that falls apart when his body is found below the Williamsburg Bridge with a dozen knife wounds in it. That kind of violence would normally get some serious attention from the police and media except when it's accompanied by signs that it could be gang related. When that's the case, the story dies and the police are happy to settle for the straightforward explanation. Dougie's mom isn't having any of that and asks Ray, who had been a cop before an accident cut his career short, to look into it, unofficially. He does what he can, asking questions, doling out information to the press, and filling in some holes in the investigation, but he doesn't get far before one of Dougie's private school friends is killed and another is put in the hospital.

What kind of trouble could a couple of sheltered kids get into that would end like that? And what does is have to do with Dougie's death? None of it adds up, but there's no way Ray can just wait around for something to happen. (see review)

Dead Man's Time (Det. Superintendent Roy Grace) by Peter James (Minotaur Books 15 October 2013 / $25.99) - Product Description: In Dead Man's Time, the latest from international bestselling author Peter James, Roy Grace finds himself up against that most dangerous of all adversaries—a man with fury in his heart who has nothing to lose.

New York, 1922. Five-year-old Gavin Daly and his seven-year-old sister, Aileen, are boarding the SS Mauretania to Dublin—and safety. Their mother has been shot and their Irish mobster father abducted. Suddenly, a messenger hands Gavin a piece of paper on which are written four names and eleven numbers, a cryptic message that will haunt him all his life, and his father's pocket watch.  As the ship sails, Gavin watches Manhattan fade into the dusk and makes a promise, that one day he will return and find his father.

Brighton, 2012.  Detective Superintendent Roy Grace investigates a savage burglary in Brighton, in which an old lady is murdered and £10m of antiques have been taken, including a rare vintage watch.  To Grace's surprise, the antiques are unimportant to her family—it is the watch they want back.  As his investigation probes deeper, he realizes he has kicked over a hornets nest of new and ancient hatreds.  At its heart is one man, Gavin Daly, the dead woman's ninety-five-year-old brother. He has a score to settle and a promise to keep--both of which lead to a murderous trail linking the antiques world of Brighton, the crime fraternity of Spain's Marbella, and New York. Roy Grace, in a race against the clock to stop another killing, has met his most dangerous adversary yet. (see review)

Duck the Halls: A Meg Langslow Mystery by Donna Andrews (Minotaur Books 22 October 2013 / $24.99) - Product Description: A few nights before Christmas, Meg is awakened when volunteer fireman Michael is summoned to the New Life Baptist Church, where someone has rigged a cage full of skunks in the choir loft. The lengthy process of de-skunking the church requires its annual pre-Christmas concert to relocate to Trinity Episcopal, where Mother insists the show must go on, despite the budget-related protests of Mr. Vess, an elderly vestryman.  Meanwhile, when Meg helps her grandfather take the skunks to the zoo, they discover that his boa has been stolen -- only to turn up later during the concert, slithering out from the ribbon-bedecked evergreens.  The next morning is Sunday, and the congregation of St. Byblig's, the local Catholic church, arrive to find it completely filled with several hundred ducks.

It's clear that some serious holiday pranksters are on the loose, and Meg is determined to find them.  But before she can, a fire breaks out at Trinity, and Mr. Vess is discovered dead. Who would have murdered such a harmless -- if slightly cranky -- old man? Who has the time during the busy holiday season to herd all of these animals into the town's churches?  And will Meg ever be able to finish all of her shopping, wrapping, cooking, caroling, and decorating in time for Christmas Eve? A Yuletide treasure for the ages, Duck the Halls is guaranteed to put the "ho ho hos" into readers' holidays. (see review)

Taken by the Wind (Jane Lawless Mysteries) by Ellen Hart (Minotaur Books 08 October 2013 / $25.99) - Product Description: Although Eric and Andrew have been trying to keep up a semblance of normal life, they know their thirteen-year-old son Jack has been having a tough time of it since they separated. They've been concerned, but now they're terrified--Jack has run away from home. It happened once before, just after the separation, but then it was only a matter of hours before Eric found him. This time, Jack disappeared with his cousin, and the two of them haven't been seen for more than twenty-four hours. Desperate, Eric and Andrew call on private investigator Jane Lawless, a friend of Andrew's from years ago. Despite the fact that her business partner, A.J. Nolan, is now in a wheelchair and struggling with depression, Jane agrees to help out. But after examining Eric and Andrew's home, Jane's first impression of the case isn't good--in fact, she's not convinced the boys ran away at all. She thinks they may have been abducted...or worse. (Source: Minotaur Books)

NAL

Murder, She Wrote: Close-Up On Murder by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain (NAL 01 October 2013 / $23.95) - Product Description: Cabot Cove is about to be invaded--by Hollywood. One of Jessica's older novels is being made into a big-budget movie. The producer has decided to shoot most of the film on location in town, since the book was loosely based on a murder that shocked Cabot Cove over a decade earlier.

The murder occurred when a judge was gunned down while walking her dog. The prime suspect: an enraged husband whom the judge ruled against in a child custody case. But further investigation pointed to the victim's own husband--and ultimately to his mistress, accused of eliminating her rival.

Unfortunately, everyone on the set has a hidden agenda. A novice director wants his shot at the big-time. A fading star, making a comeback, has many unreasonable demands. Her astrologer sees trouble in the stars. And a stranger on the movie lot is stalking Jessica.

But fiction and reality fatally collide when the actress playing the judge is shot--the only witness her dog--and there's a cast and crew of possible suspects. With tensions between locals and the Hollywood horde mounting, Jessica must find the killer before anyone else is left on the cutting-room floor. (Source: NAL)

Never Come Back by David Bell (NAL 01 October 2013 / $15.00) - Product Description: Elizabeth Hampton is consumed by grief when her mother dies unexpectedly. Leslie Hampton cared for Elizabeth's troubled brother Ronnie's special needs, assuming Elizabeth would take him in when the time came. But Leslie's sudden death propels Elizabeth into a world of danger and double lives that undoes everything she thought she knew....

When police discover that Leslie was strangled, they immediately suspect that one of Ronnie's outbursts took a tragic turn. Elizabeth can't believe that her brother is capable of murder, but who else could have had a motive to kill their quiet, retired mother?

More questions arise when a stranger is named in Leslie's will: a woman also named Elizabeth. As the family's secrets unravel, a man from Leslie's past who claims to have all the answers shows up, but those answers might put Elizabeth and those she loves the most in mortal danger. (Source: NAL)

The Chocolate Book Bandit (Chocoholic Mystery) by JoAnna Carl (NAL 01 October 2013 / $22.95) - Product Description: When it turns out a member of Warner Pier's library board has been living on borrowed time, Lee is determined to discover who wrote the victim's final chapter.

Running TenHuis Chocolade keeps Lee McKinney Woodyard busy enough, but now she's been offered two different positions in the town of Warner Pier--one on the tourism committee and another on the library board. To decide between the two, she goes to Warner Pier's historic library to check out the board's monthly meeting.

As usual, rumors are flying through the small town--this time, they're about the rugged new library director, Henry "Butch" Cassidy, and the changes he allegedly plans to make. Butch is indeed attractive--but Lee doesn't get a chance to find out about his proposed changes. A few minutes into the meeting, the discussion is interrupted by the terrified screams of the library clerk.

She has discovered the lifeless body of Abigail VanRoostock, a prim and proper retiring member of the board, crumpled in a heap at the bottom of the basement stairs. Suddenly, everyone in attendance, including Lee, is suspected in her murder. And as Lee finds out, they've all got something to hide. (Includes tasty chocolate trivia.) (Source: NAL)

Poisoned Pen Press

Now You See It (Grace Street Mysteries) by Jane Tesh (Poisoned Pen Press 08 October 2013 / $24.95) - Product Description: Private investigator David Randall, still struggling with guilt over his daughter Lindsey's death, can't bring himself to look at the DVD of her dance recitals. Fortunately, he's distracted by two cases: socialite Sandy Olaf's missing diamond bracelet, and a missing box magicians Taft and Lucas Finch say belonged to Houdini.

When Taft is found dead in a trunk at the Magic Club, Randall's suspects include the owner, Rahnee Nevis, who was in love with Taft; punk magician, WizBoy, who wants to run the club; the bartender, Jilly, who was also in love with Taft; and Jolly Bob, a washed up magician.

Meanwhile, Randall's friend Camden is concerned with losing his voice, his girlfriend Kary insists on being a magician's assistant, and Cam's girlfriend, Ellin, has to deal with overbearing Sheila Kirk, wife of a potential sponsor who insists on hosting the PSN's programs. (Source: Poisoned Pen Press)

Seventh Street Books

Styx & Stone (Ellie Stone) by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street Books 15 October 2013 / $15.95) - Product Description: Ellie Stone is a professed modern girl in 1960s' New York City, playing by her own rules and breaking boundaries while searching for a killer among the renowned scholars in Columbia University's Italian Department.

The identity of a girl wanting to do a man's job has throttled her for too long. It's 1960, and Ellie doesn't want to blaze any trails for women; she just wants to be a reporter, one who doesn't need to swat hands off her behind at every turn.

Adrift in her career, Ellie is back in New York City after receiving news that her estranged father, a renowned Dante scholar and distinguished professor, is near death after a savage bludgeoning in his home. The police suspect a routine burglary, but Ellie has her doubts. When a second attempt is made on her father's life, in the form of an "accident" in the hospital's ICU, Ellie's suspicions are confirmed.

Then another professor turns up dead, and Ellie's investigation turns to her father's university colleagues, their ambitions, jealousies, and secret lives. Ellie embarks on a thorny journey of discovery and reconciliation, as she pursues an investigation that offers her both a chance at redemption in her father's eyes, and the risk of losing him forever. (Source: Seventh Street Books)

White Ginger by Thatcher Robinson (Seventh Street Books 08 October 2013 / $15.95) - Product Description: Fierce loyalties, staunch compassion, and a weakness for strays lead Bai Jiang--San Francisco's best known souxun, or people finder--into violent conflicts that test her pacifist beliefs in the brutal world she lives in.

Armed with Buddhist philosophy and wicked knife skills, Bai Jiang works at being a better person by following her conscience, while struggling with what she likes to think of as "aggressive assertiveness."

When a girl goes missing in San Francisco's Chinatown, Bai is called upon as a souxun, a people finder, to track down the lost girl. The trail leads to wannabe gangsters, flesh peddlers, and eventually to those who have marked Bai for death.

Enlisting the aid of her closest friend and partner, Lee--a sophisticated gay man who protects her, mostly from herself--and Jason--a triad assassin and the father of her daughter--they follow the girl across the Bay and across the country. Bai confronts paid assassins and triad hatchet men, only to find that being true to her beliefs as a Buddhist and staying alive are often at odds. At the same time, fighting a faceless enemy who seems committed to having her killed fills her with anger and fear that sometimes turns into a burning rage with deadly consequences. (Source: Seventh Street Books)

Signet

Final Catcall: A Magical Cats Mystery by Sofie Kelly (Signet 01 October 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: With her sort-of boyfriend Detective Marcus Gordon calling it quits, and her ex-boyfriend Andrew showing up out of the blue from Boston, librarian Kathleen Paulson has more than enough drama to deal with—and that’s before a local theatre festival relocates to Mayville Heights. Now the town is buzzing with theatre folk, and many of them have their own private dramas with director, Hugh Davis.

When Davis is found shot to death by the marina, he leaves behind evidence of blackmail and fraud, as well as an ensemble of suspects. Now Kathleen, with a little help from her feline friends Owen and Hercules and their extraordinary abilities, has to catch a killer before another victim takes a final curtain call. (Source: Signet)

Murder and Marinara: An Italian Kitchen Mystery by Rosie Genova (Signet 01 October 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: Hit whodunit writer Victoria Rienzi is getting back to her roots by working at her family’s Italian restaurant. But in between plating pasta and pouring vino, she’ll have to find the secret ingredient in a murder....

When Victoria takes a break from penning her popular mystery series and moves back to the Jersey shore, she imagines sun, sand, and scents of fresh basil and simmering marinara sauce at the family restaurant, the Casa Lido. But her nonna’s recipes aren’t the only things getting stirred up in this Italian kitchen.

Their small town is up in arms over plans to film a new reality TV show, and when Victoria serves the show’s pushy producer his last meal, the Casa Lido staff finds itself embroiled in a murder investigation. Victoria wants to find the real killer, but there are as many suspects as tomatoes in Nonna’s garden. Now she’ll have to heat up her sleuthing skills quickly…before someone else gets a plateful of murder. (Source: Signet)

Murder at Hatfield House: An Elizabethan Mystery by Amanda Carmack (Signet 01 October 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: 1558. Kate Haywood, a simple musician in the employ of a princess, will find herself involved in games of crowns, while trying to solve the murder of the Queen’s envoy.

England is in tumult under the rule of Queen Mary and her Spanish husband. Under house arrest at Hatfield House, the young Princess Elizabeth is the country’s greatest hope. Far from court intrigues, Elizabeth finds solace in simple things: the quiet countryside and peaceful recreation, including the music of her chief musician and his daughter, Kate Haywood.

But Kate will prove herself most valuable, when an envoy of the Queen—sent to flush out heretics in the princess’s household—is found dead on the grounds of Hatfield House. Acting as Elizabeth’s eyes and ears, Kate is sent out on the trail of a killer whose mission could destroy her family, friends—and the future of England. (Source: Signet)

Soho Crime

The Monster of Florence by Magdalen Nabb (Soho Crime 01 October 2013 / $26.95) - Product Description: Based on a chilling true crime, The Monster of Florence follows the reopening of a cold case--a serial killer who targeted unmarried couples and terrorized Florence for two decades.

Marshal Guarnaccia's job with the carabinieri--the local Florentine police--usually involves restoring stolen handbags to grateful old ladies and lost cameras to bewildered tourists. So when he is assigned to work with the police in trying to track down a vicious serial killer, he feels out of his league. To make matters worse, the Proc he must report to is Simonetti, the same man he knows drove an innocent man to suicide several years earlier in his blind quest for a conviction. The Marshal can't let the stress of the case get to him if he wants to make sure justice is upheld. (Source: Soho Crime)

St. Martin's

Death, Taxes, and Green Tea Ice Cream (Tara Holloway) by Diane Kelly (St. Martin's 01 October 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: Fired. Tara Holloway can't believe it. After all she's done for the IRS, a few too many shots fired from her weapon and suddenly she's public enemy number one. To add insult to injury, another agent has replaced her, and a ten-million-dollar assault case is hanging over her head. So much for traveling to Tokyo with Special Agent Nick Pratt, former partner and current boyfriend. Tara's stuck in Texas, and using green tea ice cream to soothe her disappointment, as well as the terrifying prospect of a life behind bars.

Tara's former boss, Lu "Lobo" Lobozinski, has a plan--to stick Tara in auditing, where she can't possibly get into trouble. But between bumping into a college frenemy whose family business is under audit, Tara's stubborn determination to keep an eye on Nick behind the scenes, and her new long-range rifle, she's about to get a taste of just how dangerous her life can be, in Death, Taxes, and Green Tea Ice Cream from Diane Kelly. (Source: St. Martin's)

St. Martin's Griffin

J is for Judgment by Sue Grafton (St. Martin's Griffin 22 October 2013 / $14.99) - Product Description: "J" is for Jaffe: Wendell Jaffe, dead these past five years. Or so it seemed until his former insurance agent spotted him in the bar of a dusty little resort halfway between Cabo San Lucas and La Paz.

Five years ago, when Jaffe's thirty-five-foot Fuji ketch was found drifting off the Baja coast, it seemed a sure thing he'd gone overboard. The note he left behind admitted he was flat broke, his business bankrupt, his real estate gambit nothing but a huge Ponzi scheme about to collapse, with criminal indictment certain to follow. When the authorities soon after descended on his banks and his books, there was nothing left: Jaffe had stripped the lot.

But Jaffe wasn't quite without assets. There was the $500,000 life insurance policy made out to his wife and underwritten by California Fidelity. With no corpse to prove death, however, the insurance company was in no hurry to pay the claim. Dana Jaffe had to wait out the statutory five years until her missing husband could be declared legally dead. Just two months before Wendell Jaffe was sighted in that dusty resort bar, California Fidelity finally paid in full. Now they wanted the truth. And they were willing to hire Kinsey Millhone to dig it up.

As Kinsey pushes deeper into the mystery surrounding Wendell Jaffe's pseudocide, she explores her own past, discovering that in family matters as in crime, sometimes it's better to reserve judgment. (Source: St. Martin's Griffin)

Stockholm Text

Killer's Art (Anders Knutas Series) by Mari Jungstedt (Stockholm Text 15 October 2013 / $14.95) - Product Description: It is a cold wintry morning in the picturesque port town of Visby when art dealer Egon Wallin's battered and naked body is found hanging from a gate in the town's old city walls. When the famous painting "The Dying Dandy" is stolen in Stockholm, disturbing links to Wallin's murder slowly start to surface, taking the reader into the glittering world of the Swedish art elite and shadowy underground of prostitution and drugs. In this spine-tingling novel, superintendent Anders Knutas is facing one of the toughest investigations in his career.

After this weekend his well-ordered life would be turned upside-down, but he was the only one who knew what lay ahead. He had formulated the plans over the past six months, and now there was no going back. His twenty-year marriage would be over when Monday arrived. (Source: Stockholm Text)

Terry Odell

Dangerous Connections (Blackthorne, Inc.) by Terry Odell (Terry Odell 18 October 2013 / $3.99) - Product Description: The Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops team is back with another action-adventure romantic suspense from Terry Odell. This time, it's Computer Nerd meets Cartel Lord.

For Jinx, interacting with people is highly overrated. Computers are his life. On the job, he's an intel gathering expert for Blackthorne, Inc. Off duty, he's a shooter in computer role playing games. But what happens when he's sent into the field to face real enemies with real guns?

Josiah Ignatius Nix—Jinx to all who know him—is the glue holding the Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops teams together when they're on a mission. In the comfort of his basement office, with his favorite companions—his computers— a click of the mouse provides him with up-to-the-minute intel, which keeps the team alive.

Until the intel fails and a hostage rescue mission goes south. Both the hostage and team are captured, and the boss sends Jinx to the jungles of Mexico as an undercover field agent. The cartels have been kidnapping American engineers to build and maintain their private cell phone networks. Jinx's skills make him a prime target for capture, a way to infiltrate the cartel and rescue not only the company's client, but also the missing team of operatives.

Soon, he finds himself paired with Elle Sheridan, a cop whose missing sister is in the middle of a human trafficking ring. Will Elle be able to convince Jinx that Blackthorne's mission needs to be expanded to include rescuing her sister? And if she does, will the two of them be able to stay ahead of rival cartel leaders and get out alive to make some private connections of their own? (see review)

Tyrus Books

The Perils of Sherlock Holmes by Loren D. Estleman (Tyrus Books 18 October 2013 / $15.99) - Product Description: "The Hound of the Baskervilles." "A Scandal in Bohemia." "The Sign of the Four." These are just a few of the well-known mysteries solved by the one and only Sherlock Holmes. The legendary detective is one of the most enduring literary characters of all time, and he appears once more in The Perils of Sherlock Holmes. Each of these adventurous tales has been authorized by the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. While you may recognize some of these stories, others--such as "The Serpent's Egg"--are revealed for the very first time. Other works in this collection include three previously published essays that delve deeper into the daring world of Sherlock Holmes and the imaginative mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

(see review)

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