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US Books Received- 03/2014  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

Back Bay Books

Bay of Fires by Poppy Gee (Back Bay Books 11 March 2014 / $15.00) - Product Description: Sarah Avery's reckless behavior has cost her a job, her boyfriend, and the independence she desperately craves. While she is home (reluctantly) for the holidays in the tiny seaside town where her parents live, Sarah's hopes for calm are shattered when she finds the body of a young female backpacker washed up on the shore. A year earlier, another woman went missing and hasn't been seen since. Is there a killer in this quiet harbor?

The arrival of the journalist Hall Flynn to investigate the murder sets the locals reeling. Hall, haunted by demons of his own and yearning for a fresh start, will do whatever it takes to break the story. And Sarah will do whatever it takes to keep her own secrets safe. (Source: Back Bay Books)

Berkley

Helsinki Blood (An Inspector Vaara Novel) by James Thompson (Berkley 04 March 2014 / $15.00) - Product Description: James Thompson's incomparable Inspector Vaara is back in a new chilling Nordic mystery.

An Estonian woman begs Inspector Kari Vaara to find her daughter, Loviise, a young woman with Down syndrome who was promised work and a better life in Finland... and has since disappeared.

One more missing girl is a drop in the barrel for a police department that is understaffed and overburdened, but for Kari, the case is personal: it's a chance for redemption, to help the victims his failed black-ops unit was intended to save, and to prove to his estranged wife, Kate, that he's still the man he once was.

His search will lead him from the glittering world of Helsinki's high-class clubs to the darkest circles of Finland's underground trade in trafficked women and straight into the path of Loviise's captors, who may be some of the most untouchable people in the country. (Source: Berkley)

How to Paint a Cat (Cats and Curios Mystery) by Rebecca M. Hale (Berkley 04 March 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: San Francisco isn't the biggest city in the country, but it feels pretty vast when you're canvassing its neighborhoods looking for clues to your missing uncle's hidden location. Aided by my two cats, Rupert and Isabella, I try to follow Uncle Oscar's painted clues on a trail that leads from Coit Tower's famous murals through San Francisco's New Deal art--all while hoping my uncle's sudden disappearance is unrelated to the murdered intern at City Hall.

Just when it seems our search has hit a wall, we receive some surprising help from beyond. But will it be enough to save us from our own brushes with death? Here's hoping we don't paint ourselves into a corner. (Source: Berkley)

Iced to Death (Gourmet De-Lite) by Peg Cochran (Berkley 04 March 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Gigi Fitzgerald, owner of Gigi's Gourmet De-Lite, knows how to put her clients' cravings on ice. But catching a slippery killer is more of a challenge.

Gigi's business may be hot, but her home life is leaving her cold. Her sister, Pia, has dropped in for an unannounced visit and, much to Gigi's chagrin, has immediately fallen for handsome bar owner Declan McQuaid. So when Declan asks Gigi to help him prep for a big engagement party, she's not only dealing with the heat of the kitchen and her own feelings for Declan, but Pia's jealousy.

However, Gigi's rising temperature quickly chills when the host of the party is found stabbed to death with an ice pick in back of the pub. Now, as Gigi's beau, Detective Mertz, hones in on Declan as a possible murderer, Gigi will have to shave down the growing list of suspects quickly, before Pia's newfound love interest finds himself locked in the cooler. (Includes recipes.) (Source: Berkley)

Inherit the Word (A Cookbook Nook Mystery) by Daryl Wood Gerber (Berkley 04 March 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Jenna Hart moved back to Crystal Cove, California, to recapture her joie de vivre and to help her aunt Vera run the local culinary bookshop and café. But it's hard to follow a simple recipe for relaxation when murder gets thrown in the mix.

The Cookbook Nook is set to host the town's upcoming Grill Fest, a tasty tradition which pits local amateur chefs against one another to concoct the most delicious dishes. This year's challenge: grilled cheese. But with competing chefs bearing grudges from past years, more mouths are running off than savoring the fare.

The expression "too many cooks" proves all too true when the eight-time champ is found murdered in the alley behind the café. Soon a local diner owner (and Jenna's "second mother") is suspected of bumping off the competition, and Jenna has to douse the flames before the wrong person gets burned. (see review)

Keeping Mum (A Garden Society Mystery) by Alyse Carlson (Berkley 04 March 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Roanoke, Virginia, is home to some of the country's most exquisite gardens, and it's Camellia Harris's job to promote them. But when a political fundraiser turns deadly, everyone's a candidate for murder.

Cam and her best friend, Annie, are planning a gala for a local Senate candidate--a murder mystery themed silent auction where the guests bid on who will be the night's "victim". Coordinating a beautiful display of fall flowers and planning the perfect fake crime is hard enough, but with a guest list that is a "who's who" of the Roanoke elite, Cam has her hands full navigating the egos and grudges of her high society guests.

When local financial tycoon Derrick Windermere is found dead next to a shattered pot of chrysanthemums, the night's fun and games quickly turn serious. Half the guests had good reason to want Windermere dead, but only one is suspiciously missing in action--Annie's father. Now Cam will not only have to figure out which partygoer is a killer, but find her friend's father before all their reputations end up dragged through the mud. (Source: Berkley)

Pearls and Poison (A Consignment Shop Mystery) by Duffy Brown (Berkley 04 March 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's election time in Savannah, Georgia, and Judge Guillotine Gloria--aka Reagan Summerside's mom--is neck and neck in the polls with Kip "Scummy" Seymour.  But the already dirty campaign is about to get downright filthy--with one candidate getting buried six feet under.

With her strong opinions and knack for getting into trouble, Reagan is not an ideal volunteer for her mother's alderman campaign. Plus, she'd rather be running her consignment shop, the Prissy Fox, and eating doughnuts with her dog, Bruce Willis. But when her mother's opponent, Kip, is found poisoned and her mother is pegged as a suspect, Reagan nominates herself as lead murder investigator.

Reagan is intent on finding Kip's killer and clearing her mother's good name, but she soon finds herself on the bad side of Kip's enemies-turned-suspects. This time, no amount of costumes and makeup can keep her inconspicuous and out of danger. Because the closer Reagan gets to the truth, the hotter things get. (Source: Berkley)

Shunned and Dangerous (Amish Mystery) by Laura Bradford (Berkley 04 March 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Living in the small town of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, Claire Weatherly has come to admire the Amish for their wholesome, honest way of life. But she also knows that nothing is as simple as it seems--especially when murder disturbs the peace.

Claire has always been game for a good puzzle, so when she hears that Mose Fisher has made one of his famous corn mazes, she can't wait to walk the paths and test her skill. But she'll have a much more serious puzzle to solve when, deep inside the maze, she discovers the body of Amish dairy farmer Harley Zook.

It won't be easy for Detective Jakob Fisher to investigate a murder on his own father's farm--not after being shunned by the man for leaving the Amish community and becoming a cop. With Mose himself as a suspect, and old family secrets cropping up, it's up to Claire to help catch the killer before she finds herself at a dead end. (Source: Berkley)

Steeped in Evil (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs (Berkley 04 March 2014 / $25.95) - Product Description: In the newest mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Sweet Tea Revenge, Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is about to learn the true meaning of terroir.

Theodosia Browning has never considered herself a wine connoisseur--tea has always been her forte. But that doesn't mean she's going to pass up an invitation to a fancy wine-tasting party at the upscale Knighthall Winery, just outside of Charleston, South Carolina.

But a sweet evening takes on a bitter aftertaste when a dead body is discovered in one of the wine barrels. The son of proprietor Jordan Knight has been murdered.

Dissatisfied with the police investigation, Knight turns to Theo for help. She's heard through the grapevine that there are both family and business problems at Knighthall. They say in vino veritas, but everyone at the winery seems to be lying through their teeth. Sorting through the guest list as well as family and staff, Theo has her pick of suspects. It may look like the killer has her over a barrel, but cracking tough cases is vintage Theodosia Browning. (Source: Berkley)

Sweet Tea Revenge (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs (Berkley 04 March 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: In the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Agony of the Leaves, Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning may always be a bridesmaid, never a bride, but this groom is never going to make it to the altar.

Theodosia Browning's dear friend, Delaine Dish, has asked her to be a bridesmaid for her wedding. But when the big day arrives, everything seems to be going wrong. First, a massive storm is brewing over Charleston. A bad omen? Second, Delaine's maid of honor is late for the ceremony. And finally, the groom not only has cold feet—his whole body is cold. A murderer has crashed the wedding.

As Theodosia comforts a devastated Delaine, she needs to sort out the suspects on the groom's side from the suspects on the bride's side. One thing soon becomes apparent—revenge won't be the only dish served cold at this wedding. And if Theodosia doesn't watch her step, a cold-blooded killer may have a rude reception in store for her. (Includes Recipes and Tea Time Tips.) (Source: Berkley)

Doubleday

The Setup Man by T.T. Monday (Doubleday 11 March 2014 / $24.95) - Product Description: Johnny Adcock is an aging Major League pitcher with the perfect retirement plan--he moonlights as a private investigator. Major League Baseball, as it turns out, is a prime source of employment for a philosophically inclined, discreet detective who has both the brains and the brawn to handle the unique problems of professional athletes. Those infamous baseball salaries attract gangsters, hustlers, and predators of every persuasion who prey on the outsized egos of primetime stars. When players, coaches, agents, or wives have a problem they can't make public, they call Johnny Adcock.

On the team bus after a game, teammate Frankie Herrera confides in Adcock that he has a "problem with his wife". What sounds like the standard story of a pro athlete's marriage gone sour quickly turns into the most dangerous case of Adcock's second career when Frankie is killed in a car accident, leaving far too many questions unanswered.

The investigation takes Adcock into uncharted territory, drawing him into a deadly ring of murder, porn, Mexican cartels, and a conspiracy that threatens to become the biggest scandal to hit baseball since HGH and steroids. (Source: Doubleday)

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Decoded by Mai Jia (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 18 March 2014 / $26.00) - Product Description: One of China's bestselling novels, an unusual literary thriller that takes us deep into the world of code breaking

In his gripping debut novel, Mai Jia reveals the mysterious world of Unit 701, a top-secret Chinese intelligence agency whose sole purpose is counterespionage and code breaking.

Rong Jinzhen, an autistic math genius with a past shrouded in myth, is forced to abandon his academic pursuits when he is recruited into Unit 701. As China's greatest cryptographer, Rong discovers that the mastermind behind the maddeningly difficult Purple Code is his former teacher and best friend, who is now working for China's enemy—but this is only the first of many betrayals.

Brilliantly combining the mystery and tension of a spy thriller with the psychological nuance of an intimate character study and the magical qualities of a Chinese fable, Decoded discovers in cryptography the key to the human heart. Both a riveting mystery and a metaphysical examination of the mind of an inspired genius, it is the first novel to be published in English by one of China's greatest and most popular contemporary writers. (see review)

Five Star

Murder On Insel Poel by D-L Nelson (Five Star 19 March 2014 / $25.95) - Book Description: Annie Young's forte is tech writing and historical research. But with disconcerting frequency as she travels for projects around the world, she finds herself in the middle of murder investigations.

American-born Annie thinks she's landed an easy assignment translating a book about the small northern Germany island of Insel Poel and some museum information. Then she stumbles upon the bodies of two young Asian women, washed ashore from who knows where. Her visit to the quaint island is compounded by a disturbing case of a teenage girl being abused by her new stepfather.

Despite the protestations of her fiancé, a police chief in southern France, Annie gets steadily more involved.

Woven through the mystery are the stories of a WWII concentration camp survivor, an RAF pilot and a vicar's daughter, each with a unique historical connection to the beach at Insel Poel.

When Annie gets too close to the truth behind the murders, she becomes the next target. (see review)

Spirits Revived by Alice Duncan (Five Star 19 March 2014 / $25.95) - From publicity material: When a real live (or dead) spirit invades Daisy Gumm Majesty's body as she's conducting a séance claiming he was murdered, Daily is not only shocked and afraid but curious. She's a fake spiritualist, for heaven's sake. How did a real spirit manage to speak through her? And who killed Eddie Hastings? Why did the Pasadena Police Department pass off his death as suicide? She can't tell anyone, least of all Detective Sam Rotondo, how she received the information that Eddie Hastings was murdered. They'd all laugh at her. Sam had been Daisy's late husband's best friend. He is more than a little distressed when Daisy begins to investigate Eddie Hasting's death on her own. (Source: Five Star)

The Detective by James Patrick Hunt (Five Star 19 March 2014 / $25.95) - Book Description: Chicago, 1979. On the heels of one of the harshest blizzards ever to hit the city, five people have been murdered at a train stop. One of the victims is Rabbi Nathan Wald, a political activist who may have been targeted by the Illinois Neo-Nazis. Detective David Beckham is assigned to the case for all the wrong reasons. He's new to Homicide and unwelcome by his supervising officer, longtime veteran Sergeant Tom Regan. They are two men with different backgrounds, and very different worldviews. Together they'll have to wade through all the lowlifes, haters, and sleazy politicians of Chicagoland to find the killer. (Source: Five Star)

The Gordian Knot Undone by Valerie Benzley (Five Star 19 March 2014 / $25.95) - From publicity material: Jess Stranahan is a wife, mother, and teacher, with a seemingly perfect life. Then her mother, recently released from prison after serving twenty years for murder, seeks her out. Jess has done everything possible to distance herself from her chaotic childhood, but now Mama is back. As Jess becomes increasingly taken over by nightmares and flashbacks from the past, Mama's influence over her eldest daughter grows. An unexplained death and a poisoning attempt convince Jess that she must take drastic action to sever the knot that malevolently binds three generations. (Source: Five Star)

Forge Books

Don't Look for Me: An Amos Walker Novel by Loren D. Estleman (Forge Books 18 March 2014 / $26.99) - Product Description: Amos Walker doesn't mean to walk into trouble. But sometimes it finds him, regardless. The missing woman has left a handwritten note that said, "Don't look for me." Any P.I. would take that as a challenge, especially when he found out that she'd left the same message once before, when having an illicit affair.

But this time it's different. The trail leads Walker to an herbal remedies store, where the beautiful young clerk knows nothing about the dead body in the basement...or about any illegal activity that might be connected to the corpse. She is, however, interested in Walker's body, and he discovers he's interested in hers as well.

But he can't tarry long, for the Mafia could be involved…or maybe there's a connection to the porno film studio where the missing woman's former maid now works. But when two Mossad agents accost Walker--and then are brutally killed--he realizes he's discovered a plot far darker run by someone more deadly than either the Detroit Mafia or a two-bit porn pusher.

Who--or what--could be so viciously murderous? Walker has few clues, and knows only that with every new murder he is no closer to solving the case. When he finally gets a break, he recognizes the silken, deadly hand of a nemesis who nearly killed him twice before…and this time may finish the job. (Source: Forge Books)

Providence Rag: A Liam Mulligan Novel by Bruce DeSilva (Forge Books 11 March 2014 / $25.99) - Product Description: Liam Mulligan is an old-school investigative reporter for a dying newspaper in Providence, Rhode Island. Mulligan knows every street and alley, every priest and prostitute, every cop and street thug. He knows the mobsters and politicians—who are pretty much one and the same.

Inspired by a true story, Providence Rag finds Mulligan, his pal Mason, and the newspaper they both work for at an ethical crossroad. The youngest serial killer in history butchered five of his neighbors before he was old enough to drive. When he was caught eighteen years ago, Rhode Island's antiquated criminal statutes--never intended for someone like him--required that all juveniles, no matter their crimes, be released at age twenty-one. The killer is still behind bars, serving time for crimes supposedly committed on the inside. That these charges were fabricated is an open secret; but nearly everyone is fine with it--if the monster ever gets out more people will surely die. But Mason is not fine with it. If officials can get away with framing this killer they could do it to anybody. As Mason sets out to prove officials are perverting the justice system, Mulligan searches frantically for some legal way to keep the monster behind bars. The dueling investigations pit the friends against each other in a high-stakes race against time--and snares them in an ethical dilemma that has no right answer. (see review)

Kathy Dawson Books

Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano (Kathy Dawson Books 25 March 2014 / $17.99) - Product Description: Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school--a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance... on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon--she'll be next. (see review)

Kensington

Murder at the Breakers (A Gilded Newport Mystery) by Alyssa Maxwell (Kensington 25 March 2014 / $15.00) - Product Description: Clues lead Emma from posh Bellevue Avenue across the bustling seaport to the modest Point neighborhood where she grew up, and to suspects who hail from America's most powerful families. While being the granddaughter several generations removed from Cornelius "The Commodore" Vanderbilt gives her the connections she needs to investigate high society, it's her Newport roots that will provide her with the stubbornness and fortitude to confront a murderer. (Source: Kensington)

Minotaur Books

I Remember You: A Ghost Story by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Minotaur Books 25 March 2014 / $15.99) - Product Description: I Remember You won the Icelandic Crime Fiction Award and also was nominated for The Glass Key Award.

In this terrifying tale, three friends set to work renovating a rundown house in a remote, totally isolated location. But they soon realize they are not as alone as they thought. Something wants them to leave. Meanwhile, in a nearby town, a young doctor investigating the suicide of an elderly woman discovers that she was obsessed with his vanished son. When the two stories collide, the shocking truth becomes horribly clear.

In the vein of Stephen King and John Ajvide Lindqvist partly based on a true story, is the scariest novel yet from Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, who has captivated the attention of readers around the world with her mystery series featuring attorney Thora Gudmundsdottir. Now, Yrsa will stun readers once again with this out-of-this-world ghost story that will leave you shivering. (Source: Minotaur Books)

The Coal Black Asphalt Tomb (Berger and Mitry) by David Handler (Minotaur Books 25 March 2014 / $25.99) - Product Description: The historic New England village of Dorset has actually elected a living, breathing woman as its First Selectman. And now she's about to undertake the Historic District's biggest public works project in a generation--the widening and re-grading of Dorset Street. The job has needed doing for ages but the  previous First Selectman, Bob Paffin, always opposed it. So did a lot of Dorset's blue-blooded old guard.

The long put-off dig uncovers a body buried underneath the pavement in front of the Congregational Church. It belongs to Lt. Lance Paffin, Bob Paffin's older brother, a dashing U.S. Navy flyer who went missing off his sailboat the night of the country club's spring dance more than forty years ago. Everyone had assumed he just left town. But now it's clear Lance has been under Dorset Street this whole time, and that he was murdered.

Des and Mitch soon discover that there are deep, dark secrets surrounding Dorset's elite, and some very distinguished careers have been built on lies. (see review)

The Revenant of Thraxton Hall: The Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Vaughn Entwistle (Minotaur Books 25 March 2014 / $25.99) - Product Description: Arthur Conan Doyle has just killed off Sherlock Holmes in "The Final Problem", and he immediately becomes one of the most hated men in London. So when he is contacted by a medium "of some renown" and asked to investigate a murder, he jumps at the chance to get out of the city. The only thing is that the murder hasn't happened yet--the medium, one Hope Thraxton, has foreseen that her death will occur at the third séance of a meeting of the Society for Psychical Research at her manor house in the English countryside.

Along for the ride is Conan Doyle's good friend Oscar Wilde, and together they work to narrow down the list of suspects, which includes a mysterious foreign Count, a levitating magician, and an irritable old woman with a 'familiar'. Meanwhile, Conan Doyle is enchanted by the plight of the capricious Hope Thraxton, who may or may not have a more complicated back-story than it first appears. As Conan Doyle and Wilde participate in séances and consider the possible motives of the assembled group, the clock ticks ever closer to Hope's murder. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Without Warning by David Rosenfelt (Minotaur Books 25 March 2014 / $25.99) - Product Description: Years ago, Katie Sanford's husband was convicted of the murder of Jenny Robbins, then died himself in prison. It's a small town and memories are long, and Katie and Jenny's husband, Chief of Police Jake Robbins, have had to work at putting the tragedy behind them. But it's all brought up again in the wake of a hurricane which has just wreaked havoc on their quiet Maine town. Since its founding, Wilton has had a quaint tradition of creating a time capsule every fifty years, and the storm unearthed the most recent capsule. As the editor of the local paper, Katie joins Chief Robbins to supervise its opening. Neither of them is prepared for the macabre set of predictions, dating back to months before Jenny's murder, that they find inside. Someone predicted her death, as well as eleven other tragedies, which are still occurring even long after the death of Katie's husband.

At last, after all these years, Katie has reason to hope that her husband might not have been guilty of Jenny's murder after all. But as she and Jake race to stop the next predictions from coming true, they find themselves caught in a terrifying mind game with no rules...and life or death consequences.

In Without Warning, David Rosenfelt has written another tightly plotted thriller that will hold readers in its grip from the opening page all the way through to the stunning conclusion. (see review)

Wrecked (Josie Gray Mysteries) by Tricia Fields (Minotaur Books 04 March 2014 / $25.99) - Product Description: Police Chief Josie Gray is living every cop's worst nightmare: a murder suspect who she knows personally. Even worse, it's her longtime boyfriend, Dillon Reese.

Dillon's secretary has been murdered, and now Dillon's disappeared. Josie has no choice but to relinquish the investigation to a fellow officer, giving up control of a case that matters more than any other. As suspicions split the department, Josie struggles with her choices on the night she last saw Dillon. If she had acted on her instincts, would the innocent woman still be alive?

Unable to stay on the sidelines, Josie investigates on her own terms--and uncovers a plot that could bring the killer millions. Now she must make a choice between her oath as an officer and her personal desire to get revenge. (see review)

NAL

Why Kings Confess: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery by C.S. Harris (NAL 04 March 2014 / $24.95) - Product Description: The gruesome murder of a young French physician draws aristocratic investigator Sebastian St. Cyr and his pregnant wife, Hero, into a dangerous, decades-old mystery as a wrenching piece of Sebastian's past puts him to the ultimate test.

Regency England, January 1813: When a badly injured Frenchwoman is found beside the mutilated body of Dr. Damion Pelletan in one of London's worst slums, Sebastian finds himself caught in a high-stakes tangle of murder and revenge. Although the woman, Alexi Sauvage, has no memory of the attack, Sebastian knows her all too well from an incident in his past--an act of wartime brutality and betrayal that nearly destroyed him.

As the search for the killer leads Sebastian into a treacherous web of duplicity, he discovers that Pelletan was part of a secret delegation sent by Napoleon to investigate the possibility of peace with Britain. Despite his powerful father-in-law's warnings, Sebastian plunges deep into the mystery of the "Lost Dauphin", the boy prince who disappeared in the darkest days of the French Revolution, and soon finds himself at lethal odds with the Dauphin's sister--the imperious, ruthless daughter of Marie Antoinette--who is determined to retake the French crown at any cost.

With the murderer striking ever closer, Sebastian must battle new fears about Hero's health and that of their soon-to-be born child. When he realizes the key to their survival may lie in the hands of an old enemy, he must finally face the truth about his own guilt in a past he has found too terrible to consider. (Source: NAL)

Perfect Crime Books

The Bad Wife: A Kim Reynolds Mystery by Jacqueline Seewald (Perfect Crime Books 21 March 2014 / $14.95) - Product Description: Kim Reynolds, a reluctant sleuth with mild psychic powers, hopes for a normal life with her policeman lover Mike Gardner. But when Gardner's supposedly "ex" wife returns, Kim's life is turned upside down. And when the "ex" ends up dead, it looks like Mike decided to end the marriage for good. (see review)

Ransom Note Press

The Outsmarting of Criminals (Felicity Prim) by Steven Rigolosi (Ransom Note Press March 18, 2014 / ) - From publicity material: After being mugged, Miss Prim decides to leave New York City and purchase a home in the country, where she will be safe from dangerous criminals. A devoted reader of crime fiction, Miss Prim believes that her reading of detective novels has given her all the skills she needs to become an amateur sleuth in her new home base of Greenfield, Connecticut. Miss Prim gets the chance to prove her mettle when she finds a corpse in her basement. As she investigates (with her trusty Boxer, Bruno, at her side), Miss Prim begins to suspect that someone in Greenfield is watching her every move, waiting for the right moment to strike. Will Miss Prim, with her insights into human behavior and her steadfast refusal to rely on forensic techniques (which she considers the crutches of lazy investigators), be able to choose between two devoted suitors, save herself, and bring everything to a satisfactory resolution? (see review)

Seventh Street Books

In the Morning I'll Be Gone (Det. Sean Duffy) by Adrian Mckinty (Seventh Street Books 04 March 2014 / $15.95) - Product Description: A Catholic cop tracks an IRA master bomber amidst the sectarian violence of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

The early 1980s. Belfast. Sean Duffy, a conflicted Catholic cop in the Protestant RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary), is recruited by MI5 to hunt down Dermot McCann, an IRA master bomber who has made a daring escape from the notorious Maze Prison. In the course of his investigations Sean discovers a woman who may hold the key to Dermot's whereabouts; she herself wants justice for her daughter who died in mysterious circumstances in a pub locked from the inside. Sean knows that if he can crack the "locked room mystery," the bigger mystery of Dermot's whereabouts might be revealed to him as a reward. Meanwhile the clock is ticking down to the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton in 1984, where Mrs. Thatcher is due to give a keynote speech. (Source: Seventh Street Books)

Severn House

Grey Howl (Dulcie Schwartz) by Clea Simon (Severn House 01 March 2014 / $27.95) - Product Description: A prestigious literature conference is convening in Cambridge and Dulcie Schwartz is the university liaison for the event, meeting and greeting some of the finest minds in her field.

But events do not run according to plan when one scholar's presentation is sabotaged while another visiting professor disappears. As Dulcie and her boyfriend Chris struggle to solve problems and soothe egos, a strange apparition starts to haunt the bi-annual event. And even Mr Gray, the ghost of Dulcie's late, great cat, appears to be overwhelmed, leaving Dulcie to manage an increasingly backstabbing crew of professional rivals, one of whom may be a killer. (see review)

Signet

Dead Between the Lines: A Devereaux's Dime Store Mystery by Denise Swanson (Signet 04 March 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Opening an old-fashioned five-and-dime shop in her small Missouri hometown has been a great change for Devereaux "Dev" Sinclair. But when she hosts a reading group there, she learns that bad writing can mean life or death.

To keep her new business in the black, Dev opens up her shop to local clubs. But in the first meeting of the Stepping Out Book Club, the speaker storms out after members attack his poetry's sexism and scorn for small towns. Later that night, the poet's body is found outside Dev's store.

Dev can't afford for the murder to close her down, so she does a little stepping out of her own to investigate, with help from her two sexy suitors, Dr. Noah Underwood and Deputy U.S. Marshal Jake Del Vecchio. But when the killer threatens Dev, they will have to use every trick in the book to solve the case before she becomes the final chapter in this murder mystery. (see review)

Spinning in Her Grave: A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery by Molly MacRae (Signet 04 March 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Kath Rutledge is settling in as the owner of the Weaver's Cat, a fiber and fabric shop in Blue Plum, Tennessee. But nothing, not even the ghost haunting her shop, prepares her for the mystery that will leave the whole town spinning.

It's time for Blue Plum's annual historical festival, and everyone--including Kath and her spunky fiber and needlework group, TGIF--is getting in on the action. Expert spinners are being gathered, and a businessman has approached Kath about using the second-floor windows of her store for part of a reenactment. But the reenactment ends in real-life bloodshed when local baker Reva Louise Snapp is shot--with a bullet from a modern-day gun.

Kath has her theories about who wanted to end Reva Louise's life. But there's also talk of a sniper stalking Blue Plum, and Kath's shop is suspected to be the murderer's hideout. Now Kath, her TGIF pals, and the gloomy ghost, Geneva, must unravel the mystery quickly, or someone else might be left hanging by a thread. (Source: Signet)

Soho Crime

Murder at Cape Three Points (Darko Dawson) by Kwei Quartey (Soho Crime 18 March 2014 / $26.95) - Product Description: At Cape Three Points on the beautiful Ghanaian coast, a canoe washes up at an oil rig site. The two bodies in the canoe--who turn out to be a prominent, wealthy, middle-aged married couple—have obviously been murdered; the way Mr. Smith-Aidoo has been gruesomely decapitated suggests the killer was trying to send a specific message—but what, and to whom, is a mystery. The Smith-Aidoos, pillars in their community, are mourned by everyone, but especially by their niece Sapphire, a successful pediatric surgeon in Ghana's capital, Accra. She is not happy that months have passed since the murder and the rural police have made no headway.

When the Ghanaian federal police finally agree to get involved, Detective Inspector Darko Dawson of the Accra police force is sent out to Cape Three Points to investigate. Pretty as the coast is, he is not happy to be sent away from his wife and two sons, the younger of whom is recovering from a heart operation. And the more he learns about the case, the more convoluted and dangerous it becomes. Three Points has long been inhabited by tribal villages of subsistence fishers, but real estate entrepreneurs and wealthy oil companies have been trying to bribe the tribes to move out. Dawson roots out a host of motives for murder, ranging from personal vendettas to corporate conspiracies. (see review)

Murder in Pigalle (Aimee Leduc) by Cara Black (Soho Crime 04 March 2014 / $27.95) - Product Description: June, 1998: Paris's sticky summer heat is even more oppressive than usual as rowdy French football fans riot in anticipation of the World Cup. Private Investigator Aimée Leduc has been trying to slow down her hectic lifestyle—she's five months' pregnant and has the baby's wellbeing to think about now. But then disaster strikes close to home. A serial rapist has been terrorizing Paris's Pigalle neighborhood, following teenage girls home and attacking them in their own houses. It is sad and frightening but has nothing to do with Aimée—until Zazie, the 13-year-old daughter of the proprietor of Aimée's favorite café, disappears. The police aren't mobilizing quickly enough, and when Zazie's desperate parents approach Aimée for help, she knows she couldn't say no even if she wanted to. (Source: Soho Crime)

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