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US Books Received- 05/2014  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

Ace Hardcover

Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas) by Charlaine Harris (Ace Hardcover 06 May 2014 / $27.95) - Product Description: FIRST IN A NEW TRILOGY. From Charlaine Harris, the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a darker locale--populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that's how the locals prefer it.

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It's a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There's a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There's a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there's new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he's found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth. (see review)

Anchor

Inferno (Robert Langdon) by Dan Brown (Anchor 06 May 2014 / $9.99) - Product Description: Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in an Italian hospital, disoriented and with no recollection of the past thirty-six hours, including the origin of the macabre object hidden in his belongings. With a relentless female assassin trailing them through Florence, he and his resourceful doctor, Sienna Brooks, are forced to flee. Embarking on a harrowing journey, they must unravel a series of codes, which are the work of a brilliant scientist whose obsession with the end of the world is matched only by his passion for one of the most influential masterpieces ever written, Dante Alighieri's The Inferno.

Dan Brown has raised the bar yet again, combining classical Italian art, history, and literature with cutting-edge science in this sumptuously entertaining thriller.

(see review)

Berkley

A Dollhouse to Die For (A Deadly Notions Mystery) by Cate Price (Berkley 06 May 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Daisy Buchanan thinks of her shop, Sometimes a Great Notion, as more than just a business. For her, it's a haven of vintage sewing notions and other treasures, excellent coffee, and camaraderie. But when an antique dollhouse provokes some bizarre behavior on the part of a customer, Daisy makes it her business to find out what secrets are hidden behind its tiny doors.

At an estate auction, Daisy is delighted to find the perfect present for a young girl she knows--a charming dollhouse in need of restoration. But when local collector Harriet Kunes tries to strong-arm Daisy into selling it, she's in for a shocking--and deadly--surprise.

After an intruder breaks in and tries to steal the dollhouse, Daisy wonders why everyone has developed such an obsession over it. As she builds her collection of clues, she suspects that the miniature Victorian holds the key to a second unsolved murder, and soon she stumbles across much more than she bid on. (Includes creative tips for vintage notions.) (Source: Berkley)

A Tiger's Tale (A Call of the Wilde Mystery) by Laura Morrigan (Berkley 06 May 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: When a normally mellow tiger at a rescue facility trees a terrified vet, animal behaviorist Grace Wilde needs to use her psychic ability to get to the root of the problem.

A tiger can't change his stripes--but if his behavior changes suddenly, there's a reason. So when even-tempered Boris the Siberian tiger goes into attack mode, Grace knows there's more to the story. Something is agitating the big cat. As she uses her telepathic ability to calm the tiger, she realizes he has witnessed a theft--not of something but of someone. A teenaged volunteer at the animal rescue facility has been taken...kidnapped.

The problem is Brooke Ligner's parents believe their troubled daughter ran away and Grace can't exactly reveal her source. Even though sexy cop Kai Duncan is aware of Grace's secret ability, he can't initiate an investigation based on the word of a tiger. Now, as Grace searches for solid clues to rescue the missing teen, it's the human predators she'll need to watch out for. (Source: Berkley)

Dead, White, and Blue (Death on Demand Bookstore) by Carolyn Hart (Berkley 06 May 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Summer is a hectic time of the year for Annie Darling. Sun and scorching temperatures never fail to bring swarms of tourists to her mystery bookstore, Death on Demand, for the latest beach reads. But Annie still finds time to enjoy herself. The Broward's Rock Fourth of July dance is just around the corner, and the island is buzzing with excitement--Shell Hurst included.

Shell is the kind of woman wives hate--for good reason--and most of them wish she would just disappear. But when she does, and a teenage girl is the only one who seems to notice, Annie can't help but feel like someone should be looking for her. Last seen walking into the pine trees at the Fourth of July fireworks display, Shell has seemingly vanished without a trace.

The residents of Broward's Rock grow uneasy when a second islander mysteriously disappears. Annie and her husband, Max, know something dangerous is brewing. They soon find themselves following a twisted trail marked by blackmail, betrayal, and adultery, winding from the corridors of the island's lovely inn to a pier lashed by pelting rain, to a gathering on the terrace of a country club where a trap is set for a calculating killer. (Source: Berkley)

Death at the Door (Death on Demand) by Carolyn Hart (Berkley 06 May 2014 / $25.95) - Product Description: Annie Darling--owner of the mystery bookstore, Death on Demand--prefers fictional crimes as opposed to the real things. But in one tragic week, two acts of violence shake the island community of Broward's Rock. First, a beloved doctor is found shot dead, seemingly by his own hand. Only days later, a local artist is arrested after his wife is found murdered, bludgeoned by her husband's sculpting mallet.

Convinced her brother did not commit suicide, the doctor's sister turns to Annie and her husband, Max, for help. She has found a cryptic sketch her brother drew, linking him with the murdered woman. Did someone want them both out of the picture?

With the police considering both cases as good as closed, it's up to Annie and Max to sort through a rogues' gallery of suspects to see if someone is trying to frame the artist. But if Annie isn't careful, she may find herself having her own brush with death. (Source: Berkley)

Death of a Mad Hatter (A Hat Shop Mystery) by Jenn McKinlay (Berkley 06 May 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Scarlett Parker and her British cousin, Vivian Tremont, are hard at work at Mim's Whims--their ladies' hat shop on London's chic Portobello Road--to create hats for an Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea, a fund-raiser for a local children's hospital. It seems like a wonderfully whimsical way to pass the hat, and Scarlett and Viv are delighted to outfit the Grisby family, the hosts who are hoping to raise enough money to name a new hospital wing after their patriarch.

Unfortunately, the Grisby heir will not live to see it--he's been poisoned. When traces of the poison are found on the hat Scarlett and Viv made for him, the police become curiouser and curiouser about their involvement. Now the ladies need to don their thinking caps and find the tea party crasher who's mad enough to kill at the drop of a hat. (Source: Berkley)

Last Licks (Sunny & Shadow) by Claire Donally (Berkley 06 May 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: When Sunny Coolidge's curmudgeonly boss, Oliver Barnstable, lands in rehab after breaking his leg, Sunny is stuck shuttling between their offices in Kittery Harbor, Maine, and the facility where Ollie is recuperating. And if putting up with temper tantrums from her boss wasn't enough, his rehab roommate, Gardner Scatterwell, is a shameless flirt.

But when Scatterwell dies unexpectedly in the night, Ollie is convinced it wasn't from natural causes. He gives Sunny a new assignment--find out who killed the old tomcat.

And speaking of cats, Shadow, Sunny's feline partner in crime, takes a peculiar interest in the rehab's resident angel of death--a calico cat called Portia, with an uncanny talent for cozying up to patients right before they pass away. Together, Sunny and Shadow will have to nose out clues to discover if Portia's jinx had anything to do with Gardner's passing--or if all his catting around finally got him fixed. (Source: Berkley)

Murder Gone A-Rye (A Baker's Treat Mystery) by Nancy J. Parra (Berkley 06 May 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Toni Holmes is the best gluten-free baker in Oiltop, Kansas--okay, she's the only one--but when her grandmother becomes a murder suspect, she's more concerned with keeping Grandma free.br>
When Toni's beloved--and eccentric--grandma Ruth is arrested for the murder of her archenemy, Lois Striker, it's time for a senior moment of truth. Telltale tracks from a scooter like the one Grandma Ruth rides lead the police to suspect the outspoken oldster, but Toni knows her grandmother wouldn't burn a cookie, let alone extinguish a life.

In fact, the case has Grandma more revved up than her infamous scooter. A former investigative journalist, she decides to solve the murder herself--with help from Toni--by digging up long-buried town secrets. But as Grandma scoots in where others fear to tread, Toni needs to make sure she not only stays out of jail but out of harm's way. (Includes gluten free recipes.) (see review)

Murder in Murray Hill (Gaslight Mystery) by Victoria Thompson (Berkley 06 May 2014 / $25.95) - Product Description: When facing injustice, the residents of nineteenth-century New York City's tenements turn to midwife Sarah Brandt and Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy to protect their rights. Now, as the Edgar® and Agatha Award-nominated series continues, the two must track down a cruel criminal preying on the hopes and dreams of innocent women.

Frank Malloy has never known any life other than that of a cop, but his newfound inheritance threatens his position within his department. While trying to keep both his relationship with Sarah and his fortune under wraps, he's assigned to a new case--finding a missing young woman for her worried father, Henry Livingston.

It seems the girl had been responding to "lonely hearts" ads in the paper for months before she disappeared. Her father thinks that she's eloped with a deceptive stranger, but Malloy fears the worst, knowing that the grifters who place such ads often do much more than simply abscond with their victims. But as Sarah and Malloy delve deeper into a twisted plot targeting the city's single women, it's their partnership--both professional and private--that winds up in the greatest peril. (Source: Berkley)

The Pickled Piper (Pickled and Preserved Mystery) by Mary Ellen Hughes (Berkley 06 May 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: After her dreams of romance are crushed, Piper Lamb decides to pursue her dream of opening her own shop of pickles and preserves, called Piper's Picklings, in the idyllic small town of Cloverdale. But she isn't in town long before she encounters a barrelful of trouble.

The Cloverdale fair offers Piper a sweet opportunity to promote her business. With her new assistant, Amy, she sets up a booth centered around an eye-catching display of the ever-popular dills in an old-fashioned barrel of brine.

But things soon turn sour when fairgoers witness a fight between Amy's boyfriend, Nate, and town council blowhard--and bagpipe player--Alan Rosemont. When Rosemont is found floating in Piper's barrel, Nate becomes the prime murder suspect. With Amy's boyfriend in a pretty pickle, there's no time to dillydally. But as Piper searches for the real killer, she needs to be careful to preserve her own life...or she may end up a pickled Piper herself.
(First in a new series. Includes recipes.) (Source: Berkley)

Bourbon Street Books

The Detective & The Pipe Girl by Michael Craven (Bourbon Street Books 27 May 2014 / $14.99) - Product Description: With a style as distinct as crime masters such as Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiassen, and Harlan Coben, Michael Craven delivers a richly atmospheric, humorous, fast-paced mystery that introduces unforgettable private eye John Darvelle and brilliantly captures the seductive mood and magnetism of Los Angeles.

Private Detective John Darvelle is a man of specific tastes--simple design, smart women, cheap American beer. He's a man of specific opinions--drive a car nobody can remember, avoid brunch at all costs, and don't live in Brentwood. And he adheres to his own professional code--an indelible blend of commitment, loyalty, and experience. He also plays a lot of ping-pong.

Arthur Vonz is one of Tinseltown's most powerful men, a filmmaker among the ranks of Spielberg, Coppola, and Kubrick. He hires Darvelle to find a young woman named Suzanne Neal, an incandescent beauty who just might be hiding something.

What starts as an easy assignment soon has Darvelle plunging deep into the seductive and hidden world of Hollywood's elite. A twisting, turning journey that puts him face-to-face with the LAPD, a ruthless underground crime operation, and a cold-blooded killer. It's the case of a lifetime that could end his life.

(Source: Bourbon Street Books)

Five Star

Across The Cheyenne River by John D. Nesbitt (Five Star 21 May 2014 / $25.95) - Book Description: Russell Archer has come to Wyoming to fulfill his dream of having his own land. After one season of work on Lidge Mercer's ranch, he receives an offer to become a junior partner. Before long, however, Archer learns that Lidge was caught up in an old crime and fears for his life. Meanwhile, Archer meets a young woman named Kate, who would like to find her father. Archer and Kate go in search of him, and they find him in another town. Back at the ranch, Archer finds Lidge Mercer dead. Out of obligation to the dead man, Archer tries to solve the crime. Archer goes back to see Jack Doolin, Kate's father, who gives him possible leads. Difficulties set in when Archer finds Jack Doolin dead, and then the killers come for Archer one at a time until the last one goes after Kate. (see review)

All Things Murder by Jeanne Quigley (Five Star 21 May 2014 / $25.95) - Product Description: Actress Veronica Walsh receives an unwelcome present when she returns to her Adirondack hometown after her soap opera's cancellation. Hours after arriving, Veronica's life imitates art when she finds her neighbor's body. She assumes the role of sleuth, fingering suspects int he powerful business woman's death--the retail tenant threated with eviction, the mall developer whose deal she thwarted, and the broken-hearted suitor.

Twist straight from a script, including two leading men vying for her attention, entangle Veronica as she gathers clues. Will Veronica solve the case, or will the killer be as elusive as an acting job? And will she play the heroine or the damsel in distress? (see review)

For The Love Of Parvati (Five Star Mystery Series) by Susan Oleksiw (Five Star 21 May 2014 / $25.95) - Book Description: In the foothills of South India a man struggles against ropes tying him to an old bridge while the monsoon rages and wild animals forage for food. In the valley below, Anita Ray and Auntie Meena are stopped at a roadblock while their car is searched. When Anita and Meena arrive at their destination, Lalita Amma's household is in turmoil. During a break in the rain, Anita discovers a body washed into the riverbank. The police whisk away the corpse and refuse to answer questions. (see review)

Nursing Homes Are Murder by Mike Befeler (Five Star 21 May 2014 / $25.95) - Book Description: Paul Jacobson, who suffers from short-term memory loss, becomes an undercover resident at a nursing home to help the Honolulu police track down a sexual assault perpetrator. The police give Paul the names of three persons-of-interest and Paul begins investigating. None of the three appear suspicious. Things go downhill when the woman who had been assaulted is found murdered. Paul meets interesting residents, including a woman with synesthesia, a woman who eats soap, and a woman who races wheelchairs. After another sexual assault, someone tries to smother Paul. Can he solve the case before the killer succeeds? (Source: Five Star)

The Buddy System by Brandon Hebert (Five Star 21 May 2014 / $25.95) - Book Description: New Orleans detectives Jack Hardy and Early Moore need a bust. Assigned to a surveillance unit, they see an opportunity and recruit drug dealer Lamont Brown. Unfortunately, Lamont sees opportunity in them, too.

Lamont feeds them information, letting them claim high-profile drug busts while getting rid of his competition. Then he demands they bury a dead body and find work for his no-good cousin Jello. In their efforts to satisfy Lamont, Hardy and Early stumble on a scheme to bilk post-Katrina reconstruction efforts while dodging dirty cops, street thugs, crooked contractors, and white supremacists hit men. When Lamont's main rival finds out he's been ratting, Lamont calls in Hardy and Early to help him...or get them out of the way. (Source: Five Star)

Forge Books

Ragtime Cowboys by Loren D. Estleman (Forge Books 06 May 2014 / $24.99) - Product Description: Los Angeles, 1921: Ex-Pinkerton Charlie Siringo is living in quiet retirement when Wyatt Earp knocks on his door and asks him to track down his missing horse. What begins as horse thievery turns into a deeper mystery as Siringo and another ex-Pinkerton, the young Dashiell Hammett, follow clues that take them from the streets of Los Angeles to Jack London's farm, until they discover a conspiracy masterminded by the notorious and powerful Joseph P. Kennedy. (Source: Forge Books)

The Kraken Project (Wyman Ford) by Douglas Preston (Forge Books 13 May 2014 / $26.99) - Product Description: Wyman Ford is back again in The Kraken Project, the thrilling new novel from New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston.

NASA is building a probe to be splashed down in the Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Saturn's great moon, Titan. It is one of the most promising habitats for extraterrestrial life in the solar system, but the surface is unpredictable and dangerous, requiring the probe to contain artificial intelligence software. To this end, Melissa Shepherd, a brilliant programmer, has developed "Dorothy," a powerful, self-modifying AI whose true potential is both revolutionary and terrifying. When miscalculations lead to a catastrophe during testing, Dorothy flees into the internet.

Former CIA agent Wyman Ford is tapped to track down the rogue AI. As Ford and Shepherd search for Dorothy, they realize that her horrific experiences in the wasteland of the Internet have changed her in ways they can barely imagine. And they're not the only ones looking for the wayward software: the AI is also being pursued by a pair of Wall Street traders, who want to capture her code and turn her into a high-speed trading bot.

Traumatized, angry, and relentlessly hunted, Dorothy has an extraordinary revelation—and devises a plan. As the pursuit of Dorothy converges on a deserted house on the coast of Northern California, Ford must face the ultimate question: is rescuing Dorothy the right thing? Is the AI bent on saving the world… or on wiping out the cancer that is humankind? (see review)

Gallic Books

The Man with the Lead Stomach: Nicolas Le Floch Investigations by Jean-François Parot (Gallic Books 13 May 2014 / $15.95) - Product Description:

"It's a clever plot and Le Floch is sympathetic, but it's the superb Parisian detail and atmosphere that truly beguiles."—The Times

This is the second volume of the Nicolas Le Floch Investigations.

October 1761 finds newly promoted Commissioner Le Floch on duty at a royal performance of Jean-Philippe Rameau's latest work. Events take a dramatic turn and Nicolas is soon embarked on a major investigation when the body of a courtier's son is found. The evidence points to suicide, but Le Floch's instincts tell him he is dealing with murder of the most gruesome kind.

Jean-François Parot is a diplomat and historian.


(Source: Gallic Books)

Infamous Books

Black Lotus by K'wan (Infamous Books 27 May 2014 / $11.95) - Product Description: Detective James Wolf earned the nickname Lone Wolf from his inability to work with a partner. He's a hard cop who doesn't mind bending the rules to the point of breaking them to make a case, which is why Internal Affairs is digging in his backyard, looking for buried bones. People are starting to wonder: Which side of the law is the Lone Wolf really hunting for? His career hanging on by a thread, he needs a major show of good faith to keep employed and out of prison. That's when he gets the call.

From the moment he arrives at the crime scene, Detective Wolf knows that he's in over his head. He's a narcotics detective, called in to consult on a homicide, but this is no ordinary homicide--a priest was butchered and left for dead inside his own church, with the promise of more bodies to follow. The only lead is the killer's calling card: a black lotus flower left at the crime scene. Detective Wolf now has the opportunity to quietly track and stop the Black Lotus before the next victim is claimed, in exchange for wiping his service record clean.

Accepting this case started as Detective Wolf's attempt to get Internal Affairs off his back. But when his hunt for the Black Lotus leads him to a cold case from his past, it becomes personal. (Source: Infamous Books)

The White House by JaQuavis Coleman (Infamous Books 27 May 2014 / $11.95) - Product Description: The White House is based on true events, reimagining the dark chronicles of a notorious drug kingpin's death, and the unfortunate events that followed.

The young heroine Draya lives paycheck to paycheck, laboring as a maid in a luxurious white house. One day, in the course of performing her duties, she is presented with an irresistible opportunity for a quick--and risky--payday. What unfolds in the white house changes the course of her life. Kidnapping, murder, and mayhem lead her--and the reader--through a harrowing and twisting plot to an explosive ending that no one sees coming. Look through the eyes of this young woman and glimpse how a life can forever be altered due to an unfortunate series of events--all touched off in a legendary white house. (Source: Infamous Books)

Minotaur Books

Doing It at the Dixie Dew by Ruth Moose (Minotaur Books 06 May 2014 / $24.99) - Product Description: Who says you can't go home again? When Beth McKenzie returns to her hometown and attempts to turn an old Southern mansion into a bed and breakfast called The Dixie Dew, her first guest is murdered. Three days later a young priest who looks better in tennis whites than cleric black is found strangled in his chapel. The whole town of Littleboro is turned upside down, inside out, and Ossie Delbardo, the town cop whose job heretofore mainly involved controlling football traffic on Friday nights, is not cut out to solve the murders. Beth fears her newly opened B&B is in danger of failing. She's even more worried that she is Ossie's number one suspect. Aided by her friend from high school and trusty handyman, she sets out to discover the truth of the murders.

Littleboro has its share of characters, some of which are helpful and others misleading. There's Crazy Reba who lives in a tree, bathes in any bathtub she finds empty, and Dumpster dives; Verna, the town know-it-all and affectionate owner of Robert Redford, a huge white rabbit; and Miss Tempie Merritt, music teacher and organist who always wears hat, gloves, and lace-trimmed white socks. When Beth herself is attacked, there's no more time for baking muffins and stenciling pineapples on the porch. She's in a race to uncover her neighbors' secrets before her hometown becomes her burial ground. (see review)

Every Hidden Fear: A Skeet Bannion Mystery by Linda Rodriguez (Minotaur Books 06 May 2014 / $25.99) - Product Description: Skeet's Cherokee grandmother has come to live with her and her teenage ward Brian, and Skeet is still trying to adjust to the change while also keeping the peace on the local college campus. Then Ash Mowbray, a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, comes back to Brewster as a wealthy developer, pushing plans to build a shopping mall on the outskirts of town that will destroy the town square businesses. The town council is split on his proposal, and emotions are running high.

Mowbray makes things worse by announcing that he is the real father of the high school athlete Noah Steen, having left Noah's mother, Chelsea, pregnant as a teenager when he fled town after high school. Chelsea and her husband Norman are horrified that Mowbray has publicized that Norman is not Noah's father and afraid that he will steal their beloved son from them. Noah is shocked to learn the truth of his parentage and furious with Mowbray. It's not long before Mowbray turns up murdered with Noah as the prime suspect. Brian and Noah's girlfriend Angie turn to Skeet to find the murderer and save their friend. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Fatal Enquiry by Will Thomas (Minotaur Books 13 May 2014 / $25.99) - Product Description: Brimming with wit, atmosphere, and unforgettable characters, Fatal Enquiry reintroduces private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewellyn, and their unforgettable world of Victorian London.

Some years ago, Cyrus Barker matched wits with Sebastian Nightwine, an aristocrat and sociopath, and in exposing his evil, sent Nightwine fleeing to hide from justice somewhere in the far corners of the earth. The last thing Barker ever expected was to encounter Nightwine again—but the British government, believing they need Nightwine's help, has granted him immunity for his past crimes, and brought him back to London. Nightwine, however, has more on his mind than redemption—and as Barker and Llewellyn set out to uncover and thwart Nightwine's real scheme, they find themselves in the gravest danger of their lives. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Murder at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison (Minotaur Books 13 May 2014 / $24.99) - Product Description: Kat Stanford is just days away from starting her dream antique business with her newly widowed mother Iris when she gets a huge shock. Iris has recklessly purchased a dilapidated carriage house at Honeychurch Hall, an isolated country estate located several hundred miles from London.

Yet it seems that Iris isn't the only one with surprises at Honeychurch Hall. Behind the crumbling façade, the inhabitants of the stately mansion are a lively group of eccentrics to be sure--both upstairs and downstairs--and they all have more than their fair share of skeletons in the closet.

When the nanny goes missing, and Vera, the loyal housekeeper ends up dead in the grotto, suspicions abound. Throw in a feisty, octogenarian countess, a precocious seven year old who is obsessed with the famous fighter pilot called Biggles, and a treasure trove of antiques, and there is more than one motive for murder.

As Iris's past comes back to haunt her, Kat realizes she hardly knows her mother at all. A when the bodies start piling up, it is up to Kat to unravel the tangled truth behind the murders at Honeychurch Hall. (see review)

Murder on the Hoof (Colleen McCabe Series) by Kathryn O'Sullivan (Minotaur Books 06 May 2014 / $24.99) - Product Description: It's mid-August in the Outer Banks village of Corolla in North Carolina and Fire Chief Colleen McCabe is conducting rookie training and spending increasingly more time with her best friend, Sheriff Bill Dorman. The wild horses have been relocated to the sanctuary, and the town is occupied with the upcoming local theatre production. All is right with the world. But when a member of the acting troupe is found dead in the dunes after an emergency training exercise and Bill's ex-fiancée arrives in town, Colleen knows trouble is back with a vengeance.

A second member of the theatre company is discovered dead at the Whalehead Club, and Colleen is forced to put aside her feelings about her relationship with Bill and work with him to uncover who is murdering the thespians and why. She discovers as much drama offstage as on and quickly finds herself swept up in the intrigue of the community theatre group, and struggling to keep her men at the firehouse focused. As the danger mounts and the killer's identity becomes clearer, Bill warns her off the investigation. But despite his warning, Colleen is determined to stop the killer before he or she strikes again, to her own peril. (see review)

NAL

Catnapped!: A Dead-End Job Mystery by Elaine Viets (NAL 06 May 2014 / $24.95) - Product Description: No more pussyfooting around! Husband and wife PI team Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont have barely scratched the surface of the world of show cats when a cornered kitty kidnapper's claws come out. This show cat is a no-show.

The one thing celebrity Trish Barrymore and her no-account accountant husband, Mort, can agree on in their bitter divorce is shared cat custody. But when Mort is found brained by a mahogany cat tower, and Justine, their pedigreed Chartreux show cat, goes missing, Trish calls on Helen and Phil. Despite a ransom note from the catnapper, Trish is still the prime murder suspect in the eyes of the police. As they await the post-Mort-em, it's up to Helen and Phil to find the feline filcher and let the cat out of the bag.

Discovering that Mort had some shady dealings within cat show circles, Helen goes undercover as an assistant for a woman who shows prizewinning Persians. But Phil is not buying Trish's cat-that-swallowed-a-canary act--he thinks she might be staging the whole catnapping.

As Helen and Phil get deeper into a high-pressure world of primping, posing, and purring to collar a killer, they get caught up in a cat-and-mouse game where the stakes are literally life and death. (see review)

Murder in Merino: A Seaside Knitters Mystery by Sally Goldenbaum (NAL 06 May 2014 / $24.95) - Product Description: It's autumn in Sea Harbor, and as the tourists leave, a mysterious guest arrives. When she's implicated in a crime, the Seaside Knitters must quickly table their knitting project and search out a motif for murder.

Fall is usually a relaxing time in Sea Harbor, but it's turning out to be a busy season for Izzy Chambers Perry. Not only is she helping the Seaside Knitters make a magnificent throw to celebrate the fortieth wedding anniversary of her aunt and uncle, but she and her husband are finally selling the cottage she lived in before she got married and had a darling baby girl. To Izzy's surprise, newcomer Julia Ainsley seems determined to buy the home--although she's never set foot inside.

But on the day of the open house, things take a dark turn. A body is uncovered in the cottage's backyard. When the police find Julia's name and phone number in the victim's pocket, this slender thread of evidence makes her a person of interest. Soon the spotlight of suspicion widens to include old friends and town leaders as a tragic happening, long buried in the sleepy seaside town, is slowly brought to the surface.

Before the joyful anniversary celebration can be realized, the Seaside Knitters must work to unravel the real reason Julia Ainsley has come to their town--and the tangled and troubled ties from the past that bind friends and townsfolk together. (Knitting Pattern Included.) (see review)

Nan A. Talese

Decompression: A Novel by Juli Zeh (Nan A. Talese 20 May 2014 / $25.95) - Product Description: A psychological thriller in the tradition of Patricia Highsmith about two couples caught in a web of conflicting passions while deep-sea diving off the beautiful Canary Islands.

In the late 1990s, Sven Fiedler and his girlfriend, Antje, left Germany for the island of Lanzarote, rejecting what Sven considered a vulgar culture of materialism and judgment. The young couple set up a diving service catering to tourists eager to bask in the warm sunshine and explore the silent, gleaming marine paradise that makes this otherwise barren volcanic island such a remarkable retreat. Sven's approach was simple: take the mechanics of diving seriously, instruct his clients clearly, and stay out of their personal business as best he can.

And life on the island goes smoothly until two German tourists--Jola von der Pahlen, a daytime soap star on the verge of cinematic success, and Theo Hast, a stalled novelist--engage Sven for a high-priced, intensive two-week diving experience. Staying in a guest house on Sven and Antje's property, the two visitors and their hosts quickly become embroiled in a tangle of jealousy and suspicion.

Sven is struck by Jola's beauty, her evident wealth, and her apparently volatile relationship with the much older Theo. Theo quickly leaps to the conclusion that Sven and Jola are having an affair, but, oddly, he seems to facilitate it rather than trying to intervene. Antje, looking on, grows increasingly wary of these particular clients.

As the point of view shifts from one character to the next, the reader is constantly kept guessing about who knows what, and, more important, who is telling the truth. A brutal game of delusion, temptation, and manipulation plays out, pointing toward a violent end. But a quiet one, down in the underwater world beneath the waves. (Source: Nan A. Talese)

Seventh Street Books

Dante's Poison (Mark Angelotti) by Lynne Raimondo (Seventh Street Books 06 May 2014 / $15.95) - Product Description: Blind psychiatrist Mark Angelotti has just enrolled in a drug trial that holds out hope of restoring his eyesight when he is enlisted to act as an expert witness in a case that is rocking the Chicago legal community.

Attorney Jane Barrett knows all about Lucitrol. She defended the manufacturer of the powerful antipsychotic drug against product liability claims. So when Barrett's lover, investigative journalist Rory Gallagher, collapses from a fatal dose of the same drug, it falls to Hallie Sanchez, Barrett's oldest friend, to defend her on murder charges.

Could Barrett be guilty of what prosecutors are calling the perfect crime? Or is something afoot in the world of Big Pharma that someone was desperate to keep Gallagher from bringing to light?

Amid growing doubts about Barrett's innocence, Hallie recruits blind psychiatrist Mark Angelotti to help her discredit the testimony of a crucial eyewitness. The pair succeeds in obtaining Barrett's release, but at a dreadful price. (Source: Seventh Street Books)

Severn House Publishers

Murder at Mullings (A Florence Norris Mystery) by Dorothy Cannell (Severn House Publishers 01 May 2014 / $28.95) - Product Description: In its 300-year history, there has never once been a scandal at Mullings, ancestral home of the decent but dull Stodmarsh family. Until, that is, Edward Stodmarsh makes an ill-advised second marriage to the scheming Regina Stapleton, who insists on bringing her family's 'ornamental hermit' to live on the estate. Suddenly everyone wants to visit Mullings to glimpse this mysterious figure. Strange but harmless, thinks Florence Norris, the family's longstanding housekeeper. But events take a sinister turn with the arrival of sudden, violent death -- and suddenly the hermit doesn't seem so harmless after all. (see review)

Signet

A Cookbook Conspiracy: A Bibliophile Mystery by Kate Carlisle (Signet 06 May 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's a recipe for disaster when bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright is asked to restore an antique cookbook.

Brooklyn's sister Savannah and her former culinary school classmates all became successful chefs, especially Savannah's ex-boyfriend Baxter Cromwell, who went on to culinary superstardom. When he invites the old gang to the gala opening of his new restaurant in San Francisco, Savannah asks Brooklyn to restore a rare antique cookbook as a present for him.

The night they all gather, Baxter is found dead, the cookbook has disappeared, and Savannah becomes the suspect du jour. But Brooklyn knows her sister is innocent, and there are plenty of old grudges simmering among this backstabbing bunch. Now she'll have to turn up the heat on the investigation before Chef Savannah finds herself slinging hash in a prison cafeteria. (Source: Signet)

Board Stiff: A Dead-End Job Mystery by Elaine Viets (Signet 06 May 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: There's a dark cloud over Sunny Jim's Stand-Up Paddleboard Rental business on Florida's Riggs Beach--especially after one of his clients is killed in a tragic paddleboarding mishap. Sunny Jim is sure it was no accident, and he hires Helen and Phil to find the murderer.

Between competitors poaching his territory, the city threatening to revoke his license, and a wrongful death suit filed by the victim's husband, Sunny Jim may soon be up the creek without a paddle. Luckily, he has Helen and Phil on his side. As the couple investigates, they discover dark undercurrents of corruption behind the cheerful facades of the beachfront businesses. But the sands of time are running out, and if they don't catch the killer soon, Sunny Jim won't be the only one to go under.

Read our review of Board Stiff in our June 2013 issue. (Source: Signet)

Mr. Monk Gets on Board by Hy Conrad (Signet 06 May 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Welcome to the series of original mysteries starring Adrian Monk, the brilliant investigator who always knows when something's out of place.

Of all the things that make Adrian Monk uneasy, change ranks high on the list. So when Natalie completes her P.I. license--and technically becomes Monk's boss--it's not easy for him to accept. Nor can he accept Natalie attending a business seminar at sea without him, even if it means spending a week with her on a cruise ship.

Between choppy waters and obnoxious kids, Monk finds himself in a perfect storm of anxiety. Luckily, Mariah, the cruise director, is always able to smooth things over...until the crew fishes her dead body out of the water.

Even after the ship's doctor declares Mariah's death an accident, Monk isn't convinced. So when the captain hires Monk and Natalie to look into a mysterious rash of vandalism on board, Monk steers the investigation toward murder. (Source: Signet)

The Goodbye Witch: A Wishcraft Mystery by Heather Blake (Signet 06 May 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: As Enchanted Village's resident Wishcrafter, Darcy Merriweather has the power to make other people's wishes come true, but what she really wishes is that she had the power to uncloak the invisible man who's stalking her best friend.

Darcy's closest friend and fellow witch, Starla Sullivan, hoped she'd never see her ex-husband, Kyle, again. Two years ago he tried to kill her, and he has been a fugitive ever since. Now Starla claims to have seen him back in Enchanted Village, but it seems she's the only one who can see him. To everyone else, her ex is invisible.

Darcy only wishes his motives were as transparent as the rest of him. Since the police can't arrest someone they can't see, it's up to Darcy to find the secret behind Kyle's latest disappearing act--before he does something they can't see coming. (Source: Signet)

Simon & Schuster UK

The Confessor by Mark Allen Smith (Simon & Schuster UK 08 May 2014 / $13.00) - Product Description: Everyone is looking for Geiger. Cold, emotionless and with an innate ability to recognize lies, Geiger was the best of the best in the field of Information Retrieval. Until he was asked to break his only rule and do the unthinkable--to torture a child. Something broke in Geiger's neatly controlled mind, opening up a flood of terrible memories long kept at bay. And now Geiger is missing, presumed dead.
But, with no body ever found, there are a number of people invested in finding out the truth. One of those people is Harry Boddicker, Geiger's old handler and friend. Another is his bitter rival, Dalton, who is determined to find Geiger and extract a final confession from him, before carrying out his deadly revenge.
But no one has reckoned on Zanni Soames--a woman more dangerous than any of them could imagine, and hell-bent on winning the race to find Geiger first.
The new novel from Mark Allen Smith is a masterfully written thriller that will send you spinning from New York to Paris and back again, and into the darkest depths of the man known only as Geiger.

(Source: Simon & Schuster UK)

Soho Crime

Jack of Spies by David Downing (Soho Crime 13 May 2014 / $27.95) - Product Description: It is 1913, and those who follow the news closely can see the world is teetering on the brink of war. Jack McColl, a Scottish car salesman with an uncanny ear for languages, has always hoped to make a job for himself as a spy. As his sales calls take him from city to great city--Hong Kong to Shanghai to San Francisco to New York--he moonlights collecting intelligence for His Majesty's Navy, but British espionage is in its infancy and Jack has nothing but a shoestring budget and the very tenuous protection of a boss in far-away London. He knows, though, that a geopolitical catastrophe is brewing, and now is both the moment to prove himself and the moment his country needs him most.

Unfortunately, this is also the moment he begins to realize what his aspiration might cost him. He understands his life is at stake when activities in China suddenly escalate from innocent data-gathering and casual strolls along German military concessions to arrest warrants and knife attacks. Meanwhile, a sharp, vivacious American suffragette journalist has wiled her way deep into his affections, and it is not long before he realizes that her Irish-American family might be embroiled in the Irish Republican movement Jack's bosses are fighting against. How can he choose between his country and the woman he loves? And would he even be able to make such a choice without losing both? (see review)

St. Martin's Griffin

Tom Clancy's Op-Center: Out of the Ashes by Dick Couch, George Galdorisi, and Steve Pieczenik, Tom Clancy (Creator) (St. Martin's Griffin 20 May 2014 / $15.99) - Product Description: Tom Clancy's Op-Center is back with this new thriller written by the New York Times bestselling authors of Tom Clancy's ACT OF VALOR and featuring a chilling, ripped-from-the-headlines scenario.

Before 9/11 America was protected by a covert force known as the National Crisis Management Center. Commonly known as Op-Center, this silent, secret mantel guarded the American people and protected the country from enemies. The charter was top secret and Director Paul Hood reported directly to the president. Op-Center used undercover operatives with SWAT capabilities to diffuse crises around the world, and they were tops in their field. But after the World Trade Center disaster, in the interest of streamlining, OP-Center was disbanded—leaving the country in terrible danger.

But when terrorists detonate bombs in sports stadiums around the country leaving men, women and children dead or mutilated, the President executes an emergency order to bring back Op-Center—an Op-Center capable of dealing with the high tech crises of the 21st Century, and there is a lethal one brewing in the Middle East. A renegade Saudi Prince with ambitions of controlling the world's oil supply has an ingenious plot to manipulate America into attacking Syria and launching a war against Iran. Next, they would ignite a sleeper cell to attack the America homeland, resulting in a bloodbath unlike any other. Only the men and women of Op-Center, using sophisticated technology, realize what is about to be unleashed. Only they have the courage to issue a warning no one wants to hear. But will anyone believe them? (Source: St. Martin's Griffin)

The Swan River Press

The Dark Return of Time by R.B. Russell (The Swan River Press 01 May 2014 / ) - Book Description: "I was searching for The Dark Return of Time on the 'net. It's odd, but there isn't a copy for sale anywhere, and it doesn't turn up on the British Library catalogue, the Library of Congress website, or the Biblioteque Nationale."The Dark Return of Time

The past doesn't always stay where it should. It is as though somebody, or something, is forever trying to bring it painfully into the present.

Flavian Bennett is trying to leave his past behind when he goes to work in his father's bookshop in Paris. But a curious customer, Reginald Hopper, is desperate to resurrect his own murky origins. Hopper believes that a rare and mysterious book, The Dark Return of Time, may be the key to what happened before he arrived in Paris. In this quiet thriller by R.B. Russell, the futures -- and pasts -- of these two men will soon cross.
(see review)

Tyrus Books

The Hollow Girl (A Moe Prager Mystery) by Reed Farrel Coleman (Tyrus Books 18 May 2014 / $24.99) - Product Description: The final novel in one of the most critically acclaimed PI series in the annals of crime fiction!

Drunk, alone, and racked with guilt over the tragic death of his girlfriend Pam, Moe Prager is destined for oblivion. But destiny takes a detour when a shadowy figure from Moe's past reappears to beg for Moe's help in locating her missing daughter. As a reluctant, distracted Moe delves into the case, he discovers that nothing is as it seems and no one involved is quite who or what they appear to be. This is especially true of the missing daughter, an early internet sensation known ironically as the Lost Girl or the Hollow Girl. The case itself is hollow, as Moe finds little proof that anyone is actually missing.

Things take a bizarre twist as Moe stumbles across a body in a trendy Manhattan apartment and the Hollow Girl suddenly re-emerges on video screens everywhere. It's a wild ride through the funhouse as Moe tries to piece together a case from the half-truths and lies told to him by a fool's parade of family members, washed-up showbiz types, uncaring cops, a doorman, and a lovesick PI. Even as the ticking clock gets louder, Moe is unsure if it's all a big hoax or if someone's life is really at stake. The question isn't whether or not Moe can find the Hollow Girl, but whether the Hollow Girl was ever there at all.

(Source: Tyrus Books)

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