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US Books Received- 09/2014  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

47North

Lethal Code (Lana Elkins) by Thomas Waite (47North 23 September 2014 / $14.95) - Product Description: America's worst nightmare has come true: a "cyber–Pearl Harbor" attack by unknown terrorists has crippled the nation's power grid—and brought the land of the free to its knees. As widespread panic and violence ravage the country, its ruthless captors issue their ultimatums…and vow an apocalyptic reckoning.

A defenseless nation scrambles to fight an invisible invasion. Chief among America's last line of defense is Lana Elkins, head of a major cyber-security company--and former top NSA operative--who returns to her roots to spearhead the Agency's frantic efforts to combat the enemy's onslaught on its own terms. While she and her superiors take action to infiltrate a terrorist hotbed overseas, much closer to home ruthless jihadists with a nuclear bomb hijack a busload of schoolchildren--including Lana's daughter--and race toward a rendezvous with Armageddon in America's greatest city.

(Source: 47North)

Akashic Books

Prison Noir by (Akashic Books 02 September 2014 / $15.95) - Product Description: Launched with the summer '04 award-winning best seller Brooklyn Noir, Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location.

This anthology presents an absolutely new perspective on prison literature. Some prisoners are encouraged to write, but few are encouraged to write crime fiction set behind bars (in some institutions, that subject matter is prohibited). Joyce Carol Oates has done an outstanding job of curating a top-notch collection of stories that bring the reader truly behind the "scenes" of prison life.

As Oates writes in her introduction to the volume, "The blood jet is poetry--these words of Sylvia Plath have reverberated through my experience of reading and rereading the stories of Prison Noir. In this case the blood jet is prose, though sometimes poetic prose; if we go a little deeper, in some chilling instances, the blood jet is exactly that: blood.... There is no need for fantasy-horror in a place in which matter-of-fact horror is the norm, and mental illness is epidemic. Vividly rendered realism is the predominant literary strategy, as in a riveting documentary film."

Featuring brand-new stories by: Christopher M. Stephen, Sin Soracco, Scott Gutches, Eric Boyd, Ali F. Sareini, Stephen Geez, B.M. Dolarman, Zeke Caligiuri, Marco Verdoni, Kenneth R. Brydon, Linda Michelle Marquardt, Andre White, Timothy Pauley, Bryan K. Palmer, and William Van Poyck. (Source: Akashic Books)

Anchor

The Prince of Risk by Christopher Reich (Anchor 30 September 2014 / $9.99) - Product Description: Robert "Bobby" Astor is a rising New York hedge fund manager on the cusp of making his biggest deal yet. But everything changes when his father, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, is killed in a brazen attack on the south lawn of the White House while en route to deliver a terrifying secret to the President. In the wake of the attack, Astor's business begins to crumble. A cryptic clue leads him deeper into the web of lies surrounding his father's murder, and Astor stumbles onto a sophisticated foreign conspiracy that threatens to wipe out not only Astor's own fund but to destroy the entire foundation of the financial system of the United States.

(see review)

Berkley

Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates (A Chocolate Covered Mystery) by Kathy Aarons (Berkley 02 September 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Whether it's to satisfy a craving for chocolate or pick up the hottest new bestseller, the locals in charming West Riverdale, Maryland, are heading to Chocolates and Chapters, where everything sold is to die for.

Best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell are celebrating the sweet rewards of their combined bookstore and chocolate shop by hosting the Great Fudge Cook-off during the town's Memorial Day weekend Arts Festival. But success turns bittersweet when Main Street's portrait photographer is found dead in their store, poisoned by Michelle's signature truffles.

As suspicion mounts against Michelle, her sales begin to crumble and her career seems whipped. With Erica by her side, Michelle must pick through an assortment of suspects before the future of their dream store melts away.
First in a new series. Includes Scrumptious Chocolate-Making Recipes! (Source: Berkley)

Fat Cat At Large by Janet Cantrell (Berkley 02 September 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: When she's not dreaming up irresistible dessert bars for her Minneapolis treatery, Bar None, Charity "Chase" Oliver is running after her cat, Quincy--a tubby tabby with a gift for sniffing out edibles. But what happens when this cat burglar leads Chase to the scene of a real crime?

The jig is up for Chase's adorable plus-size cat, Quincy. His new vet says “diet"—that means no more cherry cheesecake bars. From now on he gets low-calorie kibble only. But one taste of the stuff is all it takes to drive him in search of better things. Quincy's escape is the last thing Chase needs after the nasty run-in she has with underhanded business rival Gabe Naughtly.

Chase tracks Quincy down in a neighbor's kitchen, where he's devouring a meatloaf, unaware of the much more serious crime he's stumbled upon. Gabe's corpse is lying on the kitchen floor, and when Chase is discovered at the murder scene, she becomes suspect number one. Now, with a little help from her friends--both human and feline--she'll have to catch the real killer or wind up behind bars that aren't so sweet.

Includes recipes for people and cats! First in a new series. (Source: Berkley)

Haunted (A Bishop/SCU Novel) by Kay Hooper (Berkley 02 September 2014 / $26.95) - Product Description: How do you make peace with the dead if the dead aren't ready to forgive? The answer lies in the twisting shadows of a small town, and its secrets yet unearthed...

When Deacon James's younger sister Melanie calls him, terrified, he goes to her aid in the small Georgia town of Sociable. What he finds is a scared young woman in the grip of what she insists is a paranormal nightmare--and murder. Two local men have been killed under mysterious circumstances. And Melanie is the prime suspect.

Trinity Nichols left a high-stress job for quiet, small-town life. But news of the murders has left her--and the town--on edge, especially when there is nothing remotely ordinary about how the men died. And her investigation is yielding more than she bargained for, including a group of strangers who have descended on Sociable, some with abilities Trinity finds hard to believe, and agendas she refuses to trust. For some reason, they know a lot more than they should about what's happening in town. And what's happening is growing stranger by the minute.

Now Trinity, Deacon, and this odd band of FBI agents must work together to solve a series of disturbances so incredible that Trinity, and the town of Sociable, will be changed forever. She just isn't certain who--or what--will be left standing when it's all over. (Source: Berkley)

Killing Custer (A Wind River Mystery) by Margaret Coel (Berkley 02 September 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden and Father John O'Malley are caught between two cultures that won't let go of the past--and a killer who won't leave any witnesses.

On the anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Colonel Edward Garrett, a well-known Custer impersonator, leads a troop of reenactors in a cavalry parade down Main Street in Lander, Wyoming. But a group of Arapaho youth disrupts the parade by riding their horses around the column, just to remind everyone who actually won the battle. Then history repeats itself when, in the confusion, Garrett is shot dead.

Father John O'Malley knows in his heart the Arapaho are not guilty. And Vicky Holden finds herself professionally and personally compromised from getting involved. But what begins as a murder soon reveals itself as a conspiracy that neither Father John nor Vicky could have foreseen. And someone wants to ensure that the truth they discover will die with them.
(Source: Berkley)

Literally Murder (Black Cat Bookshop) by Ali Brandon (Berkley 30 September 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: From her Brooklyn bookstore, Darla Pettistone not only sells mysteries, but solves them, aided by her big-boned black cat, Hamlet--who has suddenly pounced into the spotlight after unleashing his fists of furry.

After a video of Darla and Hamlet performing at a martial arts tournament goes viral, the Florida chapter of the Feline Society of America invites the "Karate Kitty" to be the guest of honor at their championship cat show in Fort Lauderdale.

Upon arrival, Darla discovers that not everyone in the Sunshine State has a sunny disposition. Animal rights activists are on the march, and a cat show contestant stages his own angry protest when his special breed Minx--half Sphynx, half Manx--doesn't win. Then Hamlet disappears--only to be found next a dead man's body. Now it's up to Darla and Hamlet to take best in show and collar the killer. (Source: Berkley)

Marked Down for Murder (Good Buy Girls) by Josie Belle (Berkley 02 September 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Between spending Valentine's Day with her sweetheart, Sam, and shopping upcoming Presidents' Day sales with the Good Buy Girls, everything is coming up roses and bargains for Maggie Gerber. But when the mother of Maggie's nemesis comes to town, things stop looking so rosy. Summer's mom is hoping to set her spoiled daughter up with Sam, and she'll do whatever it takes to make the match happen.

When Maggie heads to her romantic rival's house to put a stop to the scheming, she discovers Summer standing over a dead body--holding a weapon. As much as Maggie would love to see Summer get her just desserts, she can't shake the feeling that the meddling menace is, in fact, innocent. Now Maggie and the Good Buy Girls will have to sort through racks of suspects to find a killer--or Summer will wind up getting a truly raw deal. (Includes thrifty recipes.) (Source: Berkley)

Night of the White Buffalo (Wind River) by Margaret Coel (Berkley 02 September 2014 / $26.95) - Product Description: In the latest Wind River novel, Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden and Father John O'Malley confront a ruthless killer in the wake of a miraculous event.

A mysterious penitent confesses to murder, and then flees the confessional before Father John can identify him. Two months later, Vicky discovers rancher Dennis Carey shot dead in his truck along Blue Sky Highway. With the tragic news comes the exposure of an astonishing secret: the most sacred creature in Native American mythology, a white buffalo calf, was recently born on Carey's ranch.

Making national headlines, the miraculous animal draws a flood of pilgrims to the reservation, frustrating an already difficult investigation. As visitors throw the reservation into turmoil, Vicky and Father John try to unravel the strange events surrounding both Carey's murder and the recent disappearances of three cowboys from his ranch.

It could be coincidence, given the nomadic life of the cowboy trade, but when one of them fails to appear in court to testify on an assault charge, Vicky wonders if Arnie Walkfast and his Arapaho buddies are guilty of more than just assault. And at the back of Father John's mind is the voice from the man in the confessional: I killed a man. (Source: Berkley)

Nightmares Can Be Murder (Dream Club) by Mary Kennedy (Berkley 02 September 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Dream Team. Business consultant Taylor Blake has returned to Savannah, Georgia, to help her sister Allison turn her dream of running an old-fashioned candy store into a reality. Allison is also interested in dream interpretation and invites Taylor to her Friday night Dream Club, where members meet once a week to share and analyze their dreams.

When a local dance instructor, Chico Hernandez, is found dead in his studio, and the murder scene has an eerie resemblance to one of the dreams shared at their meeting, Taylor can't help but be intrigued. And when her sister, who was briefly involved with the dance teacher, becomes the prime suspect, Taylor and their fellow club members can't be caught napping. It's up to them to dream up a solution to the murder before Allison faces a real-life nightmare. (Source: Berkley)

Rebel Without a Cake (Piece of Cake) by Jacklyn Brady (Berkley 02 September 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Halloween is approaching, and the co-owners of Zydeco Cakes, Rita Lucero and her former mother-in-law, Miss Frankie, have scored a sweet treat--a fantastic catering opportunity that could lead to a rich future for their bakery. But their good news is quickly rattled by a bump in the night when Miss Frankie's neighbor, Bernice, barrels into her kitchen toting a Bible and a gun, and serves up a story about a ghost at her window.

Bernice swears she just saw the ghost of her moonshiner uncle who disappeared in the swamp fifteen years ago. And when her cousin soon goes missing in the same swamp, Bernice is certain someone's playing a nasty trick, and convinces Rita and Miss Frankie to help her investigate. They'll just need to watch their steps, as these ladies are liable to get mired in a very swampy mystery. (Includes recipes.) (Source: Berkley)

Stirring the Plot (A Cookbook Nook Mystery) by Daryl Wood Gerber (Berkley 30 September 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: 3rd in nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series.

Halloween in Crystal Cove, California, is a big deal, involving a spooky soiree where the Winsome Witches, a fund-raising group, gather to open up their purse strings and trade superstitions. But party magicians, fortune-tellers, and herbalists are only the beginning of this recipe for disaster.

Jenna Hart has packed The Cookbook Nook chock-full of everything from ghostly texts to witchy potions in anticipation of the annual fund-raiser luncheon. But there's one unexpected addition to the menu: murder.

When the Head Priestess of the Winsome Witches is found dead under mysterious circumstances, there's no logical answer and plenty of blame to go around. With her aunt, Vera, unable to call on her ability to foresee the future, Jenna will have to use more than just sleight of hand and a few magic tricks to conjure up the truth. (see review)

The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush by Susan Wittig Albert (Berkley 02 September 2014 / $25.95) - Product Description: National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert takes readers back in time to small-town Darling, Alabama, in the 1930s--where the Darling Savings and Trust has just closed and the women of the Darling Dahlias' garden club are betting their bottom dollar there's going to be trouble.

It's the spring of 1933 and times are tough all over. The only businessman not struggling is moonshiner Mickey LeDoux, though he still has to steer clear of federal agents. But banks are closing all over the country, and the small town of Darling is no exception. Folks are suddenly caught short on cash and everyone is in a panic.

Desperate to avoid disaster, several town leaders--including Alvin Duffy, the bank's new vice president--hatch a plan to print Darling Dollars on newspaperman Charlie Dickens' printing press. The "funny money" can serve as temporary currency so the town can function. But when the first printing of the scrip disappears, the Darling Dahlias set out to discover who made an unauthorized withdrawal.

Meanwhile County Treasurer Verna Tidwell questions whether she can trust Alvin Duffy--and the feelings he stirs up inside her. And Liz Lacy learns her longtime beau may be forced into a shotgun wedding. Seems other troubles don't just go away when there's a crisis. There'll be no pennies from heaven, but if anyone can balance things out, folks can bank on the Darling Dahlias. (Includes Southern-Style Depression-Era Recipes.) (Source: Berkley)

The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star by Susan Wittig Albert (Berkley 02 September 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert returns to the small town of Darling, Alabama, in the 1930s--where the ladies of the Darling Dahlias garden club are anything but shrinking violets when it comes to rooting out criminals.

The Texas Star herself--Miss Lily Dare, the "fastest woman in the world""--is bringing her Dare Devils Flying Circus to Darling. Unfortunately, she's also bringing a whole lot of trouble. As the Dahlias prepare for the annual Watermelon Festival--where they will present the famous female aviatrix with her own Texas Star hibiscus--rumors are flying.

Dahlias president Liz Lacy learns that Miss Dare has been threatened and her plane sabotaged. Apparently the bold and beautiful barnstormer has made plenty of enemies. And is it possible she may be involved with the husband of one of Darling's local ladies?

As the Texas Star barnstorms into town, Liz and Verna Tidwell offer to help bring down a saboteur who may be propelled by revenge. Before it's all over, there will be plenty of black eyes and dark secrets revealed. (Includes Southern-Style Depression-Era Recipes)
(Source: Berkley)

The Skeleton Takes a Bow by Leigh Perry (Berkley 02 September 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: After years of hiding in the Thackery family house, Sid the skeleton is delighted to finally have his moment in the spotlight. He's starring in a high school production of Hamlet. Well, not so much starring in as being a prop. At least part of him has a part--he's using his head to play Yorick of "Alas, poor Yorick" fame. Every day, Georgia Thackery's daughter, Madison, who's also in the play, brings in his skull, and every night, she takes him home.

Until one night when he's accidentally left at school--and hears the sounds of someone being murdered. But the next day, there's no body and no one seems to be missing.

Sid is not a numbskull--he knows what he heard. Georgia thinks he imagined it--until a week later when a body is found. Now Georgia and Sid will both need to keep their heads as they stick their necks out and play sleuth to catch the conscience of a killer.

(Source: Berkley)

The Twelfth Night Murder (A Restoration Mystery) by Anne Rutherford (Berkley 02 September 2014 / $15.00) - Product Description: As The New Globe Players bring laughter to audiences with their production of Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night, Suzanne Thornton must bring justice to the tragic victim of a brutal murder.

When the body of a young boy--murdered, mutilated, and clothed in women's attire--is found under London Bridge, Constable Pepper believes him to be a member of The New Globe Players, one of the actors who specialize in women's parts.

He is not, but Suzanne, summoned to make an identification, does recognize him from an encounter in the tavern the night before--as the alluring doxy who caught the eye of more than a few of the patrons. Suzanne suspects that whoever hired him for the night reacted violently when his true sex was discovered.

Moved by the lad's fate, Suzanne determines to find his killer. And first, she must uncover his identity--an investigation that leads her to one of England's wealthiest families and a powerful politician determined to keep the truth from being revealed at all costs.
(Source: Berkley)

The Wolfe Widow (A Book Collector Mystery) by Victoria Abbott (Berkley 02 September 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: As Thanksgiving approaches, Jordan Bingham is grateful for her job researching rare books for Vera Van Alst, the infamous curmudgeon of Harrison Falls, New York. But when an uninvited guest makes an appearance, much more than dinner is disrupted--and Jordan is thankful just to be alive.

Vera Van Alst doesn't normally receive visitors without appointment, but she agrees to see the imperious Muriel Delgado upon arrival. Shortly thereafter, Jordan is told that her position is being terminated. Evicted from the Van Alst House, Jordan is determined to find out what hold Muriel has over her erstwhile employer.

It seems Muriel has designs on Vera's money and property--not to mention a particular interest in her collection of Nero Wolfe first editions. When Jordan discovers a deadly connection between Muriel and the Van Alst family, it's up to her to put the house in order and stop a killer from going back to press.
(Source: Berkley)

Doubleday

Rose Gold: An Easy Rawlins Mystery by Walter Mosley (Doubleday 23 September 2014 / $25.95) - Product Description: In this new mystery set in the Patty Hearst era of radical black nationalism and political abductions, a black ex-boxer self-named Uhuru Nolica, the leader of a revolutionary cell called Scorched Earth, has kidnapped Rosemary Goldsmith, the daughter of a weapons manufacturer, from her dorm at UC Santa Barbara. If they don't receive the money, weapons, and apology they demand, "Rose Gold" will die--horribly and publicly. So the FBI, the State Department, and the LAPD turn to Easy Rawlins, the one man who can cross the necessary borders to resolve this dangerous standoff.

With twelve previous adventures since 1990, Easy Rawlins is one of the small handful of private eyes in contemporary crime fiction who can be called immortal. Rose Gold continues his ongoing and unique achievement in combining the mystery/PI genre form with a rich social history of postwar Los Angeles--and not just the black parts of that sprawling city. (Source: Doubleday)

Exhibit A

Surrender by Donna Malane (Exhibit A 02 September 2014 / ) - Product Description: Missing persons expert, Diane Rowe, is used to making sense of other people's lives. It's just a pity she's not having much luck with her own. The brutal murder of her little sister, Niki, and the break-up of her marriage have tested her usual tough optimism. When Niki's killer turns up dead, Diane is determined to nail the truth, despite the best efforts of her policeman ex-husband to sideline her. But uncovering Niki's seedy past reveals truths and dangers she never expected - or wanted - to face. Diane is determined to make sense of it all - whatever it takes. (Source: Exhibit A)

Five Star

Bright Hopes (St. Rose Quilting Bee) by Annette Mahon (Five Star 24 September 2014 / $25.95) - Book Description: Loud explosions are ruining sleep for hundreds of Scottsdale residents in the hot July nights, including members of the St. Rose Quilting Bee. Things become serious when Maggie's police officer son is injured by one of the blasts. Then a church member dies when an explosion topples a roof onto the lounge chair where he lies sleeping. The women think bored teenagers may be playing with fireworks, but Edie is thinking terrorists. The others scoff until a bomb at a power substation throws the entire neighborhood into darkness. Suddenly terrorism is a real possibility. (Source: Five Star)

No Broken Hearts (A Lauren Atwill Mystery) by Sheila York (Five Star 24 September 2014 / $25.95) - Book Description: Promised her first screen credit in years by Marathon Studios, script doctor Lauren Atwill is promptly loaned out to second-tier Epic Pictures. And she's not one bit happy about it.

No Broken HeartsHave the superstitious Marathon bosses been spooked by the grapevine gossip that bodies start to fall whenever Lauren Atwill signs on to a picture?

Her first Epic assignment electrifies her: Bring a thrilling, scandalous novel to the screen, a sensational story of betrayal, greed, corruption, and a vicious killing. Yes, things are looking up. Until fiction turns into real life.

Lauren finds a beautiful young actress brutally murdered, and she begins to wonder if she really is a harbinger of disaster. Then she discovers just how far the studio and even the police will go to cover up the killing and protect a star. If she won’t lie, her career is over. And maybe her life.

In Hollywood, telling the truth is the most dangerous thing a woman can do. (see review)

Slow Bleed by Trey R. Baker (Five Star 24 September 2014 / $25.95) - Book Description: On her first night as a correctional officer at the Zachary County Jail, rookie Jace Salome should be at her partner's side when an inmate attacks. Her mistake turns out to be fatal--for the inmate. Yet Jace soon discovers the death is neither accidental nor the result of a simple jailhouse fight.

For Jace, the world of law enforcement offers a chance to leave her broken past behind. But when a Texas Ranger's investigation of the inmate's death strips away her partner's lies and shows him as the aggressor, Jace finds herslef caught between good and bad cops. More than one inmate in jails throughout west Texas has died under similar circumstances, with others under threat--yet nothing can be proved. When the Ranger asks Jace to help him uncover the truth, her refusal could cost both her job and her soul. Yet helping the Ranger could exact an even larger price, forcing her to confront the breadth and depth of her own thin blue line. (Source: Five Star)

The Heavenly Casino by Carl Filbrich (Five Star 24 September 2014 / $25.95) - Book Description: The Reverend Marcus Mallabee had an unusual ambition. He wanted to open a Christian-themed casino in Las Vegas. That might be why he was murdered.

John Holiday, reporter turned author, has just finished interviewing Mallabee when the minister is shot by a sniper. Holiday is deeply shaken by the experience, but soon finds that witnessing a murder is only the beginning of his troubles.

(see review)

Forge Books

Strong Darkness (Caitlin Strong) by Jon Land (Forge Books 30 September 2014 / $25.99) - Product Description: Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong returns in her most thrilling adventure yet in Jon Land's STRONG DARKNESS.

1883: Texas Ranger William Ray Strong teams up with Judge Roy Bean to track down the Old West's first serial killer, who's stitching a trail of death along the railroad lines slicing their way through Texas.

The Present: Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong finds herself pursuing another serial killer whose methods are eerily similar to the one pursued by her great-grandfather almost a century-and-a-half before.

But that's just the beginning of her problems. The son of her boyfriend is nearly beaten to death at Brown University. The investigation leads back to Texas and to the Chinese high-tech company awarded the contract to build the US's 5G network. Li Zhen, the company's founder, counts that as the greatest achievement of his career, but it hides his true motivations--nothing less than China's total domination of the United States.

His plan is backed by elements of the Chinese underworld. Up against an army at Li's disposal, Caitlin blazes a violent trail across country and continent in search of secrets hidden in the past, but it's a secret from the present that holds the key. Darkness is coming, and only Caitlin Strong can find the light before it's too late. (see review)

Knopf

Perfidia by James Ellroy (Knopf 09 September 2014 / $28.95) - Product Description: It is December 6, 1941. America stands at the brink of World War II. Last hopes for peace are shattered when Japanese squadrons bomb Pearl Harbor. Los Angeles has been a haven for loyal Japanese-Americans—but now, war fever and race hate grip the city and the Japanese internment begins.

The hellish murder of a Japanese family summons three men and one woman. William H. Parker is a captain on the Los Angeles Police Department. He's superbly gifted, corrosively ambitious, liquored-up, and consumed by dubious ideology. He is bitterly at odds with Sergeant Dudley Smith—Irish émigré, ex-IRA killer, fledgling war profiteer. Hideo Ashida is a police chemist and the only Japanese on the L.A. cop payroll. Kay Lake is a twenty-one-year-old dilettante looking for adventure. The investigation throws them together and rips them apart. The crime becomes a political storm center that brilliantly illuminates these four driven souls—comrades, rivals, lovers, history's pawns. (Source: Knopf)

Minotaur Books

Fighting Chance (Gregor Demarkian) by Jane Haddam (Minotaur Books 09 September 2014 / $26.99) - Product Description: Gregor Demarkian grew up in the Armenian-American enclave in Philadelphia known as Cavanaugh Street. Even though he left to go to college, and then went on to a storied career in the famous Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI, he eventually returned to Cavanaugh Street after an early retirement. There he finds himself in a rapidly gentrifying urban neighborhood that still retains some of the friends, institutions, and flavor of the immigrant neighborhood he grew up in. Among them is his best friend, Father Tibor Kasparian, the parish priest of the local Armenian-Orthodox church, probably the most genuinely gentle soul that Demarkian has ever met.

When Father Tibor is then arrested on murder charges, it tears at the very foundation of Demarkian's world.  While Gregor has very strict rules about for whom and under what conditions he will consult, all those rules go by the wayside.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Nine Days: A Mystery by Minerva Koenig (Minotaur Books 09 September 2014 / $24.99) - Product Description: She's short, round, and pushing forty, but Julia Kalas is a damned good criminal. For 17 years she renovated historic California buildings as a laundry front for her husband's illegal arms business. Then the Aryan Brotherhood made her a widow, and witness protection shipped her off to the tiny town of Azula, Texas. Also known as the Middle of Nowhere.

The Lone Star sticks are lousy with vintage architecture begging to be rehabbed. Julia figures she'll pick up where she left off, but she's got a federal watchdog now: police chief Teresa Hallstedt, who is none too happy to have another felon in her jurisdiction. Teresa wants Julia where she can keep an eye on her, which turns out to be behind the bar at the local watering hole. The bar's owner, Hector Guerra, catches Julia's eye, so she takes the job. But before she can get to know him as well as she'd like, they find a dead body on the bar's roof.

The county sheriff begins trying to pin the murder on Hector for reasons that Julia discovers are both personal and nefarious. Unfortunately, the evidence cooperates, but Julia's finely-honed bullshit detector tells her Hector isn't a killer. She risks reconnecting with the outlaw underground to prove it, and learns the hard way that she's not nearly as tough--or as right--as she thinks she is. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Proof Positive (Joe Gunther) by Archer Mayor (Minotaur Books 30 September 2014 / $25.99) - Product Description: Ben Kendall was a troubled man. Coming back from Vietnam with PTSD and scars that no one else could see, he hid away from the world, filling his house with an ever-increasing amount of stuff, until finally, the piles collapsed and he was found dead, crushed beneath his own belongings. But what at first glance looks to be a tragic accidental death of a hoarder, may be something much more--and much deadlier. Ben's cousin, medical examiner Beverly Hillstrom, unsettled by the circumstances of his death, alerts Joe Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation team.

Ben, it seems, brought back something else from Vietnam than personal demons--he also brought back combat photos and negatives that someone else wants desperately to keep from the public eye. When Beverly's daughter Rachel made her cousin Ben--and his photos--the subject of her college art project, some of those photos appeared on the walls of a local art gallery. This in turn resulted in the appearance of a two man hit squad, searching for some other missing negatives. With Joe Gunther and his squad trailing behind the grisly research results of the hit team, and the deadly killers closing in on Rachel, Gunther has little time to find and protect Rachel before she ends up in the same grisly state as her cousin before her. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Silent Murders (A Roaring Twenties Mystery) by Mary Miley (Minotaur Books 23 September 2014 / $25.99) - Product Description: Vaudeville actress Leah Randall took on her most daring role ever when she impersonated missing heiress Jessie Carr in order to claim Jessie's inheritance in The Impersonator. Now that the dust has settled around that tumultuous time in her life, Leah has adopted Jessie's name as her own and moved to Hollywood, where she's taken a modest but steady job in the silent film industry.

Jessie's thrilled when Bruno Heilmann, a movie studio bigwig, invites her to a party. She's even more delighted to run into a face from her past at that party. But the following day, Jessie learns that sometime in the wee hours of the morning both her old friend and Bruno Heilmann were brutally murdered. She's devastated, but with her skill as an actress, access to the wardrobes and resources of a film studio, and a face not yet famous enough to be recognized, Jessie is uniquely positioned to dig into the circumstances surrounding these deaths. But will doing so put her own life directly in the path of a murderer? (Source: Minotaur Books)

The Blood of an Englishman (Agatha Raisin) by M.C. Beaton (Minotaur Books 16 September 2014 / $24.99) - Product Description: Even though Agatha Raisin loathes amateur dramatics, her friend Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar's wife, has persuaded her to support the local pantomime. Stifling a yawn at the production of "Babes in the Woods," Agatha watches the baker playing an ogre strut and threaten on the stage, until a trapdoor opens and the Ogre disappears in an impressive puff of smoke. Only he doesn't re-appear at final curtain.

Surely this isn't the way the scene was rehearsed? When it turns out the popular baker has been murdered, Agatha puts her team of private detectives on the case. They soon discover more feuds and temperamental behavior in amateur theatrics than in a professional stage show--and face more and more danger as the team gets too close to the killer.

(see review)

Wouldn't It Be Deadly: Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins by D.E. Ireland (Minotaur Books 23 September 2014 / $24.99) - Product Description: Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins make an incomparable pair of sleuths in the start of a delightful new series.

Following her successful appearance at an Embassy Ball--where Eliza Doolittle won Professor Henry Higgins' bet that he could pass off a Cockney flower girl as a duchess--Eliza becomes an assistant to his chief rival Emil Nepommuck. After Nepommuck publicly takes credit for transforming Eliza into a lady, an enraged Higgins submits proof to a London newspaper that Nepommuck is a fraud. When Nepommuck is found with a dagger in his back, Henry Higgins becomes Scotland Yard's prime suspect. However, Eliza learns that most of Nepommuck's pupils had a reason to murder their blackmailing teacher. As another suspect turns up dead and evidence goes missing, Eliza and Higgins realize the only way to clear the Professor's name is to discover which of Nepommuck's many enemies is the real killer. When all the suspects attend a performance of Hamlet at Drury Lane, Eliza and Higgins don their theatre best and race to upstage a murderer. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Obsidian

The Wedding Soup Murder: An Italian Kitchen Mystery by Rosie Genova (Obsidian 02 September 2014 / $7.99) - Book Description: Victoria Rienzi came home to the Jersey Shore to write a new book, learn the family restaurant business, and practice the fine art of Italian cooking. But when delicious dishes are paired with murder, Vic has a little too much on her plate.

When Vic asked her nonna for more responsibility in the kitchen, she didn’t mean forming a thousand tiny meatballs by hand for the family’s famous wedding soup. The dish is to be served at the reception for a close family friend at the exclusive Belmont Country Club. And once there Vic has to deal with a demanding bridezilla and clashes in the kitchen—between the staff and servers, between two egocentric head chefs, and between the country club president and...well...everyone.

The wedding comes off without a hitch--until the body of the club's president is found on the beach below a high seawall. Now Vic will need to use her noodle to find out who pushed whom too far...before she’s the one who lands in the soup! (Includes Recipes.) (Source: Obsidian)

Perseverance Press

Shadows on a Maine Christmas (Antique Print) by Lea Wait (Perseverance Press 09 September 2014 / $15.95) - Product Description: Antique print dealer Maggie Summer has come to Maine for a storybook Christmas with her beloved Will Brewer and his Great-Aunt Nettie, who has gathered together her longtime friends for holiday celebrations. Maggie and Will love each other, although Maggie is determined to adopt children and Will has misgivings. But this problem is put on hold when Maggie hears cryptic references by Aunt Nettie's old friends to buried secrets from their youth. One elderly woman suffers from dementia, remembering those past events better than the gifts she just opened. Will she blurt out information about an old crime so dangerous that someone would commit murder to prevent its being revealed? Blackmail and murder are only the beginning. It may be a Merry Christmas-but who will still be around to see in a Happy New Year? (Source: Perseverance Press)

The Eyes of Aurora: Fifth Case from Notebooks of Pliny the Younger by Albert A. Bell Jr. (Perseverance Press 09 September 2014 / $15.95) - Product Description: Pliny's servant Aurora, who is also the forbidden love of his life, has played Good Samaritan to a woman who claims to be searching for her missing husband. Thinking he can help the woman, Pliny steps in, assisted, as usual, by his friend Tacitus. But the situation turns into a web of deception and intrigue when they discover evidence of a horrific murder while searching in the countryside for clues to the whereabouts of the missing man. After Aurora is injured, Pliny's involvement becomes personal. He's even desperate enough to ask Regulus, his longtime sworn enemy, for help when the case brings him to the malevolent attention of the emperor Domitian. (see review)

Plume

Expatriates: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse by James Wesley Rawles (Plume 30 September 2014 / $16.00) - Product Description: Their America is gone forever. After the United States suffers a major socio-economic meltdown, a power vacuum sweeps the globe. A newly-radicalized Islamic government has risen in Indonesia and—after invading the Philippines, East Timor, and Papua New Guinea--sets its sights on Australia. No longer protected by American military interests, Australia must repel an invasion alone.

In the thick of it all, Peter and Rhiannon Jeffords, American Christian missionaries in the Philippines, and Chuck Nolan, a Texan petroleum engineer in Australia, find themselves adrift in a world in flux. Chronicling the Jeffords' and Nolan's fight against Indonesia's merciless advances, Expatriates is a riveting thriller and a powerful depiction of the authentic skills and techniques needed to survive the collapse of modern civilization. (Source: Plume)

Poisoned Pen Press

Death in the Dolomites (Rick Montoya) by David P. Wagner (Poisoned Pen Press 01 September 2014 / $24.95) - Product Description: Rick Montoya is looking forward to a break from his translation business in Rome--a week of skiing in the Italian Alps with old college buddy Flavio. But Rick's success helping the Italian police with a murder in Tuscany sends the Campiglio cops his way. An American banker working in Milano is missing. The man's sister, an attractive and spoiled divorcée, has no idea where he could be, nor do the locals who saw him on his way to the slopes. With the discovery of a body, Rick and Inspector Albani widen their list of suspects. Picturesque resort Campiglio harbors old rivalries, citizens on the make, and a cut-throat political campaign. Why would these local issues, any of them, connect to the missing banker?

The investigation doesn't keep Rick and Flavio from enjoying perfect ski conditions in the Dolomites and glorious after-ski wines and bowls of fresh pasta. As for women--Rick has to wonder if the banker's sister is just hitting him up for information. The action heats up, testing laid-back Rick whose uncle, a Roman cop, keeps urging him to make the police his career.

As in Cold Tuscan Stone, Death in the Dolomites immerses us in the sights, smells, and tastes of Italy, this time in a picture-perfect Alpine town with a surprising negative side.

(see review)

Phantom Limb (Daniel Rinaldi) by Dennis Palumbo (Poisoned Pen Press 01 September 2014 / $24.95) - Product Description: Psychologist and Pittsburgh Police Department consultant Daniel Rinaldi has a new patient. Lisa Harland, a local girl, once made a splash in Playboy and the dubious side of Hollywood before bottoming out. Back home, down and out again, she married one of the city's richest and most ruthless tycoons. Lisa's challenge to Danny is that she intends to commit suicide by 7:00 PM. His therapist skills may buy some time--but, exiting, she's kidnapped right outside his office.

Summoned to the Harland estate, Danny is forced, through a bizarre sequence of events, to be the bag man on the ransom delivery. This draws him into a deadly cat-and-mouse game with a brilliant, lethal adversary. Complicating things is the unhappy Harland family, whose members have dark secrets of their own along with suspect loyalties, as well as one of Danny's other patients, a volatile vet whose life may, like Lisa's, be at risk. What is really at stake here?

(Source: Poisoned Pen Press)

The Edison Effect (Professor Bradshaw) by Bernadette Pajer (Poisoned Pen Press 01 September 2014 / $24.95) - Product Description: Inventor Thomas Alva Edison is also a ruthless businessman, intent on furthering his patents and General Electric and beating rivals like Nikola Tesla and Westinghouse. Edison has agents in place in Seattle but he's come himself in pursuit of a mysterious invention lost in 1901 in Elliott Bay. When Edison asks for information, few refuse. But not University of Washington Professor Benjamin Bradshaw who's earned a reputation as a private investigator where science--electricity--is concerned. Bradshaw hopes that the lost device, one conceived in anger by an anarchist and harnessed for murder, will elude Edison's hired divers.

Soon, one December morning, 1903, the Bon Marché's Department Store electrician is found dead in the Men's Wear Window clutching a festoon of Edison's new holiday lights. Bradshaw believes Edison had set a dangerous game in motion. Motives multiply as the dead man's secrets surface alongside rivalries at the Bon Marché. Bradshaw, his sleuthing partner Henry Pratt, and the Seattle PD's Detective O'Brien pursue leads, but none spark Bradshaw's intuition. His heart is not in the investigation but in a courtship that will force him to defy his Catholic faith or lose his beloved, Missouri. Then a crossroads in the case forces him to face his personal fears and his first professional failure. Whatever the outcomes, his life is about to change.
(see review)

Roaring Brook Press

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry (Roaring Brook Press 23 September 2014 / ) - Product Description: There's a murderer on the loose--but that doesn't stop the girls of St. Etheldreda's from attempting to hide the death of their headmistress in this rollicking farce.

The students of St. Etheldreda's School for Girls face a bothersome dilemma. Their irascible headmistress, Mrs. Plackett, and her surly brother, Mr. Godding, have been most inconveniently poisoned at Sunday dinner. Now the school will almost certainly be closed and the girls sent home--unless these seven very proper young ladies can hide the murders and convince their neighbors that nothing is wrong.

Julie Berry's The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is a smart, hilarious Victorian romp, full of outrageous plot twists, mistaken identities, and mysterious happenings. (see review)

Seventh Street Books

The Sun Is God by Adrian Mckinty (Seventh Street Books 09 September 2014 / $15.95) - Product Description: Colonial New Guinea—1906:  a small group of mostly German nudists live an extreme back-to-nature existence on the remote island of Kabakon. Eating only coconuts and bananas, they purport to worship the sun.  One of their members--Max Lutzow--has recently died, allegedly from malaria. But an autopsy on his body in the nearby capital of Herbertshöhe raises suspicions about foul play.

Retired British military police officer Will Prior is recruited to investigate the circumstances of Lutzow's death. At first, the eccentric group seems friendly and willing to cooperate with the investigation. They all insist that Lutzow died of malaria. Despite lack of evidence for a murder, Prior is convinced that the group is hiding something.

Things come to a head during a late-night feast supposedly given as a send-off for the visitors before they return to Herbertshöhe.  Prior fears that the intent of the "celebration" is not to fete the visitors but to make them the latest murder victims. (Source: Seventh Street Books)

Signet

Groomed For Murder: A Pet Boutique Mystery by Annie Knox (Signet 02 September 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Izzy McHale wants her new Trendy Tails Pet Boutique in Merryville, Minnesota, to be the height of canine couture and feline fashions. But in a week of wedding bells, someone is about to hold their peace...forever.

Love is in the air, and Izzy is hard at work coordinating two special weddings at Trendy Tails. First, Izzy's friend and mentor, Ingrid, will be tying the knot with her old flame. And a week later, Izzy will host "pupptials" for two lovable dogs.

But even with the hullabaloo, the Trendy Tails crew is intrigued by Daniel, an enigmatic writer boarding above the shop who's caught the attention of Izzy's zany aunt Dolly, who gossips like most people breathe.

Unfortunately, it's Daniel who stops breathing when he drops dead at the altar on Ingrid's wedding day. Then Dolly is found at the scene with the murder weapon, and it's up to Izzy, her Trendy Tails pals, and her scrappy pets, Packer and Jinx, to find a killer before the two affianced doggies bark down the aisle. (Source: Signet)

Murder of a Needled Knitter: A Scumble River Mystery by Denise Swanson (Signet 02 September 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: School psychologist Skye Denison has been waiting forever for her happily-ever-after with police chief Wally Boyd. But her bliss threatens to unravel on the very first day of their luxurious honeymoon cruise, when Skye becomes convinced that she has glimpsed her mother on board! Surely even momzilla May wouldn't have manipulated Wally into booking the same trip that her knitting group is taking...or would she?

May's possible presence can't cool Skye and Wally's ardor on their personal Love Boat, but discovering knitting expert Guinevere Stallings as she lies dying from a stab wound leaves them untangling the clues of yet another murder investigation rather than getting tangled in the sheets. Since Skye found the body, she's considered a top suspect, but she's far from the only one. Guinevere's imperious ways needled nearly everyone, and she left an impressive number of enemies. It's up to the crafty newlyweds to figure out which of the wronged parties was angry enough to cast Guinevere off...permanently. (see review)

Murder, She Wrote: Close-Up On Murder by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain (Signet 02 September 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Cabot Cove is being invaded--by Hollywood. One of Jessica's older novels is being adapted into a big-budget movie. The producer has decided to shoot on location, since the book was loosely based on a murder that shocked Cabot Cove several years earlier.

Unfortunately, everyone on the set seems to have a hidden agenda. A novice director wants his shot at the big time. The lead actress has many unreasonable demands. Her astrologer sees trouble in the stars. And a stranger on the movie lot is stalking Jessica.

When a body is found on the set, a strip of celluloid film wrapped around its neck, 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: Signet)

No Tomorrow by Tom Wood (Signet 02 September 2014 / $9.99) - Product Description: When Victor is called to meet with an old friend who ultimately betrayed him, what he thought was an ambush is in fact a plea for help. As a Russian gangster, Norimov is accustomed to death threats, but now an unknown enemy wants more than his life. They intend to kill everyone he cares about, including his missing daughter Gisele. This time, Victor's job is not to kill but to protect. Unfortunately, locating Gisele is his first mistake--because someone is watching his every move.

Before she went into hiding, Gisele had uncovered a secret worth killing for--and now Victor has brought the enemy right to her doorstep. The least he can do is help her escape. But the ruthless network they're up against has the police, MI5, and every major news outlet joining in the manhunt across London. (Source: Signet)

Soho Crime

The Rest Is Silence (Billy Boyle World War II Mysteries) by James R. Benn (Soho Crime 02 September 2014 / $26.95) - Product Description: The fog of war surrounding D-Day and Operation Tiger provides cover for one of Billy Boyle's grisliest investigations.

When an unidentified corpse washes ashore at Slapton Sands on England's southern coast, US Army Captain Billy Boyle and his partner, Lieutenant Piotr "Kaz" Kazimierz, are assigned to investigate. The Devonshire beach is the home to Operation Tiger, the top-secret rehearsal for the approaching D-Day invasion of Normandy, and the area is restricted; no one seems to know where the corpse could have come from. Luckily, Billy and Kaz have a comfortable place to lay their heads at the end of the day: Kaz's old school chum David lives close by and has agreed to host the two men during their investigation. Glad for a distraction from his duties, Billy settles into life at David's family's fancy manor, Ashcroft, and makes it his mission to get to know its intriguing cast of characters.

Just when Billy and Kaz begin to wrap up their case, they find themselves with not one soggy corpse on their hands but hundreds following a terrible tragedy during the D-Day rehearsal. To complicate things, life at Ashcroft has been getting tense: secret agendas, buried histories, and family grudges abound. Then one of the men meets a sudden demise. Was it a heart attack? Or something more sinister? (Source: Soho Crime)

The Stone Wife (Peter Diamond #14) by Peter Lovesey (Soho Crime 16 September 2014 / $26.95) - Product Description: At a Bath auction house, a large slab of carved stone is up for sale. At the height of what turns into very competitive bidding, there is a hold-up attempt by three masked robbers. They shoot and kill the highest bidder, a professor who has recognized the female figure carved in the stone as Chaucer's Wife of Bath. The masked would-be thieves flee, leaving the stone behind.

Peter Diamond and his team are assigned to investigate, and the stone is moved into Diamond's office so he can research its origins. The carving causes such difficulties that he starts to think it has jinxed him. Meanwhile, as Diamond's leads take him to Chaucer's house in Somerset, his intrepid colleague Ingeborg goes undercover to try to track down the source of the fatal handgun used in the murder. (see review)

Subterranean

Defender of the Innocent: The Casebook of Martin Ehrengraf by Lawrence Block (Subterranean 30 September 2014 / $30.00) - Product Description: The Criminal Defense Lawyer. Redefined.

Martin H. Ehrengraf, dapper and diabolical, may be Lawrence Block's darkest creation. He's the defense attorney who never sees the inside of a courtroom, because all his clients are innocent--no matter how guilty they may seem. Some even believe themselves to be guilty: they remember pulling the trigger, or wiring the dynamite to their spouse's car, or holding the bloody blade. But things have a way of working out when Martin Ehrengraf is on the case. Evidence turns up, incriminating someone else. More murders occur, with the same M.O. And the gate of the jail cell opens, and the accused walks free.

But be careful--hiring Martin Ehrengraf comes with a price. A high price, one that comes due even if he appears to have done nothing on your behalf. And you'd better be prepared to pay...

Here at last are the complete exploits of Martin Ehrengraf: a dozen delicious tales of vice and villainy including one--"The Ehrengraf Fandango"--that is appearing for the first time anywhere. It's a twelve-course meal of sinister surprises, exquisitely prepared and served simmering hot by the greatest living master of mystery fiction. (see review)

University of Arizona Press

Sinking Suspicions (Sadie Walela Mystery) by Sara Sue Hoklotubbe (University of Arizona Press 04 September 2014 / $16.95) - Product Description: Suspicions run high when murder mixes with identity theft in the latest installment of the popular Sadie Walela mystery series set in Cherokee Country. No sooner does Sadie embark on an unexpected business trip to the beautiful island of Maui, when her long-time neighbor, Buck Skinner, a full-blood Cherokee and World War II veteran, goes missing and becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a petty identity thief.

Iconic lawman Lance Smith joins a community-wide search, but Buck is nowhere to be found. As evidence mounts against her old friend, Sadie rushes to return home to help--only to be delayed by an island-wide earthquake and her own sinking suspicions.

A diverse cast of characters weave together a breathless story of murder, thievery, and the toll of war on the human spirit. In her effort to restore balance to her neighbor's life, Sadie not only uncovers the truth, but unravels much more than a murder.

(Source: University of Arizona Press)

Windmill

A Wolf in Hindelheim by Jenny Mayhew (Windmill 01 September 2014 / $16.95) - Product Description: South-West Germany, 1926. The disappearance of a baby girl calls for Constable Theodore Hildebrandt and his son Klaus to visit the remote village of Hindelheim, a place where nothing ever happens. But the news of the missing baby has brought darkness to the community. It is as if someone or something wicked is playing a game. As the wind blows and the mist thickens, tensions rise among the villagers as everyone falls under suspicion. And when the rumors begin and secrets start to unravel, the quiet village of Hindelheim is set to change forever. (Source: Windmill)

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