gumshoereview Logo with link to Main Page  
US Books Received- 11/2014  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

Akashic Books

Belfast Noir by (Akashic Books 04 November 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 within the city of the book.

Reflecting a city still divided, Belfast Noir serves as a record of a city transitioning to normalcy, or perhaps as a warning that underneath the fragile peace darker forces still lurk.

Featuring brand-new stories by: Glenn Patterson, Eoin McNamee, Garbhan Downey, Lee Child, Alex Barclay, Brian McGilloway, Ian McDonald, Arlene Hunt, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Claire McGowan, Steve Cavanagh, Lucy Caldwell, Sam Millar, and Gerard Brennan.

From the introduction by Adrian McKinty and Stuart Neville:"Few European cities have had as disturbed and violent a history as Belfast over the last half-century. For much of that time the Troubles (1968–1998) dominated life in Ireland's second-biggest population centre, and during the darkest days of the conflict--in the 1970s and 1980s--riots, bombings, and indiscriminate shootings were tragically commonplace. The British army patrolled the streets in armoured vehicles and civilians were searched for guns and explosives before they were allowed entry into the shopping district of the city centre...Belfast is still a city divided...

You can see Belfast's bloodstains up close and personal. This is the city that gave the world its worst ever maritime disaster, and turned it into a tourist attraction; similarly, we are perversely proud of our thousands of murders, our wounds constantly on display. You want noir? How about a painting the size of a house, a portrait of a man known to have murdered at least a dozen human beings in cold blood? Or a similar house-sized gable painting of a zombie marching across a postapocalyptic wasteland with an AK-47 over the legend UVF: Prepared for Peace--Ready for War. As Lee Child has said, Belfast is still 'the most noir place on earth.'"
(Source: Akashic Books)

Helsinki Noir (Akashic Noir) by (Akashic Books 04 November 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 within the city of the book.

Featuring brand-new stories by: Leena Lehtolainen, Johanna Holmström, James Thompson, Antti Tuomainen, Jesse Itkonen, Joe L. Murr, Jukka Petäjä, Tapani Bagge, Pekka Hiltunen, Teemu Käskinen, Tuomas Lius, Riikka Ala-Harja, Karo Hämäläinen, and Jarkko Sipila.

From the introduction by James Thompson:"Finland, the myths and truths. Internationally, it has a reputation as perhaps the best place in the world to live. A great economy. A low crime rate. Good and nearly cost-free health care. The needy are provided for by the state and live in reasonable comfort. Finns: peaceful and quiet people, living in the perfect example of a social democracy functioning as it should. A tourist, or even a person who has lived here for a length of time, might well view Finland as such. There is some truth to this, but like every country, Finland has many truths...

Finland is, like the theme so often explored in
Star Trek, a parallel universe in which, on the surface, all seems normal, but under that shell lie vast differences...As this book demonstrates, Finland is a noir nation [and] this anthology is, I believe, the best representation of Finnish noir ever offered to the international community. Every word rings true. It holds Finland up in a way that not only exposes this wonderful and fascinating country to the world, but acts as a mirror that reflects its people and culture in a way every Finn will recognize, vocalizing those truths that are so seldom spoken here amongst ourselves." (Source: Akashic Books)

The Descartes Highlands by Eric Gamalinda (Akashic Books 04 November 2014 / $15.95) - Product Description: Two men, each unaware of the other, share a common family secret: they were sold for adoption by their American father shortly after their births in the Philippines. Three alternating stories interweave the experiences of father Andrew Breszky and the two sons who try to connect and piece together the puzzle of their reckless, impulsive father. One lives in New York and the other grows up in the south of France, later traveling all over Asia as a documentary filmmaker. Both will discover that their relationships somehow echo that of the young man whose history eludes them.

Celebrated Filipino writer Eric Gamalinda's international debut novel is a contemporary work of ideas that combines mystery, film noir, and existential philosophy. (Source: Akashic Books)

Berkley

For Better or Worsted (Crochet Mystery) by Betty Hechtman (Berkley 04 November 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Molly Pink and her crochet group, the Tarzana Hookers, are always game for a new adventure. But when their newest member is accused of turning her wedding into happily-never-after for the groom, Molly's chance to find the truth is hanging by a thread.

When Molly is invited to a major society wedding, she expects some wedding drama. Though she never anticipated this much trouble. The bride is the daughter of Molly's close friend Mason--and has been planning this wedding for a long time. But at the reception, things go amiss when the wealthy groom ends up dancing with the grim reaper.

To make matters worse, the bride's mother is found holding the murder weapon--and, as the newest addition to a reality show, she's happy to fuel the media frenzy. Molly agrees to open her home to Thursday, the distraught bride, who needs a little peace from the paparazzi. But when it turns out that Thursday and her groom were on shaky ground, the blushing bride takes the spotlight as the prime suspect.

Now Molly and the Hookers must quickly stitch together seemingly unrelated clues and high-profile suspects--before a killer strikes again. (Source: Berkley)

Knot Guilty (Crochet Mystery) by Betty Hechtman (Berkley 04 November 2014 / $25.95) - Product Description: Molly Pink and her pals, the Tarzana Hookers, are ready to bring the craft of crochet to the masses. But when one of their members finds herself the prime suspect in a murder, the Hookers are going to have to switch their focus to fighting her bad rap.

Molly and her friends can't wait to get more people hooked on crochet at the annual SoCal Knit Style Show, where Shedd & Royal has been granted a vendor booth. In the past, the show has always been about knitting, and this is the first year there'll be crochet classes and a crochet competition.

The show's organizer is K.D. Kirby, publisher of several knitting magazines and owner of a yarn store that caters to an elite Beverly Hills crowd. Everyone is shocked when K.D. doesn't show up for the opening reception, but that's nothing compared to how they feel when she's finally found--dead in her hotel suite.

Suspicion immediately falls on Adele, one of the Tarzana Hookers, who locked horns with K.D., and whose handmade crochet hook is found at the murder scene. Certain that Adele's been framed, Molly starts her own investigation, hoping to get their pal off the hook and find a killer before another guest checks out. (Recipes and crochet patters included.) (Source: Berkley)

Lethal Letters (Books by the Bay) by Ellery Adams (Berkley 04 November 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Restaurant owner and aspiring novelist Olivia Limoges is busy planning a delicious menu for Oyster Bay's biggest soiree of the spring. But she'll need to serve some justice as well after one resident gets eighty-sixed.

Everyone's got their hands full in Oyster Bay, North Carolina. Aside from two upcoming weddings, there's also the historical society's annual fund-raiser: the Secret Garden Party and Candlelit Ball. Adding to the excitement, Olivia witnesses the discovery of a time capsule in the foundation of a local church. The historical society president hopes to display its contents at their party, but when the items are finally revealed to the public, Olivia notices one of them has vanished.

After a frightening find beneath the pier--the body of Ruthie Holcomb--Olivia is certain there's a connection between the young woman's death and the missing piece from the time capsule. With the help of her fellow Bayside Book Writers, Olivia sets out to uncover some clues and ensure a killer has no reason to celebrate.

(Source: Berkley)

Mrs. Jeffries and the Merry Gentlemen: A Victorian Mystery by Emily Brightwell (Berkley 04 November 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Orlando Edison is a stockbroker using London's infatuation with foreign mining ventures to make a fortune. He has curried favor with the nation's most respected aristocrats, even inviting three influential investors--known as the Merry Gentlemen--to be part of his latest enterprise. Edison is welcomed in the highest circles and moves with ease among the rich and powerful. But a few days before Christmas, he is found murdered.

Inspector Witherspoon and his household are looking forward to the festive season. But they all know their duty, and led by the intrepid Mrs. Jeffries, they plan to see justice served for the holidays.

A Mrs. Jeffries Mystery: She keeps house for Inspector Witherspoon ... and keeps him on his toes. Everyone's awed by his Scotland Yard successes--but they don't know about his secret weapon. No matter how messy the murder or how dirty the deed, Mrs. Jeffries' polished detection skills are up to the task ... proving that behind every great man there's a woman--and that a crimesolver's work is never done.

(Source: Berkley)

Mulled Murder (Pennyfoot Holiday Mysteries) by Kate Kingsbury (Berkley 04 November 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: This holiday season at the Pennyfoot, the head count is down--but the body count is up.

With one of her housemaids leaving to get married, Cecily Sinclair Baxter wants nothing more for Christmas than some good help. Instead of visions of sugar plums, she's calling the plumber to deal with flooded bathrooms. Then there's the surly new janitor, who acts like he got coal in his stocking.

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

No Mallets Intended (Vintage Kitchen) by Victoria Hamilton (Berkley 04 November 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: The Queensville Heritage Society is restoring the once-grand Dumpe Manor. While Dumpe relatives and society members use the occasion to dust off old grudges, Jaymie Leighton prefers to adorn the kitchen with authentic Depression Era furnishings. A collection of vintage wooden mallets found in the house is a perfect addition to her display, but one also offers a late-night intruder the perfect weapon to knock Jaymie unconscious before escaping.

Though the attack has everyone on edge, nothing is missing from the house. Perhaps it was merely a vagrant who thought the place was still abandoned. But when Dumpe Manor's resident historian is murdered with a mallet from the same collection, it's time for Jaymie to turn up the heat on the investigation before someone else becomes history. (Includes recipes,) (Source: Berkley)

On Borrowed Time (Library Lover's) by Jenn McKinlay (Berkley 04 November 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Loving a good cup of coffee runs in the family for Briar Creek library director Lindsey Norris. But when her brother, Jack, a consultant for a coffee company, goes missing, her favorite beverage becomes a key clue in a dangerous mystery.

Between preparing the library for the holidays and juggling the affections of ex-boyfriend, Captain Mike Sullivan, and her new crush, actor Robbie Vine, Lindsey has her hands full. But the mysterious disappearance of her world-traveling playboy brother takes precedence over all.

Afraid that involving the police could brew trouble for Jack, Lindsey takes matters into her own hands. But as her quest for her brother embroils her in a strange case involving South American business dealings and an enigmatic and exotic woman, it'll take the help of both her library book club--the crafternooners--and her eager-to-please suitors to keep Jack from ending up in hot water. (Includes Reading Group Recommendations.) (Source: Berkley)

Snow White Red-Handed (A Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery) by Maia Chance (Berkley 04 November 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Miss Ophelia Flax is a Victorian actress who knows all about making quick changes and even quicker exits. But to solve a fairy-tale crime in the haunted Black Forest, she'll need more than a bit of charm.

1867: After being fired from her latest variety hall engagement, Ophelia acts her way into a lady's maid position for a crass American millionaire. But when her new job whisks her off to a foreboding castle straight out of a Grimm tale, she begins to wonder if her fast-talking ways might have been too hasty. The vast grounds contain the suspected remains of Snow White's cottage, along with a disturbing dwarf skeleton. And when her millionaire boss turns up dead--poisoned by an apple--the fantastic setting turns into a once upon a crime scene.

To keep from rising to the top of the suspect list, Ophelia fights through a bramble of elegant lies, sinister folklore, and priceless treasure, with only a dashing but mysterious scholar as her ally. And as the clock ticks towards midnight, she'll have to break a cunning killer's spell before her own time runs out.

(Source: Berkley)

Suede to Rest (Material Witness) by Diane Vallere (Berkley 04 November 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: With her career as a dress designer in shreds, Polyester Monroe is looking forward to a fresh start. But as it all unfolds, the pattern to a new beginning looks a lot like murder.

When Poly Monroe was little, she loved playing in her family's textile store. But after a fatal family tragedy, Land of A Thousand Fabrics was boarded up and Poly never expected to see the inside again. Now, as inheritor of the long-shuttered shop, she's ready to restore the family business. However her two new kittens, Pins and Needles, aren't the ones causing a snag in her plans.

Not everyone wants Poly back in San Ladrón, especially a powerful local developer pressuring her to sell--and leave town fast. But even when the threats turn deadly, she's not ready to bolt. Because Poly is beginning to suspect that the murder behind the shop is tied to a mystery in her family's unsettled past that she's determined to solve...before her own life is left hanging by a thread. (Includes a craft project.)

(Source: Berkley)

Five Star

And Grant You Peace (A Joe Burgess Mystery) by Kate Flora (Five Star 22 November 2014 / $25.95) - Book Description: Most people run from fires; firemen and cops run toward them, especially when someone inside is screaming. It began when a boy banged on Burgess' car window. He got a gasped, "Fire at the mosque and someone's in there," and a frantic gesture toward the old commercial building that served as a mosque for Portland's Somali community.

His dash into the building leads to a very young mother and tiny baby in a locked closet, and to his worst nightmare--investigating the death of another child. He must deal with suspicious, uncooperative refugees, members of a motorcycle gang, businessmen engaged in illegal activity, and threats to his family before identifying the mute and terrified young mother and getting justice for a helpless child who never had a chance. (Source: Five Star)

Dead Wrong by Patricia Stoltey (Five Star 19 November 2014 / $25.95) - From Author's Website: Newlywed Lynnette Foster's cop husband punches her in the face, but this first assault will be the last. She leaves him and boards a flight from Miami to Los Angeles.

At the airport, a foul-mouthed thug known as Fat Ass Sammy Grick carelessly switches Lynnette's laptop case and his own. Sammy's boss sends a hit man to recover his property. To complicate Lynnette's life, eleven-year-old Grace McCoy follows her off the plane during the Denver layover.

When Lynnette discovers her husband was murdered a few hours after she walked out and she's a person of interest, a killer is hunting her down, and she needs to protect the runaway child as well as herself, she doubts her life will ever be normal again. (see review)

Family Plot (John Pickett) by Sheri Cobb South (Five Star 19 November 2014 / $25.95) - From Author's Website: In disgrace with her aristocratic in-laws, recently widowed Lady Fieldhurst is exiled to Scotland with her three young nephews in tow. On impulse, she and the boys decide to stay at an isolated seaside inn under an assumed name, where they can enjoy a holiday far away from the scandal that still plagues the family.

But trouble soon finds them when the boys discover an unconscious woman on the beach--a woman who bears a startling resemblance to the local laird's daughter, missing and presumed dead for the last fifteen years. Uncertain whether to welcome her as a returning prodigal or denounce her as a fraud, Angus Kirkbride sends to London for a Bow Street runner--which presents a dilemma for Lady Fieldhurst, since she has chosen to call herself Mrs. Pickett after the handsome young man who saved her from hanging for the murder of her husband.

Meanwhile John Pickett, hopelessly pining for Lady Fieldhurst, resolves to forget her by marrying another. When magistrate Patrick Colquhoun receives Kirkbride's summons, he packs Pickett off to Scotland before his most junior runner can do anything rash.

Upon his arrival, Pickett is surprised (though not at all displeased) to discover that he has acquired a "wife" in the person of Lady Fieldhurst. But when Angus Kirkbride dies only hours after announcing his intention of changing his will in his daughter's favor, "Mr. and Mrs. Pickett" must join forces to discover the truth about a family reunion suddenly turned deadly. (see review)

Forget You Ever Knew Me by Judy Dailey (Five Star 19 November 2014 / $25.95) - From back of book: It's 1952. Maggie Kendall, an idealistic young doctor, must chose life or death for one of her patients under horrifying circumstances. She makes the wrong decision and loses her home, her husband, and her infant daughter. She flees to the south side of Chicago where she provides medical care to the poorest of the poor. Forty years later, Maggie sees a chance to return home and right a terrible wrong, but this time the stakes are even higher.

(Source: Five Star)

Three May Keep a Secret by Susan Van Kirk (Five Star 19 November 2014 / $25.95) - From Author's Website: Three May Keep a Secret follows recently retired English teacher Grace Kimball who has lived a quiet life as a young widow raising three children in the small town of Endurance, Illinois. Now her children are grown up and have moved away, and Grace's quiet retirement changes considerably when someone she knows from her past dies suddenly. Not only does Grace take the victim's place at a local newspaper job, but she decides to investigate why her friend died in a fire which turns out to be arson. She gets the help of several friends, including TJ Sweeney, Grace's former student and now detective at the Endurance Police Department.

As Grace turns up clues, she begins to realize that her small town holds secrets, secrets people have covered up--even to the point of murder--in order to protect themselves. Why was her friend murdered? What did she know? And how can Grace and her friends uncover the truth against the backdrop of Endurance's 175th anniversary celebration? Before they discover the threads of a mystery going back forty years, another Endurance resident dies, this time leaving no question that this second death is murder. (see review)

Gallic Books

The Phantom of Rue Royale (A Nicolas Le Floch Investigation) by Jean-François Parot (Gallic Books 11 November 2014 / $15.95) - Product Description: Paris is in mourning. At the firework display marking the Dauphin’s marriage to Marie Antoinette, hundreds of people have been injured or crushed to death. Yet not all the victims died accidentally.

The tragic incident on Place Louis XV yields a new case for Commissioner Le Floch when a strangled woman is found amongst the other corpses. The investigation takes him to the home of a furrier on Rue Royale where he must deal not just with its curious residents but also face the terrifying forces of the supernatural.

(Source: Gallic Books)

Grosset & Dunlap

The Crown of Venice #7 (Agatha: Girl of Mystery) by Sir Steve Stevenson (Grosset & Dunlap 13 November 2014 / $5.99) - Product Description: Agatha heads to Italy in this exciting new mystery!

Agatha and her cousin Dash are hot on the trail of the missing crown of Venice. The ancient relic, worn by the Doges--or Dukes--of Venice, was stolen during the city's famous carnival, and it seems like everyone is a suspect.

(Source: Grosset & Dunlap)

The Ghost Backstage #3 (The Haunted Library) by Dori Hillestad Butler (Grosset & Dunlap 13 November 2014 / $12.99) - Product Description: Kaz and Claire's new detective agency is a success! Their latest case, though, is proving to be the hardest yet. When Claire's classmate says he saw a ghost backstage while rehearsing the school play, Kaz goes to school with Claire to investigate. From the description the boy gave, Kaz is sure it's his mom--but where has she gone? Kaz and Claire search everywhere and find no trace of her, but the mysterious ghostly activities are still happening.

(Source: Grosset & Dunlap)

Kensington

By Cook or by Crook (A Five-Ingredient Mystery) by Maya Corrigan (Kensington 04 November 2014 / $7.99) - Book Description: Haunted by the car accident that ended her career as a cookbook publicist, Val Deniston has traded in the chaos of New York City for a quieter life near the Chesapeake Bay. Living with her curmudgeonly grandfather in the tourist town of Bayport is hardly glamorous, but she enjoys running the Cool Down Café at the fitness and racket club. After a club patron is murdered, she cooks up a scheme to find the killer who framed her best friend. While she investigates five suspects and uncovers five key clues, Granddad takes up cooking, creating havoc in the kitchen even when trying recipes that have only five ingredients. But kitchen disasters are the least of Val's problems. By dredging for secrets in a small, waterside town, she may be digging her own grave. (see review)

Minotaur Books

A Deadly Measure of Brimstone (Dandy Gilver) by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur Books 18 November 2014 / $26.99) - Product Description: Catriona McPherson's critically acclaimed mystery series set in 1920s Scotland and featuring plucky and laugh-out-loud-funny heroine Dandy Gilver is perfect for fans of PG Wodehouse, Dorothy L Sayers, and Agatha Christie.

In this new book, Dandy and the whole Gilver clan travel to a spa town for a weekend of relaxation which is quickly interrupted by a slew of mysterious— and deadly—events.

The men of the Gilver family have come down, between them, with influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia and pleurisy. The family repairs to the town of Moffat, there to submit to the galvanic wraps and cold salt rubs of the splendid Laidlaw Hydropathic Hotel.

But all is not well at the Hydro, and the secret of the lady who arrived but never left cannot be kept for long. And what of those drifting shapes in the Turkish bath? Just steam shifting in the air? Probably. But in this town the dead can be as much trouble as the living.
(see review)

Deadly Virtues by Jo Bannister (Minotaur Books 11 November 2014 / $15.99) - Product Description: The town of Norbold, England is famous for its low crime rate, thanks to the zero-tolerance policy of Chief Superintendent John Fountain. And Norbold's newest police recruit, Hazel Best, is happy to help keep it that way. But numbers never tell the whole story, do they?

Jerome Cardy knew he was going to die. He also knew that it would be made to appear like an accident. He might not be able to prevent it, but Jerome was determined to make sure that someone knew what was going to happen--even if that someone was a man with a concussion lying with his dog in a jail cell next to him.

After Jerome is found beaten to death by a fellow inmate in another cell, Ash is unable to forget Jerome's last awkward words to him: "I had a dog once. Othello. That was its name. Othello." Certain there is a hidden message in these words, Ash is determined to discover the truth. But it won't be easy--no one believes his account of that night. And Hazel Best must decide whether pursuing the truth is worth her career. (see review)

Night Work by Steve Hamilton (Minotaur Books 18 November 2014 / $15.99) - Product Description: Joe Trumbull is not a man who scares easily. But tonight he is scared to death.

It's been two years since Joe's fiancée, Laurel, was murdered. Two years of grief and loneliness. On this hot summer night, he's finally going on a blind date, his first since Laurel's death. He's not looking for love, just testing the waters to see if it's possible to live a normal life again. And after the first awkward minutes, Joe starts to think this date wasn't such a bad idea after all. In fact, maybe it will turn out to be one of the best things that ever happened to him.

He couldn't be more wrong. Because somehow, for reasons Joe doesn't yet understand, this one evening will mark the beginning of a new nightmare. A nightmare that will lead him to realize that the past is never past. And the worst is yet to come. (see review)

Once Upon a Lie (Maeve Conlon) by Maggie Barbieri (Minotaur Books 11 November 2014 / $15.99) - Product Description: Maeve Conlon's life is coming apart at the seams. Her bakery is barely making ends meet, and one of her daughters spends as much time grounded as the other does studying. Her ex-husband has a new wife, a new baby, and a look of pity for Maeve that's absolutely infuriating. Her father insists he's still independent, but he's slowly and obviously succumbing to Alzheimer's. And now, her cousin Sean Donovan has been found dead, sitting in his car in a public park in quiet Farringville, New York, shot through the head.

There was never much love lost between Maeve and Sean and she's not exactly devastated by his death, but suddenly the police are poking around asking the family questions. It's just one more hassle Maeve doesn't have time for, until she realizes that her father, whose memory and judgment are unreliable at best, is a suspect in the murder. Maeve is determined to clear his name, but is she prepared to cope with the dark memories and long-hidden secrets that doing so might dredge up?
(Source: Minotaur Books)

Runner (A Sam Dryden Novel) by Patrick Lee (Minotaur Books 25 November 2014 / $9.99) - Product Description: Sam Dryden, ex-Special Forces, lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, he encounters a young girl on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she's running from a group of heavily armed men with one clear goal: to kill her. Dryden learns that the twelve-year-old can only remember the past two months, during which she's been kept in a secret prison by forces within the government. Beyond her own name, Rachel, she knows only that she has a skill that makes her very dangerous to these men and those in charge of them.

Dryden, who lost his wife and young daughter in an accident, agrees to help Rachel try to unravel and make sense of her own past, and to protect her from the people who are moving heaven and earth to find them both. Although Dryden is only one man, he has extraordinary skills and experience--as a Ranger, a Delta, and five years doing off-the-book black ops with an elite team. However, as he slowly begins to discover, the highly trained forces on their heels are only part of the danger they much face. Because there's something in Rachel's past--and it's more dangerous, and deadly, than Dryden can even imagine.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

The Laws of Murder: A Charles Lenox Mystery by Charles Finch (Minotaur Books 11 November 2014 / $25.99) - Product Description: It's 1876, and Charles Lenox, once London's leading private investigator, has just given up his seat in Parliament after six years, primed to return to his first love, detection. With high hopes he and three colleagues start a new detective agency, the first of its kind. But as the months pass, and he is the only detective who cannot find work, Lenox begins to question whether he can still play the game as he once did.

Then comes a chance to redeem himself, though at a terrible price: a friend, a member of Scotland Yard, is shot near Regent's Park. As Lenox begins to parse the peculiar details of the death – an unlaced boot, a days-old wound, an untraceable luggage ticket--he realizes that the incident may lead him into grave personal danger, beyond which lies a terrible truth.

With all the humanity, glamor, and mystery that readers have come to love, the latest Lenox novel is a shining new confirmation of the enduring popularity of Charles Finch's Victorian series. (Source: Minotaur Books)

The Raven's Eye: A Brock and Kolla Mystery by Barry Maitland (Minotaur Books 11 November 2014 / $15.99) - Product Description: DI Kathy Kolla of Scotland Yard is called in as a matter of course by the local Paddington police when a woman turns up dead in what appears to be an accident. On her houseboat, Vicky Hawks is found by one of her neighbors having apparently succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning due to improper ventilation of the narrowboat's heating system. But while the cause of death seems apparent and there's no reason for Kolla to think otherwise, something about this death still bothers her.

Meanwhile, her boss, DCI Brock, is wrestling with harsh budget cuts and a new Commander who is determined to make fundamental changes to the system--including limiting resources devoted to investigations. Struggling against the limitations imposed by the new order at Scotland Yard, Brock and Kolla find themselves pulling at the loose strings in the death of Vicky Hawks, trying to find out who she really was, what she was up to, and how her death might be related to another earlier tragic accidental death. (see review)

Want You Dead (Det. Superintendent Roy Grace) by Peter James (Minotaur Books 18 November 2014 / $26.99) - Product Description: Single girl, 33, redhead and smouldering, love life that's crashed and burned. Seeks new flame to rekindle her fire. Fun, friendship and--who knows--more maybe?

In Peter James' Want You Dead, thirty-year old Red Cameron meets handsome, charming and rich thirty-five year old Bryce Laurent through an online dating agency, and is instantly attracted to him. But as their love blossoms, the truth about his past begins to emerge, and with it his dark side. Everything he has told Red about himself turns out to be a tissue of lies, and her infatuation with him gradually turns to terror.

Within a year, and under police protection, she evicts him from her flat and her life. But far from being over, her nightmare is only just beginning. For Bryce is obsessed and besotted with her. He intends to destroy, by fire, everything and everyone she has ever known and loved--and then her, too. It's up to Detective Superintendent Roy Grace to stop him before it's too late.

(see review)

Wink of an Eye: A Mystery by Lynn Chandler Willis (Minotaur Books 18 November 2014 / $24.99) - Product Description: On the run from a double-cross, Las Vegas private investigator Gypsy Moran shows up unexpectedly at his sister Rhonda's house in Wink, Texas. She introduces Gypsy to one of her former students, 12-year-old Tatum McCallen, who is in need of Gypsy's services. Tatum wants to hire Gypsy to investigate his father Ryce's alleged suicide. His dad was a deputy with the Sheriff's department and was found hanged in their backyard. Tatum believes his father was murdered after he went inquiring after the disappearance of  several teenage girls, all undocumented immigrants. Against his better judgment, Gypsy agrees to snoop around to see what he can find. Between dealing with his now married high school sweetheart, a sexy reporter, and hostile police officers, Gypsy has his work cut out for him. (Source: Minotaur Books)

NAL

The Chocolate Clown Corpse (Chocoholic Mystery) by JoAnna Carl (NAL 04 November 2014 / $22.95) - Product Description: Revenge is sweet for a killer on the loose--and it all started with the murder of Warner Pier's most hated clown. Everyone who knew the bozo wanted him dead. Odd, then, that a complete stranger was accused of bursting Moe Davidson's balloons. But it's been a month since the miserable shop owner of Clowning Around was killed, and everybody's moving on, including Lee Woodyard. Her chocolate shop, TenHuis Chocolade, is next door to Moe's shuttered tourist trap, and it's giving her delicious ideas to expand. But over whose dead body?

Moe's widow, Emma, and her two stepchildren list the property for sale, but when Lee tours the building, she finds Emma unconscious. Now Lee wonders whether Moe's real killer is still at large and is taking care of unfinished business. Unfortunately, since the town is celebrating Clown Week, there are so many potential suspects in grease paint and floppy shoes it's not even funny.

For Lee, protecting Emma, freeing an innocent man, and rolling out hundreds of her clown-themed chocolates is a pretty tall order. But so is staying alive long enough to find out which one of her neighbors is a killer in disguise. (Includes Tasty Chocolate Trivia!) (Source: NAL)

Pemberley Press

Acts of Faith (Blue Satan and Mrs. Kean) by Patricia Wynn (Pemberley Press 19 November 2014 / $29.95) - Book Description: In Yorkshire, Blue Satan and Mrs. Kean delve into the secrets of Roman Catholics.

Convinced that she will never see the outlawed Viscount St. Mars again, and nursing a broken heart, Hester Kean is not sorry when her relatives send her alone into Yorkshire to prepare her cousin Mary for life at the English court. Travelling on the stage, she befriends a reserved young gentleman, returning home after many years, whose mysterious behaviour is due to his fear of being arrested for receiving an illegal Roman Catholic education in France.

When the young man arrives home to learn that his father has been murdered, Hester wants to help, but her efforts are stymied by the secrets the young man and his family are forced to keep. Encountering degrees of prejudice against "papists" on all sides, Hester cannot blame them for their clandestine lives, but was it that very secrecy that led to the murder?

Hester has an affair of her own to keep private, for Gideon has tracked her north in disguise, determined to win her. Elated to know at last that he loves her, she still has to discover whether he wants her for a mistress or a wife. Somehow, they must hide their intimacy from Hester's cousins, while stealing the moments alone they need to resolve their future together.

(Source: Pemberley Press)

Poisoned Pen Press

Caught Dead: A Rick Van Lam Mystery by Andrew Lanh (Poisoned Pen Press 04 November 2014 / $24.95) - Product Description: One of the beautiful Le sisters is dead. Hartford, Connecticut's small Vietnamese community is stunned. Mary Le Vu, wife of a poor grocery-store owner, is gunned down in a drive-by. Her twin sister insists dutiful Mary "wouldn't be caught dead" in that drug-infested zone. The police rule it an unlucky accident. Skeptics hire private eye Rick Van Lam to get to the truth. Amerasian Rick--his father an unknown US soldier--is one of the Bui Doi, children of the dust, so often rejected by Vietnamese culture. But his young sidekick, Hank Nguyen, a pureblood Vietnamese, can help Rick navigate the closed world of Little Saigon. Surrounded by close friends--a former-Rockette landlady, his crusty mentor, and his ex-wife Liz—Rick immerses himself in a world that rejects him, but now needs his help. Especially when a second murder strikes in Little Saigon. Rick and Hank delve into the families of the Le sisters, one poor, one very rich, and uncover a world of explosive ethnic tension and sinister criminal activity ranging from Hartford's exclusive white suburbs to the impoverished inner city. To solve the murders--and bring closure to Mary's grieving circle--Rick looks to long-buried memories of his Buddhist childhood for the wisdom that will lead him to a murderer. Caught Dead starts a smart, unusual series. (Source: Poisoned Pen Press)

Deeper Than the Grave: A Tai Randolph Mystery by Tina Whittle (Poisoned Pen Press 04 November 2014 / $24.95) - Product Description: It's taken almost a year, but Tai Randolph has her new life together. She's running a semisuccessful Atlanta gun shop catering to Civil War re-enactors. Her lover, the sexy-if-securityobsessed Trey Seaver, is sorting out his challenges. There's not a single corpse on her horizon, and her previously haphazard existence is finally stable, secure… and unsurprising. Then a tornado blows by a Kennesaw Mountain cemetery, scattering the skeletal remains of a Confederate hero. Assisting the bones recovery effort is a job her late Uncle Dexter would have relished, as does Tai. Does she hit the jackpot on discovering a jumble of bones in the underbrush? No. The bones reveal a more recent murder, with her deceased uncle leading the suspect list. As Tai struggles to clear Dexter's name— and save the business he left her--she uncovers deadly secrets were also buried in the red Georgia clay. And realizes there's a live murderer on the loose, a clever killer who has tried to conceal the crimes of the present in the stories of the past. As she risks her own life to unravel two mysteries—one from a previous century, one literally at her doorstep--Tai rediscovers her dangerous taste for murder and mayhem. (Source: Poisoned Pen Press)

Die I Will Not: A Regency Mystery by S.K. Rizzolo (Poisoned Pen Press 04 November 2014 / $24.95) - Product Description: Unhappy wife and young mother Penelope Wolfe fears scandal for her family and worse. A Tory newspaper editor has been stabbed while writing a reply to the latest round of letters penned by the firerebrand Collatinus. Twenty years before, her father, the radical Eustace Sandford, also wrote as Collatinus before he fled London just ahead of accusations of treason and murder --a mysterious beauty closely connected to Sandford and known only as N.D. had been brutally slain. Now the seditious new Collatinus letters that attack the Prince Regent in the press seek to avenge N.D.'s death and unmask her murderer. What did the dead editor know that provoked his death? Her artist husband Jeremy being no reliable ally, Penelope turns anew to lawyer Edward Buckler and Bow Street Runner John Chase. As she battles public notoriety, Buckler and Chase put their careers at risk to stand behind her and find N.D.'s killer. They pursue various lines of inquiry including a missing memoir, Royal scandal, and the dead editor's secretive, reclusive wife. As they navigate the dark underbelly of 1813 London among a cast driven by dirty politics and dark passions, as well as by decency and a desire for justice, past secrets and present criminals are exposed, upending Penelope's life and the lives of others. (Source: Poisoned Pen Press)

Risky Undertaking: A Buryin' Barry Mystery by Mark de Castrique (Poisoned Pen Press 04 November 2014 / $24.95) - Product Description: When Cherokee burial remains are unearthed on the site expanding a local cemetery, the dual occupations of Barry Clayton, part-time deputy and full-time undertaker, collide. Then, during the interment of the wife of one of Gainesboro, North Carolina's most prominent citizens, Cherokee activist Jimmy Panther leads a protest. Words and fists fly. When Panther turns up executed on the grave of the deceased woman, Barry is forced to confront her family as the chief suspects. But the case lurches in a new direction with the arrival of Sheriff Tommy Lee Wadkin's Army pal, Boston cop Kevin Malone. He's on the trail of a Boston hit man who arrived at the Cherokee reservation only days before the murder. Malone is convinced his quarry is the triggerman. But who paid him? And why? The accelerating investigation draws Barry onto the reservation where Panther's efforts to preserve Cherokee traditions threatened the development of a new casino, a casino bringing millions of dollars of construction plus huge yearly payouts to every member of the tribe. Leading an unlikely team--his childhood nemesis Archie Donovan and his elderly fellow undertaker Uncle Wayne--Barry goes undercover. But the stakes are higher than he realized in this risky undertaking. And the life of a Cherokee boy becomes the wager. Barry must play his cards very carefully. (Source: Poisoned Pen Press)

Poisoned Pencil

Mr. Samuel's Penny: An Elizabeth Parrot Landers Mystery by Treva Hall Melvin (Poisoned Pencil 04 November 2014 / $10.95) - Product Description: It's 1972 and fourteen-year-old New Yorker Elizabeth Landers is sent to the sleepy town of Ahoskie, North Carolina to spend the summer with relatives. Her expectation of boredom is quickly dispelled when police sirens and flashing lights draw her to a horrible scene at the Danbury Bridge. Mr. Samuel, owner of Samuel's Lumber Yard, has driven his car off the bridge and into the river, drowning himself and his daughter. The medical examiner thinks it's an accident, but the Sheriff finds fresh bullet holes on the bridge right where the skid marks are. Curiously, Mr. Samuel died clutching a unique 1909 wheat penny --a penny that is then stolen from the Sheriff's office. Lizbeth witnesses Miss Violet's grief upon learning that her husband and child are dead, and decides she will help by finding the penny. Her search involves Lizbeth in the lives of many Ahoskie residents. Like the owner of the grocery store, mean old Mr. Jake, who--as all the kids in Ahoskie know--hates black folks. Plenty of pennies in his till. Then there is Ms. Melanie Neely, otherwise known as "Ms. McMeanie," who thinks the lumber yard should belong to her. And Mr. Samuel's handsome brother Ben, who struggles to keep the business afloat after his more clever brother's death. Lizbeth searches through the collection plates at church and in the coin jars of crazy old Aunt Ode, a strange old woman missing one eye and most of her teeth, who keeps a flask in her apron pocket and a secret in her soul. (Source: Poisoned Pencil)

Seventh Street Books

Black Karma: A White Ginger Novel by Thatcher Robinson (Seventh Street Books 04 November 2014 / $15.95) - Product Description: Bai Jiang—San Francisco's best-known souxun ("people finder")--is hired to track down the mysterious Daniel Chen. Police inspector Kelly suspects Chen of being involved in a botched drug heist that resulted in the death of an officer. Bai has her own suspicions. She thinks the police just want to see Chen dead.

Her investigation leads Bai into deadly intrigue as she finds herself caught between international intelligence agencies and merchants of war, who deal in death, drugs, and high-jacked information.

To make matters worse, she's thirty-something and dating again. It's not easy juggling a suitor with family connections, a brazen young man who finds her irresistible, and her ex--the father of her child.

World conflict and family strife explode as adversaries face off in San Francisco's Chinatown, a world away from the one we know. (Source: Seventh Street Books)

Deadly Ruse: A Mac McClellan Mystery by E. Michael Helms (Seventh Street Books 11 November 2014 / $15.95) - Product Description: Mac's girlfriend, Kate Bell, thinks she's seen a ghost. Wes Harrison, Kate's former boyfriend, supposedly perished twelve years ago in a boating accident. But now she swears a man she spotted in a crowded theater lobby is Wes. Mac has his doubts--it was only a fleeting glimpse. But to calm her shattered nerves, he starts making inquiries.

A clue leads him from his home in St. George, Florida, to a Texas orphanage. There he uncovers startling information that turns both his and Kate's world upside-down. Diamond smuggling, sex, deceit, and murder are just part of the twisted tale that emerges from Kate's earlier life. Using wit, grit, and the ingrained military training of a former Marine, Mac starts to fit the pieces of this scrambled puzzle together.

Further clues point to the Palmetto Royale Casino and Resort near St. George. He and Kate discover that the casino is a front for big drug deals. When they barely escape a murder attempt, Mac knows he's on the right track.

But he better play his cards right–because losing this high-stakes game could cost him his life. (Source: Seventh Street Books)

Signet

A Dog Gone Murder: Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper by Elaine Viets (Signet 04 November 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Mystery shopper Josie Marcus is getting the dirt on doggy day-care centers, and discovers that one dog-loving local celebrity is really bad to the bone.

Josie has been asked to investigate Uncle Bob's Doggy Day Camp, known for its commercials featuring Uncle Bob liking dogs so much that he acts like one. But Josie soon learns how Uncle Bob acts when the cameras are off. Her mother's new tenant, Franklin, who works for Uncle Bob, plans to quit after seeing the man's true nature. But before he gets the chance, Bob is murdered, and Franklin goes from the doghouse to the big house.

Now it's up to Josie to clear Franklin's name. Her investigation reveals that Bob was more of a dog than anyone knew--and had been kicked out of his house for bad behavior. As she digs up new clues, Josie will have to catch the killer quickly, before any more trouble is unleashed. (Includes Shopping Tips!) (see review)

A High-End Finish (Fixer-Upper) by Kate Carlisle (Signet 04 November 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: In the seaside town of Lighthouse Cove in northern California, everyone knows the best man for the job is actually a woman--contractor Shannon Hammer. But while Shannon can do wonders with a power drill and a little elbow grease, she's about to discover that some problems aren't so easily fixed.

Shannon's home-renovation and repair business is booming, but her love life needs work. On a blind date with real estate agent Jerry Saxton, she has to whip out a pair of pliers to keep Jerry from getting too hands on. Shannon is happy to put her rotten date behind her, but when Jerry's found dead in a run-down Victorian home that she's been hired to restore, the town's attractive new police chief suspects that her threats may have laid the foundation for murder.

Determined to clear her name, Shannon conducts her own investigation--with the help of her four best friends, her eccentric father, a nosy neighbor or two, and a handsome crime writer who's just moved to town. But as they get closer to prying out the murderer's identity, Shannon is viciously attacked. Now she'll have to nail down the truth--or end up in permanent foreclosure.
(Source: Signet)

Plagued By Quilt: A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery by Molly MacRae (Signet 04 November 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: The latest novel in the national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery series

Yarn shop owner Kath Rutledge is at a historic farm in Blue Plum, Tennessee, volunteering for the high school program Hands on History. But when a long-buried murder is uncovered on the property, Kath needs help from Geneva the ghost to solve a crime that time forgot.

Kath and her needlework group TGIF (Thank Goodness It's Fiber) are preparing to teach a workshop at the Holston Homeplace Living History Farm, but their lesson in crazy quilts is no match for the crazy antics of the assistant director, Phillip Bell. Hamming it up with equal parts history and histrionics, Phillip leads an archaeological dig of the farm's original dump site--until one student stops the show by uncovering some human bones.

When a full skeleton is later excavated, Kath can't help but wonder if it's somehow connected to Geneva, the ghost who haunts her shop, and whom she met at this very site. After Phillip is found dead, it's up to Kath to thread the clues together before someone else becomes history.

(Source: Signet)

The Chocolate Book Bandit (Chocoholic Mystery) by JoAnna Carl (Signet 04 November 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: When it turns out a member of Warner Pier's library board has been living on borrowed time, Lee is determined to discover who wrote the victim's final chapter.

Lee McKinney Woodyard, manager of TenHuis Chocolade, has been offered a position on the local library board. Before she accepts, she decides to check out their monthly meeting at the town's historic library.

Rumors are flying about the rugged new board director, Henry "Butch" Cassidy, and the changes he allegedly plans to make. Butch is indeed attractive--but Lee doesn't get a chance to find out about his proposals. The meeting is interrupted by the terrified screams of the library clerk.

The clerk has discovered the lifeless body of prim and proper Abigail Montgomery, a retiring member of the board. Suddenly everyone in attendance--including Lee--is a suspect. And, as Lee finds out, they've all got something to hide. (Includes Tasty Chocolate Trivia!) (Source: Signet)

Soho Crime

For the Dead (Poke Rafferty) by Timothy Hallinan (Soho Crime 04 November 2014 / $26.95) - Product Description: After seven years in Bangkok, American travel writer Poke Rafferty finally feels settled: his family is about to grow larger, and his adopted Thai daughter, Miaow, seems to have found her place at junior high school at last. All that is endangered when Miaow helps her boyfriend buy a stolen iPhone that contains photographs of two murdered police officers. As Miaow's carefully constructed personal life falls apart, Rafferty discovers that the murders are part of a conspiracy that reaches the top rungs of Bangkok law enforcement and beyond. Miaow's discovery threatens the entire family, and in order to survive, they may ultimately have to depend on someone who has betrayed them in the past. (Source: Soho Crime)

Terry Odell

Seeing Red: From the Case Files of Detective James T. Kirkland by Terry Odell (Terry Odell 29 November 2014 / ) - Product Description: Three short works featuring Florida Homicide Detective James T. Kirkland who has to put up with a Star Trek loving Medical Examiner, an ex-wife, and a cousin who overreacts to just about everything. Sometimes murder happens when and where you least expect it.

Redshirted: "He's dead, Jim." Homicide Detective James T. Kirkland dreads the Star-Trek loving medical examiner's joy in stating the obvious. This time, the victim was wearing a red shirt, and when what looked like a death from natural causes turns into a homicide, Kirkland is called upon to solve the crime, red shirt and all.

Red's Heat: "There's a body buried in my yard." Detective James T. Kirkland braves the hot, sweltering heat of a Florida summer to debunk his cousin's claim before both of them are set up for ridicule in the Sheriff's Office. But when the body isn't really a body, Kirkland accepts being the butt of department jokes--until things take an unexpected turn.

Red Flagged: "Call me when you've got a dead body." Favorite words of an over-worked detective trying to get some shut-eye. But when his ex-wife calls and says her friend is missing, all thoughts of sleep evaporate as James T. Kirkland rushes to help solve the mysterious disappearance. (Red Flagged first appeared in Deception, a Mystery Anthology published by Highland Press, 2011.)

The Permanent Press

A Billion Ways to Die by Chris Knopf (The Permanent Press 21 November 2014 / $28.00) - Product Description: Arthur Cathcart and Natsumi Fitzgerald wanted to believe they were free of the nearly invisible, malignant forces they had pursued, and been pursued by, across continents and oceans. The slightly brain-damaged, tech freak researcher and the black-jack dealing psychologist had convinced themselves that life aboard a sail boat in the Caribbean, incognito and in love, could be a lasting refuge. The death of that illusion was as brutal as it was abrupt. Even people who knew how to dodge ruthless outlaws and relentless law enforcement learned there were powers from which no one could ever hide.

Not in the 21st century. Not if you wanted more than to simply exist. To truly live in the world, you had to have a world that allows you to live. Soldiers fighting in Vietnam had a saying when pinned down under enemy fire: The only way out is through. And so it is that Arthur and Natsumi take to the fight, where the full expanse of both the virtual and material world is the field of engagement. Nearly blind to the threats that surround them, yet searching for that impossible path back to the ordinary lives they'd been forced to abandon.

Wiser, stronger and more experienced than they ever imagined they'd be in the art of clandestine combat, Arthur and Natsumi understand what makes you strong can also get you killed in a hurry. That the reserves of resilience and determination aren't limitless, that the power of intellect and craft dwindles in the face of a pitiless and resolute foe.

That there are a billion ways to die, but only one way to live.

(Source: The Permanent Press)

Tyrus Books

The Adventure of the Plated Spoon and Other Tales of Sherlock Holmes by (Tyrus Books 01 November 2014 / $26.99) - Product Description: A collection of classic reprints and four original stories featuring Sherlock Holmes which follows Estleman's previous collection, Sons of Moriarty and More Stories of Sherlock Holmes.

In bringing to a close the adventures of my friend Sherlock Holmes, I am perforce reminded that he never, save on the occasion which, as you will now hear, brought his singular career to an end, consented to act in any mystery which was concerned with persons who made a livelihood by their pen.

"I am not particular about the people I mix among for business purposes," he would say, "but at literary characters I draw the line."

We were in our rooms in Baker Street one evening. I was (I remember) by the centre table writing out "The Adventure of the Man Without a Cork Leg" (which had so puzzled the Royal Society and all the other scientific bodies of Europe), and Holmes was amusing himself with a little revolver practice. It was his custom of a summer evening to fire round my head, just shaving my face, until he had made a photograph of me on the opposite wall, and it is a slight proof of his skill that many of these portraits in pistol shots are considered admirable likenesses.

(see review)

Return to Index

With a few exceptions, books sent get listed, and possibly even commented on.
With fewer exceptions, books not sent don't.
Send books to: Gayle Surrette / Editor
c/o Gumshoe 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

© 2002-Gumshoe

advertising index / info
Our advertisers make Gumshoe possible, and your consideration is appreciated.

Our Other Pubs:

Do You SFRevu? Thousands of Intelligent Beings Do Every Month

Gumshoe Review - a literary investigation.

© 2002-Gumshoe