gumshoereview Logo with link to Main Page  
US Books Received- 04/2015  Next Month / Last Month
In order to provide timely reviews, we prefer to receive Advance Reader Copies of books when possible. Send books to Gayle Surrette / Editor c/o Gumshoe 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

Berkley

A Fright to the Death (Family Fortune Mystery) by Dawn Eastman (Berkley 07 April 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: From the author of Be Careful What You Witch For, here is the newest Family Fortune Mystery, starring former cop Clyde Fortune, who--snowbound with her kooky family in a creepy castle--is climbing the walls and combing the halls, looking for a cold-blooded killer.

After their flight to Mexico is canceled, Clyde and her detective boyfriend, Mac, end up snowed in with their families at a supposedly haunted hotel. Clyde's tarot card reading mother, Rose, is making dire predictions for the weekend, and self-proclaimed pet psychic Aunt Vi is enchanted by the legend of the hotel's ghost--until the power goes out and a body turns up.

With a hotel full of stranded suspects, Clyde will have to draw on all her skills--both the police ones she'd rather forget and the psychic ones she'd rather ignore--to solve the bone-chilling mystery before someone else gets iced.

(Source: Berkley)

A Sticky Situation (A Sugar Grove Mystery) by Jessie Crockett (Berkley 07 April 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: The author of Maple Mayhem returns to Sugar Grove, New Hampshire, where the Greene family--including Dani's irksome Aunt Hazel--are busy preparing for the annual Maple Festival. But nothing kills the festive spirit like murder.

Aunt Hazel isn't exactly sweet, but she's not the only one putting syrup maker Dani in a sour mood. Her family is trying to help renovate the town's Opera House, but their contractor Russ Collins seems to specialize in finely crafted excuses. And his latest one is killer.

In the Opera House basement, Russ uncovers the remains of Spooner Duffy, a charming drifter thought to have skipped town decades ago with a hefty sum of the town's money. Tapping into some unpleasant memories, Spooner's bones also threaten to reveal a murderer's secret, and now it's up to Dani to catch a killer before the town is stuck with a deadly reputation. (Recipes included.)

(Source: Berkley)

Bittersweet (China Bayles) by Susan Wittig Albert (Berkley 07 April 2015 / $25.95) - Product Description: It's Thanksgiving in Pecan Springs, and China is planning to visit her mother, Leatha, and her mother's husband, Sam, who are enthusiastically embarking on a new enterprise--turning their former game ranch into a vacation retreat for birders. She's also looking forward to catching up with her friend, game warden Mackenzie "Mack" Chambers, who was recently transferred to the area. But Leatha calls with bad news: Sam has had a heart attack.

How will Leatha manage if Sam can't carry his share? She does have a helper, Sue Ellen Krause. But China discovers that Sue Ellen, who is in the process of leaving her marriage to the assistant foreman at a large trophy game ranch, is in some serious trouble. Before Sue Ellen can tell China the full story, her car veers off a deserted road and she is killed.

Meanwhile, when a local veterinarian is shot in what appears to be a burglary at his clinic, Mack Chambers believes his murder could be related to fawns stolen from a nearby ranch. As Mack follows the trail, China begins to wonder if Sue Ellen's death may not have been an accident, and if there's a connection to the stolen animals. But their search for the truth may put their own lives in danger.

(see review)

Dark Chocolate Demise (Cupcake Bakery) by Jenn McKinlay (Berkley 07 April 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Scottsdale, Arizona, may not be the liveliest place on earth, but it's never been as dead as this. Hundreds of fans have gathered together for the first annual Old Town Zombie Walk, and Mel, Angie, and the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew are donning their best undead attire to sell some horror-themed desserts to the hungry hordes.

But the fun turns to fright when Mel finds a real dead body in a prop casket outside of the bakery's truck--and the corpse looks alarmingly like a zombie of their own. Knowing that Joe, Angie's brother and Mel's former flame, has been working on a dangerous mob case, Mel worries that the murder is a hit gone wrong and that someone near and dear was the real target. To keep any of her friends from winding up six feet under, Mel will do whatever it takes to find a killer—no matter how scary things get. (Includes Recipes.)

(Source: Berkley)

Death Come Quickly (China Bayles) by Susan Wittig Albert (Berkley 07 April 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: When China's and Ruby's friend Karen Prior is mugged in a mall parking lot and dies a few days later, China begins to suspect that her friend's death was not a random assault. Karen was a filmmaker supervising a student documentary about the fifteen-year-old murder of a woman named Christine Morris and the acquittal of the man accused of the crime. Is it possible that the same person who killed Christine Morris targeted Karen?

Delving into the cold case, China learns the motive for the first murder may be related to a valuable collection of Mexican art. Enlisting the help of her San Antonio lawyer friend Justine Wyzinski--aka the Whiz--China is determined to track down the murderer. But is she painting herself into a corner from which there's no escape?

(see review)

Demise in Denim (A Consignment Shop Mystery) by Duffy Brown (Berkley 07 April 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's springtime in Savannah, Georgia, in the newest Consignment Shop Mystery from the national bestselling author of Pearls and Poison. The azaleas and magnolias are in bloom--and Walker Boone is on the run.

When Reagan Summerside turned the first floor of her old Victorian home into a consignment shop, she never imagined she'd be harboring a fugitive in her attic. But after a dead man is found in a bathtub and local lawyer Walker Boone is accused of doing the dirty deed, she suddenly has a new houseguest.

Having the lawyer who took her to the cleaners in her divorce settlement--and who has been getting under her skin ever since—in close proximity is enough to drive Reagan to distraction. For the sake of her sanity--and Walker's freedom--they need to put their heads together to find out who is trying to get the lawyer out of the picture.

(Source: Berkley)

Grave on Grand Avenue (Ellie Rush) by Naomi Hirahara (Berkley 07 April 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: LAPD bicycle cop--and aspiring homicide detective--Ellie Rush is back on patrol in the newest mystery from the award-winning author of Murder on Bamboo Lane.

Ellie stops for a friendly chat with gardener Eduardo Fuentes while patrolling one of Los Angeles's premier concert halls. A few minutes later she's shocked to discover him lying at the bottom of a staircase, clinging to life and whispering something indecipherable. Nearby, the father of Xu, a Chinese superstar classical musician, claims Fuentes was knocked down while attempting to steal his son's multimillion-dollar cello--a story Ellie has trouble believing.

Meanwhile Ellie has issues of her own to deal with--like the curious theft of her car, a 1969 Pontiac Skylark. But after the gardener takes his last breath and Xu mysteriously disappears, it's clear to Ellie she must act quickly before someone else falls silent.

(Source: Berkley)

Lemon Pies and Little White Lies (Charmed Pie Shoppe) by Ellery Adams (Berkley 07 April 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: After Pecan Pies and Homicides comes another tangy slice of life--and death--in a charmed, and charming, small town.

Ella Mae LeFaye's Charmed Pie Shoppe has become a phenomenon beyond her wildest dreams, providing the enchanted town of Havenwood, Georgia, with spellbinding desserts and magical pies. Her personal life is also heating up as she takes on the responsibilities of leadership within her magical community. In fact, the only thing weighing her down is the fact that handsome Hugh Dylan won't return her calls.

Still, when Havenwood is rocked by a series of mysterious deaths, Ella Mae must put romantic longings aside—especially when she realizes that the mystical symbols left at each crime scene are dangerously personal. Now she will have to whip up all her supernatural skills to uncover a killer out to settle an ancient score—before the murderer devastates everything Ella Mae is determined to protect.

(Source: Berkley)

Shadow of a Spout (Teapot Collector) by Amanda Cooper (Berkley 07 April 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Leaving her home in Gracious Grove behind her, Rose Freemont is off to the annual convention of the International Teapot Collector's Society. Her granddaughter Sophie is minding the tea house while she's away. Rose is eager for tough cookie Zunia Pettigrew to appraise a prized antique teapot she believes may be a holy water vessel from China.

But when Zunia declares the pot a fake, Rose is really steamed. After Zunia's found dead beside Rose's dinged-in teapot, Sophie must rush to her grandmother's aid and find the real killer--before Rose is steeped in any more trouble.

(Source: Berkley)

Wedding Duress (Southern Sewing Circle) by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (Berkley 07 April 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Librarian Tori Sinclair is tying the knot--as long as a murder doesn't unravel her plans. Tori is ecstatic to become Mrs. Milo Wentworth in a few days, but she has a lot to do before she sashays down the aisle. Favors need to be sewn, vows need to be written—and a mystifying murder needs to be solved.

When Beatrice, a fellow member of the Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle, learns that her former nanny took a fatal fall in her new employers' home, she suspects the death was not an accident. Now Tori's spending her last days as a single woman untangling rumors and stitching together motives to find a killer. But can she nab a murderer and make it to the church on time?

(Source: Berkley)

Bitter Lemon Press

Fallout (Tito Ihaka) by Paul Thomas (Bitter Lemon Press 14 April 2015 / $14.95) - Product Description: Tito Ihaka, the unkempt, overweight Maori cop, was demoted to Sergeant due to insubordination and pigheadedness. He investigates the unsolved killing of a seventeen-year-old girl at an election night party in a ritzy villa near Auckland. Ihaka is also embroiled in a very personal mystery. A freelance journalist has stumbled across information that Ihaka's father, Jimmy, a trade union firebrand and renegade Marxist, didn't die of natural causes. The stories weave themselves into an exciting climax in an atmosphere of political maneuvering and intrigue surrounding the United States' confrontation with New Zealand over its anti-nuclear stance.

(Source: Bitter Lemon Press)

Doubleday

The Winter Family: A Novel by Clifford Jackman (Doubleday 14 April 2015 / $25.95) - Product Description: Tracing a group of ruthless outlaws from its genesis during the American Civil War all the way to a final bloody stand in the Oklahoma territories, The Winter Family is a hyperkinetic Western noir that reads like a full-on assault to the senses.

Spanning the better part of three decades, The Winter Family traverses America's harsh, untamed terrain, both serving and opposing the fierce advance of civilization. Among its twisted specimens, the Winter Family includes the psychopathic killer Quentin Ross, the mean and moronic Empire brothers, the impassive ex-slave Fred Johnson, and the dangerous child prodigy Lukas Shakespeare But at the malevolent center of this ultraviolent storm is their cold, hardened leader, Augustus Winter--a man with an almost pathological resistance to the rules of society and a preternatural gift for butchery.

From their service as political thugs in a brutal Chicago election to their work as bounty hunters in the deserts of Arizona, there's a hypnotic logic to Winter's grim borderland morality that plays out, time and again, in ruthless carnage.

(Source: Doubleday)

Five Star

All the Wrong Places (A Cara Walden Mystery) by Lisa Lieberman (Five Star 08 April 2015 / $25.95) - Book Description: Seventeen-year-old Cara Walden arrives in 1950s London with her half-brother Gray‚ a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter and closeted homosexual. Gray has looked after Cara ever since her mother‚ glamorous actress Vivien Grant‚ was found drowned in the pool at their estate. As Cara embarks on a film shoot in Sicily and begins a love affair with a temperamental actor‚ she cannot help pondering the mystery surrounding her mother’s death‚ but the questions she asks soon put Cara’s own life in danger.

(Source: Five Star)

An Anecdotal Death (A Harry Brock Mystery) by Kinley Roby (Five Star 08 April 2015 / $25.95) - Book Description: A beautiful widow‚ a flawed election‚ a practical joke gone wrong‚ and a man with an ocean-deep grudge plunge Harry Brock into the dangerous pursuit of a killer who resorts to guns‚ fire‚ and plastic explosives to exact his revenge‚ while Harry struggles to prevent his private life — and himself — from being torn to pieces.

(Source: Five Star)

Love's Alchemy (John Donne) by Bryan Crockett (Five Star 08 April 2015 / $25.95) - Book Description: This well-wrought historical mystery pits the brilliant wordsmith John Donne against the Machiavellian politician Robert Cecil. The match is uneven; Cecil runs James I’s kingdom while Donne struggles to make ends meet through the patronage of the alluring Countess of Bedford‚ who sets herself up as a rival to his resourceful wife‚ Anne.

Donne is summoned to meet with Cecil‚ who suborns the struggling poet as a spy to infiltrate the underground network of English Catholics‚ seeking Jesuit priests. But Donne wants no part of any spying. He sets out instead to outwit Cecil as he journeys with Lady Bedford’s crafty old manservant through dangerous territory‚ surviving plots and threats by his wits‚ aid from the quick-spirited Anne‚ and a strong dose of gallows humor. (see review)

Pursuit in Provence (A Jordan Mayfair Mystery) by Phyllis Gobbell (Five Star 08 April 2015 / $25.95) - Book Description: American architect Jordan Mayfair travels to Provence with visions of Roman ruins bathed in magical Provençal light‚ exquisite foods and wines‚ and — possibly — an alluring Frenchmen. She will experience all she imagined‚ but she never expected to be chased across the French countryside for an Elvis recording. Danger follows her to the village of Fontvieille‚ where the colorful inhabitants are in a frenzy over missing Van Gogh sketches. Pursued through ancient tunnels and narrow‚ twisting streets‚ Jordan becomes an unwilling player in dramas as intricate and intriguing as the secret passages she discovers.

(Source: Five Star)

Forge Books

A Scourge of Vipers (Liam Mulligan) by Bruce DeSilva (Forge Books 07 April 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: To solve Rhode Island's budget crisis, the state's colorful governor, Attila the Nun, wants to legalize sports gambling; but her plan has unexpected consequences. Organized crime, professional sports leagues, and others who have a lot to lose--or gain--if gambling is made legal flood the state with money to buy the votes of state legislators.

Liam Mulligan, investigative reporter for The Providence Dispatch, wants to investigate, but his bottom-feeding corporate bosses at the dying newspaper have no interest in serious reporting. So Mulligan goes rogue, digging into the story on his own time. When a powerful state legislator turns up dead, an out-of-state bag man gets shot, and his cash-stuffed briefcase goes missing, Mulligan finds himself the target of shadowy forces who seek to derail his investigation by destroying his career, his reputation, and perhaps even his life.

(see review)

Scent of Murder by James O. Born (Forge Books 07 April 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: Two years after being tossed from the detective bureau for using questionable tactics while catching a child molester, deputy Tim Hallett's life is finally on track. Assigned to a special K-9 unit with the best partner in the world, a Belgian Malinois named Rocky, Hallett has finally learned to balance police work with his family life. But that all changes in the heat of a Florida sugarcane field.

While searching for a kidnapper, Rocky locks onto the scent of a predator unlike anyone has ever seen. Or have they? The more Hallett digs, the closer he comes to his old issues when the case that ended his career as a detective appears to be the key to a series of kidnappings.

When the trail turns to murder, Hallett risks everything to catch the killer, even if it means clearing the child molester who drove him to violence and ruined his career. Along the way, Hallett and his partners learn the true meaning of loyalty and courage as their canine companions take police work to a new level and show that instinct means more than training.

(Source: Forge Books)

The Missing Piece by Kevin Egan (Forge Books 14 April 2015 / $27.99) - Product Description: The Salvus Treasure is a fabulous hoard of ancient Roman silver, worth a total of seventy million dollars. Uncovered decades ago under disputed circumstances, the treasure has been claimed by various parties, some of whom will stop at nothing to secure full ownership of its riches. People have died--and killed--to possess all fourteen pieces of silver.

The legal battle over who truly owns the treasure finally leads to the New York County Courthouse in Lower Manhattan. But as teams of high-priced lawyers wrangle over provenance and witnesses, a shocking act disrupts the trial…and a crucial piece of evidence goes missing.

The missing piece is a silver urn worth at least five million dollars. Now the race is on to discover what became of the urn…before the Salvus Treasure claims more lives.

(Source: Forge Books)

Gallery Books

Losing Faith by Adam Mitzner (Gallery Books 14 April 2015 / $26.00) - Product Description: Aaron Littmann, the chairman of one of the country's most prestigious law firms, has just been contacted by a high-profile defense attorney, whose client is Nikolai Garkov, a Russian businessman arraigned on terrorism charges for pulling the financial strings behind recent treasonous acts. The attorney informs Aaron that Garkov is looking to switch representation and will pay one hundred thousand dollars just to take the meeting. But Aaron doesn't have any choice, as Garkov is ready to go public with the damning evidence that Aaron and the judge in the high-profile case—Faith Nichols—had a torrid affair during another recent case. Filled with suspense, twists, and turns, Losing Faith will captivate legal thriller fans everywhere. (Source: Gallery Books)

Harper

Dark Spies (Spycatcher) by Matthew Dunn (Harper 28 April 2015 / $9.99) - Product Description: On the run from the CIA, intelligence operative Will Cochrane heads to the U.S. to uncover a diabolical spymaster at the center of an international conspiracy in this thrilling follow up to Slingshot.

When Will Cochrane encounters a Russian spymaster--codenamed Antaeus--who everyone believes is dead, he is thrust into a deadly game set in motion by powerful players deep inside the U.S. intelligence community. Will has worked with the CIA for years and knows them all. But now he knows there's no one he can trust.

His orders from Langley are clear: ANTAEUS MUST NOT BE TOUCHED. FURTHER INQUIRIES REQUIRE PROJECT FERRYMAN CLEARANCE. But as Antaeus and his men then attempt to execute the CIA's best agents, Will decides to take his own shot at the spymaster, knowing it will make him a marked man.

Now, the only way to save his career—and his life—is to get into the U.S. and expose the truth about Project Ferryman. But to accomplish that he's got to outmaneuver four deadly Russian assassins and an elite FBI team controlled by shadowy officials who will stop at nothing to keep their sins and secrets safe.

(Source: Harper)

Jove

A Deadly Web (A Bishop Files Novel) by Kay Hooper (Jove 07 April 2015 / $9.99) - Product Description: The new Bishop Files novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The First Prophet and the Bishop/Special Crimes Unit novels.

John Brodie is a Guardian, a member of a secretive network devoted to winning a war very few even know exists: protecting the vulnerable psychics in his charge from a deadly, ruthless--and virtually invisible enemy.

Tasha Solomon is a gifted psychic whose abilities have saved her more than once from situations as dangerous as they are baffling. She doesn't believe she needs help, and she doesn't even know that Guardians exist--until Brodie saves her life.

Unaccustomed to depending on anyone for anything, Tasha now finds herself embroiled in deadly game where the ultimate goal is a fate far worse than any nightmare. The only person she can trust is Brodie to guide her through a maze of danger and deception, lies and treachery, friends and enemies, until they reach safe harbor. If they reach safe harbor.

(Source: Jove)

Minotaur Books

A June of Ordinary Murders by Conor Brady (Minotaur Books 21 April 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: A thrilling, beautifully written mystery debut that brings Victorian Dublin vividly, passionately to life, drawing readers on a gripping journey of murder and intrigue.

In the 1880s the Dublin Metropolitan Police classified crime in two distinct categories. Political crimes were classed as "special", whereas theft, robbery and even murder, no matter how terrible, were known as "ordinary."

Dublin, June 1887: The city swelters in a long summer heat wave, the criminal underworld simmers, and with it, the threat of nationalist violence is growing. Meanwhile, the Castle administration hopes the celebration of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee will pass peacefully. Then, the mutilated bodies of a man and a child are discovered in Phoenix Park and Detective Sergeant Joe Swallow steps up to investigate. Cynical and tired, Swallow is a man living on past successes in need of a win. With the Land War at its height, the priority is to contain special crime, and these murders appear to be ordinary--and thus of lesser priority. But when the evidence suggests high-level involvement, and the body count increases, Swallow must navigate the treacherous waters of foolish superiors, political directives, and frayed tempers to solve the case, find the true murderer, and deliver justice.

Written by Conor Brady, the former editor of The Irish Times, A June of Ordinary Murders is an accomplished, atmospheric debut that captures the life and essence of Dublin in the 1880s and introduces an unforgettable new sleuth.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Fatal Enquiry (Barker & Llewelyn) by Will Thomas (Minotaur Books 28 April 2015 / $15.99) - Product Description: Fatal Enquiry reintroduces private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewellyn, and their unforgettable world of Victorian London.

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

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Grave Consequences (Charlie Henry) by Aimée Thurlo and David Thurlo (Minotaur Books 28 April 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: Charlie Henry, former Special Forces operative and newly minted pawnbroker, thinks that he's finally turned a corner and the calm, quiet life he's always wanted is just ahead. But life never really works out that way.

A young Navajo man comes into Charlie's shop, FOB Pawn, claiming that his girlfriend mistakenly pawned a beautiful family heirloom, a turquoise necklace that she desperately needs back. When he's unable to produce any proof of this tale, Charlie is immediately suspicious and sticks by the golden pawnbroker rule: No claim ticket, no exchange. Then the young man returns with reinforcements--and guns--making it abundantly clear that there's more to this story than a family treasure.

This necklace quickly becomes the focus of a case where everyone lies, and every question seems to answer with gunfire. With the help of his semi-estranged brother, Alfred, a tribal cop working undercover, Charlie quickly finds out that the pendant was the work of a Navajo silversmith who was recently murdered. And, in an act so taboo in Navajo culture as to be unthinkable, his grave dug up and this piece of jewelry removed. With multiple parties vying to get their hands on the necklace--for what ill-gotten gains, no one knows--it's up to Charlie and his comrades-in-arms to help find out who's really telling the truth, and uncover the mysteries that this heirloom holds.

(see review)

Pride v. Prejudice: A Claire Malloy Mystery by Joan Hess (Minotaur Books 07 April 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: Claire Malloy, for as long as she can remember, has been the local bookseller and owner of the Book Depot and the widowed mother of teenage Caron, who frequently speaks in ALL CAPS. But her life has changed dramatically in recent years. Claire has married her longtime beau, Deputy Police Chief Peter Rosen. Still the owner of the Book Depot, Claire has passed the day-to-day running of it on to her very efficient employees. With Caron inching ever closer to college, there's but one thing that remains steadfastly unchanged--Claire's astonishing ability to attract, find, or even just randomly stumble across trouble.

Summoned for jury duty, the prosecutor on a murder case, harboring a grudge against her husband, decides to humiliate Claire and dismiss her. Having done so in spectacular enough fashion to make the local news, Claire decides that revenge will be the next dish she serves. She hunts down the defendant in the case, a woman accused of murdering her husband, and offers to help prove her innocence. And not just because Claire wants to humiliate the prosecutor. There are only two problems. One--the defendant is looking guiltier by the minute. And two--the worst day imaginable has finally come: Claire's dreaded new mother-in-law is coming to visit and life in prison is starting to look good.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Slated for Death (Penny Brannigan) by Elizabeth J. Duncan (Minotaur Books 14 April 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: When the body of well-liked and respectable Glenda Roberts is discovered at the bottom of a former slate mine, now a busy tourist attraction, pandemonium erupts in the North Wales town of Llanelen. Penny Brannigan finds herself drawn into the investigation when jars of her house-brand hand cream are found among counterfeit inventory Glenda and her sister were selling.

Police are convinced that the mine operator whose asthmatic son suffered an almost-fatal attack due to the merchandise is responsible for Glenda's death. But Penny's not so sure. A visit to Glenda's mother only deepens her conviction that a hidden family secret is the real reason for the murder.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

The Masque of a Murderer (Lucy Campion) by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur Books 14 April 2015 / $24.99) - Product Description: In Susanna Calkins's next richly drawn mystery set in 17th century England, Lucy Campion, formerly a ladies' maid in the local magistrate's household, has now found gainful employment as a printer's apprentice. On a freezing winter afternoon in 1667, she accompanies the magistrate's daughter, Sarah, to the home of a severely injured Quaker man to record his dying words, a common practice of the time. The man, having been trampled by a horse and cart the night before, only has a few hours left to live. Lucy scribbles down the Quaker man's last utterances, but she's unprepared for what he reveals to her--that someone deliberately pushed him into the path of the horse, because of a secret he had recently uncovered.

Fearful that Sarah might be traveling in the company of a murderer, Lucy feels compelled to seek the truth, with the help of the magistrate's son, Adam, and the local constable. But delving into the dead man's background might prove more dangerous than any of them had imagined.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

NAL

Five-Alarm Fudge: A Fudge Shop Mystery by Christine DeSmet (NAL 07 April 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's autumn in Fishers' Harbor, Wisconsin, and fudge shop owner Ava Oosterling is busy preparing for the harvest festival and a visit from some royal relatives who live in Belgium. According to Ava's grandpa, a famous divinity fudge recipe from the 1860s is hidden somewhere in a local historical church—a treat fit for a prince.

But when a fire in the church reveals the body of a murdered man, it looks like someone is willing to go to any length to possess the valuable secret to the divinity fudge. As Ava searches for the killer--and the recipe--she could use a little divine intervention, because she may have bitten off more than she can chew. (Source: NAL)

Murder, She Wrote: Killer in the Kitchen by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain (NAL 07 April 2015 / $23.95) - Product Description: Jessica loves the Fin & Claw restaurant, owned by young couple Brad and Marcie. And the restaurant is the couple's dream come true. But when famed chef Gerard Leboeuf decides to open an eatery right next to theirs, tensions rise fast and hot—and lead to a nasty confrontation between Leboeuf and Brad. So when Leboeuf is found dead with a knife planted in his chest, Brad becomes suspect number one. But plenty of others had a motive to kill Leboeuf, and it's up to Jessica to uncover who really added murder to the menu.

(Source: NAL)

The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James (NAL 07 April 2015 / $14.00) - Product Description: London, 1925. Glamorous medium Gloria Sutter made her fortune helping the bereaved contact loved ones killed during the Great War. Now she's been murdered at one of her own séances, after leaving a message requesting the help of her former friend and sole rival, Ellie Winter.

Ellie doesn't contact the dead--at least, not anymore. She specializes in miraculously finding lost items. Still, she can't refuse the final request of the only other true psychic she has known. Now Ellie must delve into Gloria's secrets and plunge back into the world of hucksters, lowlifes, and fakes. Worse, she cannot shake the attentions of handsome James Hawley, a damaged war veteran who has dedicated himself to debunking psychics.

As Ellie and James uncover the sinister mysteries of Gloria's life and death, Ellie is tormented by nightmarish visions that herald the grisly murders of those in Gloria's circle. And as Ellie's uneasy partnership with James turns dangerously intimate, an insidious evil force begins to undermine their quest for clues, a force determined to bury the truth, and whoever seeks to expose it.

(Source: NAL)

Oldcastle Books

The Blood Dimmed Tide (W.B. Yeats) by Anthony Quinn (Oldcastle Books 01 April 2015 / $16.95) - Product Description: An Irish Shadow of the Wind, with sub-plots involving espionage, romance, hauntings, literary preoccupations, a violent war, and a corrupt and murderous police force. Move over Nordic Noir--the Irish are coming.

London at the dawn of 1918 and Ireland's most famous literary figure, W.B. Yeats, is immersed in supernatural investigations at his Bloomsbury rooms. Haunted by the restless spirit of an Irish girl whose body is mysteriously washed ashore in a coffin, Yeats undertakes a perilous journey back to Ireland with his apprentice ghost-catcher Charles Adams to piece together the killer's identity. Surrounded by spies, occultists, and diehard female rebels, the two are led on a gripping journey along Ireland's wild Atlantic coast, through the ruins of its abandoned estates, and into its darkest, most haunted corners. Falling under the spell of dark forces, Yeats and his ghost-catcher come dangerously close to crossing the invisible line that divides the living from the dead.

(Source: Oldcastle Books)

Penguin Press

The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl (Penguin Press 28 April 2015 / $27.95) - Product Description: London, 1890 -- Pen Davenport is the most infamous bookaneer in Europe. A master of disguise, he makes his living stalking harbors, coffeehouses, and print shops for the latest manuscript to steal. But this golden age of publishing is on the verge of collapse. For a hundred years, loose copyright laws and a hungry reading public created a unique opportunity: books could easily be published without an author’s permission. Authors gained fame but suffered financially--Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, to name a few—but publishers reaped enormous profits while readers bought books inexpensively. Yet on the eve of the twentieth century, a new international treaty is signed to grind this literary underground to a sharp halt. The bookaneers are on the verge of extinction.

From the author of The Dante Club, Matthew Pearl, The Last Bookaneer is the astonishing story of these literary thieves’ epic final heist. On the island of Samoa, a dying Robert Louis Stevenson labors over a new novel. The thought of one last book from the great author fires the imaginations of the bookaneers, and soon Davenport sets out for the South Pacific island. As always, Davenport is reluctantly accompanied by his assistant Fergins, who is whisked across the world for one final caper. Fergins soon discovers the supreme thrill of aiding Davenport in his quest to steal Stevenson’s manuscript and make a fortune before the new treaty ends the bookaneers’ trade forever. But Davenport is hardly the only bookaneer with a mind to pirate Stevenson’s last novel. His longtime adversary, the monstrous Belial, appears on the island, and soon Davenport, Fergins, and Belial find themselves embroiled in a conflict larger, perhaps, than literature itself.

In The Last Bookaneer, Pearl crafts a finely wrought tale about a showdown between brilliant men in the last great act of their professions. It is nothing short of a page-turning journey to the heart of a lost era.

(Source: Penguin Press)

Perseverance Press

Cold Trail: A Jeri Howard Mystery by Janet Dawson (Perseverance Press 07 April 2015 / $15.95) - Product Description: Oakland PI Jeri Howard tackles her most personal case yet. Her brother, Brian, has disappeared and has been missing for four days before she is notified. The trail is getting colder as the anxious PI searches for Brian across Sonoma County for clues to explain why he disappeared. She'd thought Brian's life was in great shape. But her investigation uncovers cracks in his marriage and problems with his job. To complicate matters, there's a body on a boat along with Brian's MedicAlert bracelet, and two police detectives who think Brian is involved in the homicide. Meanwhile, the clock keeps ticking. (Source: Perseverance Press)

Manhattan in Miniature: A Miniature Mystery by Margaret Grace (Perseverance Press 07 April 2015 / $15.95) - Product Description: Perhaps Manhattan, like Christmas, is best seen through the eyes of a child. Gerry Porter provides both magical experiences for granddaughter Maddie when a SuperKrafts manager takes them to New York City for a huge crafts fair. They get to work on both making miniatures and solving crimes, the detecting duo's favorite pastimes. All this, plus Rockefeller Center and Radio City, too! But a crafty murderer wants to make sure they don't make it safely home again to California. (Source: Perseverance Press)

Scholastic Press

Woof by Spencer Quinn (Scholastic Press 28 April 2015 / $16.99) - Product Description: There is trouble brewing in the Louisiana swamp -- Bowser can smell it. Bowser is a very handsome and only slightly slobbery dog, and he can smell lots of things. Like bacon. And rawhide chews! And the sweat on humans when they're lying.

Birdie Gaux, the girl Bowser lives with, also knows something is wrong. It's not just that her grammy's stuffed prize marlin has been stolen. It's the weird rumor that the marlin is linked to a missing treasure. It's the truck that seems to be following Birdie and the bad feeling on the back of her neck.

When Birdie and Bowser start digging into the mystery, not even Bowser's powerful sniffer can smell just how menacing the threat is. And when the danger comes straight for Birdie, Bowser knows it up to him to sic 'em.

(Source: Scholastic Press)

Seventh Street Books

A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge (Samuel Craddock) by Terry Shames (Seventh Street Books 07 April 2015 / $15.95) - Product Description: In the course of their developing friendship, Samuel Craddock has learned to accept that his neighbor Jenny Sandstone's personal life is strictly secret. But when her dying mother tells Craddock that Jenny is in danger, he is confronted with a dilemma. He wants to respect Jenny's privacy, but he is haunted by the urgency in the dying woman's voice.

When Jenny is the victim of a suspicious car accident, Craddock has no choice but to get involved. He demands that she tell him what he needs to know to protect her and to solve the mysteries surrounding the strange events that began taking place as soon as Jenny's mother passed away.

Forced to confront the past, Jenny plunges into a downward spiral of rage and despair. She is drinking heavily and seems bent on self-destruction. Craddock must tread lightly as he tries to find out who is behind the threats to her. But only by getting to the bottom of the secrets buried in Jenny's past can he hope to save her both from herself and from whoever is out to harm her.

(Source: Seventh Street Books)

Signet

Buy a Whisker (Second Chance Cat) by Sofie Ryan (Signet 07 April 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Sofie Ryan's charming follow-up to The Whole Cat and Caboodle in the New York Times bestselling Second Chance Cat Mystery series.

Things have been quiet in the coastal town of North Harbor, Maine, since Sarah Grayson and her rescue cat, Elvis, solved their first murder. Sarah is happy running Second Chance, the shop where she sells lovingly refurbished and repurposed items. But then she gets dragged into a controversy over developing the waterfront. Most of the residents--including Sarah--are for it, but there is one holdout--baker Lily Carter.

So when Lily is found murdered in her bakery, it looks like somebody wanted to remove the only obstacle to the development. But Sarah soon discovers that nothing is as simple as it seems. Now, with the help of her cat's uncanny ability to detect a lie, Sarah is narrowing down the suspects. But can she collar the culprit before the ruthless killer pounces again?

(Source: Signet)

The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco: A Book Club Mystery by Laura DiSilverio (Signet 07 April 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Amy-Faye Johnson's book club, the Readaholics, enjoys guessing whodunit in mysteries like The Maltese Falcon. But when a murder happens in their midst, they discover that solving crimes is harder that reading about them.

Amy-Faye has always loved her idyllic Rocky Mountain town of Heaven, Colorado. Her event-planning business is thriving, her fellow book-obsessed Readaholics are great, and her parents live only a few blocks away. But lately her hometown has felt a little less heavenly. First, she agrees to plan a wedding without realizing the groom is her ex-boyfriend. Then, Ivy, one of her fellow Readaholics, dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances.

The police rule Ivy's death a suicide by poisoning, but Amy-Faye and the remaining Readaholics suspect foul play. Amy-Faye soon discovers that Ivy was hiding dangerous secrets--and making deadly enemies. Taking a page from her favorite literary sleuths, Amy-Faye is determined to find the real killer and close the book on this case. But finding the truth could spell her own ending,

(Source: Signet)

Wicked Stitch: An Embroidery Mystery by Amanda Lee (Signet 07 April 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: When murder strikes the small town of Tallulah Falls, embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer isn't afraid of getting into the knitty-gritty to clear her own name.

For most small-business owners in Tallulah Falls, the upcoming Renaissance Faire is a wonderful way to promote their specialty shops. For Marcy's nemesis, Nellie, and her sister Clara, it's an opportunity to finally put Marcy and her shop, the Seven-Year Stitch, out of business. Apparently the sisters like to keep their grudges all in the family and have set up a competing booth right next to Marcy's at the Faire.

When Clara is discovered dead in her own booth--strangled by the scarf she had almost finished knitting--Marcy becomes the prime suspect. Now she has to do whatever it takes to keep her reputation from unraveling and get to the bottom of a most deadly yarn.

(Source: Signet)

Soho Crime

GBH by Ted Lewis (Soho Crime 21 April 2015 / $26.95) - Product Description: The lost masterwork of British crime icon Ted Lewis--author of Get Carter--is an unnerving tale of paranoia and madness in the heart of the late 1970s London criminal underworld.

In London, George Fowler heads a lucrative criminal syndicate that specializes in the production and distribution of "blue films"--nasty illegal pornography. Fowler is king, with a beautiful girl at his side and a swanky penthouse office, but his entire world is in jeopardy. Someone is undermining his empire from within, and Fowler becomes increasingly ruthless in his pursuit of the unknown traitor. As his paranoia envelops him, Fowler loses trust in just about everyone, including his closest friends and associates, and begins to rely on the opinions of an increasingly smaller set of advisors.

Juxtaposed with the terror and violence of Fowler's last days in London is the flash-forward narrative of his hideout bunker in a tiny English beach town, where Fowler skulks during the off-season amongst the locals, trying to put together the pieces of his fallen empire. Just as it seems possible for Fowler to reclaim his throne, another trigger threatens to cause his total, irreparable unraveling.

(Source: Soho Crime)

St. Martin's Griffin

Predator One: A Joe Ledger Novel by Jonathan Maberry (St. Martin's Griffin 07 April 2015 / $15.99) - Product Description: On opening day of the new baseball season a small model-kit airplane flies down from the stands and buzzes the mound, where a decorated veteran pilot is about to throw out the first ball. The toy plane is the exact replica of the one flown by the war hero. Everyone laughs, thinking it's a prank or a publicity stunt. Until it explodes, killing dozens.

Seconds later a swarm of killer drones descend upon the panicked crowd, each one carrying a powerful bomb. All across the country artificial intelligence drive systems in cars, commuter trains and even fighter planes go out of control. The death toll soars as the machines we depend upon every day are turned into engines of destruction.

Joe Ledger and the Department of Military Sciences go on the hunt for whoever is controlling these machines, but the every step of the way they are met with traps and shocks that strike to the very heart of the DMS. No one is safe. Nowhere is safe. Enemies old and new rise as America burns.

Joe Ledger and his team begin a desperate search for the secret to this new technology and the madmen behind it. But before they can close in the enemy virus infects Air Force One. The president is trapped aboard as the jet heads toward the heart of New York City. It has become PREDATOR ONE. (Source: St. Martin's Griffin)

Subterranean

The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons: A Bernie Rhodenbarr Mystery by Lawrence Block (Subterranean 30 April 2015 / $30.00) - Product Description: Ever since The Burglar on the Prowl climbed the bestseller lists in 2004, fans have been clamoring for a new book featuring the lighthearted and lightfingered Bernie Rhodenbarr. Now everybody's favorite burglar returns in an eleventh adventure that finds him and his lesbian sidekick Carolyn Kaiser breaking into houses, apartments, and even a museum, in a madcap adventure replete with American Colonial silver, an F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscript, a priceless portrait, and a remarkable array of buttons. And, wouldn't you know it, there's a dead body, all stretched out on a Trent Barling carpet. (Source: Subterranean)

Tyrus Books

Forest of Fortune by Jim Ruland (Tyrus Books 03 April 2015 / $15.99) - Product Description: Forest of Fortune tells the story of three haunted souls--an alcoholic, an epileptic, and a gambling addict--who try to turn their luck around at a decrepit Indian casino. But something's not right at Thunderclap Casino. As the three of them come to terms with the ways in which they are haunted by the past and struggle with their addictions, they must confront the malevolent force that won't rest until old wrongs have been made right.

(Source: Tyrus Books)

Viking

Aunt Dimity and the Summer King by Nancy Atherton (Viking 14 April 2015 / $25.95) - Product Description: There's trouble in Finch. Four recently sold cottages are standing empty, and the locals fear that a developer plans to turn their cozy village into an enclave of overpriced weekend homes. But for once Lori Shepherd can't help.

Her infant daughter, her father-in-law's upcoming wedding, and the crushing prospect of her fortieth birthday have left her feeling inadequate and overwhelmed. Until, that is, she has a chance encounter with an eccentric inventor named Arthur Hargreaves. Dubbed the Summer King by his equally eccentric family, Arthur is as warmhearted as the summer sun. In his presence, Lori forgets her troubles--and Finch's.

But Lori snaps out of her happy trance when she discovers detailed maps of Finch in the Summer King's library. Next, a real estate agent comes knocking. Is Arthur secretly plotting Finch's demise?

With Aunt Dimity's otherworldly help--and her new daughter in her arms--Lori mounts a crusade to save her beloved village from the Summer King's scorching greed.

(see review)

Witness

Fatal Games (Kate Daniels) by Mari Hannah (Witness 07 April 2015 / $11.99) - Product Description: Far from their Newcastle base, DCI Kate Daniels and her team find themselves on the rugged Northumberland coast, working their latest baffling investigation. As a blistering weather front closes in, Kate calls on a forensic anthropologist to help identify the remains of a corpse that has been found by the ancient castle on the barren beach. But the more she delves into the case, the more questions surface.

Meanwhile, newly widowed prison psychologist Emily McCann is lured into the twisted world of convicted sex offender Walter Fearon. As his sinister mind games become increasingly disturbing, is it possible that Kate's case has something to do with his murderous past? With Fearon's release fast approaching, Emily fears what he might have in store for her.

As the body count rises, Kate must scramble to outwit a clever, diabolical killer whose fatal games have only just begun.

(Source: Witness)

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