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US Books Received- 08/2015  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 Gilded Grave (Newport Gilded Age) by Shelley Freydont (Berkley 04 August 2015 / $16.00) - Product Description: First in a new series from the author of the Celebration Bay mysteries.

In 1895, the height of the Gilded Age, the social elite spend their summers in Newport, Rhode Island. Within the walls of their fabulous "cottages," competition for superiority is ruthless … and so are the players.

During her first Newport season, Deanna Randolph attends a ball given in honor of Lord David Manchester, a Barbadian sugar magnate, and his sister, Madeline. The Manchesters are an immediate success--along with their exotic manservant and his fortune-telling talents.

But on the nearby cliffs, a young maid lies dead—and suspicion falls on Joseph Ballard, a member of one of the town's most prestigious families.

Joe humiliated Deanna when he rebuffed an engagement to her, but while he may be a cad, she knows he isn't a killer. Now the reluctant allies must navigate a world of parties, tennis matches, and séances to find the real murderer. But a misstep among the glittering upper classes could leave them exposed to something far more dangerous than malicious gossip.

(Source: Berkley)

Berried Secrets (Cranberry Cove) by Peg Cochran (Berkley 04 August 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: When Monica Albertson comes to Cranberry Cove--a charming town on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan--to help her half-brother Jeff on his cranberry farm, the last thing she expects to harvest is a dead body.

It seems that Sam Culbert, who ran the farm while Jeff was deployed overseas, had some juicy secrets that soon prove fatal, and Jeff is ripe for the picking as a prime suspect. Forming an uneasy alliance with her high-maintenance stepmother, Monica has her hands full trying to save the farm while searching for a killer. Culbert made plenty of enemies in the quaint small town…but which one was desperate enough to kill? (Includes recipes.) (Source: Berkley)

Better Homes and Corpses (Hamptons Home & Garden) by Kathleen Bridge (Berkley 04 August 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: After Meg Barrett found her fiancé still had designs on his ex-wife, she decided it was time to refurbish her life. Leaving her glamorous job at a top home and garden magazine, she fled Manhattan for Montauk, only to find decorating can sometimes lead to detecting.

In between scouring estate sales for her new interior design business, Cottages by the Sea, Meg visits the swanky East Hampton home of her old college roommate, Jillian Spenser. But instead of seeing how the other half lives--she learns how the other half dies. Jillian's mother, known as the Queen Mother of the Hamptons, has been murdered. Someone has staged a coup.

When she helps a friend inventory the Spensers' estate for the insurance company, Meg finds herself right in the thick of things. Cataloging valuable antiques and art loses its charm when Meg discovers that the Spenser family has been hiding dangerous secrets, which may have furnished a murderer with a motive. As Meg gets closer to the truth, the killer will do anything to paint her out of the picture. (First in a new series.)

(Source: Berkley)

Crushed Velvet (Material Witness) by Diane Vallere (Berkley 04 August 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe is back in business--this time getting wrapped up in a diabolical but crafty case of murder.

With opening day of Material Girl approaching, Poly is stocking up on lush fabrics, colorful notions, and best of all, a proprietary weave of velvet. But upon delivery, it's not quite the blend she expected, being ninety-percent silk and ten-percent corpse. Crushed under a dozen bolts of fabric is Phil Girard. His wife, Genevieve, local tea shop owner and close friend of Poly, is the prime suspect.

Granted, Phil may not have been the perfect husband, but surely Genevieve had no reason to kill him! There's just the small matter of Genevieve's own incriminating confession: I'm afraid I killed my husband. Now, as Material Girl's grand opening looms, Poly is torn between a friendship pulling apart at the seams--and finding a smooth killer with a velvet touch. (Includes a craft project.)

(Source: Berkley)

Dream a Little Scream (Dream Club) by Mary Kennedy (Berkley 04 August 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: The national bestselling author of Nightmares Can Be Murder once again gathers together the members of the Dream Club in Savannah, Georgia, where the book tour of a famous chef becomes a recipe for disaster.

Behind her down-home folksy persona, celebrity chef Sonia Scott is a real Dixie diva who's made plenty of enemies in her climb to the top of the culinary world. One of them is the newest member of the Dream Club, Etta Mae Beasley, who claims Sonia stole her family's recipes and used them in her latest cookbook.

After Sonia's suspicious death from anaphylactic shock at a book signing held at Taylor and Ali's retro candy store, Etta's revelation sows seeds of doubt in Taylor Blake's mind. Now the Dream Club needs to put their heads together to determine if one of their own decided to give the chef her just desserts.

(Source: Berkley)

Error in Diagnosis: A Medical Thriller by Mason Lucas M. D. (Berkley 04 August 2015 / $9.99) - Product Description: A mysterious illness with disturbing symptoms is plaguing women across the United States. It begins with memory loss and confusion and ends with the patient falling into a coma. Medical professionals are at a loss for the cause, but one thing remains constant: All of the victims are pregnant.

Called in to consult on the case of his best friend's wife, neurologist Jack Wyatt has never seen anything like it. Now, with the nation on the brink of panic, Jack and his colleagues are in race against time to find a cure.

The disease they are calling Gestational Neuropathic Syndrome (GNS) is spreading. Patients are dying--and no one can guess what will happen next.

(Source: Berkley)

Fudging the Books (Cookbook Nook) by Daryl Wood Gerber (Berkley 04 August 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: The Agatha Award–winning author of Stirring the Plot returns to the Cookbook Nook in Crystal Cove, California, where February brings Pirate Week, National Chocolate Month--and bitter murder.

Pirate Week is sweeping through Crystal Cove and keeping Jenna Hart and her bookstore, the Cookbook Nook, plenty busy. But she's not too swamped to also host the local Chocolate Cookbook Club's meeting--especially because the guest of honor is her friend, candy maker and cookbook author Coco Chastain.

Jenna whips up a delicious event amidst the rowdy festivities, but the mood is soon broken by robberies, simmering tempers, and a dead body--Coco's editor, Alison. The suspects turn out to be more plentiful than a pot full of gold doubloons, so to prove Coco isn't responsible for the dastardly deed, Jenna will have to stir up some clues and figure out who's the real sticky-fingered killer. (Includes Recipes.)

(Source: Berkley)

If Onions Could Spring Leeks (Country Cooking School) by Paige Shelton (Berkley 04 August 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: The New York Times bestselling author of If Catfish Had Nine Lives returns to Broken Rope, Missouri, where ghosts of the Old West seek assistance from country cooks and amateur sleuths Betts Winston and her grandmother.

With summer tourists flocking to Broken Rope, locals volunteer to keep chaos to a minimum. Old West skits are running smoothly, actors are behaving, and stagecoach rides are more popular than ever, but when a spectral visitor appears by ghost train, it's a job only Betts and Gram can handle.

Gram soon starts having nightmares about their ghostly visitor's demise.  And if a ghost and the hot summer weather weren't making things sticky enough, one of the town's volunteers--a man notorious for having more than his fair share of ex-wives--is murdered. When Jerome, Bett's otherworldly friend, makes an unsettling appearance, this simmering double mystery becomes a recipe for disaster. (Includes delicious recipes.)

(Source: Berkley)

Malice at the Palace (Royal Spyness) by Rhys Bowen (Berkley 04 August 2015 / $25.95) - Product Description: Lady Georgiana Rannoch won't deny that being thirty-fifth in line for the British throne has its advantages. Unfortunately, money isn't one of them. And sometimes making ends meet requires her to investigate a little royal wrongdoing.

While my beau Darcy is off on a mysterious mission, I am once again caught between my high birth and empty purse. I am therefore relieved to receive a new assignment from the Queen--especially one that includes lodging. The King's youngest son, George, is to wed Princess Marina of Greece, and I shall be her companion at the supposedly haunted Kensington Palace.

My duties are simple: help Marina acclimate to English life, show her the best of London and, above all, dispel any rumors about George's libertine history. Perhaps that last bit isn't so simple.

George is known for his many affairs with women as well as men--including the great songwriter Noel Coward. But things truly get complicated when I search the Palace for a supposed ghost only to encounter an actual dead person: a society beauty said to have been one of Prince George's mistresses.

Nothing spoils a royal wedding more than murder, and the Queen wants the whole matter hushed. But as the investigation unfolds--and Darcy, as always, turns up in the most unlikely of places--the investigation brings us precariously close to the prince himself.

(Source: Berkley)

Murder in the Paperback Parlor (Book Retreat) by Ellery Adams (Berkley 04 August 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: With Valentine's Day just around the corner, Jane Steward is organizing a week of activities for fans of love stories at her book-themed resort. But her Regency readers barely have time to brush up on their Jane Austen before tragedy strikes Storyton Hall. Rosamund York, one of the most celebrated authors in attendance, is killed.

Rosamund had as many enemies as she did admirers, including envious fellow novelists, a jealous former lover, and dozens of angry fans. It's up to Jane, with the help of her book club, the Cover Girls, to catalogue the list of suspects and find a heartless killer quickly--before the murderer writes someone else off.

(see review)

Murder on the Horizon (Search and Rescue) by M.L. Rowland (Berkley 04 August 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: The Search and Rescue mystery series returns readers to Timber Creek, where the hot, dry Santa Ana winds are blowing. But more than just the threat of wildfire endangers the tiny mountain community.

Gracie and her Search and Rescue teammates are searching along the highway in the middle of the blisteringly hot Mojave Desert when they make a grisly discovery--a trash bag containing human body parts. Not long after, Gracie's growing friendship with a ten-year-old runaway draws her unwittingly into the secretive, hate-filled world of the boy's family--a group of gun-toting extremists. As a wildfire roars into Timber Creek, Gracie finds herself caught up in an explosive plot that, unless she stops it, will destroy countless innocent lives.

(Source: Berkley)

Queen of Hearts (Royal Spyness) by Rhys Bowen (Berkley 04 August 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Downton Abbey fans will rejoice for Lady Georgiana Rannoch, thirty-fifth in line for the British throne, who's off to Hollywood, where she must reprise her role as sleuth…

My mother, the glamorous and much-married actress, is hearing wedding bells once again—which is why she must hop across the pond for a quickie divorce in Reno. To offer my moral support, and since all expenses are paid by her new hubby-to-be, Max, I agree to make the voyage with her.

Crossing the Atlantic, with adventure in the air and wealthy men aboard, Mother meets movie mogul Cy Goldman who insists on casting her in his next picture. Meanwhile, I find myself caught up in the secret investigation of a suspected jewel thief. Lucky for me, the lead investigator happens to be my dashing beau, Darcy!

Mother's movie and Darcy's larceny lead everyone to Cy's Hollywood home, where the likes of Charlie Chaplin are hanging about and there's enough romantic intrigue to fill a double feature. But we hardly get a chance to work out the sleeping arrangements before Cy turns up dead. As if there wasn't enough drama already… (see review)

Revenge of the Chili Queens (Chili Cook-off) by Kylie Logan (Berkley 04 August 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: The author of Death by Devil's Breath takes the chili cook-off circuit to southern Texas to prove that revenge is a dish best served hot.

Everyone in San Antonio remembers the Alamo, but how many remember the Chili Queens? Back in the early twentieth century, these spicy señoras sold their lip-smacking chili in plazas all around the city. Now, as part of the Chili Showdown, Maxie and her half-sister, Sylvia, are dressing up as the Chili Queens to raise money for charity.

But someone wasn't feeling too charitable toward a local troubadour, who is murdered at the fundraiser. When their friend Nick Falcone, head of security for the Showdown, actually becomes the prime suspect, it's up to Maxie and Sylvia to turn the heat up on a killer, who's planning a chili reception for them. (Includes recipes.)

(Source: Berkley)

Crooked Lane Books

Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books 11 August 2015 / $24.99) - Product Description: Check in for some Southern hospitality in Plantation Shudders, the Cajun Country series debut from Ellen Byron.

It's the end of the summer and Prodigal Daughter Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family's plantation-turned-bed-and-breakfast in Louisiana. The Crozats have an inn full of guests for the local food festival--elderly honeymooners, the Cajun Cuties, a mysterious stranger from Texas, a couple of hipster lovebirds, and a trio of Georgia frat boys. But when the elderly couple keels over dead within minutes of each other--one from very unnatural causes-- Maggie and the others suddenly become suspects in a murder.

With the help of Bo Durand, the town's handsome new detective, Maggie must investigate to clear her name while holding the family business together at the same time. And the deeper she digs, the more she wonders: are all of the guests really there for a vacation or do they have ulterior motives? Decades-old secrets and stunning revelations abound in Ellen Byron's charming cozy debut, Plantation Shudders.

(see review)

Doubleday

The Lightning Stones: A Novel by Jack Du Brul (Doubleday 11 August 2015 / $25.95) - Product Description: Sinking thousands of feet below the surface of the earth in the Leister Deep copper mine in Minnesota, Philip Mercer rides a series of heavy-duty elevators to visit his old friend and mentor, Abraham Jacobs. Jacobs has led a research team to the deepest section of the mine for a groundbreaking study into climate change and cosmic rays. But as Mercer approaches the bottom, he is stunned to hear the unmistakable report of automatic gunfire in the massive underground chambers. He can't stop the inevitable: by the time Mercer finds his way to them, his dear friend, and the entire research team, have been efficiently executed. Mercer is left seeking answers . . . and revenge.

This sets in motion a propulsive thriller intertwined with intrigue, vengeance, and cutting-edge science. Mercer is thrust into an international hunt for the murderers—and the frightening secret of what they were looking for. The Lightning Stones is a smart rocket ride...and a franchise in the making.

(see review)

Five Star

Eat Crow and Die (P.J. Benson Mystery) by Maris Soule (Five Star 05 August 2015 / $25.95) - Book Description: P.J. Benson knows Sheriff's Detective Wade Kingsley wouldn't blow up his own boat to kill his ex-wife and her new husband; nevertheless, the investigating detectives consider Wade their prime suspect, and so do Wade's ex in-laws. Under the circumstances, it's not the right time to tell Wade she's pregnant, but P.J.'s bouts of morning sickness give her away. He's upset by the news, and she wonders if it's because he's afraid he'll be put in prison for a crime he didn't commit, or because he's afraid she'll become a schizophrenic, like her mother. Even P.J. is worried about that. Although Wade doesn't want her "playing dective", P.J. feels she must. She has to know who put a bomb on that boat... and why it was done. (see review)

Sliced Vegetarian (Daisy Arthur) by Liesa Malik (Five Star 05 August 2015 / $25.95) - Book Description: Opening her door after midnight launches widow and retired special education teacher, Daisy Arthur, into her second murder mystery in less than a year. She meets Brian Hughes, boyfriend to former student, Ginny Caerphilly, as he stands in her front yard, covered in blood, and talks about "Mississippi" being asleep in the bathroom of the supermarket where the two developmentally delayed people work.

Time to call in Ginny's dad, Gabe Caerphilly, also Daisy's knight in shining armor and police lieutenant for Littleton's finest. They return to the store and find Brian's advocate in a large pool of blood, murdered. The victim was a self-proclaimed vegetarian who replaced meat with healthier potato chips and ice cream.

Throughout this adventure, Daisy realizes that putting limits on one's own lifestyle can be challenging as she becomes caught up in a smorgasbord or romantic encounters, one of which may just be the death of her. (Source: Five Star)

The Musubi Murder by Frankie Bow (Five Star 05 August 2015 / $25.95) - Book Description: In the remote college town of Mahina, Hawaii, Molly Barda just wants to stay out of trouble until she gets tenure, but there’s a problem. A grisly prank targeting a controversial donor puts her college in financial jeopardy. Molly’s hapless ex is implicated, and Molly soon finds herself neck-deep in a stew of corruption, revenge, and murder. Along the way, she finds herself drawn to a local fast-food entrepreneur, the too-good-to-be-true Donnie Gonsalves, who seems to like her for all the wrong reasons–and has a few secrets of his own. (From author's website) (Source: Five Star)

The Stockholm Castle Mystery (Lute Player) by Joyce Elson Moore (Five Star 05 August 2015 / $25.95) - Book Description: (From author's website) The Stockholm Castle Mystery, the first of a series, is set in 17th-century Stockholm. A reluctant amateur sleuth, the Swedish queen’s lute player, must solve a theft and murder in the castle. As clues pile up, the lute player becomes a target.

(Source: Five Star)

Forge Books

Margaret Truman's Internship in Murder by Donald Bain (Forge Books 25 August 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: Laura is a young intern in Washington, D.C., working for handsome and likable Congressman Hal Gannon. Laura falls for the charming Gannon, but when she catches a stewardess at Gannon's apartment, she vows to destroy him.

Private investigator Robert Brixton is a former cop who has also worked for the FBI. When Laura goes missing, Brixton is hired by Laura's family to gain insight into the case that the police might have missed.

Brixton tracks down rumors about Gannon--a staunchly moral "family advocate" according to his political position, but a womanizer according to gossip--but the congressman vehemently denies having anything untoward to do with Laura. Then Laura is found dead in the congressional cemetery, and many more questions are raised.

(Source: Forge Books)

The Ripper Gene by Michael Ransom (Forge Books 18 August 2015 / $24.99) - Product Description: A neuroscientist-turned-FBI-profiler discovers a genetic signature that produces psychopaths in The Ripper Gene, a thrilling debut novel from Michael Ransom.

Dr. Lucas Madden is a neuroscientist-turned-FBI profiler who first gained global recognition for cloning the ripper gene and showing its dysfunction in the brains of psychopaths. Later, as an FBI profiler, Madden achieved further notoriety by sequencing the DNA of the world's most notorious serial killers and proposing a controversial "damnation algorithm" that could predict serial killer behavior using DNA alone.

Now, a new murderer--the Snow White Killer--is terrorizing women in the Mississippi Delta. When Mara Bliss, Madden's former fiancée, is kidnapped, he must track down a killer who is always two steps ahead of him. Only by entering the killer's mind will Madden ultimately understand the twisted and terrifying rationale behind the murders-and have a chance at ending the psychopath's reign of terror.

(Source: Forge Books)

Minotaur Books

Between the Living and the Dead (Dan Rhodes) by Bill Crider (Minotaur Books 11 August 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: Life is never easy for Texas Sheriff Dan Rhodes. When he is called in the middle of the night to investigate gunshots at a haunted house, Rhodes finds the body of meth dealer Neil Foshee. Recently released from jail, Foshee has his fair share of potential murderers, including former girlfriend Vicki, her new boyfriend, the nephew of Clearview's mayor, and Foshee's criminal cousins Earl and Louie.

Complicating matters is Seepy Benton, the community college math professor who has a new summer job. He's founded Clearview Paranormal Investigations and wants to solve the murder by communing with Foshee's ghost. But when Benton connects with something else instead and a second body is found, Rhodes is left with more questions than ever. Who's the dead person? How long has the body been hidden? Is Benton really able to communicate with ghosts? And, most important, what, if anything, does the body have to do with Neil Foshee's death?

Between the Living and the Dead, Bill Crider's latest installment in the critically acclaimed Sheriff Dan Rhodes mystery series, finds Rhodes dealing with ghost hunters, runaway bulls, and assorted low-level crimes, including people's failure to use their turn signals. It's all in a day's work in Clearview, Texas.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Gone Cold (Simon Fisk) by Douglas Corleone (Minotaur Books 18 August 2015 / $26.99) - Product Description: Twelve years after a kidnapping destroyed former US Marshal Simon Fisk's family, he is newly determined to find the people responsible for taking his then-six-year-old daughter. He refuses to step away from the cold case, even after enduring months of dead ends and frustration.

And then, at last, he gets a break. On a brutal January night, Simon finds an urgent message on his computer. Attached are two images: one, a computer-generated image of Hailey Fisk had she reached eighteen years of age; the second, a sketch of a young woman wanted for murder in the Ireland. There are striking similarities. Within a matter of hours, Simon is on a flight to Dublin, setting off to find a girl who may be Hailey Fisk--before she's arrested for murder.

The chase will lead Simon through the UK and Ireland, where he learns secrets that have been kept far longer than the twelve years Hailey has been missing. It's Dublin where Simon hopes to find the people responsible for his daughter's disappearance and his wife's suicide. There he hopes to hold them accountable for what they've done. And, most importantly, it is there that Simon hopes to find Hailey, to bring her home once and for all.

(see review)

Hangman's Game (Nick Gallow) by Bill Syken (Minotaur Books 18 August 2015 / $25.99) - Book Description: After losing his position as a college quarterback to a shoulder injury, Nick Gallow has remade himself as a punter. Now in his fifth year in the pros with the Philadelphia Sentinels, Nick spends most of his time on the sidelines. He no longer makes winning plays, and when the team visits a hospital, the sick kids would rather talk to the players they've actually heard of. But Nick is unexpectedly thrust back into the spotlight when he witnesses the murder of his new all-star daft pick on the eve of the team's summer minicamp.

Nick has no plans to get involved. Despite the murder, his focus is squarely on the uppity rookie player eyeing his roster spot. But after a second attack hits closer to home and the police go after the wrong man, Nick finds himself driven by the chance to be a hero again.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Lord of the Wings (Meg Langslow) by Donna Andrews (Minotaur Books 04 August 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: It's another holiday and Mayor Randall Shiffley has turned Caerphilly, Virginia into Spooky City, USA. The residents are covering every window with cobwebs and roaming the streets in costume to entertain the tourists, and Meg's grandfather is opening a new "Creatures of the Night" exhibit in the zoo. When a real body at the zoo and a suspicious fire at the Haunted House threaten to mar the town's creepy fun, it's up to Meg Langslow to save Halloween.

With Lord of the Wings, readers can look forward to another zany Meg Langslow mystery--this one filled with Halloween spirit and suspense.

(see review)

The Intruder by Hakan Ostlundh (Minotaur Books 18 August 2015 / $26.99) - Product Description: In The Intruder the Andersson family is being sent scary letters without a sender's name. Who could possibly want to harm them?

Gotland policeman Fredrik Broman and his colleagues take the threats seriously, but cannot rule out the possibility that it is all a tasteless joke. When the threats escalate and the couple's daughter disappears, all doubts vanish. This is for real. And it is only the beginning.

When the police pressure the husband, a complicated family history is revealed. What really made him return to the small island after his successful career as an international photographer? Is it really someone nearby that wants to harm the family, or does the threat come from elsewhere?

(Source: Minotaur Books)

The Nature of the Beast (Chief Inspector Gamache) by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books 25 August 2015 / $27.99) - Product Description: Hardly a day goes by when nine year old Laurent Lepage doesn't cry wolf. From alien invasions, to walking trees, to winged beasts in the woods, to dinosaurs spotted in the village of Three Pines, his tales are so extraordinary no one can possibly believe him. Including Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache, who now live in the little Quebec village.

But when the boy disappears, the villagers are faced with the possibility that one of his tall tales might have been true.

And so begins a frantic search for the boy and the truth. What they uncover deep in the forest sets off a sequence of events that leads to murder, leads to an old crime, leads to an old betrayal. Leads right to the door of an old poet.

And now it is now, writes Ruth Zardo. And the dark thing is here. A monster once visited Three Pines. And put down deep roots. And now, Ruth knows, it is back.

Armand Gamache, the former head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec, must face the possibility that, in not believing the boy, he himself played a terrible part in what happens next.

(see review)

NAL

A Dish Best Served Cold (Italian Kitchen) by Rosie Genova (NAL 04 August 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: The national bestselling author of The Wedding Soup Murder returns to the Jersey Shore where a killer is stirring up trouble during a hurricane.

At the Casa Lido, the end of summer means a party, and hit whodunit writer Victoria "Vic" Rienzi and her family are cooking like crazy for the restaurant's seventieth anniversary celebration. As they chop onions and garlic, old family friend Pete Petrocelli stops by, saying he knows something that would make for a good mystery novel. Curious, Vic asks Nonna to elaborate on Pete's claim and learns of a relative who mysteriously disappeared back in Italy.

The night of the party brings a crowd—and a full throttle hurricane. When the storm finally passes, everyone thinks they're in the clear--until the first casualty is found, and it's Pete. Remembering his visit, Vic isn't certain Pete's death was an accident and decides to dig deeper into his story. What she finds is meatier than Nonna's sauce.

(Source: NAL)

A Little Night Murder (Blackbird Sisters) by Nancy Martin (NAL 04 August 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Nora Blackbird--pregnant at last!--is spending summer afternoons wallowing in the Bucks County pool of her best friend, Lexie Paine, who has just been released from prison. At night, Nora is covering Philadelphia's high-society events for the local newspaper. And this time she doesn't have to look far for a good story.

Next door, a Broadway show is in rehearsal at the estate of Toodles Tuttle, the long-deceased but ever-legendary composer. Reigning over the estate is Toodles's diva widow, Boom Boom. The demanding old broad still rules with an iron fist, and considering the chorus line of enemies she's racked up over the years, her death has been a hotly anticipated event. So imagine everyone's dismay when it's her beloved daughter, Jenny, who drops dead--from a cause that is anything but natural--just as the lights are set to go on for the lucrative new Toodles musical.

Yet murder is only an overture to the drama to come.... Nora's sister Libby, a soon-to-be-grandmother, has gotten herself into a sticky situation, wooed by both a lowly bug exterminator and a cheesecake-loving Broadway impresario. Edgy sister Emma has a dangerous new boyfriend who may jeopardize her show-jumping exploits. And the love of Nora's life, Mick Abruzzo, has been desperate to prevent Nora from meeting the most notorious member of his mobbed-up family--his mother.

Now Nora has to deal with the bump-and-grind of her personal life, and also bring the curtain down on a daring killer--before he forces her to exit stage left, permanently.

(Source: NAL)

No Comfort for the Lost (Old San Francisco) by Nancy Herriman (NAL 04 August 2015 / $15.00) - Product Description: In this atmospheric historical mystery series debut, a courageous nurse and a war-scarred police detective in 1860s San Francisco champion the down-trodden and fight for justice.

After serving as a nurse in the Crimea, British-born Celia Davies left her privileged family for an impulsive marriage to a handsome Irishman. Patrick brought her to San Francisco's bustling shores but then disappeared and is now presumed dead.  Determined to carry on, Celia partnered with her half-Chinese cousin Barbara and her opinionated housekeeper Addie to open a free medical clinic for women who have nowhere else to turn. But Celia's carefully constructed peace crumbles when one of her Chinese patients is found brutally murdered...and Celia's hotheaded brother-in-law stands accused of the crime.

A veteran of America's civil war, detective Nicholas Greaves is intent on discovering the killer of the girl, whose ethnicity and gender render her as powerless in death as they did in life. Nicholas's efforts are complicated by Celia, who has a knack for walking into dangerous situations that may lead to answers...or get them both killed.  For as their inquiries take them from Chinatown's squalid back alleys to the Barbary Coast's violent shipping docks to the city's gilded parlors, Celia and Nicholas begin to suspect that someone very close to them holds the key to a murderous conspiracy.

(Source: NAL)

The Cat, the Sneak and the Secret (Cats in Trouble) by Leann Sweeney (NAL 04 August 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Jillian Hart and Tom are finally tying the knot, but first they need to make sure Tom's stepson, Finn, is as comfortable as possible in the lake house they will all call home. So when it becomes clear that Finn has fallen for a pretty cat from the Mercy Animal Sanctuary, Jillian and Tom readily agree to make room for one more—even though the tortoiseshell kitty is a notorious kleptomaniac.

So far, the cat has sneaked out of the adoption center time after time, bringing back trinkets, shoelaces, and socks. But when she brings back an antique locket, Finn enlists Tom's and Jillian's sleuthing skills. They hope to return the treasured item to its owner, but their search for answers is sidetracked when a body is found. Still, their sneaky cat's find may just lead them to a killer.

(Source: NAL)

Seventh Street Books

Dante's Dilemma (Mark Angelotti) by Lynne Raimondo (Seventh Street Books 04 August 2015 / $15.95) - Product Description: Blind psychiatrist Mark Angelotti is faced with his most troubling case yet when he is asked to evaluate Rachel Lazarus, the estranged wife of a slain University of Chicago professor.

Months earlier, the professor's body was found stuffed into one of the exhibits at "Scav", the school's world-famous annual scavenger hunt, and--in a feast for the press--missing a vital piece of its anatomy. Though she's confessed to her husband's murder, Rachel is mounting a battered woman's defense.

Forced into helping the prosecution, Mark becomes unsure of his objectivity when his investigation uncovers uncomfortable parallels between Rachel's history and his own. That concern proves well-founded when his damaging admission at trial all but convicts Rachel. Then a tip connects the case to another suspected murder and evidence that Rachel may not be guilty after all. As he plows ahead during a brutal Chicago winter, Mark soon learns he has far more to worry about than treacherous snow and ice: someone will do anything to guarantee that Rachel takes the fall.

(Source: Seventh Street Books)

Severn House

Code Grey (Dulcie Schwartz) by Clea Simon (Severn House 01 August 2015 / $28.95) - Product Description: Did a down on his luck former student steal a priceless book? Grad student and cat lover Dulcie Schwartz thinks not--and she sets out to prove it.

It's spring break, and Dulcie Schwartz has stayed behind in almost-deserted Cambridge, Massachusetts to concentrate on her thesis. But when a former student turned vagrant, Jeremy Mumbles, is found injured, with a valuable missing book clutched in his arms, Dulcie can't seem to let it go. What was he doing with the book? And why has it turned up after all these years?

With Jeremy now the prime suspect for a series of break-ins in the area, Dulcie is determined to clear the unfortunate former scholar's name. But when she finds a connection between the book he was carrying and her own research into an anonymous Gothic author, the search for clues takes on a new intensity--and a new menace.

(see review)

Soho Crime

Dragon Day (Ellie McEnroe) by Lisa Brackmann (Soho Crime 18 August 2015 / $25.95) - Product Description: Ellie McEnroe is an Iraq War vet living in Beijing, where she represents the work of cutting-edge Chinese political artists. She has one bum leg, a taste for dumplings and beer, and an evangelical mother and a sweet-tempered rescue mutt for roommates. She also has Chinese Domestic Security on her tail and a dwindling number of Percocets to get her through her bad days.

And she's about to have some bad days. The immensely powerful--and occasionally homicidal--Shanghai billionaire Sidney Cao has asked Ellie to investigate Marsh Brody, his son's suspicious new American business partner. Ellie knows she can't refuse, and is grudgingly swept up into the elite social circles of Sidney's three children: debauched Guwei, rebellious Meimei and social climber Tiantian. When a waitress is murdered at one of Tiantian's parties, the last thing Ellie wants is to get sucked into a huge scandal involving members of China's rich and powerful elite. But when Ellie quickly becomes the most convenient suspect, she realizes she'll have to figure out who really did it--and even that might not be enough to save herself.

(Source: Soho Crime)

Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan (Soho Crime 18 August 2015 / $26.95) - Product Description: In northeast Manila's Quezon City is a district called Payatas--a 50-acre dump that is home to thousands of people who live off of what they can scavenge there. It is one of the poorest neighborhoods in a city whose law enforcement is already stretched thin, devoid of forensic resources and rife with corruption. So when the eviscerated bodies of teenage boys begin to appear in the dump heaps, there is no one to seek justice on their behalf.

In the rainy summer of 1997, two Jesuit priests take the matter of protecting their flock into their own hands. Father Gus Saenz has been a priest for three decades, but he is also a respected forensic anthropologist, one of the few in the Philippines, and has been tapped by the Director of the National Bureau of Investigations as a backup for police efforts. Together with his protégé, Father Jerome Lucero, a psychologist, Saenz dedicates himself to tracking down the monster preying on these impoverished boys.

Cited as the first Filipino crime novel, Smaller and Smaller Circles is a poetic masterpiece of literary noir, a sensitive depiction of a time and place, and fascinating story about the Catholic Church and its place in its devotees' lives and communities.

(Source: Soho Crime)

St. Martin's

Best Laid Plans (Lucy Kincaid) by Allison Brennan (St. Martin's 04 August 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Newly minted FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid is settling into her job in San Antonio, Texas, when the corpse of Harper Worthington, the husband of a sitting congresswoman, is found naked in a motel on the wrong side of town. It's up to Lucy to locate the last person to see him alive: a teenage prostitute who seems to have vanished into thin air.

When forensics determines that Harper was poisoned, Lucy and her new by-the-book partner dig deep into his life to find out who might want him dead. Why did Harper lie to his wife and his staff? Was he involved in an illicit affair? Embezzling money? Laundering money for a drug cartel? Or was he simply a pawn in someone else's dangerous game?

Lucy's boyfriend Sean Rogan is hired by Harper's company to run a security audit, causing friction between Lucy and the FBI. But when Sean finds a high-tech bug in Harper's office, an entirely new threat emerges--a far-reaching conspiracy run by a ruthless killer who will do anything to get what he wants, and kill anyone who gets in his way. And the person between him and victory is Lucy Kincaid.

(Source: St. Martin's)

Payoff (Simon Fisk) by Douglas Corleone (St. Martin's 04 August 2015 / $9.99) - Product Description: When movie studio mogul Edgar Trenton's teenage daughter, Olivia, is kidnapped during a violent home invasion in Calabasas, California, former U.S. Marshal Simon Fisk is called upon to ensure a smooth ransom exchange. But once it becomes clear that the kidnappers never intended to return Olivia to her parents, Simon must follow a lethal trail that will lead him from the powdery white sand beaches of the Cayman Islands through the wild jungles of Costa Rica, and into some of the darkest and deadliest cities of South America.

(see review)

St. Martin's Press

The Night of the Cobra (Kyle Swanson) by Jack Coughlin with Donald A. Davis (St. Martin's Press 18 August 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: In this new novel in the Kyle Swanson sniper series, an American warrior is called to redeem a debt of honor in Somalia amid haunting personal nightmares.

Top-ranked sniper Kyle Swanson was a promising young Marine on a dangerous peace-keeping mission in Mogadishu when he first captured "the Cobra" and a life-long blood feud began.

Twenty years later, Kyle works for the CIA while the Cobra emerges from prison to become an efficient killing machine, and has never slackened his hatred for Swanson. To draw out his ultimate target, the Cobra launches a violent campaign against the United States and attacks the second-largest shopping mall in America.

Kyles teams with FBI agent Lucky Sharif, whom Swanson had saved as a child in Somalia, and they must fight through terrorists at home and abroad to stop his old enemy. The Cobra retreats to Somalia, where he is set to become a powerful warlord and leader of the bloody al Shabaab terror gang. To block him, Swanson must return to the daunting streets of Mogadishu-where he must face his personal nightmares, as well as the Cobra, who lies in wait.

(Source: St. Martin's Press)

Tor Books

Rage by Ken Shufeldt (Tor Books 04 August 2015 / $9.99) - Product Description: When the GOP realizes they'll never regain the White House without the minority vote, they select Victor Garcia, a Hispanic Marine War Hero, as the Vice Presidential candidate for Peter Montblanc's run at the Presidency. Montblanc wins the election, but in a shocking turn of events just a few weeks after his election into office, he disappears. The GOP elites' worst fears are realized when Victor Garcia is named Acting President. From big money contributors, dirty politicians, a secretive billionaire, and duplicitous Iranian leaders, everyone seems hell-bent on plunging the world into chaos. Faced with a seemingly endless string of attacks and disasters, President Garcia soon learns that his greatest enemy might be closer than he thinks.

(Source: Tor Books)

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