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US Books Received- 11/2015  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

Akashic Books

Buffalo Noir by (Akashic Books 03 November 2015 / $15.95) - Product Description: Buffalo, New York, is still the second-largest metropolis in the state, but in recent years its designation as the Queen City has been elbowed aside by a name that's pure noir: The City of No Illusions. Presidents came from here; and in 1901, a president was killed here while visiting the Pan-American Exposition, by a man who checked into a hotel under a name that translates as Nobody.

As Buffalo saw its prosperity wane, those on the outside could only see harsh winters and Rust Belt grit, chicken wings and sports teams that came agonizingly close. (Vincent Gallo's Buffalo 66 is less the doomed quest of a would-be assassin than the collective fever dream of every Bills fan.)

Featuring brand-new stories by: Joyce Carol Oates, Lawrence Block, Ed Park, Gary Earl Ross, Kim Chinquee, Christina Milletti, Tom Fontana, Dimitri Anastasopoulos, Lissa Marie Redmond, S.J. Rozan, John Wray, Brooke Costello, and Connie Porter.

(Source: Akashic Books)

Memphis Noir by (Akashic Books 03 November 2015 / $15.95) - Product Description: Featuring brand-new stories by: Richard J. Alley, David Wesley Williams, Dwight Fryer, Jamey Hatley, Adam Shaw, Penny Register-Shaw, Kaye George, Arthur Flowers, Suzanne Berube Rorhus, Ehi Ike, Lee Martin, Stephen Clements, Cary Holladay, John Bensko, Sheree Renée Thomas, and Troy L. Wiggins.

From the introduction by Laureen P. Cantwell & Leonard Gill:

"A city equal parts darkness and hope. A scarred city. An often violent one. But a resilient city too.

That’s our Memphis.

Like many cities, we have a namesake—in Egypt, Men-nefer became Menfe became Memphis, enduring and beautiful, on the banks of the Nile. Centuries later, another continent, another people, another river: Memphis, Tennessee, the soul of the Mississippi Delta, was formed. We are a place born of history, inhabited as much by memory as by the living—the past and present inextricably and inescapably linked.... Memphis is marvels and misfits—two-faced and unabashedly so.

We are Memphis, and this is our noir."

(Source: Akashic Books)

Zagreb Noir by (Akashic Books 03 November 2015 / $15.95) - Product Description: Featuring brand-new stories translated from Croatian by: Ivan Vidić, Josip Novakovich, Andrea Žigić-Dolenec, Robert Perišić, Mima Simić, Pero Kavesić, Nada Gašić, Zoran Pilić, Ružica Gašperov, Darko Milošić, Nora Verde, Ivan Sršen, Neven Ušumović, and Darko Macan.

Eastern European history is filled with noir-ish and harrowing tales, and Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia, certainly has its fill. Editor Sršen has curated a diverse, powerful, and dramatic group of stories that offer tremendous insight into the perspectives of contemporary Croatians.

(Source: Akashic Books)

Berkley

A Likely Story (Library Lover's) by Jenn McKinlay (Berkley 03 November 2015 / $24.95) - Product Description: Delivering books to the housebound residents of the Thumb Islands, just a short boat ride from the town of Briar Creek, library director Lindsey Norris has befriended two elderly brothers, Stewart and Peter Rosen. She enjoys visiting them in their treasure-filled, ramshackle Victorian on Star Island until she discovers that Peter has been killed and Stewart is missing. Now she's determined to solve a murder and find Stewart before he suffers his brother's fate.

(Source: Berkley)

Claws for Alarm (Nick and Nora) by T.C. LoTempio (Berkley 03 November 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Since inheriting her mother's sandwich shop, Nora Charles is more about hot grilled paninis than cold-blooded murder--until her sister Lacey is arrested. The victim, an esteemed art collector and Lacey's bullying professor, was stabbed in the heart. Apparently, all over a lousy grade.

Off campus, things were just as dicey. The prof had an ex with secrets, a trophy wife set to inherit a fortune in masterworks, and a scorned student mistress. Going undercover, Nora realizes that investigating this crime is the biggest test of her sleuthing career. Because if she fails, even Nick's animal instinct won't be enough to rescue Lacey from a perfectly executed framing. (Includes sandwich recipes.)

(see review)

Death Takes Priority (Postmistress Mystery) by Jean Flowers (Berkley 03 November 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: After caring for her dying aunt and being dumped by her fiancé, Cassie Miller decides to return to her small hometown in the Berkshires to lick her wounds and live in the house where she was raised. Leaving behind her managerial position in the Boston main postal office, Cassie trades in her tailored suits and high heels for the comfortable blue shirt and red, white, and blue striped scarf of the Postmaster for North Ashcot, Massachusetts.

Everything is business as usual until Cassie arrives at work one day to find that someone has broken into the post office building. The only items stolen: stacks of telephone books. Who steals phone books? Two days later, the body of an unidentified man is found in the woods. And when the handsome antiques dealer she just had lunch with is taken into custody, Cassie is suddenly drawn into the case. With a crime enveloped in mystery, she needs to track the killer—before another victim's fate is sealed in the dead letter office.

(Source: Berkley)

Knot Guilty (Crochet Mystery) by Betty Hechtman (Berkley 03 November 2015 / $7.99) - 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)

Murder Most Howl (Paws & Claws) by Krista Davis (Berkley 24 November 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: The author of The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer and The Diva Steals a Chocolate Kiss returns with a tail of a ruff winter.

This January, Wagtail, Virginia, the top pet-friendly destination in the country, is throwing a fun murder mystery weekend--but no one expected the real thing.

Holly Miller is delighted her grandmother has finally left the Sugar Maple Inn to take a well-deserved vacation. It means Holly's in charge, but running the inn might be more challenging than she realized. Wagtail's throwing a weekend-long murder mystery game to draw in tourists during the slow season, the inn has a full house, and a blizzard is on the way.

Trouble is unleashed the night the game begins, when the storm blows in and the lights go out. It gets worse the following morning when Holly's Jack Russell terrier, Trixie, discovers a body--one that's actually dead. Now Holly, her calico kitten Twinkletoes, and Trixie must play by the rules and find one dirty dog. (Recipes for owners and pets included.) (Source: Berkley)

Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue (Gaslight Mystery) by Victoria Thompson (Berkley 03 November 2015 / $25.95) - Product Description: Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy and Sarah Brandt are not the only ones who have recently tied the knot. Family friend Mrs. O'Neill was delighted when her daughter Una wed the seemingly wealthy and charming Randolph Pollock. She didn't wonder why such an affluent man would want to marry a poor Irish girl, no matter how pretty she was. But now Mrs. O'Neill has a problem.

Pollock's servants have found their employer bludgeoned to death with Una cradling his body. Rendered mute by the horror of her husband's death, Una cannot explain what happened, so the police have charged her with murder and locked her away in the Tombs to await trial.

Mrs. O'Neill would like Frank to investigate the case and save Una, yet with Frank and Sarah still on their honeymoon, it's up to the other members of their newly formed household to do some detective work. But solving the mystery behind Pollock's death means first discovering the truth about who he really is… (Source: Berkley)

Nuts and Buried (Nut House Mystery) by Elizabeth Lee (Berkley 03 November 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Lindy Blanchard has enough on her hands at her family's Texas nut farm with her new strain of pecan trees dying. Trouble is, people are dying too. In a nutshell, it's murder.

The Blanchards are invited to the gala event of the season. Lindy's wealthy friend Eugene Wheatley--who's just nuts about his new bride--is throwing a party to introduce his wife Jeannie to Riverville, Texas, society. The celebration is in full swing when Eugene is found shot dead.

Jeannie and her unscrupulous kin are the prime suspects, but the Blanchards aren't convinced. Lindy and her meemaw Miss Amelia have heard just about enough from the local gossips gathering at the Nut House family store to realize that Jeannie needs their help. And when somebody shoots at Lindy during the investigation, things get real personal. Lindy and Miss Amelia are determined to unmask the killer party crasher and shell out some Texas-style justice.

(Source: Berkley)

Olive and Let Die (Greek to Me) by Susannah Hardy (Berkley 03 November 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: The second Greek to Me Mystery from the author of Feta Attraction. As manager of the Bonaparte House, a historic landmark and Greek restaurant in upstate New York, Georgie Nikolopatos knows her local legends--and her traditional Greek recipes are to die for.

Between her soon-to-be ex-husband Spiro coming out of the closet and her budding romance with Captain Jack Conway, Georgie's life is beginning to feel like a soap opera. And that's before a surprise visit from her estranged mother Shirley, better known as soap star Melanie Ashley. But the dramatic family reunion takes a chilling turn when another long-lost relative turns up dead.

Just outside Spiro's new restaurant, Georgie and Melanie find the body of Doreen Webber--a cousin Georgie never knew she had. With Spiro's partner Inky on the list of suspects, Georgie begins to wonder what else her mother may be hiding. Is the dead-broke diva capable of murder? She'd better find out before someone adds a new twist to the family plot. (Includes delicious Greek recipes.)

(Source: Berkley)

Plot Boiler (Black Cat Bookshop) by Ali Brandon (Berkley 03 November 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's almost Fourth of July, and to boost customer traffic in their Brooklyn neighborhood, bookseller Darla Pettistone decides to throw a block party. All the local shop owners are thrilled—except the proprietor of Perky's Coffee Shop, who thinks Darla is trying to poach his customers by selling her own caffeinated brew in her new bookshop café.

But when Hamlet comes upon the owner's not-so-perky wife, it's clear a killer has crashed the party. And when a second local business owner shuffles off this mortal coil--as Hamlet's namesake would say--Darla and her curious cat must perform some fancy footwork to shine a spotlight on a secret worth killing for.

(Source: Berkley)

Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen (Year-Round Christmas) by Vicki Delany (Berkley 03 November 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: In Rudolph, New York, it's Christmastime all year long. But this December, while the snow-lined streets seem merry and bright, a murder is about to ruin everyone's holiday cheer.

As the owner of Mrs. Claus's Treasures, Merry Wilkinson knows how to decorate homes for the holidays. That's why she thinks her float in the semi-annual Santa Claus parade is a shoe-in for best in show. But when the tractor pulling Merry's float is sabotaged, she has to face facts: there's a Scrooge in Christmas Town.

Merry isn't ready to point fingers, especially with a journalist in town writing a puff piece about Rudolph's Christmas spirit. But when she stumbles upon the reporter's body on a late night dog walk--and police suspect he was poisoned by a gingerbread cookie crafted by her best friend, Vicky—Merry will have to put down the jingle bells and figure out who's really been grinching about town, before Vicky ends up on Santa's naughty list. (First in a new series.) (Source: Berkley)

White Colander Crime (Vintage Kitchen) by Victoria Hamilton (Berkley 03 November 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Queensville has great expectations for their Dickens Day festival. A tourist-trade boom means a big turnout for the opening of Queensville Historic Manor and for Jaymie Leighton, food columnist and vintage kitchen cookware collector, a chance to promote the manor and give away homemade goodies. At the end of a long day of festival fun, Jaymie discovers the battered body of local woman Shelby Fretter.

Shelby predicted her own murder in journal entries -- and all clues point to Cody Wainwright, the troubled son of Jaymie's beleaguered newspaper editor. But considering the entire Fretter family had its share of dirty secrets, Jaymie's not convinced by the case against Cody. With twists all over, she's going to have to work like the Dickens to wrap up this investigation before Christmas-- especially with the real killer ready to kill again.

(Source: Berkley)

Writing All Wrongs (Books by the Bay) by Ellery Adams (Berkley 03 November 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: After Olivia and Chief Rawlings enjoy a brief honeymoon on Palmetto Island, they're joined by the rest of the Bayside Book Writers for the Coastal Carolina Crime Festival. The festival's highlight is Silas Black, celebrity screenwriter and television producer, who is currently working on a popular television show in North Carolina.

As the festival gets under way, a trickster seems to be bringing famous local ghost stories to life. But when the body of a woman close to Black is found on the beach, Olivia and her friends must deduce who on the island could resort to murder—before the sands of time run out for someone else.

(Source: Berkley)

Caffeine Nights Publishing

Forever Evil (Jack Barclay) by Harry Dunn (Caffeine Nights Publishing 01 November 2015 / $14.95) - Product Description: London Private Investigator Jack Barclay is hired by Phillip Jordan to find his missing son Alex, who has just recently been released from prison. Alex has been recruited by Jaymar, an international gang of hit men, and Jack finds himself embroiled in the murky world of vengeance, murder, and erotic photography as he trawls the underbelly of London to find him. Alex's father has his own agenda for wanting his son found quickly, and as he puts pressure on Jack to find him, Jaymar attacks Jack's girlfriend. As the mob turn up the heat, Jack realizes it is only a matter of time before the brutal trail of murder and violence reaches his own door.

(Source: Caffeine Nights Publishing)

The Major Crimes Team: Vol. 1: Lines of Enquiry by Graham Smith (Caffeine Nights Publishing 01 November 2015 / $14.95) - Product Description: DI Harry Evans and his team are dealing with a string of difficult assignments amidst upheaval within their department.

The Cumbria Major Crimes team is under immense pressure to get results. DCI Harry Evans and his subordinates, DS Neil Chisholm, DC Lauren Phillips, and DC Amir Bhaki must juggle cases while tragedy stalks them. Up in Glasgow, DI John Campbell is preparing to replace Evans, whose renegade ways have brought forced retirement. Together they must investigate a man killed in his own home, a vigilante group chasing a suspected pedophile, a river dammed for no obvious reason, and a woman whose cries of "wolf" turn to "rape". Meanwhile DC Phillips goes undercover off the books.

(Source: Caffeine Nights Publishing)

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Secrets of the Tunnels by L.C. Hayden (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 20 November 2015 / $13.75) - Product Description: A stolen Chinese treasure, corruption, a fight for power, murder, and betrayal are all connected to the tunnels. And the roads that lead to them are paved with lies, betrayal, and murder. Can Connie survive the Secrets of the Tunnels? This edge-of-the seat thriller is guaranteed to keep the readers turning the pages.

(see review)

Waiting on a Bridge of Maggots by Robert White (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 10 November 2015 / $10.99) - Product Description: A man who is basically good and who has led a life of solid, middle-class respectability is forced to confront inner demons when he awakens one morning to news of his family's death in a plane crash on the Chaco Canyon mesa. The plane was piloted by the only survivor, his neighbor. His moral dissipation follows in alcoholic binges and chaos in every aspect of his personal life.

(Source: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)

Crčme de la Crime

Death on Demand (Shaw and Valentine) by Jim Kelly (Crčme de la Crime 01 November 2015 / $29.95) - Product Description: When the newspapers turn up to cover Ruby Bright's 100th birthday, they find her seaside care home is a murder scene. Someone spirited Ruby away by wheelchair down to the water's edge on the idyllic north Norfolk coast, and strangled her. But why kill a harmless centurion?

As Detective Inspector Shaw and Detective Sergeant Valentine investigate, it's clear Ruby wasn't the first victim, and nor is she the last. All trails seem to lead back to the old Parkwood Springs estate, close to the docklands. There's only one way in and one way out of the estate--through the derelict Lister Tunnel. But what is the secret within?

(see review)

Five Star

Murder By Kindness: The Gift Quilt by Barbara Graham (Five Star 18 November 2015 / $25.95) - Book Description: The residents of tiny Park County, Tennessee plan to celebrate Valentine's Day in style with a community fund raiser. Sheriff Tony Abernathy's dream of a cime free county explodes, along with an illegal still. An underage driver, bar fights, and the arrival of a popular young movie star with his entourage promises to keep his small staff busy. Theo, Tony's wife, is pulled away from her quilt shop by a phone call. Her best friend Nina is out of town and water is pouring from her house and over her ex-husband's corpse. The county chaos increases with another suspicious death, the arrival of some extra wives, exploding stills and Cupid leaving a trail of paper hearts.

(see review)

Scalp Dance by Lu Clifton (Five Star 11 November 2015 / $25.95) - Book Description: Lieutenant Sam Chitto considers himself a man of principal, but he's at a breaking point. His father's ten-years old murder, his young wife's prematue death, and an ineffective law enforcement community has him ready to quit the force. Indian women are the ones paying the highest price. One in three can expect to be raped in her lifetime, and tribal police cannot arrest the assailant if he is not Indian. And then, Chitto is assigned to work on a mystifying case that forces him to make a decision that could not only challenge his personal code of ethics but also cost a man his life. (Source: Five Star)

The Case of The Red-Handed Rhesus by Jessie Bishop Powell (Five Star 19 November 2015 / $25.95) - Book Description: Noel Rue and her husband Lance lead busy lives, juggling their work at the Midwest Primate Sanctuary with the task of protecting their teen foster daughter, Natasha. Are they ready to adopt young twins with Asperger's syndrome? When they answer yes, they're plunged into the wold of special needs parenting as chaos blooms around them. Headless bodies, vanishing deputies, and evidence-thieving spider monkeys compound their problems as the police scramble for clues. Will Noel and Lance solve the mystery or be the next ones to lose their heads...literally? (Source: Five Star)

The Last Best Lie by Kennedy Quinn (Five Star 19 November 2015 / $25.95) - Book Description: This but one device that the physicist-turned detective creates in The Last, Best Lie, first in this Chicago-based series, as she sets out to catch her boss' attacker. In antagonistic and steamy partnership with her boss' ex-partner, with the aid of a charming bull-rider and Jake's hard-bitten mistress, and with her own subconscious infusing her dreams with a surreal clues, they delve deeply into her boss' shady past. Allies fall and innocents are killed, but Madison perseveres, ultimately stopping the killer through her own unique blend of wit, sensuality and science.

Forge Books

Bloodline by Warren Murphy (Forge Books 10 November 2015 / $27.99) - Product Description: Bloodline: a gritty historical novel about the Mafia in 1920s New York, from Edgar Award-winning author Warren Murphy.

The Falcones are an immigrant family living in New York City in 1920. Their patriarch, Tony, is a respected policeman. His sons, Tommy and Mario, both served in the Great War and are now upstanding citizens-a cop and a priest. But their cousin Nilo has a dark past, and he fled to America after causing several deaths in a fight in Italy.

Nilo soon falls in with Don Maranzano, a Mafia boss who comes from his hometown in Italy. Maranzano grooms Nilo as a "real estate broker," but after a few months, Nilo is offered the chance to do some serious work. He becomes a useful still-wrecker, assassin, and skilled criminal. The papers give him the name "Kid Trouble." Tommy and Mario try to turn a blind eye, but it's hard to hide his underworld affiliations.

As conflicts in the city begin to erupt into a violent war involving gangsters from all parts of the country, Tommy and Mario struggle to stay out of the dark world into which Nilo has dragged the family. But when things take a turn for the worse, the Mafia may be the only place for them to go.

(Source: Forge Books)

The Sundown Speech (Amos Walker) by Loren D. Estleman (Forge Books 10 November 2015 / $24.99) - Product Description: Amos Walker is hired by Helen and Dante Gunner, a bohemian Ann Arbor couple, to find Jerry Marcus, a film director who has disappeared with their investment money. It's one of Walker's easiest jobs to date. In just a few short hours, Walker locates Marcus in his bedroom...murdered, his body shoved into a cupboard, a bullet through his head.

This case is opened and shut quickly, but Walker can't quite let it go. When Dante is arrested for the murder Walker finds himself again in Helen's employ, this time trying to prove that Dante didn't do it.

When Walker interviews Holly Zacharias, a college student who was the last person to see Marcus alive, things get interesting. Because if Marcus is dead, and Dante is his killer, then who is driving by in the Crown Vic, shooting at Walker and Holly?

Jerry Marcus just might still be alive, and his plans may be worse than anything Walker can imagine.

(Source: Forge Books)

Minotaur Books

Away in a Manger (Molly Murphy) by Rhys Bowen (Minotaur Books 17 November 2015 / $24.99) - Product Description: It''s Christmastime in 1905 New York City, and for once, Molly Murphy Sullivan is looking forward to the approaching holidays. She has a family of her own now: she and Daniel have a baby son and twelve-year-old Bridie is living with them as their ward. As Molly and the children listen to carolers in the street, they hear a lovely voice, the voice of an angel, and see a beggar girl huddled in a doorway, singing "Away in a Manger". Bridie is touched by the girl's ragged clothes and wants to help her out if they can. They give her a quarter, only to watch a bigger boy take it from her. But Molly discovers the boy is the girl's older brother. They've come from England and their mother has disappeared, and they're living with an aunt who mistreats them terribly.

Molly quickly realizes that these children are not the usual city waifs. They are well-spoken and clearly used to better things. So who are they? And what's happened to their mother? As Molly looks for a way to help the children and for the answers to these questions, she gets drawn into an investigation that will take her up to the highest levels of New York society.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Crucifixion Creek (Belltree) by Barry Maitland (Minotaur Books 10 November 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: A meth-addicted biker shoots a woman during a police siege. An elderly couple commit suicide on the terrace of their favorite café. An unidentified white male is stabbed to death in the street.

For Sydney homicide detective Harry Belltree, not long out of the military and a grueling tour of Afghanistan, these three deaths appear to be just another day at the office. Until, that is, he identifies the stabbing victim as his own brother-in-law Greg, and journalist Kelly Pool suggests there's a link between the three incidents. It seems Greg and the old couple had ties to the same man, a corrupt money man with a murky past and friends in both high places and low.

Harry Belltree can't get officially involved in Greg's murder, but he's not going to leave it in the hands of others. That's when he goes off-grid to investigate the links between these deaths. That's when things start to get dangerous.

(see review)

Home by Nightfall (Charles Lenox) by Charles Finch (Minotaur Books 10 November 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: It's London in 1876, and the whole city is abuzz with the enigmatic disappearance of a famous foreign pianist. Lenox has an eye on the matter--as a partner in a now-thriving detective agency, he's a natural choice to investigate. Just when he's tempted to turn his focus to it entirely, however, his grieving brother asks him to come down to Sussex, and Lenox leaves the metropolis behind for the quieter country life of his boyhood. Or so he thinks. In fact, something strange is afoot in Markethouse: small thefts, books, blankets, animals, and more alarmingly a break-in at the house of a local insurance agent. As he and his brother to investigate this small accumulation of mysteries, Lenox realizes that something very strange and serious indeed may be happening, more than just local mischief. Soon, he's racing to solve two cases at once, one in London and one in the country, before either turns deadly. Blending Charles Finch's trademark wit, elegance, and depth of research, this new mystery, equal parts Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, may be the finest in the series.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Lies That Bind (Maeve Conlon) by Maggie Barbieri (Minotaur Books 24 November 2015 / $15.99) - Product Description: In Once Upon a Lie, Maggie Barbieri introduced Maeve Conlon, a single mother and bakery owner hiding dark secrets behind her cookie-cutter suburban life.

Now, Maeve's moving on with everyday life when the unthinkable happens: her father dies of a massive heart attack. Maeve's mother died when Maeve was very young, and growing up, it was always just her and her father. But on the day of his funeral, Maeve learns a shocking secret. She might have a sister she's never met. Maeve knows her father would never have kept something like that from her…Unless he thought he had to.

Meantime, someone keeps sneaking around Maeve's bakery. At first the signs are subtle, but then it becomes vandalism, and then it grows even more frightening. Could it be related to Maeve's search for her missing sister? Maeve soon decides it's time to take matters into her own capable hands. But administering her personal brand of justice is a dangerous undertaking, and between the ever-watchful eyes of her family and the lingering attention she's attracted from local police, Maeve will be forced to decide just how much she's willing to risk in the name of justice.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything by Nancy Martin (Minotaur Books 03 November 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: Rich and flamboyant Honeybelle Hensley, the most colorful character in Mule Stop, Texas, dies a suspicious death and enrages the whole town by leaving her worldly fortune to the most undeserving recipient-her dog. The incorrigible Miss Ruffles is a Texas Cattle Cur, not a cuddly lapdog, and when Honeybelle was alive, Miss Ruffles liked nothing better than digging up Honeybelle's famous rose garden after breakfast, chasing off the UPS man before lunch and terrorizing the many gentleman callers who came knocking at cocktail hour.

But now Miss Ruffles is in danger, and it's up to Sunny McKillip, the unwilling dogsitter, to keep her safe. Sunny is new to Texas, and sometimes she feels as if she's fallen into an alien world. If it isn't the pistol-packing football fans and the sweet-talking, yet ruthless ladies of the garden club who confound her, it's the rowdy rodeo hounds and the tobacco-spitting curmudgeon at Critter Control who have her buffaloed. With a killer on the loose and a cowboy lawyer keeping a suspicious eye on her every move, Sunny needs all the help she can get understanding how Texans think. There's more to Honeybelle's death than meets this Yankee's eye, and Sunny has Miss Ruffles to protect, too. It's a bucking bull ride of an adventure for Sunny, and if she's not careful she might just get killed ... or her heart lassoed.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Yappy Hour by Diana Orgain (Minotaur Books 03 November 2015 / $24.99) - Product Description: With side-splitting humor, an irresistible cast of characters-both human and canine-and an intimate small town setting, Yappy Hour is sure to delight fans of Rita Mae Brown and Diane Kelly. Every Friday night in the idyllic seaside town of Pacific Cove, CA, the Roundup Crew, a group of dog-loving friends, meet at a neighborhood wine bar for Yappy Hour. When Rachel, the owner, mysteriously leaves town and asks her sister, Maggie (who is neither pet friendly nor business savvy), to run the bar in her absence, things get complicated fast. Maggie arrives to open up and finds a body sprawled on the floor, and even worse, an incriminating letter with Rachel's name on it nearby. On impulse, she hides the letter from the hunky detective, Officer Brad Brooks, who's dispatched to the scene.

When Rachel is declared the top suspect by the police, Maggie decides to investigate on her own. She reopens the bar and gets to know the members of the Roundup Crew, including chief organizer Yolanda, who never goes anywhere without her signature strappy stilettos or her Yorkie Beepo. Maggie juggles searching for clues, trying to locate Rachel, and serving up Doggie Daiquiris, Muttguaritas and homemade Arf D'Oeuvres--until another body turns up. The Roundup Crew must step in and save the bar, and it seems the only way to do that will be to solve the mystery and turn Maggie into a dog-lover in this charming, light-hearted cozy.

(see review)

NAL

Crowned and Moldering (Fixer-Upper) by Kate Carlisle (NAL 03 November 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: When Mac Sullivan--famous thriller writer and Shannon's new beau--first moved to Lighthouse Cove, California, he bought the historic lighthouse mansion that the town is named after. Mac needs help cleaning up the place, and Shannon is more than happy to get her handywoman hands on the run-down Victorian.

But during demolition, a grisly discovery is made among the debris--the bones of a teenage girl who went missing fifteen years ago. Locals had always assumed Lily Brogan ran away from her difficult life, but it seems her troubles followed her to the grave. If Shannon has any chance of getting her renovation back on track, she'll need to tackle the cold case. But with new suspects coming out of the woodwork every day, she'll have to be careful to pry the right secrets and clues from the poor girl's problematic past.

(Source: NAL)

The Candy Cane Cupcake Killer (Fresh-Baked Mystery) by Livia J. Washburn (NAL 03 November 2015 / $15.00) - Product Description: 'Tis the season in Weatherford, Texas, and everyone in town is gearing up for the annual holiday parade and tree-lighting ceremony in the town square, where Phyllis Newsom will be serving her much-anticipated candy cane cupcakes. Local rancher Barney McCrory manages to charm one away from her before the ceremony begins. But unfortunately, when the minty confection is finished, so is he.

This isn't the first time someone has dropped dead after eating one of Phyllis's treats. But when the paramedics determine the rancher was shot, suspicion swiftly falls on McCrory's daughter and her husband—who both stand to reap some sweet rewards from his death. Though Phyllis doesn't want to get mixed up in another murder investigation, something about this case doesn't sit right with her. With a little help from a tabloid TV news crew, Phyllis must unwrap the truth and restore good cheer to Weatherford before it's too late. (Includes recipes.)

(Source: NAL)

The Chocolate Clown Corpse (Chocoholic Mystery) by JoAnna Carl (NAL 03 November 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's been a month since a complete stranger was accused of murdering Moe Davidson, the miserable shop owner of Clowning Around. 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 ideas to expand.

But when Lee tours the building, she finds Moe's widow, 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. (With Tasty Chocolate Trivia.)

(Source: NAL)

The Chocolate Falcon Fraud (Chocoholic Mystery) by JoAnna Carl (NAL 03 November 2015 / $22.95) - Product Description: The Warner Pier tourism board is kicking off its Tough Guys and Private Eyes film festival with The Maltese Falcon, and Lee Woodyard and her Aunt Nettie are preparing a delicious chocolate noir tie-in at TenHuis Chocolade. What Lee isn't prepared for is a face from the past: Jeff Godfrey, her former stepson. The last time Jeff showed up in town, he wound up being accused of murder. Now he says he's only in Warner Pier to see Bogart on the big screen. Honest.

Jeff may now be a college grad, but that doesn't mean he's any less naďve than the kid Lee had to bail out of trouble earlier. There are all those strange phone calls, a girlfriend who's secretly on Jeff's tail, and a pack of suspicious-sounding acquaintances right out of Dashiell Hammett. Then Jeff goes missing, the Falcon theme is haunting everyone, and a body falls at Lee's feet when she opens the front door – just like in the movie.

Now Lee is under deadline to rewrite the ending of a cunning killer's increasingly convincing murder plot. (Includes Tasty Chocolate Trivia.)

(Source: NAL)

The Stitching Hour: An Embroidery Mystery by Amanda Lee (NAL 03 November 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Marcy's shop, the Seven-Year Stitch, is one year old this October so it's time to party in little Tallulah Falls, Oregon. Aside from the Halloween decorations and festive stitching kits and patterns, Marcy's got all sorts of celebratory swag, including Seven-Year Stitch key rings and goodie bags.

Unfortunately, her new neighbors might spoil the revelry. An eccentric couple has opened a haunted house next door, and all that screaming will certainly scare off customers. But there's even more to be frightened of after a local waitress is found dead on the sidewalk with mysterious markings on her neck--and one of Marcy's key rings beneath her. With no time to hem and haw, Marcy must act fast if she hopes to restore the peace to Tallulah Falls.

(Source: NAL)

Trimmed with Murder (Seaside Knitters) by Sally Goldenbaum (NAL 03 November 2015 / $24.95) - Product Description: In Sea Harbor, the holidays mean cozy fires, festive carols, and soft skeins of yarn waiting to become hats and sweaters and scarves. And this year, Izzy and the other Seaside Knitters are also knitting tiny ornaments to decorate a tree for the first annual tree-trimming contest.

Their holiday cheer is multiplied when Izzy's younger brother, Charlie Chambers, unexpectedly arrives to volunteer at a local clinic. He brings with him outspoken hitchhiker Amber Hanson, who is returning to Sea Harbor to claim an inheritance. She quickly reacquaints herself with the area--and forms an unlikely friendship with Charlie. But their bond is shattered when her body is found beneath the undecorated trees on the Harbor Green.

Charlie is a suspect in the murder, so Izzy and her fellow Knitters step in to uncover the truth. Their journey takes them into Charlie's past and tests their fierce love for him. But it's only by peeling away long-buried secrets that they can hope to restore joy to the season and enjoy the shining lights of the newly decorated trees.

(see review)

Pen-L Publishing

A Bullet for the Ghost Whisperer (Frankie & Josh) by Stan Schatt (Pen-L Publishing 15 November 2015 / $14.95) - Book Description: When the CEO of Zynx, a high-tech startup company, is found dead at his desk, determined Detective "Frankie" Ryan is assigned the case. She learns that everyone entering and leaving the super-secure building is logged in and out automatically—it would take a ghost to get through that kind of security. She enlists reluctant gossip columnist and ace reporter for the Midnight Whisperer, Josh Harrell, to help her solve the case. After all, he has his own ghostly assistant, a seductive spirit that only he can see. But can she save Josh and Frankie from the killer's bullet?

(Source: Pen-L Publishing)

PM Press

Jewish Noir: Contemporary Tales of Crime and Other Dark Deeds by (PM Press 01 November 2015 / $17.95) - Product Description: A unique collection of all-new stories by award-winning authors. This anthology includes the work of numerous authors such as Marge Piercy, Harlan Ellison, S.J. Rozan, Nancy Richler, Moe Prager (Reed Farrel Coleman), Wendy Hornsby, Charles Ardai, and Kenneth Wishnia. The stories explore such issues as the Holocaust and its long-term effects on subsequent generations, anti-Semitism in the mid- and late-20th-century United States, and the dark side of the Diaspora (e.g., the decline of revolutionary fervor, the passing of generations, the Golden Ghetto, etc.). The stories in this collection include "Trajectories", Marge Piercy's story of the divergent paths taken by two young men from the slums of Cleveland and Detroit in a rapidly changing post–WW II society; "Some You Lose", Nancy Richler's empathetic exploration of the emotional and psychological challenges of trying to sum up a man's life in a eulogy; and "Yahrzeit Candle", Stephen Jay Schwartz's take on the subtle horrors of the inevitable passing of time. These works include many "teachable moments" about the history of prejudice, the contradictions of ethnic identity, and assimilation into American society and culture.

(Source: PM Press)

Prospect Park Books

The Spy on the Tennessee Walker (Maggie Fiori) by Linda Lee Peterson (Prospect Park Books 03 November 2015 / $15.00) - Product Description: Maggie Fiori, San Francisco magazine editor and amateur sleuth, gets a package that leads her to investigate a family scandal going back to the Civil War. Why was her great-great-great grandmother imprisoned for bigamy and espionage? Was she a criminal or a hero? Did she support the Confederates or the Union? Maggie's husband, Michael, joins her on the trip to Oxford, Mississippi, to dig deep and solve the mystery.

Combining an engaging contemporary mystery with a carefully researched Civil War setting and nineteenth-century characters, The Spy on the Tennessee Walker will appeal to Civil War and American history buffs as well as fans of modern mysteries and historical fiction.

(Source: Prospect Park Books)

Seventh Street Books

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe (Seventh Street Books 03 November 2015 / $15.95) - Product Description: It's 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels--but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals.

Determined to break free of the era's rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself.

If the police find out, she'll get fired; if her father finds out, he'll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he'll cancel the wedding and stop pouring money into her father's collapsing bank. Midway into her investigation, the police chief's son, Joe Singer, learns her true identity. And shortly thereafter she learns about blackmail.

Anna must choose--either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.

(Source: Seventh Street Books)

Woman with a Blue Pencil by Gordon McAlpine (Seventh Street Books 10 November 2015 / $13.95) - Product Description: "Woman with a Blue Pencil is a brilliantly structured labyrinth of a novel—something of an enigma wrapped in a mystery, postmodernist in its experimental bravado and yet satisfyingly well-grounded in the Los Angeles of its World War II era. Gordon McAlpine has imagined a totally unique work of 'mystery' fiction--one that Kafka, Borges, and Nabokov, as well as Dashiell Hammett, would have appreciated."-- JOYCE CAROL OATES

On the eve of Pearl Harbor, Sam Sumida, a Japanese-American academic, has been thrust into the role of amateur P.I., investigating his wife's murder, which has been largely ignored by the LAPD.  Grief stricken by her loss, disoriented by his ill-prepared change of occupation, the worst is yet to come, Sam discovers that, inexplicably, he has become not only unrecognizable to his former acquaintances but that all signs of his existence (including even the murder he's investigating) have been erased. Unaware that he is a discarded, fictional creation, he resumes his investigation in a world now characterized not only by his own sense of isolation but by wartime fear.

Meantime, Sam's story is interspersed with chapters from a pulp spy novel that features an L.A.-based Korean P.I. with jingoistic and anti-Japanese, post December 7th attitudes – the revised, politically and commercially viable character for whom Sumida has been excised.

Behind it all is the ambitious, 20-year-old Nisei author who has made the changes, despite the relocation of himself and his family to a Japanese internment camp.  And, looming above, is his book editor in New York, who serves as both muse and manipulator to the young author--the woman with the blue pencil, a new kind of femme fatale.

(Source: Seventh Street Books)

Soho Crime

One Man's Flag (Jack McColl) by David Downing (Soho Crime 03 November 2015 / $27.95) - Product Description: World War One rages across Europe in the follow-up to the critically acclaimed  Jack of Spies and the British Empire is assailed on all fronts--domestic and abroad. Amidst this bloodbath of nations, where one man's flag is another man's shroud, a British spy is tasked with foiling revolutionary terrorists first in India and then in Ireland, where he is asked to do the impossible: seduce and betray the woman he loves, again. Only this time betrayal is a two-way street.

Spring 1915. As Europe erupts into war, Jack McColl, a spy for His Majesty's Secret Service, is stationed in India, charged with defending the Empire against Bengali terrorists and their German allies. Belgium, he finds, is not the only country seeking to expel an invader.

In England, meanwhile, suffragette journalist Caitlin Hanley begins the business of rebuilding her life after the execution of her brother--an IRA sympathizer whose terrorist plot was foiled by Caitlin's own ex-lover, the very same Jack McColl. The war is changing everything and giving fresh impulse to those causes—feminism, socialism and Irish independence—which she as a journalist has long supported.

The threat of a Rising in Dublin alarms McColl's bosses as much as it dazzles Caitlin. It was one Irish plot that came between Jack and Caitlin in 1914, and it will take another to bring them back together as both enemies and lovers.

(see review)

St. Martin's Press

Ivory by Tony Park (St. Martin's Press 17 November 2015 / $28.99) - Product Description: Alex Tremain is a pirate in trouble. All he really wants is to reopen his parents' five-star hotel on the Island of Dreams, off the coast of Mozambique. But instead he's facing a mounting tide of debt, his crew of modern-day buccaneers is getting restless, and he has just been dumped by not one, but two women.

As if he doesn't have enough on his plate, a chance raid on a ship then sets the Chinese triads after him and, to add insult to injury, corporate lawyer Jane Humphries lands, literally, in his lap.

Before he knows it, Alex is embroiled in two separate and equally risky pursuits--one takes him to South Africa's Kruger National Park and will pay enough for him to reopen his hotel, and the other involves the love of a lifetime. Can Alex pull off this one last heist and walk away with both prizes?

(see review)

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