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US Books Received- 02/2016  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 Disguise to Die For (Costume Shop) by Diane Vallere (Berkley 02 February 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: No sooner does former magician's assistant Margo Tamblyn return home to Proper City, Nevada, to run Disguise DeLimit, her family's costume shop, than she gets her first big order. Wealthy nuisance Blitz Manners needs forty costumes for a detective-themed birthday bash. As for Blitz himself, his Sherlock Holmes is to die for--literally--when, in the middle of the festivities, Margo's friend and party planner Ebony Welles is caught brandishing a carving knife over a very dead Blitz.

For Margo, clearing Ebony's name is anything but elementary, especially after Ebony flees town. Now Margo is left to play real-life detective in a town full of masked motives, cloaked secrets, and veiled vendettas. But as she soon learns, even a killer disguise can't hide a murderer in plain sight for long. (Includes recipes and costume ideas.)

(Source: Berkley)

A Turn for the Bad (County Cork) by Sheila Connolly (Berkley 02 February 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: The author of An Early Wake returns to Ireland where Sullivan's Pub owner Maura Donovan gets mixed up with smugglers.

After calling Ireland home for six months, Boston expat Maura Donovan still has a lot to learn about Irish ways--and Sullivan's Pub is her classroom. Maura didn't only inherit a business, she inherited a tight-knit community. And when a tragedy strikes, it's the talk of the pub. A local farmer, out for a stroll on the beach with his young son, has mysteriously disappeared. Did he drown? Kill himself? The child can say only that he saw a boat.

Everyone from the local gardai to the Coast Guard is scouring the Cork coast, but when a body is finally brought ashore, it's the wrong man. An accidental drowning or something more sinister? Trusting the words of the boy and listening to the suspicions of her employee Mick that the missing farmer might have run afoul of smugglers, Maura decides to investigate the deserted coves and isolated inlets for herself. But this time she may be getting in over her head.

(Source: Berkley)

Arsenic and Old Books (Cat in the Stacks) by Miranda James (Berkley 02 February 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: In Athena, Mississippi, librarian Charlie Harris is known for his good nature--and for his Maine coon cat Diesel that he walks on a leash. Charlie returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but taking the plunge into a recent acquisition will have him in over his head.

Lucinda Beckwith Long, the mayor of Athena, has donated a set of Civil War-era diaries to the archives of Athena College. The books were recently discovered among the personal effects of an ancestor of Mrs. Long's husband. The mayor would like Charlie to preserve and to substantiate them as a part of the Long family legacy--something that could benefit her son, Beck, as he prepares to campaign for the state senate.

Beck's biggest rival is Jasper Singletary. His Southern roots are as deep as Beck's, and their families have been bitter enemies since the Civil War. Jasper claims the Long clan has a history of underhanded behavior at the expense of the Singletarys. He'd like to get a look at the diaries in an attempt to expose the Long family's past sins. Meanwhile, a history professor at the college is also determined to get her hands on the books in a last-ditch bid for tenure. But their interest suddenly turns deadly.

Now Charlie is left with a catalog of questions. The diaries seem worth killing for, and one thing is certain: Charlie will need to be careful, because the more he reads, the closer he could be coming to his final chapter.

(Source: Berkley)

Beauty, Beast, and Belladonna (Fairy Tale Fatal) by Maia Chance (Berkley 02 February 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: From the author of Cinderella Six Feet Under, a beauty must solve a beastly murder.

Variety hall actress Ophelia Flax knows how to win over an audience. That's why she's accepted the marriage proposal of the brutish Comte de Griffe to nettle her occasional investigative partner--and romantic sparring partner—the pompous if dashing Professor Penrose.

But with his boorish table manners, wild mane of hair, and habit of prowling away the wee hours, the comte has shredded Ophelia's last nerve. She intends to disengage from her feral fiancé at his winter hunting party--until Penrose, his lovely new fiancée, and a stagecoach of stranded travelers arrive at the comte's sprawling château. Soon she can't tell the boars from the bores.

When one of the guests is found clawed and bloody in the orangerie, Ophelia is determined to solve the murder before everyone starts believing the local version of Beauty and the Beast. But until the snows melt, she can't trust her eyes—or her heart—since even the most civilized people hold beastly secrets.

(Source: Berkley)

Darned if You Do (Needlecraft) by Monica Ferris (Berkley 02 February 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: When it comes to murder, Betsy Devonshire, owner of the Crewel World needlework shop, doesn't mess around. But when a local hoarder is murdered, she'll need all her wits to dig a new friend out of a heap of trouble.

After a tree falls on Tom Riordan's house, landing him in the hospital, the police discover a mountain of junk piled high in his home. Locals in Excelsior, Minnesota--including Betsy Devonshire and her Crewel World Monday Bunch--offer to help with the cleanup while Tom recuperates.

But when Tom is found murdered in his hospital bed, the sole heir to his property--his cousin Valentina--becomes the number one suspect. Betsy believes there's more to the case than meets the eye, but finding clues to the killer's identity in the clutter Tom left behind will be like looking for a needle in a haystack

(Source: Berkley)

For Cheddar or Worse (Cheese Shop) by Avery Aames (Berkley 02 February 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's time for the annual Cheese Festival in Providence, Ohio, and Charlotte Bessette's cheese shop is packed with homemade specialties. Meanwhile, her friend Erin is prepping her dairy farm and inn for cheese makers, marketers, journalists, and one surprise guest--Lara Berry, pretentious cheese whiz, pompous bestselling author, and pungent critic whose extra sharp tongue can crumble a reputation.

Even though any love for Lara by her friends curdled long ago, Charlotte is surprised when the foodie is smothered to death in her room at Erin's inn. Accusations start flying, but the one laying blame on Erin strikes Charlotte as a crock. Now, to clear her friend's name, Charlotte has to sift through Lara's ex-lovers, former business partners, and unforgiving enemies to find a killer before Lara's past casts a tainted pall on the festival's future.
Recipes Included.

(Source: Berkley)

No Cats Allowed (Cat in the Stacks) by Miranda James (Berkley 23 February 2016 / $26.00) - Product Description: In the latest mystery in the New York Times bestselling Cat in the Stacks series, librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat Diesel must clear a friend when the evidence is stacked against her.

Springtime in Mississippi is abloom with beauty, but the library's employees are too busy worrying to stop and smell the flowers. The new library director, Elwyn Dillard, is a brash, unfriendly Yankee who's on a mission to cut costs—and his first targets are the archive and the rare book collection.

As annoying as a long-overdue book, Dillard quickly raises the hackles of everyone on staff, including Charlie's fiery friend Melba--whom Dillard wants to replace with someone younger. But his biggest offense is declaring all four-legged creatures banned from the stacks.

With enemies aplenty, the suspect list is long when Dillard's body is discovered in the library. But things take a turn for the worse when a threatening e-mail throws suspicion on Melba.

Charlie is convinced that his friend is no murderer, especially when he catches sight of a menacing stranger lurking around the library. Now he and Diesel will have to read between the lines, before Melba is shelved under "G" for guilty.

(Source: Berkley)

Off the Books (Novel Idea) by Lucy Arlington (Berkley 02 February 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Lila Wilkins is showcasing some of her biggest authors at a bridal expo. But when the joyous event turns deadly, she'll have to figure out who penned the perfect crime.

The Novel Idea Literary Agency has planned a wedding-themed week for Inspiration Valley, celebrating not only North Carolina's best vendors but also some of the agency's most popular bridal books. The fact that Lila can use the event to plan her own impending nuptials is just the icing on the cake.

But wedding bells turn to warning bells when Lila finds a dead man facedown in the frosting. Soon it's discovered that the victim was connected to several Novel Idea authors, all of whom quickly become suspects in the case. It's up to Lila and her fellow agents to find the real killer before one of their clients winds up scribbling stories from behind bars.

(Source: Berkley)

Scene of the Brine (Pickled and Preserved) by Mary Ellen Hughes (Berkley 02 February 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: The national bestselling author of License to Dill returns with a dilly of a pickle.

Piper Lamb has to take a break from jarring her delicious pickles and preserves to blow the lid off a poisoner.

Business is booming at Piper's Picklings in Cloverdale, New York. But not all is sweet in the life of Piper's number one customer and friend, local caterer Sugar Heywood. Sugar is dating wealthy realtor Jeremy Porter, but his family doesn't approve. After their unscrupulous accountant finds some dirt on Sugar, the family quickly urges Jeremy to throw her out like rotten fruit.

Things are further spoiled after the accountant is found poisoned, and all evidence points to Sugar's son, Zach. With the Porter family determined to avoid scandal, it won't be easy for Piper to preserve Zach's innocence. And after someone falls victim to a poisoned jar of some of her brandied cherries, Piper's got a peck of trouble to deal with herself.

(Source: Berkley)

The Grim Steeper (Teapot Collector) by Amanda Cooper (Berkley 02 February 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: The national bestselling author of Shadow of a Spout invites readers back to the Finger Lakes town of Gracious Grove for more tea and murder.

Mid-October in the charming Finger Lakes town of Gracious Grove means it's time for the annual Fall Fling Townwide Tea Party. The highlight of the festivities is a roaming tea-tasting, which includes a stop at Auntie Rose's Victorian Tea House. Sophie Taylor would like to share her enjoyment of the event with her sort-of boyfriend, English teacher Jason Murphy, but Jason's dean has accused him of falsifying grades to help an athlete at the local college. Steamed and stressed, Jason shows up the night of the party with bags under his eyes.

But the dean shows up under Sophie's Japanese Maple later that night, murdered, and now Jason is suspected of far worse than fudging grade reports. It's up to Sophie, her Nana, and their friends the Silver Spouts to pore over the clues to find out who really decided to teach the dean a lesson.

(Source: Berkley)

Town in a Cinnamon Toast (Candy Holliday) by B.B. Haywood (Berkley 02 February 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: The author of Town in a Sweet Pickle brings back Candy Holliday, a blueberry farmer with a green thumb for sleuthing.

The much-anticipated wedding of local resident Maggie Tremont and popular baker Herr Georg has stirred up the usually quiet coastal town of Cape Willington. To make sure the wedding of the year goes off without a hitch, the participants gather at a pre-wedding dinner--everyone, that is, except the best man.

Worried, Candy, the maid of honor, goes looking for him, finally tracking him down to the upstairs archive rooms at the English Point Lighthouse and Museum. There's only one problem: he's dead, struck over the head with a bottle of champagne, the same exclusive brand that was ordered for the dinner. Before the wedding plans fall flat, Candy rushes to find the murderer, unearthing a conspiracy that could spill over into the whole town.
Includes recipes.

(see review)

Endeavour Press

Sherlock Holmes and the Tangled Skein by David Stuart Davies (Endeavour Press 22 February 2016 / ) - Product Description:

In the autumn of 1888, and following the successful conclusion of the investigation into the affair of the Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson have returned safely from Dartmoor, convinced that their most recent nemesis has met a sticky ending.



But when a strange package arrives and turns out to be an attempt on Holmes' life, the detective and Watson are faced with an even darker mystery.

A peculiar cat-and-mouse game involving a lethal murderer ensues and Miss Lydgate, a distressed young woman, arrives with a cryptic warning for Watson.

Things soon spiral rapidly out of control and Holmes calls on his local street urchins, The Baker Street Irregulars, to keep a keen eye out for information.

Professor Van Helsing is also in town, visiting the Royal Society to discuss the phenomenon of Vampires.

Holmes is disgusted and dismisses such talk as supernatural nonsense, insisting that 'the cult of undead' is outside the boundaries of rational science.

Inspector Lestrade, however, has bigger problems — there have been murders on Hampstead Heath and there is heightened talk of a strange phantom lady.

When the police force reach out to Holmes for help, both he and Watson decide to take matters into their own hands.

The chilling discovery that awaits them on the Heath leads them back to Devon and the bleak terrain of Dartmoor.

The nightmare that is the tangled skein is now in full force and time is running out.

Whilst investigating mysterious circumstances at a finishing school for aristocratic girls, they encounter the true embodiment of evil, Count Dracula, the Lord of the Undead …

The Tangled Skein is one of Sherlock Holmes' most exciting and dangerous cases, peppered with elements of the supernatural.

David Stuart Davies is one of Britain's leading Sherlockian writers. He was the editor of Sherlock Holmes the Detective Magazine, and is the author of several Holmes novels, the hit play Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act, and an acclaimed biography of Jeremy Brett. He is also an advisor to Granada Studios' Sherlock Holmes museum, and he contributed commentaries to the DVD releases of the Basil Rathbone Holmes films.

 Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent digital publisher. For more information on our titles please sign up to our newsletter at www.endeavourpress.com. Each week you will receive updates on free and discounted ebooks. Follow us on Twitter: @EndeavourPress and on Facebook via http://on.fb.me/1HweQV7. We are always interested in hearing from our readers. Endeavour Press believes that the future is now. 
(see review)

Forge Books

A Voice from the Field by Neal Griffin (Forge Books 02 February 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: Tia Suarez jumped off the pages in Griffin's brilliant debut novel, Benefit of the Doubt. Now she takes center stage in her own story, A Voice from the Field, a gripping thriller about human trafficking in the U.S.

Gunther Kane and his white supremacist group are using forced prostitution to finance the purchase of automatic weapons. Kane snatches young women off the streets and sells them to hundreds of men. When a victim is used up, she's killed and dumped. After all, there are always more where she came from.

Physically recovered from being shot but struggling with PTSD, Tia Suarez almost doesn't believe her eyes when she glimpses a Hispanic teenager bound and gagged in the back of Kane's van. The look of terror on the woman's face makes Tia desperate to rescue her.

Kane's in the crosshairs of the FBI, who don't want a small-town Wisconsin detective messing up their big gun bust.

Tia Suarez doesn't back down for anyone. Not the department shrink; not the feds who dismiss her; not even her boyfriend, a Marine veteran who thinks she doesn't know what she's getting into. Tia will find the missing teen come hell or high water.

(Source: Forge Books)

Shoot (Valentino Mysteries) by Loren D. Estleman (Forge Books 09 February 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: Valentino, a mild-manner film archivist at UCLA and sometime film detective, is at the closing party for the Red Montana and Dixie Day museum when he is approached by no less than his hero and man-of-the-hour Red Montana, western film and television star.

Red tells Valentino that he is being blackmailed over the existence of a blue film that his wife, now known throughout the world as the wholesome Dixie Day and the other half of the Montana/Day power couple, made early in her career. With Dixie on her deathbed, Red is desperate to save her the embarrassment of the promised scandal, and offers Valentino a deal-find the movie, and he can have Red's lost film, Sixgun Sonata, that Red has been hiding away in his archives. Don't accept, and the priceless reel will go up in flames.

Feeling blackmailed himself, Valentino agrees and begins to dig. In the surreal world of Hollywood, what is on screen is rarely reality. As he races to uncover the truth before time runs out, his heroes begin their fall from grace. Valentino desperately wants to save Sixgun Sonata...but at what cost?

(Source: Forge Books)

G.P. Putnam's Sons

Saving Jason (Jason Stafford) by Michael Sears (G.P. Putnam's Sons 02 February 2016 / $27.00) - Product Description: The latest Jason Stafford novel from Michael Sears, author of Long Way Down and Black Fridays.

Jason Stafford used to be a hot Wall Street trader, went too far, and paid for it in prison. Now a financial investigator, he's been asked to look into rumors of a hostile takeover of his firm, but he has no idea it will turn his whole life upside down. Suddenly embroiled in a grand jury investigation of Mob-related activities on Wall Street, and threatened by some very serious men, he is thrust into witness protection with his young autistic son. And then his son disappears. Has he been kidnapped, or worse? With no choice but to act, Stafford has no choice but to come out of hiding and risk everything to save his son, his firm, his pregnant girlfriend--and himself.

(Source: G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Head of Zeus

Blood Sisters (Katie Maguire) by Graham Masterton (Head of Zeus 01 February 2016 / $19.95) - Product Description: Katie Maguire reopens a cold case in her gripping, gruesome fifth thriller.

Five years ago, a well-to-do family from northeast Cork disappeared without trace. Now their mutilated bodies have surfaced in a nearby peat bog, perfectly preserved right down to the smallest smashed fingernail. Katie Maguire suspects the family were victims of a blood feud between two of Cork's most violent gangs. As she investigates, their bitter rivalry flares up once more—and this time it is Katie who is danger.

(Source: Head of Zeus)

Minotaur Books

A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders (Minotaur Books 09 February 2016 / $15.99) - Product Description: It's just another day at the office for London book editor Samantha "Sam" Clair. Checking jacket copy for howlers, wondering how to break it to her star novelist that her latest effort is utterly unpublishable, lunch scheduled with gossipy author Kit Lowell, whose new book will dish the juicy dirt on a recent fashion industry scandal. Little does she know the trouble Kit's book will cause--before it even goes to print. When police Inspector Field turns up at the venerable offices of Timmins & Ross, asking questions about a package addressed to Sam, she knows something is wrong. Now Sam's nine-to-five life is turned upside down as she finds herself propelled into a criminal investigation. Someone doesn't want Kit's manuscript published and unless Sam can put the pieces together in time, they'll do anything to stop it.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Apricot's Revenge by Song Ying (Minotaur Books 16 February 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: A business tycoon in China is found dead; he apparently suffered a heart attack while swimming. His body is washed onto a beach in a popular resort known as the Hawaii of the East. But soon it becomes clear that he was murdered. Three immediate beneficiaries of his death become the suspects: the vice president of the company, Zhou, who is in line to take over his position; his young widow, Zhu, who stands to inherit a huge amount of wealth; and his arch business rival, Hong, who is competing in a bid over a piece of hot property.

Nie Feng, a young investigative reporter for a magazine, interviewed the victim just a few days before he died. Through his own research, Nie Feng discovers a new suspect who is not on the police's radar.

Apricot's Revenge is an absorbing detective novel and more. Song Ying uses an ingenious plot to investigate social problems in modern China, which makes the book a profound and captivating read, leaving readers thinking long after reaching the last page.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Murder on a Summer's Day (Kate Shackleton) by Frances Brody (Minotaur Books 09 February 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: When the India Office seek help in finding Maharajah Narayan, last seen hunting on the Bolton Abbey estate, they call upon the expertise of renowned amateur detective Kate Shackleton to investigate.

But soon a missing persons case turns to murder. Shot through the heart, Narayan's body has obviously not been in the woods overnight. Who brought it here, and from where? And what has happened to the hugely valuable diamond that was in the Maharajah's possession?

As Kate digs deeper, she soon discovers that vengeance takes many forms. Was the Maharajah's sacrilegious act of shooting a white doe to blame? Or are growing rumors of a political motive too powerful for Kate to discount?

One thing Kate is sure of: her own skills and insights. Qualities that she is sure will help her unravel a mysterious murder on that fateful summer's day.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Someone to Watch Over Me (Thora Gudmundsdottir) by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Minotaur Books 23 February 2016 / $15.99) - Product Description:

Bestselling and award-winning Icelandic crime author Yrsa Sigurdardottir is back with the next book in her Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series. SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, the fifth installment in the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series, was named Crime Novel of the Year by the Sunday Times.

A young man with Down's Syndrome has been convicted of burning down his assisted living facility and killing five people, but a fellow inmate at his secure psychiatric unit has hired Thora to prove Jakob is innocent. If he didn't do it, who did? And how is the multiple murder connected to the death of a young woman, killed in what was supposed to be a hit-and-run?
(Source: Minotaur Books)

South of Nowhere (Julia Kalas) by Minerva Koenig (Minotaur Books 02 February 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: Julia Kalas has found a place for herself in small-town Texas. After being forced to relocate by the Aryan Brotherhood and witness protection, she's working on getting her budding construction business off the ground. But her newfound status as a sometimes-problem solver doesn't stop local cops from giving her the hairy eyeball when a dead body is found stuffed in the upstairs closet of her latest remodeling project.

Not up for another game of pin-the-tail-on-the-murder-suspect, Julia takes private detective John Maines up on an offer of employment working a missing persons case at the Texas-Mexico border. The fat check he dangles in front of her as payment will be enough to set her up in comfortable retirement far away from the tiny Texas backwater, which suits Julia just fine.

However, fate, as usual, has other plans for her. In South Texas, Julia learns that the dead man in her closet has been identified and that a warrant has been issued for her arrest. As she tangles with Mexican drug lords, shady surgeons, and a gang of Native American women with an axe to grind, she can't ignore the sinking feeling that things are about to get a hell of a lot worse before they get better.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

The Edge of Dreams (Molly Murphy) by Rhys Bowen (Minotaur Books 23 February 2016 / $15.99) - Product Description:

Molly Murphy Sullivan's husband Daniel, a captain in the New York City police force, is stumped. He's chasing a murderer whose victims have nothing in common―nothing except for the taunting notes that are delivered to Daniel after each murder. And when Daniel receives a note immediately after Molly and her young son Liam are in a terrible train crash, Daniel and Molly both begin to fear that maybe Molly herself was the target.

Molly's detective instincts are humming, but finding the time to dig deeper into this case is a challenge. She's healing from injuries sustained in the crash and also sidetracked by her friends Sid and Gus's most recent hobby, dream analysis. And when Molly herself starts suffering from strange dreams, she wonders if they just might hold the key to solving Daniel's murder case.

Rhys Bowen's characteristic blend of atmospheric turn-of-the-century history, clever plotting, and sparkling characters will delight readers in The Edge of Dreams, the latest in her bestselling Molly Murphy series.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

The Lavender Lane Lothario (Berger and Mitry) by David Handler (Minotaur Books 23 February 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: Every year, the Gant family performs an annual ritual desecrating the tomb of Aurora Bing. The Gants have held a grudge against the legendary silent film star for almost eighty years, but for Sherm Gant and his son, things have become personal. Aurora's only grandchild, Hubie Swope, has shut down Sherm's notoriously rowdy beachfront bar, and refuses to allow The Pit to reopen until Shem undertakes expensive upgrades. This means war. And when The Pit catches fire and Hubie Swope's charred remains are found in the rubble, it also means murder.

Who killed Hubie Swope? Crime-fighting duo Mitch and Des have no idea. Not only are Sherm and his son prime suspects, but so are the women in Hubie's life. To their surprise, Mitch and Des discover that Dorset's building inspector, a quiet widower who repaired cuckoo clocks in his little house on Lavender Lane, was secretly juggling four girlfriends at once. And then there's Gaylord Holland, a builder who had a beef of his own with Hubie. Dorset is in turmoil, and only New York City film critic Mitch Berger and Connecticut State Police Resident Trooper Des Mitry can put it back together.

This is the eleventh in David Handler's original, hilarious and charming series featuring the engaging biracial couple that fans love.

(see review)

The Silence of the Sea (Thora Gudmundsdottir) by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Minotaur Books 16 February 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: As The Silence of the Sea opens, a luxury yacht crashes into a Reykjavik pier. But the boat is empty; no one is on board. What has happened to the crew? And what has happened to the family who were very much present when the yacht left Lisbon?

What should Thora Gudmundsdottir, the series sleuth, make of the rumors that the vessel was cursed? She is spooked even more when she boards the yacht and thinks she sees one of the missing children. Where is Karitas, the glamorous young wife of the yacht's former owner? And whose is the body that has washed up further along the shore?

The most chilling novel yet from an international best-selling author at the height of her powers.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

NAL

A Familiar Tail (Witch's Cat) by Delia James (NAL 02 February 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Unlucky-in-love artist Annabelle Britton decides that a visit to the seaside town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is the perfect way to get over her problems. But when she stumbles upon a smoky gray cat named Alastair, and follows him into a charming cottage, Annabelle finds herself in a whole spellbook full of trouble.

Suddenly saddled with a witch's wand and a furry familiar, Annabelle soon meets a friendly group of women who use their spells, charms, and potions to keep the people of Portsmouth safe. But despite their gifts, the witches can't prevent every wicked deed in town.

Soon, the mystery surrounding Alistair's former owner, who died under unusual circumstances, grows when another local turns up dead. Armed with magic, friends, and the charmed cat who adopted her more than the other way around, Annabelle sets out to paw through the evidence and uncover a killer.

(Source: NAL)

A Whisker of Trouble (Second Chance Cat) by Sofie Ryan (NAL 02 February 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: The author of Buy a Whisker offers another adventure with secondhand shop owner Sarah Grayson and Elvis the rescue cat.

Spring has come to charming North Harbor, Maine, and with the new season comes a new haul for Second Chance, the shop where Sarah Grayson sells lovingly refurbished and repurposed items. Sarah is turning her keen eye to the estate of collector Edison Hall, hoping for fabulous finds for Second Chance--but when her rescue cat Elvis discovers a body in the kitchen, everything goes paws up.

The body belongs to an appraiser who had been hired to check out Edison's wine collection. When Edison's sister shows up at Second Chance, she hires Sarah's friends—the kooky and charismatic trio of ladies who call themselves Charlotte's Angels and work out of the shop--to solve the murder, Sarah knows she and Elvis are only going to get deeper into the case. But as it becomes a cat and mouse game of lies, cons, cheats, and family squabbles, can Elvis and Sarah claw their way to the truth before the killer slinks away forever?

(Source: NAL)

It's a Wonderful Knife (Comfort Food) by Christine Wenger (NAL 02 February 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: All Trixie Matkowski wants for Christmas is a break—just not the broken leg she got after slipping on some ice. With Sandy Harbor alive in the hustle and bustle of the season, it's the busiest time of the year at Trixie's Silver Bullet Diner. There are millions of things to do, including cater the town's annual Christmas pageant and community dinner with some delicious holiday comfort food.

But the festivities turn into a bit of a turkey after Liz Fellows, the director of the pageant, is found with Trixie's butcher knife in her back. Now Trixie must help the police arrest the scary gentleman--or lady--guilty of the crime if she hopes to get herself off the naughty list.

(Source: NAL)

The Doll's House (Helen Grace) by M.J. Arlidge (NAL 02 February 2016 / $15.00) - Product Description: Detective Helen Grace is on the trail of a twisted serial killer.

When the body of a woman is found buried on a secluded beach, Detective Helen Grace is called to the scene. She knows right away that the killer is no amateur. The woman has been dead for years, and no one has even reported her missing. But why would they? She's still sending text messages to her family.

Helen is convinced that a criminal mastermind is at work: someone very smart, very careful, and worst of all, very patient. But as she struggles to piece together the killer's motive, time is running out for a victim who is still alive.

(Source: NAL)

The Widow by Fiona Barton (NAL 16 February 2016 / $26.00) - Product Description: When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen.

But that woman's husband died last week. And Jean doesn't have to be her anymore.

There's a lot Jean hasn't said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now there's no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The truth--that's all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything.

(Source: NAL)

Penguin Press

Perfect Days by Raphael Montes (Penguin Press 16 February 2016 / $25.00) - Product Description: A twisted young medical student kidnaps the girl of his dreams and embarks on a dark and delirious road trip across Brazil in the English-language debut of Brazil's most celebrated young crime writer.

Teo Avelar is a loner. He lives with his paraplegic mother and her dog in Rio de Janeiro, he doesn't have many friends, and the only time he feels honest human emotion is in the presence of his medical school cadaver--that is, until he meets Clarice. She's almost his exact opposite: exotic, spontaneous, unafraid to speak her mind. An aspiring screenwriter, she's working on a screenplay called Perfect Days about three friends who go on a road trip across Brazil in search of romance. Teo is obsessed. He begins to stalk her, first following her to her university, then to her home, and when she ultimately rejects him, he kidnaps her and they embark upon their very own twisted odyssey across Brazil, tracing the same route outlined in her screenplay. Through it all, Teo is certain that time is all he needs to prove to Clarice that they are made for each other, that time is all he needs to make her fall in love with him. But as the journey progresses, he digs himself deeper and deeper into a pit that he can't get out of, stopping at nothing to ensure that no one gets in the way of their life together.

(Source: Penguin Press)

Soho Crime

Jane and the Waterloo Map by Stephanie Barron (Soho Crime 02 February 2016 / $25.95) - Product Description: Jane Austen turns sleuth in this delightful Regency-era mystery.

November, 1815. The Battle of Waterloo has come and gone, leaving the British economy in shreds; Henry Austen, high-flying banker extraordinaire, is about to declare bankruptcy--dragging several of his brothers down with him. The crisis destroys Henry's health, and Jane flies to his London bedside, believing him to be dying. While she's there, the Reverend James Stanier Clarke, chaplain to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, invites Jane to tour Carlton House, the Prince's fabulous London home. Clarke is a fan of Jane's books, and during the tour he suggests she dedicate her next novel--Emma--to HRH, whom she despises.

However, before she can speak to HRH, Jane stumbles upon a body--sprawled on the carpet in (where else?) the Regent's library. The dying man, Colonel MacFarland, was a cavalry hero and a friend of Wellington's. He utters a single failing phrase: "Waterloo map" ... and Jane is on the hunt for a treasure of incalculable value and a killer of considerable cunning.

(see review)

St. Martin's

A Deadly Tail (Whiskey, Tango & Foxtrot) by Dixie Lyle (St. Martin's 02 February 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Deirdre "Foxtrot" Lancaster returns--with her otherworldly animal companions Whiskey and Tango--to shine a light on the dark side of fame.

Foxtrot has seen a lot of strange things as assistant to billionaire Zelda Zoransky at her wacky mansion. And that includes her telepathic cat Tango and ectoplasmic pooch Whiskey. So it's no surprise to find a horde of zombies lurching across the lawn-even if they are just actors in a horror movie that's filming on the mansion grounds. The special effects look pretty convincing. But all that fake blood doesn't fool Whiskey, who quickly sniffs out the truth: one of those corpses is real.

A DEADLY TAIL. Before you can say, "Lights, camera, murder," Foxtrot and her furry partners-in-crime-solving are caught up in the drama of who-killed-who...and why. With a crazy cast of characters including a neurotic director, a star-hungry diva-even with an appearance by Lassie's ghost-it's bound to have one hell of a twist ending. But first, Foxtrot and her supernatural sidekicks have to find a killer amongst them-before the whole case is a wrap.

(Source: St. Martin's)

St. Martin's Press

The Art of War by Stephen Coonts (St. Martin's Press 02 February 2016 / $27.99) - Product Description: The Chinese dragon is flexing its muscles. As its military begins to prey on neighbors in the South China Sea, attacking fishing vessels and scheming to seize natural resources, the US goes on high alert. But a far more ominous danger lurks closer to home: a Chinese sleeper cell has planted a nuclear weapon in the harbor at Norfolk, Virginia, the biggest naval base on the planet. The target: a secret rendezvous of the Atlantic Fleet aircraft carriers and their battle groups. When the CIA director is assassinated and Jake Grafton is appointed to take his place, he gets wind of the conspiracy, but has no idea when or where the attack will occur. In the meantime, a series of assassinations, including an attempt on the life of the President, shake the country and deliberately mask a far more sinister objective. Can Jake Grafton and his right hand man, Tommy Carmellini, stop the plot to destroy the US Navy?

(see review)

Thomas & Mercer

Journey to Death (Lucy Hall) by Leigh Russell (Thomas & Mercer 09 February 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: Lucy Hall arrives in the Seychelles determined to leave her worries behind. The tropical paradise looks sun-soaked and picture-perfect--but as Lucy soon discovers, appearances can be very deceptive. A deadly secret lurks in the island's history, buried deep but not forgotten. And it is about to come to light.

As black clouds begin to gather over what promised to be a relaxing family break, Lucy realizes that her father stands in the eye of the coming storm. A shadow from his past is threatening to destroy all that he holds dear—including the lives of his loved ones.

A dark truth is about to explode into their lives, and that truth is going to hit them right between the eyes.

(Source: Thomas & Mercer)

Vintage Crime / Black Lizard

Lord of the Swallows (Malko Linge) by Gérard de Villiers (Vintage Crime / Black Lizard 09 February 2016 / ) - Product Description: A sexy, high-stakes thriller in which Malko Linge must choose between his sense of duty and his sense of honor.

At a benefit dinner in Monaco, Austrian playboy and CIA freelancer Malko Linge meets an intriguing woman, Zhanna Khrenkov, who has an unusual proposal. She will disclose everything she knows about her husband Alexei's business, provided Malko kills Alexei's beautiful young British mistress. Appalled, he refuses, but then Zhanna reveals that her husband runs a ring of sleeper Russian spies, operating undercover inside the U.S. Naturally, Malko's CIA handlers would love to have this information, But he feels uncomfortable killing anyone in cold blood--especially a beautiful woman.

Traveling from Vienna to London to Moscow and back, aided by his former CIA handler and sometime lover Gwyneth Robertson, Malko strives to avoid the crosshairs of deadly assassins and--almost as dangerous--jealous lovers.

(Source: Vintage Crime / Black Lizard)

Zondervan

If I Run by Terri Blackstock (Zondervan 16 February 2016 / $15.99) - Product Description: Casey Cox's DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she's arrested ... or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn't fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan's skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn't guilty, why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan's damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer ... or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

(Source: Zondervan)

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