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US Books Received- 03/2016  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

Akashic Books

New Orleans Noir: The Classics by (Akashic Books 01 March 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: Classic reprints from: James Lee Burke, Armand Lanusse, Grace King, Kate Chopin, O. Henry, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Shirley Ann Grau, John William Corrington, Tom Dent, Ellen Gilchrist, Valerie Martin, O'Neil De Noux, John Biguenet, Poppy Z. Brite, Nevada Barr, Ace Atkins, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin.

From the introduction by Julie Smith:

"A glittering constellation of writers has passed through New Orleans--including Mark Twain, Sherwood Anderson, O. Henry, and even Walt Whitman, to name some of the not-so-usual suspects. Then there are the ones whose sojourns here are better known, the ones on whom we pride ourselves, such as Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Ellen Gilchrist, and James Lee Burke.

It was an anthologist's feast--just about everybody who came to New Orleans wrote about it. But there were surprises as well...

If you're from New Orleans, the neighborhood theme will resonate like Tibetan temple bells. And yet, surely every city has similar hoods, similar behavior patterns, similar travails--and has had them forever. 'Indeed,' wrote Voltaire, 'history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.'"
(Source: Akashic Books)

Stockholm Noir by (Akashic Books 01 March 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: Brand-new stories by: Unni Drougge, Inger Edelfeldt, Carl-Michael Edenborg, Åke Edwardson, Torbjörn Elensky, Inger Frimansson, Carl Johan De Geer, Martin Holmén, Nathan Larson, Malte Persson, Anna-Karin Selberg, Johan Theorin, and Lina Wolff.

From the introduction by Nathan Larson & Carl-Michael Edenborg:

"To the tourist, the city of Stockholm appears a shimmering dream. Laid out on a series of islands, it is verdant, clean, and surrounded by crystalline water. On paper, Stockholm is paradise. And in some respects, it truly is. But in most respects, it is anything but....

In Stockholm Noir, the city is presented as a gaping maw ready to devour your soul should you wander down the wrong alley ... Everywhere is noir. Even, and especially, in a paradise like Sweden, where the citizen is given every tool to go out and become a great success but is paradoxically held to an almost subliminal expectation to fall in line ... and never shine so brightly that you disturb your neighbor....

In this anthology it's our aim to showcase the darker, grittier, more intense world of Swedish noir fiction. Here the dangers lurking beneath the IKEA lifestyle are given free rein, and words are given to the ambivalence and despair of a model society."

(Source: Akashic Books)

Berkley

A Churn for the Worse (Amish Mystery) by Laura Bradford (Berkley 01 March 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: When an Amish farmer is found dead in his barn, his family accepts his death as God's will. But Detective Jakob Fisher knows the farmer didn't hit himself in the head with the shovel lying beside his body. And when it comes to light that a stranger appeared at the farmer's home and now money is missing from their milk can, Fisher suspects robbery as the motive—especially when another Amish family is victimized.

Getting to the truth proves difficult, however, since Fisher has two strikes against him in the eyes of the Amish—his chosen career, and the Amish roots he left behind. Desperate to stop a murderous thief, Fisher turns to Heavenly Treasures shop owner Claire Weatherly for help. The trust she's earned from the Amish community enables her to go where the detective cannot—straight into the path of a killer.

(Source: Berkley)

And Then There Were Nuns: League of Literary Ladies by Kylie Logan (Berkley 01 March 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: The author of The Legend of Sleepy Harlow returns to South Bass Island, where the League of Literary Ladies has to find out who's killing off nuns.

B and B owner Bea Cartwright has taken on the responsibility of taking meals to ten visiting nuns, who are on retreat at the Water's Edge Center for Spirit and Renewal on picturesque South Bass Island on Lake Erie. But the peace of the retreat is shattered when one of the nuns is found at the water's edge--murdered. And when a second nun is killed, Bea and the other members of the League of Literary Ladies--Chandra, Kate, and Luella--start to wonder about eerie parallels with the Agatha Christie mystery classic, And Then There Were None.

Since Bea has the trust of the sisters, the local chief of police asks her and the other Literary Ladies to interview each of them. Expecting a confession may be asking for a miracle, but Bea hopes she can at least find the killer before another nun gets crossed off the guest list.

(Source: Berkley)

Devonshire Scream (Tea Shop) by Laura Childs (Berkley 01 March 2016 / $26.00) - Product Description: Catering a high-class trunk show at Heart's Desire Jewelry is a shining achievement for Theodosia and the Indigo Tea Shop. After all, a slew of jewelers, museums, and private collectors will be there to showcase their wares and sip some of Theo's best blends. But just as Theo settles in to enjoy the fruits of her labor, the party is crashed by a gang of masked muggers who steal the precious gems and jewels on display. The thieves disappear almost as quickly as they arrived, leaving shattered glass, scattered gemstones, and a dead body in their wake.

Although the last thing Theo wants is to get involved, she can't help but intercede when her dear friend Brooke, aunt of the victim and owner of Heart's Desire, begs for help in figuring out who committed the brutal burglary. Though the FBI believes this daring "smash and grab" is the work of an international gang of jewel thieves, Theo is convinced that the felon is someone much closer to home. (Includes recipes and tea time tips.) (see review)

Kernel of Truth (Popcorn Shop) by Kristi Abbott (Berkley 01 March 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Opening a gourmet popcorn shop was never on Rebecca Anderson's bucket list. But after a failed marriage to a celebrity chef, she's ready for her life to open up and expand. She has returned to her hometown of Grand Lake, Ohio, with her popcorn-loving poodle Sprocket to start a new business--naturally called POPS. As a delicious bonus, Cordelia "Coco" Bittles, a close family friend who has always been like a grandmother to Rebecca, owns the chocolate shop next door, and the two are thinking of combining their businesses.

But when Coco's niece, Alice, discovers her on the floor of her chocolate shop, those dreams go up in smoke. The local sheriff thinks Coco was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, but Rebecca isn't so sure. As suspects start popping up all over, Rebecca is determined to turn up the heat and bring the killer to justice in a jiffy! (Includes popcorn related recipes.)

(Source: Berkley)

Ming Tea Murder (Tea Shop Mysteries) by Laura Childs (Berkley 01 March 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Normally Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop, wouldn't attend a black tie affair for all the tea in China. But she can hardly say no to her hunky, handsome boyfriend, Max, who directs public relations for the Gibbes Museum in Charleston. Max has organized an amazing gala opening for an exhibit of a genuine eighteenth century Chinese teahouse, and the crème de la crème of Charleston society is invited.

In the exotic garden staged in the museum's rotunda, a Chinese dragon dances to the beat of drums as it weaves through the crowd. The guests are serenaded by a Chinese violin as they sample an assortment of tempting bites. And to give them a memento of the occasion, there's even a photo booth. But Theodosia makes a grim discovery behind the booth's curtains: the body of museum donor Edgar Webster.

While Theodosia prefers tea service over the service of justice, this case is difficult to ignore--especially after Max becomes a suspect. Now she must examine the life of the fallen philanthropist and find out who really wanted him to pay up. (Includes recipes and tea time tips.)

(see review)

Mrs. Jeffries Wins the Prize by Emily Brightwell (Berkley 01 March 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: NIPPED IN THE BUD: The ladies of the Mayfair Orchid and Exotic Plant Society are known for a bit of friendly rivalry, but the backstabbing has never been literal--until now. When Hiram Filmore, an orchid hunter and supplier, is found dead in Mrs. Helena Rayburn's conservatory, Inspector Witherspoon is called in to weed out a murderer.

When it comes out that Mrs. Rayburn and her flowery friends knew each other from long ago, Mrs. Jeffries begins to suspect that there's more to unearth about this case than meets the eye. Now she, along with the rest of Inspector Witherspoon's household and friends, will have to dig up the past to figure out which gardening gentlewoman had a grudge worth killing for.

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

(Source: Berkley)

Out of the Dying Pan (Deep Fried) by Linda Reilly (Berkley 01 March 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Revenge is set to sizzle in the tasty new Deep Fried Mystery from the author of Fillet of Murder.

For Talia Marby, the sweet smell of success is a lot like the pungent aroma of fried fish and vinegar. Her new business, Fry Me a Sliver, is rapidly expanding beyond fish and chips to become one of the best eateries in the Berkshires. But the nasty owner of a neighboring boutique is making a stink, baiting Talia in a very public fight at a community center fundraiser and nursing an inexplicable grudge.

When the boutique owner is found strangled with Talia's scarf knotted around her neck, our favorite fish fryer finds herself in hot oil. Needing to clear her name, and fast, Talia's investigation soon yields some shocking surprises as well as a sizzling suspicion: someone had good reason to want the victim dead—and it's frying Talia's nerves. (Includes recipes.)

(Source: Berkley)

Ripe for Murder (Cypress Cove) by Carlene O'Neil (Berkley 01 March 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Penny Lively loves running her family's winery, but to keep business growing, she needs to find a way to attract more guests. When she's approached to invest in a new train line through wine country, Penny and her intoxicating winery manager, Connor, hightail it to a lavish resort to hear the details. Unfortunately, her neighbor's daughter, Chantal, is also there, swirling up trouble by flirting with the married investors—and with Connor too.

When one of the investors' wives is murdered, Chantal, who was seen fighting with the woman, is the prime suspect. Chantal may be a sour grape, but she's no killer. So Penny, who's become a sleuthing connoisseur, starts sniffing out the real suspect—and discovers that her fellow potential investors have been savoring more than their share of deadly secrets.

(Source: Berkley)

Gallery Books

No One Knows by J.T. Ellison (Gallery Books 22 March 2016 / $26.00) - Product Description: The day Aubrey Hamilton's husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn't want to move on; she wants Josh back. It's been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage--they were happy, weren't they?--screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn't Josh show up at his friend's bachelor party? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious yet strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?

In No One Knows, the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Nicholas Drummond series expertly peels back the layers of a complex woman who is hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. This masterful thriller for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins will pull readers into a you'll-never-guess merry-go-round of danger and deception. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops…no one knows.

(Source: Gallery Books)

Legend Press

Untouchable Things by Tara Guha (Legend Press 01 March 2016 / $14.95) - Product Description: A suspense thriller unpicks complex group relationships to explore love, obsession, and the dark spaces in all of us.

Rebecca Laurence is center stage and shining in her role as Ophelia. She pivots, rotating like a ballerina impaled in a musical box, red hair cascading down her back. Amid the thundering applause, one man is watching. Rebecca meets the charismatic Seth Gardner, and as attraction grows between them, he invites her to join his Friday Folly, a group of artistic friends. But as Rebecca is drawn into the web of tangled relationships all is not as it appears. The scene is set for the night that will rip the group apart. Consumed by loss and surrounded by secrets, Rebecca must escape the grip of the Folly to have any chance of saving herself. Meanwhile, one man continues to watch.

(Source: Legend Press)

Minotaur Books

A Bed of Scorpions by Judith Flanders (Minotaur Books 01 March 2016 / $24.99) - Product Description: Summer in London--the sun is finally shining, the flowers are in bloom, and life is humming merrily along for book editor Samantha Clair, off to lunch with her old friend, art-dealer Aidan Merriam. Humming merrily until she learns that his partner has just been found dead in their gallery, slumped over his desk with a gun in his hand. Could anything be worse? Oh yes, the police investigation is being led by Inspector Jake Field, who just happens to be Sam's new boyfriend. And Aidan, who just happens to be Sam's ex-boyfriend, wants Sam's help. Finding herself drawn into another investigation, Sam does the only sensible thing and calls her mother. Before long, Sam finds her loyalties stretched to the limit as she herself is threatened.

Armed with nothing more than her trusty weapons of satire, cynicism and a stock of irrelevant information culled from novels, Sam races to find a killer who is determined to find her first in the newest fast-paced, uproarious novel in the critically acclaimed series from New York Times bestselling author Judith Flanders.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

The Cracked Spine (Scottish Bookshop) by Paige Shelton (Minotaur Books 29 March 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: Wanted: A bold adventurer who wants to travel the world from a comfortable and safe spot behind a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes. A humble book and rare manuscript shop seeks a keenly intelligent investigator to assist us in our search for things thought lost, and in our quest to return lost items to their rightful owners.

Never an adventurer, no one was more surprised than Delaney Nichols when she packed her bags and moved halfway across the world to Edinburgh, Scotland to start a job at The Cracked Spine, a bookshop located in the heart of the city. Her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime, albeit a cryptic one, and Delaney can't wait to take her spot behind the desk.

The Cracked Spine is filled with everything a book lover could want, each item as eclectic as the people who work there; the spirited and lovable Rosie, who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a nineteen-year-old thespian with a colored past and bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected. An extra bonus is Tom the bartender from across the street, with his cobalt eyes, and a gentle brogue--and it doesn't hurt that he looks awfully good in a kilt.

But before she can settle into her new life, a precious artifact goes missing, and Edwin's sister is brutally murdered. Never did Delaney think that searching for things lost could mean a killer, but if she's to keep her job, and protect her new friends, she'll need to learn the truth behind this Scottish tragedy.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

The Eloquence of the Dead by Conor Brady (Minotaur Books 15 March 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: "Bodies can tell you a lot. There can be an eloquence about the dead. But you have to be able to interpret what they are telling you... "

This captivating, expertly crafted mystery captures the life and essence of Victorian Dublin and draws the reader on a gripping journey of murder and intrigue. When a Dublin Pawnbroker is found murdered and the lead suspect goes missing, Sergeant Joe Swallow is handed the poisoned chalice of the investigation. On the way he uncovers deep-rooted corruption, discovers the power of new, scientific detection techniques and encounters a ruthless adversary. With authorities pressing for a quick resolution, the public living in fear of attack and the newspapers happy to point to the police's every mistake, Swallow must use every trick in his arsenal to crack the case. Following leads from Trim Castle to the Tower of London, The Eloquence of the Dead is a taut, fast-paced crime thriller perfect for fans of Charles Finch and Charles Todd.

(see review)

The Midwife and the Assassin (The Midwife's Tale) by Sam Thomas (Minotaur Books 15 March 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: In this thrilling new mystery from the critically acclaimed author of The Witch Hunter's Tale midwife Bridget Hodgson travels to London where she's forced into a new profession--as a spy.

It's 1649. Three years have passed since midwife Bridget Hodgson and her deputy Martha Hawkins fled York for the safety of the English countryside. But when a mysterious letter from London brings them to the capital, they are forced into service under Jonathan Marlowe, Oliver Cromwell's chief spymaster. Reunited with Bridget's nephew Will, the three seek out Parliament's enemies even as the nation awaits the trial of the King on charges of treason.

Marlowe's first mission for Bridget is to spy upon Katherine Chidley, a notorious political radical and-Marlowe fears--a potential rebel against Parliament. The more time Bridget spends with Katherine, however, the closer the two become, and when Katherine's husband Daniel is murdered, Bridget and Martha join in the search for the killer. As the two uncover Daniel's secrets, the list of suspects grows ever longer, until it includes royalists, radicals, and a figure from Bridget's past, who is equal parts mysterious and deadly. When the killer strikes again, Bridget and Martha realize that he is bent on far more than mere murder, but intends to revive the civil wars or destroy England entirely.

(see review)

The Winter Garden Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple) by Carola Dunn (Minotaur Books 15 March 2016 / $15.99) - Product Description: In England, 1923, The Honorable Daisy Dalrymple has made a decision that, while shocking to her class, is in perfect keeping with the spirit of the times. Rather than live with relatives until she marries, she has decided to make her own living with her writing. Her series of articles on country manor homes has proven to be a success, and she travels to Occles Hall to research her latest piece.

What she finds is a household under the thumb of the ill-tempered and demanding Lady Valeria. And the discovery of the body of a pregnant maid buried in the winter garden does nothing to improve Lady Valeria's mood. A young Welsh under-gardener is arrested for the crime but Daisy is sure of his innocence. Wary of the air of secrecy that permeates Occles Hall, Daisy convinces Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard to investigate further--a murder that is more complex and horrifying than either could have imagined.

(see review)

Time of Fog and Fire (Molly Murphy) by Rhys Bowen (Minotaur Books 01 March 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: Molly Murphy Sullivan's husband Daniel, a police captain in turn-of-the-century New York City, is in a precarious position. The new police commissioner wants him off the force altogether. So when Daniel's offered an assignment from John Wilkie, head of the secret service, he's eager to accept. Molly can't draw any details of the assignment out of him, even where he'll be working. But when she spots him in San Francisco during a movie news segment, she starts to wonder if he's in even more danger than she had first believed. And then she receives a strange and cryptic letter from him, leading her to conclude that he wants her to join him in San Francisco. Molly knows that if Daniel's turning to her rather than John Wilkie or his contacts in the police force, something must have gone terribly wrong. What can she do for him that the police can't? Especially when she doesn't even know what his assignment is? Embarking on a cross-country journey with her young son, Molly can't fathom what's in store for her, but she knows it might be dangerous--in fact, it might put all of their lives at risk.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

NAL

Between a Book and a Hard Place (Devereaux's Dime Store) by Denise Swanson (NAL 01 March 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: The author of Dying For a Cupcake returns with a new mystery filled with lost family, hidden treasure, and long-buried secrets.

Five-and-dime store owner Devereaux "Dev" Sinclair moved to Shadow Bend for her family. But when her long-lost mother shows up in town, she realizes too much kin can be killer.

Shadow Bend's library closed years ago because of budgetary problems, so when a wealthy benefactor offers to reopen it, everyone, including Dev, is thrilled. But Dev's excitement wanes when she realizes the mysterious donor is actually her runaway mother Yvette's latest husband, Jett Benedict.

Dev suspects that Yvette and Jett's intentions aren't as noble as they appear, but before she can discover what they're really up to, Jett turns up dead—and all clues point to Yvette as the prime suspect.

Even though Dev has no loyalty to Yvette, she's in a bind. Setting the record straight could prove her mother is a killer. But doing nothing might get her mother booked for a crime she didn't commit.

(Source: NAL)

Murder, She Wrote: Killer in the Kitchen by Donald Bain & Jessica Fletcher (NAL 01 March 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Jessica loves the Fin & Claw restaurant, owned by young couple Brad and Marcie. And the restaurant is the couple's dream come true. But when famed chef Gerard Leboeuf decides to open an eatery right next to theirs, tensions rise fast and hot—and lead to a nasty confrontation between Leboeuf and Brad. So when Leboeuf is found dead with a knife planted in his chest, Brad becomes suspect number one. But plenty of others had a motive to kill Leboeuf, and it's up to Jessica to uncover who really added murder to the menu.

(Source: NAL)

When Falcons Fall (Sebastian St. Cyr) by C.S. Harris (NAL 01 March 2016 / $25.95) - Product Description: Ayleswick-on-Teme, 1813. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, has come to this seemingly peaceful Shropshire village to honor a slain friend and on a quest to learn more about his own ancestry. But when the body of a lovely widow is found on the banks of the River Teme, a bottle of laudanum at her side, the village's inexperienced new magistrate turns to St. Cyr for help.

Almost immediately, Sebastian realizes that Emma Chance did not, in truth, take her own life. Less easy to discern is exactly how she died, and why. For as Sebastian and Hero soon discover, Emma was hiding both her true identity and her real reasons for traveling to Ayleswick. Also troubling are the machinations of Lucien Bonaparte, the estranged brother of the megalomaniac French Emperor Napoleon. Held captive under the British government's watchful eye, the younger Bonaparte is restless, ambitious, and treacherous.

Sebastian's investigation takes on new urgency when he discovers that Emma was not the first, or even the second, beautiful young woman in the village to die under suspicious circumstances. Home to the eerie ruins of an ancient monastery, Ayleswick reveals itself to be a dark and dangerous place of secrets that have festered among the villagers for decades—and a violent past that may be connected to Sebastian's own unsettling origins. And as he faces his most diabolical opponent ever, he is forced to consider what malevolence he's willing to embrace in order to destroy a killer.

(see review)

Opus Books

PhDeath: The Puzzler Murders by James Carse (Opus Books 15 March 2016 / $25.95) - Product Description: PhDeath is a fast-paced thriller set in a major university in a major city on a square. The faculty finds itself in deadly intellectual combat with the anonymous Puzzler. Along with teams of US Military Intelligence and the city's top detective and aided by the Puzzle Master of The New York Times, their collective brains are no match for the Puzzler's perverse talents. Carse, Emeritus Professor himself at a premier university in a major city on a square shows no mercy in his creation of the seemingly omniscient Puzzler, who through a sequence of atrocities beginning and ending with the academic year, turns up one hidden pocket of moral rot after another: flawed research, unabashed venality, ideological rigidity, pornographic obsessions, undue political and corporate influence, subtle schemes of blackmail, the penetration of national and foreign intelligence agencies, brazen violation of copyrights, even the production and sale of addictive drugs.

(Source: Opus Books)

Plume

Speakers of the Dead (Walt Whitman) by J. Aaron Sanders (Plume 01 March 2016 / $16.00) - Product Description: Speakers of the Dead is a mystery novel centering around the investigative exploits of a young Walt Whitman, in which the reporter-cum-poet navigates the seedy underbelly of New York City's body-snatching industry in an attempt to exonerate his friend of a wrongful murder charge.

The year is 1843; the place: New York City. Aurora reporter Walt Whitman arrives at the Tombs prison yard where his friend Lena Stowe is scheduled to hang for the murder of her husband, Abraham. Walt intends to present evidence on Lena's behalf, but Sheriff Harris turns him away. Lena drops to her death, and Walt vows to posthumously exonerate her.

Walt's estranged boyfriend, Henry Saunders, returns to New York, and the two men uncover a link between body-snatching and Abraham's murder: a man named Samuel Clement. To get to Clement, Walt and Henry descend into a dangerous underworld where resurrection men steal the bodies of the recently deceased and sell them to medical colleges. With no legal means to acquire cadavers, medical students rely on these criminals, and Abraham's involvement with the Bone Bill—legislation that would put the resurrection men out of busines--seems to have led to his and Lena's deaths.

(Source: Plume)

Poisoned Pen Press

Jump Cut (Ellie Foreman) by Libby Fischer Hellmann (Poisoned Pen Press 01 March 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: Chicago video producer Ellie Foreman has been absent from thriller author Libby Fischer Hellmann's repertoire for almost a decade. Now, in Jump Cut, she's back...and is soon to find herself entangled in a web of espionage, murder, and suspicion that threatens to destroy what she holds most dear.

Hired to produce a candy-floss profile of Chicago-based aviation giant Delcroft, Ellie is dismayed when company VP Charlotte Hollander trashes the production and cancels the project. Ellie believes Hollander was spooked by shots of a specific man in the video footage. But when Ellie arranges to meet the man to find out why, he is killed by a subway train before they can talk. In the confusion, she finds a seemingly abandoned pack of cigarettes with a flash drive inside that belonged to the now-dead man.

Ellie gets the drive's contents decrypted, but before long discovers she's under surveillance. Suspecting Delcroft and the ambitious Hollander are behind it, she's unconvinced when Hollander tells her the dead man was a Chinese spy. Ellie and her boyfriend, Luke, try to find answers, but they don't realize how far they have ventured into the dangerous echelons of hidden power. When Ellie's daughter is kidnapped and Charlotte Hollander disappears, it becomes terrifyingly clear that Ellie is in way over her head, and more lives are on the line--including her own.

(Source: Poisoned Pen Press)

Seventh Street Books

Rain Dogs (Det. Sean Duffy) by Adrian McKinty (Seventh Street Books 08 March 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: It's just the same things over and again for Sean Duffy: riot duty, heartbreak, cases he can solve but never get to court. But what detective gets two locked-room mysteries in one career?

When journalist Lily Bigelow is found dead in the courtyard of Carrickfergus castle, it looks like a suicide. Yet there are just a few things that bother Duffy enough to keep the case file open. Which is how he finds out that she was working on a devastating investigation of corruption and abuse at the highest levels of power in the UK and beyond.

And so Duffy has two impossible problems on his desk: Who killed Lily Bigelow? And what were they trying to hide?

(Source: Seventh Street Books)

Severn House Publishers

The Ninth Life (Blackie and Care) by Clea Simon (Severn House Publishers 01 March 2016 / $28.95) - Product Description: Introducing Blackie, an unusual feline hero, and his companion Care in the first of this dark new mystery series.

Three figures, shadowy against the light. That's all I remember from my past life, as I am dragged, dripping and half-drowned, from the flood. My saviour, a strange, pink-haired girl, is little help. She can barely care for herself, let alone the boy she loves. And although she has sworn to avenge the murder of her mentor, she must first escape the clutches of drug dealers, murderers and thieves. I would repay her kindness if I could. But we are alone in this blighted city--nd I am a cat.

The past is an enigma to Blackie, the voice of Clea Simon's dark new mystery. Combining elements of feline fantasy and cozy whodunit, The Ninth Life introduces this unusual hero and his companion, Care: two small creatures in a nightmarish urban landscape, fighting for their lives, and for the lives and memories of those they love.

(see review)

Soho Crime

The Considerate Killer (Nina Borg) by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis (Soho Crime 01 March 2016 / $27.95) - Product Description: In an attempt to save their marriage, Nina Borg and her husband traveled to a beach resort in the Philippines for a dream vacation. Only now, six months later, does Nina begin to understand the devastating repercussions of that trip--repercussions that have followed her home across the globe to Denmark. On an icy winter day, she is attacked outside the grocery store. The last thing she hears before losing consciousness is her assailant asking her forgiveness. Only later does she understand that this isn't for what he's just done, but for what he plans to do to.

As Nina tries to trace the origin of sinister messages she's received, she realizes the attempt on her life must be linked to events in Manila, and to three young men whose dangerous friendship started in medical school. Time and circumstance have forced them to make impossible choices that have cost human lives.

It's a long way from Viborg to Manila, and yet Nina and her pursuer face the same dilemma: How far will they go to save themselves?

(Source: Soho Crime)

St. Martin's

Skinny Dipping with Murder (Otter Lake) by Auralee Wallace (St. Martin's 01 March 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Erica Bloom is in no rush to return to Otter Lake, the site of her mother's spiritual retreat for women. Erica met her inner goddess years ago and she's happy to have forged a new identity on her own, thank you very much. But her new-age-y, well-meaning mother is losing her grip on the business, and needs Erica's help. So she heads back to her New Hampshire hometown, where nothing much has changed-except for maybe the body in the well...

When Erica was a teenager, she fell prey to a practical joke that left her near-naked in Otter Lake's annual Raspberry Social. The incident was humiliating, but it wasn't like anyone got killed--until now. Those who were behind that long-ago prank are starting to turn up dead, and Erica's appearance in town makes her a prime suspect. To make matters worse, the town sheriff just happens to be Erica's old nemesis, Grady Forrester...who also happens to be hotter than ever. Can Erica find a way to dig up the truth-before someone digs her grave?
First book in a new series.

(Source: St. Martin's)

Thomas & Mercer

Furious (Faith McMann) by T.R. Ragan (Thomas & Mercer 22 March 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: Faith McMann comes home to a nightmare: her husband is killed and her son and daughter are taken. Although the intruders leave her for dead, she survives. Crippling grief and fear for her children make life unbearable. Until her anguish turns to anger ... and she trades victimhood for vengeance.

Frustrated with the law's efforts, she takes action to rescue her children—and wreaks havoc on the brutal criminals who tore them from her. With her family and newfound allies at her side, Faith descends into the hellish underworld of human trafficking, determined to make those who prey on the innocent pray for mercy.

The forces she's up against have already proven that their ruthlessness knows no bounds. And there's nothing they won't do to turn Faith's crusade into a suicide mission. But they're about to learn that nothing is more dangerous than a mother fighting for her children--especially one who's earned the nickname Furious.

(Source: Thomas & Mercer)

William Morrow

The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse (William Morrow 29 March 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: In a remote village near the English coast, residents gather in a misty churchyard. More than a decade into the twentieth century, superstition still holds sway: It is St. Mark's Eve, the night when the shimmering ghosts of those fated to die in the coming year are said to materialize and amble through the church doors.

Alone in the crowd is Constantia Gifford, the taxidermist's daughter. Twenty-two and unmarried, she lives with her father on the fringes of town, in a decaying mansion cluttered with the remains of his once world-famous museum of taxidermy. No one speaks of why the museum was shuttered or how the Giffords fell so low. Connie herself has no recollection--a childhood accident has erased all memory of her earlier days. Even those who might have answers remain silent. The locals shun Blackthorn House, and the strange spinster who practices her father's macabre art.

As the last peal of the midnight bell fades to silence, a woman is found dead—a stranger Connie noticed near the church. In the coming days, snippets of long lost memories will begin to tease through Connie's mind, offering her glimpses of her vanished years. Who is the victim, and why has her death affected Connie so deeply? Why is she watched by a mysterious figure who has suddenly appeared on the marsh nearby? Is her father trying to protect her with his silence—or someone else? The answers are tied to a dark secret that lies at the heart of Blackthorn House, hidden among the bell jars of her father's workshop--a mystery that draws Connie closer to danger ... closer to madness ... closer to the startling truth.

(see review)

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