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US Books Received- 04/2016  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

The Mastermind by David Unger (Akashic Books 05 April 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: By all appearances, Guillermo Rosensweig is the epitome of success. He is a member of the Guatemalan elite, runs a successful law practice, has a wife and kids and a string of gorgeous lovers. Then one day he crosses paths with Maryam, a Lebanese beauty with whom he falls desperately in love...to the point that when he loses her, he sees no other option than to orchestrate his own death.

The Mastermind is based on the bizarre real-life story of Rodrigo Rosenberg, a Guatemalan attorney who, in 2009, planned his own assassination after leaving behind a video accusing Guatemalan president Álvaro Colom of his murder. (In April 2011, the New Yorker published an article by David Grann about Rosenberg which has been optioned by Matt Damon for his directorial debut.) This is a fascinating depiction of modern-day Guatemala and the corrupt, criminal, and threatening reality that permeates its society.

(Source: Akashic Books)

Albert Whitman & Company

Kelsey the Spy (Curious Cat Spy Club) by Linda Joy Singleton (Albert Whitman & Company 01 April 2016 / $14.99) - Product Description: Kelsey can't resist collecting secrets in her spy notebook--just like her hero, Harriet the Spy. When she learns Leo has been hiding something from the group, she writes his secret in her notebook as well. But Kelsey accidentally brings her Notebook of Secrets to school and loses it. Everything she's collected about classmates, friends, and family could be released into the world! When she receives a ransom note, she tries to solve the mystery on her own but soon realizes she needs everyone in the CCSC to rescue the notebook, help a homesick 130-year-old Aldabra tortoise, and unmask a thief. A surprise ending changes Kelsey's life in a way she never imagined. (see review)

Bantam

The Murder of Mary Russell (Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes) by Laurie R. King (Bantam 05 April 2016 / $28.00) - Product Description: Laurie R. King's bestselling Mary Russell–Sherlock Holmes series weaves rich historical detail and provocative themes with intriguing characters and enthralling suspense. Russell and Holmes have become one of modern literature's most beloved teams. But does this adventure end it all?

Mary Russell is used to dark secrets--her own, and those of her famous partner and husband, Sherlock Holmes. Trust is a thing slowly given, but over the course of a decade together, the two have forged an indissoluble bond.

And what of the other person to whom Mary Russell has opened her heart: the couple's longtime housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson? Russell's faith and affection are suddenly shattered when a man arrives on the doorstep claiming to be Mrs. Hudson's son.

What Samuel Hudson tells Russell cannot possibly be true, yet she believes him--as surely as she believes the threat of the gun in his hand. In a devastating instant, everything changes. And when the scene is discovered--a pool of blood on the floor, the smell of gunpowder in the air--the most shocking revelation of all is that the grim clues point directly to Clara Hudson. Or rather to Clarissa, the woman she was before Baker Street.

The key to Russell's sacrifice lies in Mrs. Hudson's past. To uncover the truth, a frantic Sherlock Holmes must put aside his anguish and push deep into his housekeeper's secrets--to a time before her disguise was assumed, before her crimes were buried away.

There is death here, and murder, and trust betrayed.

And nothing will ever be the same.

(see review)

Berkley

A Clue in the Stew (Soup Lover's) by Connie Archer (Berkley 05 April 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Soup shop owner Lucky Jamieson stirs up more trouble in the latest mystery from the author of Ladle to the Grave.

When Lucky Jamieson opens up By the Spoonful to host an event with a famous author, she's not expecting a bunch of nuts to descend on her small-town soup shop. But the author's exasperating entourage—from a prickly publicist to a snippy son and his tipsy wife--give fresh meaning to the phrase, too many cooks spoil the broth.

The evening is more than spoiled, however, when it ends with a homicide. When the manner of the murder--as well as another recent unsolved crime--echoes the author's fiction, Police Chief Nate Edgerton realizes he has a copycat killer on his hands. And Lucky hopes that one of her regular customers who has mysteriously gone missing isn't involved. Once again, the soup shop owner will need to stir up some clues to find her friend and catch a cunning killer—before things really take a tureen for the worse.

(Source: Berkley)

An Unhappy Medium (Family Fortune Mystery) by Dawn Eastman (Berkley 05 April 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Psychic Clyde Fortune and her zany family are back in the fourth in the series from the author of A Fright to the Death, Be Careful What You Witch For), and Pall in the Family.

All of Crystal Haven, Michigan, is psyching up to participate in a Zombie Fun Run organized by Clyde's nephew Seth, but Clyde is fretful about the undead festivities. For one thing, her sister, Grace, has unexpectedly returned to town after fifteen years. For another, Clyde has the nagging feeling that something is about to go wrong.

When one of the zombie runners is found murdered and then Grace disappears, Clyde realizes her grim premonition is dead-on. Now, she and her police detective boyfriend Mac must find a ghoulish murderer before someone points the finger at Grace. And when a tangled web of family secrets and old grudges combines with a mysterious case of stolen diamonds, even someone as quick-witted as Clyde might not be able to outrun a killer.

(Source: Berkley)

Bittersweet (China Bayles) by Susan Wittig Albert (Berkley 05 April 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's Thanksgiving in Pecan Springs, and China is planning to visit her mother, Leatha, and her mother's husband, Sam, who are enthusiastically embarking on a new enterprise--turning their former game ranch into a vacation retreat for birders. She's also looking forward to catching up with her friend, game warden Mackenzie "Mack" Chambers, who was recently transferred to the area. But Leatha calls with bad news: Sam has had a heart attack.

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

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

(see review)

Blood Orange (China Bayles) by Susan Wittig Albert (Berkley 05 April 2016 / $27.00) - Product Description: It's mid-April in Pecan Springs, and China is renting her guest cottage to Kelly Kaufman, who needs a temporary place to live as she contends with a very acrimonious divorce from her husband Rich. One nasty point of dispute is her part ownership of the Comanche Creek Brewing Company, which she is refusing to sell.

At the same time, as a nurse employed by a local hospice, Kelly has discovered instances of suspicious practices. Even more disturbing, she suspects that a patient was murdered. Kelly's knowledge could be dangerous, and she wants to get guidance from China on what to do.

But on her way to China's house, Kelly is forced off the road and critically injured, putting her in a medically induced coma. Now it's up to China to determine who wanted her out of the picture. Was it her soon-to-be ex? His new lover—who happens to be the sister of China's friend Ruby? Or someone connected with the corruption at the hospice?

China owes it to her friend to uncover the truth—but she may be putting her own life at risk....

(see review)

Braking for Bodies (Cycle Path Mystery) by Duffy Brown (Berkley 05 April 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Evie Bloomfield puts the pedal to the metal in the latest Cycle Path mystery from the author of Geared for the Grave.

Moving from Los Angeles to small, picturesque Mackinac Island to work in a bike shop might seem crazy, but Evie knows it's the best decision she's ever made. That's not to say she's gotten rid of all her stress; after all, the upcoming Lilac Festival has everyone in town riding in circles.

But things really go downhill when a ferry full of tourists--including Evie's friend Fiona's former boss, the editor of a sleazy rag in LA--arrives on the island. No one knows why Peephole Perry came all the way to Mackinac, but things aren't looking good for Fiona when Peep is found dead. Now Evie has to gear up and get a grip on the truth if she wants to clear her friend's name.

(Source: Berkley)

Breach of Crust (Charmed Pie Shoppe) by Ellery Adams (Berkley 05 April 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Plate up another slice of Southern magic and mystery from the author of Lemon Pies and Little White Lies, Pecan Pies and Homicides, Peach Pies and Alibis, and Pies and Prejudice.

Ella Mae LeFaye's delicious pies are still drawing long lines--as well as the attention of Beatrice Burbank, president of the Camellia Club, a philanthropic organization comprised of high-society Southern ladies from the charming and affluent town of Sweet Briar, Georgia. To ensure the success of their centennial dessert cookbook, Bea hires Ella Mae to teach the tasty tricks of her trade to the club's members at their annual retreat. Eager to work on new recipes for customers with food allergies and dietary restrictions, Ella Mae readily agrees.

But when Ella Mae finds Bea's body floating in Lake Havenwood, she wonders what she's gotten herself mixed up in. Someone certainly wanted Bea to eat humble pie, and the retreat offers no shortage of unsavory characters, including Ella Mae's longtime nemesis, Loralyn Gaynor. Ella Mae definitely doesn't need magic to tell her she must find the killer before someone else gets panned.

(Source: Berkley)

Fat Cat Takes the Cake by Janet Cantrell (Berkley 05 April 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Quincy the butterscotch tabby has a talent for sniffing out sweets--and uncovering crimes--in this Fat Cat mystery from the author of Fat Cat Spreads Out and Fat Cat At Large.

When their former classmate Richard "Dickie" Byrd throws a high school reunion to gather support for his mayoral campaign, it drums up some not-so-sweet memories for dessert shop proprietor Chase Oliver and her friend Julie Larson. Julie would rather not reconnect with Ron North, the creepy kid who had a crush on her back in the day. His social graces haven't exactly improved with age, but is he creepy enough to kill?

The next day, Chase is in the park testing a new cat harness for Quincy, who quickly proves that he cannot be leashed. But when his escape leads Chase to Ron's body, the police wonder who else got away. Now, with Julie suspected of murder, Chase must prove her innocence before the real killer plans another fatal reunion.

(Source: Berkley)

Needle and Dread (Southern Sewing Circle) by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (Berkley 05 April 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: The Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle is needled by the death of a highly strung woman in the new mystery by the author of Wedding Duress.

Downtown Sweet Briar is now home to a new sewing shop run by one of the circle's own. With the help and support of her fellow members, Rose is determined to make SewTastic a success, and, to that end, she decides to sponsor a series of do-it-yourself weekends for sewing enthusiasts.

But when a group arrives at SewTastic to work on a project, a loud and argumentative guest pushes everyone's buttons. And when she winds up dead in Rose's project room--strangled by a sewing machine power cord--it's up to Tori and the gang to stitch together the clues before Rose's reason for living is ripped apart at the seams. (Pattern and sewing tips included.)

(Source: Berkley)

Rest in Peach (Georgia Peach Mystery) by Susan Furlong (Berkley 05 April 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: In the refreshing new Georgia Peach Mystery from the author of Peaches and Scream, an upcoming debutante ball turns into the pits when a juicy murder scandalizes a small town.

The annual Peach Cotillion, Cays Mill, Georgia's biggest event, is fast approaching and Nola Mae Harper is just as excited as the rest of the town--even though she's busy juggling both the cotillion dinner and the grand opening of her new shop, Peachy Keen. But she never expected that plans for the cotillion would end up in the pits because of the cutthroat competition between local debutantes.

When Vivien Crenshaw, insufferable church organist and despised mother of the town's spoiled-rotten Peach Queen, is stabbed to death, the police turn to Nola's friend Ginny as prime suspect. Apparently the two had fought over a one-of-a-kind cotillion gown. As Nola steps in to prove Ginny's innocence she soon finds herself picking through a bushel of suspects, twice as many motives, and at the mercy of a killer all too keen on killing again. (Includes recipes.)

(Source: Berkley)

The Obsession by Nora Roberts (Berkley 12 April 2016 / $28.00) - Product Description: Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father's crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can't outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she's ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up--especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she's always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she's learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

(see review)

Vanilla Beaned (Cupcake Bakery) by Jenn McKinlay (Berkley 05 April 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: In the eighth in the series by the author of Dark Chocolate Demise, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew goes double or nothing in Vegas.

Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are taking a gamble by opening their first franchise of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery, so where better to hit the jackpot than in Vegas? Business manager Tate Harper has lined up a meeting with Holly Hartzmark, a former showgirl who's looking to bring Mel and Angie's sweet treats to Sin City, but Mel isn't so sure she's ready to hand her recipes over to a complete stranger--especially one as brash as Holly.

But after the potential bakery location gets blown up, Mel begins seeing another side to Holly--one that reminds her very much of herself. Determined to help a kindred spirit, Mel sets out to discover who is trying to keep the bakery from cashing in. But with a murderous mischief maker on the loose, the odds are stacking up against a happy ending for Mel and her friends.

(Source: Berkley)

Delacorte Press

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas (Delacorte Press 19 April 2016 / $17.99) - Product Description: There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn't have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they'll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette--to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie's dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer--and this time, it won't be so easy to run away.

(Source: Delacorte Press)

Dell

The Revelation Code (Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase) by Andy McDermott (Dell 26 April 2016 / $9.99) - Product Description: For fans of James Rollins and Matthew Reilly comes the next exciting, globe-trotting adventure in Andy McDermott's explosive series featuring American archaeologist Nina Wilde and ex-SAS bodyguard Eddie Chase.

In the heart of Iraq, on the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a CIA special forces unit met with Arab rebels near long-hidden ancient ruins, a place from which the Americans were direly warned to stay away. But team member Ezekiel Cross didn't listen and made an astounding discovery--one worth killing for.

Now Cross is a ruthless cult leader on an ominous mission. Convinced that he's unlocked the secrets of the Bible's Book of Revelation, he's determined to gather four stone angels that will trigger God's promised End of Days. And he's not alone. A former U.S. president, with a vision of all-out religious warfare, plays a role in the dark plot. But while Cross may have the clues to tracking down the remaining angels, he hasn't been able to match them to real-world locations. For that he has coerced famed archaeologist Nina Wilde into assisting him, using her husband, ex–special forces soldier Eddie Chase, as collateral.

With Eddie held hostage, Nina is forced to recover relics of untold power from Rome to Israel. She must find a way to halt Cross's mad quest, because the last piece of the puzzle is at hand--and with it comes the most terrifying revelation of all.

(Source: Dell)

Forge Books

Design for Dying (Lillian Frost & Edith Head) by Renee Patrick (Forge Books 19 April 2016 / $24.99) - Product Description: Los Angeles, 1937. Lillian Frost has traded dreams of stardom for security as a department store salesgirl ... until she discovers she's a suspect in the murder of her former roommate, Ruby Carroll. Party girl Ruby died wearing a gown she stole from the wardrobe department at Paramount Pictures, domain of Edith Head.

Edith has yet to win the first of her eight Academy Awards; right now she's barely hanging on to her job, and a scandal is the last thing she needs. To clear Lillian's name and save Edith's career, the two women join forces.

Unraveling the mystery pits them against a Hungarian princess on the lam, a hotshot director on the make, and a private investigator who's not on the level. All they have going for them are dogged determination, assists from the likes of Bob Hope and Barbara Stanwyck, and a killer sense of style. In show business, that just might be enough.

The first in a series of riveting behind-the-scenes mysteries, Renee Patrick's Design for Dying is set in Hollywood's Golden Age.

(Source: Forge Books)

Dust Up by Jon McGoran (Forge Books 19 April 2016 / $28.99) - Product Description: Detective Doyle Carrick is awakened in the middle of the night by frantic banging on his front door, followed by gunfire. Ron Hartwell, a complete stranger, is dying on his doorstep.

A halfhearted investigation labels the murder a domestic dispute, with Miriam, Ron's widow, the sole suspect. Doyle discovers the Hartwells both worked for a big biotech company and suspects something else is going on, but it's not his case. Then Miriam tracks him down and tells him her story.

Miriam and Ron had been working in Haiti and visiting her friend Regi Baudet, the deputy health minister, when they stumbled upon a corporate cover-up of tainted food aid that sickened an entire village--and was one hundred percent fatal. They were coming to Doyle to blow the whistle. Before Miriam can say more, they are attacked by gunmen and she flees, then disappears.

Doyle tracks her to Haiti, a country on the brink of political chaos. Working with Miriam and Regi, he must untangle a web of deceit and unconscionable corporate greed in order to stop an epidemic of even greater evil before it is released onto an unsuspecting world.

(Source: Forge Books)

Night Work (Michael Cassidy) by David C. Taylor (Forge Books 05 April 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: Night Work: the second book in David C. Taylor's transporting historical crime fiction series following Night Life.

Michael Cassidy, a New York cop plagued by dreams that sometimes come true, escorts a prisoner accused of murder to Havana on the cusp of Fidel Castro's successful revolution against the Batista dictatorship. After delivering the man to La Cabaña prison and rescuing Dylan McCue, a Russian KGB agent and his now-married former lover, from her scheduled execution, Cassidy returns to New York and retreats into the comforts of alcohol and sex.

The arrival of Fidel Castro in New York three months later complicates the cop's life once more. Cassidy's investigation of a young man's murder in Central Park is interrupted when he is assigned to Castro's protective detail.

Castro has many enemies. American mobsters who have been run out of Havana, businessmen who worry about their investments in Cuba, and members of Batista's secret police all want him dead. Cassidy is already investigating one murder. Can he prevent another?

(see review)

Gallery Books

The Girl From Home by Adam Mitzner (Gallery Books 05 April 2016 / $26.00) - Product Description: Jonathan Caine is a true master of the universe—a currency wizard with a trophy wife, a penthouse condo with a view of the Statue of Liberty, and the desire for more—when his world comes crashing down, spiraling him into a relentless fall from grace. Devastated, Jonathan returns to his hometown to care for his ailing father and attend his twenty-fifth high school reunion, where he becomes reacquainted with former prom queen Jacqueline Williams. Back in the day, Jackie didn't even know Jonathan existed. Now she is intrigued by the man he has become. But their budding relationship has problems, not the least of which is Jackie's jealous and abusive husband. Jonathan is determined to learn from his mistakes, but is he capable of complete transformation? Or will a shocking temptation test his desire for redemption beyond anything he could have imagined?

(Source: Gallery Books)

Minotaur Books

A Death Along the River Fleet (Lucy Campion) by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur Books 12 April 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: Lucy Campion, a ladies' maid turned printer's apprentice in 17th-century London, is crossing Holborn Bridge over the murky waters of the River Fleet one morning when, out of the mist, she sees a specter moving toward her. Frightened at first, Lucy soon realizes the otherworldly figure is in fact a young woman, clearly distraught and clad only in a blood-spattered white nightdress. Barely able to speak, the woman has no memory of who she is or what's happened to her. The townspeople believe she's possessed. But Lucy is concerned for the woman's well-being and takes her to see a physician. When, shockingly, the woman is identified as the daughter of a nobleman, Lucy is asked to temporarily give up her bookselling duties to discreetly serve as the woman's companion while she remains under the physician's care.

As the woman slowly recovers, she begins--with Lucy's help--to reconstruct the terrible events that led her to Holborn Bridge that morning. But when it becomes clear the woman's safety might still be at risk, Lucy becomes unwillingly privy to a plot with far-reaching social implications, and she'll have to decide just how far she's willing to go to protect the young woman in her care.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton (Minotaur Books 12 April 2016 / $16.99) - Product Description: In such a small community as the Falkland Islands, a missing child is unheard of. In such a dangerous landscape it can only be a terrible tragedy, surely.

When another child goes missing, and then a third, it's no longer possible to believe that their deaths were accidental, and the villagers must admit that there is a murderer among them. Even Catrin Quinn, a damaged woman living a reclusive life after the accidental deaths of her own two sons a few years ago, gets involved in the searches and the speculation.

And suddenly, in this wild and beautiful place that generations have called home, no one feels safe and the hysteria begins to rise.

But three islanders--Catrin, her childhood best friend, Rachel, and her ex-lover Callum--are hiding terrible secrets. And they have two things in common: all three of them are grieving, and none of them trust anyone, not even themselves.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Murder at the 42nd Street Library by Con Lehane (Minotaur Books 26 April 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: This first book in a new series introduces librarian and reluctant sleuth Raymond Ambler, a doggedly curious fellow who uncovers murderous secrets hidden behind the majestic marble façade of New York City's landmark 42nd Street Library.

Murder at the 42nd Street Library follows Ambler and his partners in crime-solving as they track down a killer, shining a light on the dark deeds and secret relationships that are hidden deep inside the famous flagship building at the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

In their search for the reasons behind the murder, Ambler and his crew uncover sinister, and profoundly disturbing, relationships among the scholars studying in the iconic library. Included among the players are a celebrated mystery writer who has donated his papers to the library's crime fiction collection; that writer's long-missing daughter, a prominent New York society woman with a hidden past, and more than one of Ambler's colleagues at the library. Shocking revelations lead inexorably to the traumatic events that follow--the reading room will never be the same.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Murder on the Hour (Penny Brannigan) by Elizabeth J. Duncan (Minotaur Books 12 April 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: The residents of Llanelen are brimming with excitement. Antiques Cymru, a regional take on the popular national TV show, is coming to the Welsh town and people are flocking from miles around, hoping their attic treasures turn out to be worth a fortune. On the day of filming, quiet local sheep farmer Haydn Williams brings a generations-old long-case clock for evaluation, while the woman he's always admired from afar, Catrin Bellis, turns up with a cherished handmade quilt. Will either hear surprising good news about the value of their family heirlooms? By the end of the day, Catrin turns up dead, her quilt missing.

Who could have wanted this shy, quiet woman--who had been overshadowed by her parents for her whole life--dead? Delving into Catrin's past, spa owner and amateur sleuth Penny Brannigan is surprised to discover that Catrin had at least one enemy. And as Penny's romantic life heats up with a new love interest, she realizes that a mysterious document hidden in Haydn's clock could hold the key to a long-forgotten secret and a present-day murder.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Sent to the Devil by Laura Lebow (Minotaur Books 05 April 2016 / $27.99) - Product Description: In 1788 Vienna, Court Poet Lorenzo Da Ponte is putting some finishing touches on the libretto for the premiere of his new opera with Mozart, Don Giovanni. A huge success when it debuted in Prague, the Emperor has decreed that it shall be performed in Vienna. But Joseph II is off prosecuting a less-than-popular war against the Turks, and the city itself is in a bit of turmoil. There are voices protesting the war, others who see Turks around every corner.

Da Ponte, however, just wants to do his work and enjoy life. Alas, these simple desires aren't to be easily fulfilled. First, he's been getting a series of mysterious coded notes from unknown hands, notes that make no sense to him. Then his old friend Alois, a retired priest and academic, is viciously murdered and strange symbols carved into his forehead. Summoned to the police bureau, Da Ponte learns that Alois's murder was not the first. Determined to help find his friend's killer, Da Ponte agrees to help with the secret investigation.

Caught in a crossfire of intrigue both in the world of opera and politics, Da Ponte must find the answer to a riddle and expose a killer before he becomes the next victim.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

NAL

Crime and Poetry (Magical Bookshop) by Amanda Flower (NAL 05 April 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: From Amanda Flower--who writes the national bestselling Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries as Isabella Alan--comes the first in the new Magical Bookshop Mystery series.
Rushing home to sit by her ailing grandmother's bedside, Violet Waverly is shocked to find Grandma Daisy the picture of perfect health. Violet doesn't need to read between the lines: her grandma wants Violet back home and working in her magical store, Charming Books. It's where the perfect book tends to fly off the shelf and pick you.

Violet has every intention to hightail it back to Chicago, but then a dead man is discovered clutching a volume of Emily Dickinson's poems from Grandma Daisy's shop. The victim is Benedict Raisin, who recently put Grandma Daisy in his will, making her a prime suspect. Now, with the help of a tuxedo cat named Emerson, Violet will have to find a killer to keep Grandma from getting booked for good.

(see review)

Killer Takeout (Key West Food Critic) by Lucy Burdette (NAL 05 April 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's Fantasy Fest at Key West, and food critic Hayley Snow is ready to celebrate. But a killer seems intent on crashing the party.

Every year, Key West's weeklong Mardi Gras-style festival has tourists and locals alike lining up for costumed revelry and delicious eats. Key Zest magazine has assigned Hayley to write a piece on the fest's grab-and-go food, so she's planning on hitting up the mobile eateries while checking out the party preparations.

Hayley's office mate, Danielle, recently elected Queen of Fantasy Fest, is also buzzing between festivities and fundraisers.  But when a former royal rival gets taken out, Hayley needs to put down her party hat and her pen and figure out who served up a side of murder—before Danielle gets crowned a killer.

(Source: NAL)

Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James (NAL 05 April 2016 / $15.00) - Product Description: England, 1921. Three years after her husband, Alex, disappeared, shot down over Germany, Jo Manders still mourns his loss. Working as a paid companion to Alex's wealthy, condescending aunt, Dottie Forsyth, Jo travels to the family's estate in the Sussex countryside. But there is much she never knew about her husband's origins…and the revelation of a mysterious death in the Forsyths' past is just the beginning.

All is not well at Wych Elm House. Dottie's husband is distant, and her son was grievously injured in the war. Footsteps follow Jo down empty halls, and items in her bedroom are eerily rearranged. The locals say the family is cursed, and that a ghost in the woods has never rested. And when Jo discovers her husband's darkest secrets, she wonders if she ever really knew him.  Isolated in a place of deception and grief, she must find the truth or lose herself forever.

And then a familiar stranger arrives at Wych Elm House....

(see review)

Moss Hysteria (Flower Shop) by Kate Collins (NAL 05 April 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Abby and Marco's new neighborhood isn't as rosy as it seems in the latest Flower Shop Mystery from the author of Florist Grump and A Root Awakening.

Flower shop owner Abby Knight and her husband, Marco, are ecstatic to finally be moving into their new home, despite the prospect of unpacking a seemingly infinite number of boxes. After all, Brandywine--their new subdivision--seems like an oasis with its welcoming neighbors and beautifully manicured lawns.

But their idyllic community is suddenly uprooted when a body is found floating in a nearby pond. The police think Abby and Marco's helpful next door neighbor is the culprit, but the newlyweds aren't convinced.

Meanwhile, Marco distrusts his mother's slick new boyfriend, and Abby's cousin Jillian has agreed to decorate their new home, resulting in comic chaos. Even worse, as Abby and Marco dig through Brandywine's secrets in search of a killer, they discover that some flowers come from very bad seeds...and danger stalks even the sunniest small-town streets.

(Source: NAL)

Murder, She Wrote: Design For Murder by Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain and René Paley-Bain (NAL 05 April 2016 / $25.00) - Product Description: Jessica is in Manhattan to attend the debut of a new designer. Formerly Sandy Black of Cabot Cove, the young man has reinvented himself as Xandr Ebon, and is introducing his evening wear collection to the public and—more important—to the industry's powers-that-be: the stylists, the magazine editors, the buyers, and the wealthy clientele who can make or break him. At the show, the glitz and glamour are dazzling until a young model—a novice, taking her first walk down the runway—shockingly collapses and dies. Natural causes? Perhaps. But when another model is found dead, a famous cover girl and darling of the paparazzi, the fashion world gets nervous.

Two models. Two deaths. Their only connection? Xandr Ebon. Jessica's crime-solving instincts are put to the test as she sorts through the egos, the conflicts of interest, the spiteful accusations, and the secrets, all the while keeping an amorous detective at arm's length. But she'll have to dig deep to uncover a killer. A designer's career is on the line. And another model could perish in a New York minute.

(Source: NAL)

Reading Up a Storm (Lighthouse Library) by Eva Gates (NAL 05 April 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: The author of Booked for Trouble and By Book or By Crook returns with another charming mystery set in the most literary lighthouse in North Carolina's Outer Banks.

After a successful party at Bodie Island's Lighthouse Library, librarian Lucy Richardson is ready to curl up with her cat, Charles, and a good book. But her R and R is cut short when she notices some mysterious lights leading a small boat to crash into the coast.

The two shipwrecked seafarers survive the ordeal--but one of them shows up dead ashore a few days later. Lucy finds herself again roped into a murder investigation and navigating a sea of suspects, all of whom had motives to deep-six the deceased. And this time, she has a sinking feeling that finding the real killer won't be so easy.

(Source: NAL)

Perseverance Press

Death Deals a Hand (California Zephyr) by Janet Dawson (Perseverance Press 07 April 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: It's April 1953, and Zephyrette Jill McLeod is back on the rails, aboard the fabled train called the California Zephyr. Heading west from Chicago to the San Francisco Bay Area, Jill looks forward to reuniting with family members and the new man in her life. She's learned to expect and deal with just about anything on the train, from troublesome passengers to long-lost relatives to high-stakes poker games. But the stakes just got even higher: Death has a seat at the table.

(Source: Perseverance Press)

Disturbing the Dark (Maggie MacGowen) by Wendy Hornsby (Perseverance Press 07 April 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: Maggie MacGowen, an investigative filmmaker, is in Normandy with a film crew to document the agricultural four seasons on her ancestral family farm. An accidentally excavated skull causes a social media sensation, dredging up psychic scars left by the wartime German Occupation. In their youth, Grand-mere and other villagers had cut the throats of an entire brutal Nazi platoon. Now the grim discovery prompts tourists, the soldiers' descendants, the mass media, and vulturelike war-memorabilia dealers to flock to the formerly quiet farm. Then a young woman is murdered.

(Source: Perseverance Press)

Quercus

A Lovely Way to Burn (Plague Times Trilogy) by Louise Welsh (Quercus 05 April 2016 / $14.99) - Product Description: A pandemic called 'The Sweats' is sweeping the globe. London is a city in crisis. Hospitals begin to fill with the dead and dying, but Stevie Flint is convinced that the sudden death of her boyfriend Dr Simon Sharkey was not from natural causes. As roads out of London become gridlocked with people fleeing infection, Stevie's search for Simon's killers takes her in the opposite direction, into the depths of the dying city and a race with death.

A Lovely Way to Burn is the first outbreak in the Plague Times trilogy. Chilling, tense and completely compelling, it's Louise Welsh writing at the height of her powers.

(Source: Quercus)

Scholastic Press

Arf (Bowser and Birdie) by Spencer Quinn (Scholastic Press 26 April 2016 / $16.99) - Product Description: Why would anyone break into 19 Gentilly Lane? That's where the Gaux family lives, and everyone knows they have nothing worth stealing. More important, the house is usually guarded by Birdie Gaux's dog, Bowser, a large and handsome fellow with a big set of sharp teeth.

Now Birdie is looking worried and Bowser is on the trail of something rotten. Who was behind the break in? Why is a girl with green hair asking odd questions about what happened to Birdie's dad, a policeman who was killed in the line of duty years ago? Worst of all, why is the whole town starting to stink of limeade aftershave and CAT?!?

The death of Birdie's father may be a cold case, but Bowser can tell it's heating up fast. Someone is coming after Birdie and her family, and Bowser must be ready to protect them from anything. Even that awful cat.

(Source: Scholastic Press)

Soho Crime

Gold of Our Fathers (Darko Dawson) by Kwei Quartey (Soho Crime 26 April 2016 / $26.95) - Product Description: Darko Dawson, Chief Inspector in the Ghana police service, returns in this atmospheric crime series often compared to Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels.

Darko Dawson has just been promoted to Chief Inspector in the Ghana Police Service—the promotion even comes with a (rather modest) salary bump. But he doesn't have long to celebrate, because his new boss is transferring him from Accra, Ghana's capital, out to remote Obuasi in the Ashanti region, an area now notorious for the illegal exploitation of its gold mines.

Worst of all, when Dawson arrives at the Obuasi headquarters, he finds it in complete disarray. The office is a mess of uncatalogued evidence and cold case files, morale is low, and discipline among officers is lax. On only his second day on the job, the body of a Chinese mine owner is unearthed in his own gold quarry. As Dawson investigates the case, he quickly learns how dangerous it is to pursue justice in this kingdom of illegal gold mines, where the worst offenders have so much money they have no fear of the law.

(Source: Soho Crime)

King Maybe (Junior Bender) by Timothy Hallinan (Soho Crime 12 April 2016 / $25.95) - Product Description: Los Angeles burglar Junior Bender is in the middle of burgling a house and has just gotten his hands on one of the world's rarest stamps when the job goes terrifically wrong. After barely escaping, Junior realizes the danger is far from over. He's gotten himself on the wrong side of a man whose name is synonymous with violence, and to save his own skin he's set off a chain reaction of blackmail, strong-arming, and escalating crime. To pay off his underworld debts, Junior is forced to break into the house of the most powerful man in Hollywood, the shadowy, widely feared studio mogul known as King Maybe. It's an impossible break-in, and to get out of the house alive Junior will need to use everything he's learned, plus a few skills he knows he doesn't possess.

(see review)

St. Martin's Griffin

Fear the Darkness (Brigid Quinn) by Becky Masterman (St. Martin's Griffin 26 April 2016 / $15.99) - Product Description: Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn has seen more than her share of psychopaths. She is ready to put all that behind her, building a new life in Tucson with a husband, friends, and some nice quiet work as a private investigator. Sure, she could still kill a man half her age, but she now gets her martial arts practice by teaching self-defense at a women's shelter.

But sometimes it isn't that simple. When her sister-in-law dies, Brigid take in her seventeen-year-old niece, Gemma Kate. There has always been something unsettling about Gemma-Kate, but family is family. Which is fine, until Gemma-Kate starts taking an unhealthy interest in dissecting the local wildlife.

Meanwhile, Brigid agrees to help a local couple by investigating the death of their son--which also turns out not to be that simple. Her house isn't the sanctuary it used to be, and new dangers--including murder--seem to lurk everywhere. Brigid starts to wonder if there is anyone she can trust, or if the devil has simply moved closer to home.

Becky Masterman's Fear the Darkness is the masterful follow-up to the Edgar Award and CWA Gold Dagger finalist Rage Against the Dying.

(Source: St. Martin's Griffin)

Kill Switch (Joe Ledger) by Jonathan Maberry (St. Martin's Griffin 26 April 2016 / $16.99) - Product Description: What do you do when the power goes off?

A terrorist group has acquired one hundred E-bombs. Each bomb's electromagnetic pulse is powerful enough to blow out all power and all technology from a major city. The terrorists plan to hit one hundred American cities in a campaign of destruction. Word has gotten out about the coming blackout and gangs, criminals and terrorist strike teams are poised to attack when the lights go out.

Joe Ledger knows how to stop them. He has the names, locations, abort codes. But a targeted EMP weapon kills the electronics aboard his plane. Joe crashes in the deepest and most remote part of the vast rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Joe and his combat dog, Ghost, survive the crash, but they are lost in the wilderness with no weapons and no way to get the information to the authorities.

Time is running out. And Joe is being hunted by a terrifying new kind of assassin. A team of remote viewers have the ability to take over any person and turn ordinary citizens into killers.

Joe and Ghost may have to kill the innocent in order to save the entire country from falling during a night of darkness and mass murder.

(Source: St. Martin's Griffin)

TouchWood Editions

The Corpse with the Garnet Face (Cait Morgan) by Cathy Ace (TouchWood Editions 19 April 2016 / $14.95) - Product Description: The seventh book in the Cait Morgan series finds the eccentric Welsh criminologist-sleuth accompanying her husband Bud to Amsterdam to try to unravel a puzzling situation. Bud is as surprised to discover he has a long-lost uncle as he is to discover Uncle Jonas has met an untimely death. Bud's mother assures him Jonas was a bad child--but, from beyond the grave--Uncle Jonas begs his nephew to visit the city he adopted as his home to delve into the life he built for himself there, founded on his passion for art. With an old iron key as their only clue, Cait and Bud travel to Amsterdam to solve the cryptic message left by Jonas, and honour the dying wishes of a long-lost relative.

(Source: TouchWood Editions)

Vintage Crime / Black Lizard

Drawing Dead: A Cross Novel by Andrew Vachss (Vintage Crime / Black Lizard 19 April 2016 / $15.00) - Product Description: Even the deadliest gangs in Chicagoland fear the Cross Crew, and carefully avoid their cinderblock bunker headquarters: Red 71 is well known as the last place you'd want to go ... unless you're willing to risk it being the last place you ever go. The Crew is notorious for its ruthless efficiency and cold-blooded cunning. Why, then, would anyone be foolhardy enough to threaten them–and even more dangerously, their loved ones?

As Cross catches the scent of a far-reaching conspiracy, he realizes that it all connects to an unexplained event in his past: a massacre from which he emerged inexplicably unscathed, save for the blue mark on his face that pulses when danger is near. That scar has been throbbing more frequently of late.... If he's reading the signs accurately, Cross might find himself again facing a terrible menace that is not altogether human.

(Source: Vintage Crime / Black Lizard)

William Morrow

Here Comes the Bribe (Bed-and-Breakfast) by Mary Daheim (William Morrow 05 April 2016 / $23.99) - Product Description: Judith McMonigle Flynn has her hands full with unexpected family ties and a dead body in the backyard in this delightfully zany mystery in Mary Daheim's popular Bed-and-Breakfast series.

Rodney Schmuck and his wife, Millie, Hillside Manor's latest guests, seem normal, well, except for that last name. Innkeeper Judith McMonigle Flynn is touched to hear that the fortysomething couple is in town to visit family. Rodney is especially eager to see his long-lost mother--who he insists is Judith. Shocked to meet an alleged son she's sure she never had, she can't believe Rodney when he swears he has proof from a Norway General Hospital birth certificate listing Judith Anne Grover as his mother.

The father's name is Unknown.

Judith has never heard of Rodney, let alone given him life. But she's got a bigger problem when one of the B&B guests turns up dead in the backyard. To Judith's surprise, Joe is willing to help investigate. He can't ignore a potential homicide that hits so close to home.

But Rodney is seeking compensation for Judith's so-called abandonment of him. Perhaps she'll sign over Hillside Manor? Fat chance of that, Judith declares, and wonders what kind of scheme Rodney has on his devious mind. For that matter, she also wonders why the rest of the guests in his party are acting so strangely. With Joe hot on the killer's trail, Cousin Renie is persuaded to help Judith discover the truth about the Schmucks and their mysterious hangers-on. If they don't act fast, Hillside Manor could end up as Schmucks' Gold Mine.

(Source: William Morrow)

The Other Widow by Susan Crawford (William Morrow 26 April 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: It isn't safe. That's what Joe tells her when he ends their affair--moments before their car skids off an icy road in a blinding snowstorm and hits a tree. Desperate to keep her life intact--her job, her husband, and her precious daughter, Lily--Dorrie will do everything she can to protect herself, even if it means walking away from the wreckage. Dorrie has always been a good actress, pretending to be someone else: the dutiful daughter, the satisfied wife, the woman who can handle anything. Now she's going to put on the most challenging performance of her life. But details about the accident leave her feeling uneasy and afraid. Why didn't Joe's airbag work? Why was his car door open before the EMTs arrived? And now suddenly someone is calling her from her dead lover's burner phone.

Joe's death has left his wife in free fall as well. Karen knew Joe was cheating--she found some suspicious e-mails. Trying to cope with grief is devastating enough without the constant fear that has overtaken her--this feeling she can't shake that someone is watching her. And with Joe gone and the kids grown, she's vulnerable ... and on her own.

Insurance investigator Maggie Devlin is suspicious of the latest claim that's landed on her desk--a man dying on an icy road shortly after buying a lucrative life insurance policy. Maggie doesn't believe in coincidences. The former cop knows that things--and people--are never what they seem to be.

As the fates of these three women become more tightly entwined, layers of lies and deception begin to peel away, pushing them dangerously to the edge ... closer to each other ... to a terrifying truth ... to a shocking end.

(Source: William Morrow)

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