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US Books Received- 08/2016  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

Brussels Noir (Akashic Noir) by (Akashic Books 02 August 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: Brand-new stories by: Barbara Abel, Ayerdhal, Paul Colize, Jean-Luc Cornette, Patrick Delperdange, Sara Doke, Kenan Görgün, Edgar Kosma, Katia Lanero Zamora, Nadine Monfils, Alfredo Noriega, Bob Van Laerhoven, and Émilie de Béco.

From the introduction by Michel Dufranne:
"For our grand tour, please be seated, ladies and gentlemen readers, in Tram 33 ... and no, there's no rain in the forecast today, just a leaden sky; for that matter, considering the timetables of the STIB, it's probably better to go on foot than to take public transport. We'll explore the city center, that pentagonal surface defined by urban highways and a canal, home to the real old Brussels, the historic core. We'll take a dainty stroll through an edifice that achieves the feat of being more vast and monolithic in style than St. Peter's Basilica: the Palais de Justice. From there, it's easy to glide down to the Marolles; then let your feet carry you from kabberdouch to stamcafé, as you wander in an ethereal, even surrealist mode through the heart of the city, and finally come full circle.

Having whetted our appetites, we'll play leapfrog along the boulevards to make our way to the inner ring road and tiptoe across the razor's edge of the city ... And if the life of the abattoir hasn't sated you, you’ll have plenty of room to maneuver as you stray from the center and discover the oh-so-serene neighborhoods of the greater ring, home to our venerable European institutions above all suspicion."

(Source: Akashic Books)

Mississippi Noir (Akashic Noir) by (Akashic Books 02 August 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: Brand-new stories by: Ace Atkins, William Boyle, Megan Abbott, Jack Pendarvis, Dominiqua Dickey, Michael Kardos, Jamie Paige, Jimmy Cajoleas, Chris Offutt, Michael Farris Smith, Andrew Paul, Lee Durkee, Robert Busby, John M. Floyd, RaShell R. Smith-Spears, and Mary Miller.

From the introduction by Tom Franklin:
"Welcome to Mississippi, where a recent poll shows we have the most corrupt government in the United States. Where we are first in infant mortality, childhood obesity, childhood diabetes, teenage pregnancy, adult obesity, adult diabetes. We also have the highest poverty rate in the country. And, curiously, the highest concentration of kick-ass writers in the country too. Okay, maybe that's not a Gallup poll–certified statistic, but we do have more than our fair share of Pulitzers and even a Nobel ... I could go on, and in fact I do, in this very anthology...

Here are sixteen stories from seasoned noir writers like Ace Atkins and Megan Abbott as well as Mississippi's new generation of noirists, authors like William Boyle and Michael Kardos. You'll also find unknown, first-time-published writers like Dominiqua Dickey and Jimmy Cajoleas, who won't remain unknown for long. I'm thrilled to bring these writers to you. In Alabama, where I grew up, we had a saying: Thank God for Mississippi, otherwise we'd be at the bottom in everything.

Welcome to the bottom."

(Source: Akashic Books)

St. Louis Noir by (Akashic Books 02 August 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: Brand-new stories by: Calvin Wilson, LaVelle Wilkins-Chinn, John Lutz, Paul D. Marks, Colleen J. McElroy, Jason Makansi, S.L. Coney, Michael Castro, Laura Benedict, Jedidiah Ayres, Umar Lee, Chris Barsanti, L.J. Smith, and Scott Phillips.

From the introduction by Scott Phillips:
"The St. Louis region has had a rough time over the past few years. A number of our school districts are unaccredited. A large section of a North St. Louis County landfill is burning uncontrolled--yes, it's on fire--and said fire is only yards away from a World War II–era radioactive waste dump. There's the matter of the region's de facto segregation, a persistent pox on the city and county decades after the explicit, institutional variety became illegal. A number of our suburban municipalities have lately been exposed in the act of strong-arming their poorest citizens, running what amount to debtors' prisons. In recent years one of those cities, Ferguson, has become a national synonym for police misconduct and institutional racism...

Amid all this is a rich, multicultural history of art and literature both high and low, stemming from conflict and passions running hot ... This collection strives for some of that same energy that the collision of high and low can produce ... All these writers come at their work with different perspectives and styles but all with a connection to and a passion for our troubled city and its surroundings."

(Source: Akashic Books)

Berkley

Clock and Dagger (Clock Shop) by Julianne Holmes (Berkley 02 August 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Expert clockmaker Ruth Clagan has another murder on her hands in the second Clock Shop Mystery from the author of Just Killing Time.

Ruth has three days to pull off four events--including the grand reopening of Cog & Sprocket, the clock shop she inherited from her grandfather--so she doesn't have time for Beckett Green's nonsense. The competitive owner of a new bookstore, Green seems determined to put other businesses out of business by also carrying their specialty items. He's trying to steal Ruth's new watchmaker, Mark Pine, not to mention block her plans to renovate the town clock tower.

Ruth is already all wound up when she's alarmed to discover Mark's dead body. As the denizens of Orchard each chime in as to who they think the murderer is, Ruth needs to watch her back as she investigates on her own. Despite the danger, Ruth won't stop until the killer is behind bars and serving time.

(Source: Berkley)

Crowned and Dangerous (Royal Spyness) by Rhys Bowen (Berkley 02 August 2016 / $26.00) - Product Description: Nothing is simple when you're thirty-fifth in line for the British crown, least of all marriage. But with love on their side, and plans to elope, Lady Georgiana Rannoch and her beau Darcy O'Mara hope to bypass a few royal rules.

With Darcy driving me out of London in a borrowed motor car, I soon discover that he isn't planning to introduce me to the pleasures of sinning in secret—as I had hoped--but to make me his wife!

Of course, there are some quibbles to be dealt with, such as my needing special permission from the King to marry a Roman Catholic and the question of where we might live after the honeymoon. Though he will inherit a title, Darcy is as broke as I am. Even his family's Irish castle has been sold to a rich American who now employs Darcy's father as a hired hand.

Throwing these cares to the wind, nothing could deter us from our mission—except perhaps the news that my future father-in-law has just been arrested. It seems the rich American was murdered and Darcy's father had more than enough motive to do the deed. With the elopement postponed, we head for Ireland where he insists he's innocent, and it's up to us to prove it--for better or worse.

(Source: Berkley)

Grilling the Subject (Cookbook Nook) by Daryl Wood Gerber (Berkley 02 August 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Things heat up for bookstore owner Jenna Hart in the latest Cookbook Nook mystery from the author of Fudging the Books.

As the Wild West Extravaganza rides into Crystal Cove, California, Cookbook Nook store owner Jenna Hart is ready to indulge her appetite for grilled and barbecued treats and maybe even try the Texas skip. But when the body of one of her father's neighbors is found the next morning smoldering in a bonfire, the rodeo revelry is extinguished.

Sylvia Gump had acquired plenty of enemies with her practice of illegally encroaching on her neighbors' properties—including Jenna's dad, who was off fishing by himself and has no alibi for the murder. Now it's up to Cary Hart's dutiful daughter to clear his name before the real killer turns up the heat and rakes someone else over the coals. (Includes recipes.)

(Source: Berkley)

In the Land of Milk and Honey (Elizabeth Harris) by Jane Jensen (Berkley 02 August 2016 / $15.00) - Product Description: With its peaceful, hardworking Amish population, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is a rural paradise. But former NYPD homicide detective Elizabeth Harris knows that evil lurks there--it's just easier to hide.

By solving the murders of two local girls, Elizabeth has gained some trust in the Amish community. So, she's the first person its members turn to when a fast and fatal illness takes hold, though many believe that the sickness stems from a hexerei--a curse placed by a practitioner of old-world folk magic. Elizabeth doesn't believe in curses, and when an entire Amish family is found dead, she begins to suspect something far more sinister.

As the CDC is called in to investigate, customers of a Philadelphia farmers market selling Amish raw milk start dying. Amid rapidly escalating panic, Elizabeth must peel away layers of superstition and fear to save the livelihood--and lives--of an entire community. Because what has happened isn't an accident of nature or an act of God, it's the handiwork of someone who has only just begun to kill.

(see review)

Knit Your Own Murder (Needlecraft) by Monica Ferris (Berkley 02 August 2016 / $26.00) - Product Description: In the Needlecraft Mysteries, Betsy Devonshire has her hands tied between running her needlework shop and turning her sharp eye for deduction to solving crimes.

The Monday Bunch and other local knitters are participating in a fund-raising auction to save a community center, creating a growing pile of stuffed animals and toys right in front of the auctioneers as the audience bids. Among those contributing the most knitted goods is temperamental businesswoman Maddy Hanover--who keels over halfway through the event.

After she is pronounced DOA, an autopsy reveals that Maddy had been poisoned. But how? And by whom? One of the prime suspects is her ruthless business rival Joe Mickels, who lost a bitterly contested property bid to Maddy.

When Mickels pleads his innocence to Betsy, she reluctantly believes him. But if Betsy is going to uncover the real murderer's identity, she must first untangle the knots Maddy made in her relationships throughout her life.

(Source: Berkley)

Malice at the Palace (Royal Spyness) by Rhys Bowen (Berkley 02 August 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Lady Georgiana Rannoch won't deny that being thirty-fifth in line for the British throne has its advantages. Unfortunately, money isn't one of them. And sometimes making ends meet requires her to investigate a little royal wrongdoing.

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

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

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

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

(Source: Berkley)

Much Ado About Muffin (Merry Muffin) by Victoria Hamilton (Berkley 02 August 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: In this fresh mystery from the author of Death of an English Muffin, baker Merry Wynter comes to the aid of an innocent woman accused of murder.

When muffin baker Merry Wynter sees an innocent woman accused of murder, it's dough or die.

Opera singer Roma Toscano may have a crippling case of stage fright, but she certainly is stirring up drama in Autumn Vale, New York, as she prepares for an upcoming performance at Merry's Wynter Castle. With her flamboyant style and flirtatious personality, Roma attracts fans as well as critics, including the town's postmistress--and Merry's bitter foe--Minnie Urqhart.

But Roma and Minnie's heated rivalry goes cold after Merry discovers Minnie dead at the post office. While every clue seems to be another ingredient in the investigation of Roma, Merry thinks the case is half-baked, and she's eager to get her mitts on the real killer.

(Source: Berkley)

Murder in the Secret Garden (Book Retreat) by Ellery Adams (Berkley 02 August 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: There is a hidden garden bordering the grounds of Jane Steward's book-themed resort--a garden filled with beautiful but deadly plants such as mandrake and nightshade. Tucked away behind ivy-covered walls and accessible only through a single locked door, as described in the pages of Frances Hodges Burnett's classic novel, the garden is of special interest to Jane's current group of guests, The Medieval Herbalists. But when one of them turns up dead, Jane must discover whether a member of the group has come to Storyton Hall to celebrate their passion for plant lore or to implement a particularly cruel means for murder.

With thousands of books at her disposal, Jane believes she has the proper materials to solve this deadly problem. If she's wrong, however, she may lose something far more precious than the contents of Storyton's secret library.

(Source: Berkley)

Silk Stalkings (Material Witness) by Diane Vallere (Berkley 02 August 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe can get tangled up in textiles, but it's murder that really throws her for a loop in the latest mystery from the author of Crushed Velvet and Suede to Rest.

The time has come for San Ladrón, California's annual Miss Tangorli beauty pageant, and Poly has agreed to use Material Girl's inventory of shimmery silks to create embellished gowns fit for a crown. But when millionaire Harvey Halliwell--the man who revived the city's citrus trade with his imported tangorli tree--is found dead days before the pageant contestants are announced, something sour takes over the town.

To make matters worse, her friend, mechanic Charlie Brooks, is soon caught up in the crime, having been seen in the company of the case's prime suspect. Now Poly's on a mission to squeeze out the truth. But as she searches for a pattern, the killer seems intent on cutting up the evidence.

(Source: Berkley)

The Man Who Fell from the Sky (Wind River) by Margaret Coel (Berkley 02 August 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Margaret Coel returns to Wind River with Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden and Father John O'Malley investigating a lethal link between legendary outlaw Butch Cassidy and a present-day murder.

When Robert Walking Bear's body is found in the Wind River mountains, his death appears to be accidental--except for the fact that he had been hunting for Butch Cassidy's buried loot with a map he had gotten from his grandfather, a map believed to have been drawn by the leader of the Hole in the Wall gang himself.

It isn't long before rumors circulate that Robert was murdered by his own cousins to get the map and find the treasure themselves. Despite there being no evidence of foul play, the gossip gains credibility when both Vicky and Father John are contacted by an anonymous Arapaho claiming to have witnessed Robert's killing.

When one of Robert's cousins falls prey to another deadly accident, Vicky and Father John are convinced the victim is the witness who confided in them, and the hunt for the killer is on in earnest--before more die in search of Cassidy's cache.

(Source: Berkley)

Bitter Lemon Press

A Quiet Place by Seicho Matsumoto (Bitter Lemon Press 16 August 2016 / $14.95) - Product Description: While on a business trip to Kobe, Tsuneo Asai receives the news that his wife Eiko has died of a heart attack. Eiko had a heart condition so the news of her death wasn't totally unexpected. But the circumstances of her demise left Tsuneo, a softly-spoken government bureaucrat, perplexed. How did it come about that his wife--who was shy and withdrawn, and only left their house twice a week to go to haiku meetings--ended up dead in a small shop in a shady Tokyo neighborhood?

When Tsuneo goes to apologize to the boutique owner for the trouble caused by his wife's death he discovers the villa Tachibana near by, a house known to be a meeting place for secret lovers. As he digs deeper into his wife's recent past, he must eventually conclude that she led a double life...

(Source: Bitter Lemon Press)

Five Star

When Krishna Calls (Anita Ray) by Susan Oleksiw (Five Star 17 August 2016 / $25.95) - Anita Rey, photographer and part-time sleuth, investigates the mystery surrounding the murder of an employee's husband and becomes enmeshed in the illegal business of money lending in Southern India. She discovers her aunt mortgaged their home, Hotel Delight, and may lose it. Soon, Anita's investigation makes her a target of the feuding moneylenders.

(see review)

Forge Books

Any Minute Now by Eric Van Lustbader (Forge Books 16 August 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: From Eric Van Lustbader, the author of the Jason Bourne series come Any Minute Now.

Red Rover is broken, finished, dead. The blackest of black ops teams is betrayed on its top-priority mission to capture and interrogate a mysterious Saudi terrorist. One of their own is killed, the remaining two barely get home alive. Then without warning or explanation the mission is shut down.

Greg Whitman and Felix Orteño are left adrift in a world full of deathly shadows, blind alleys, and unanswerable questions. Into their midst comes Charlize Daou, a brilliant, wildly talented arms expert with a past entangled with Whit's. Though Charlie grapples with damage of her own, she becomes their new center, their moral compass, and their reason for resurrecting Red Rover.

Despite Whit's seemingly super-normal abilities it is Charlie, fully rooted in reality, who recognizes that both Whit and Felix have lost parts of themselves. And it is she who possesses the true power necessary for survival: the power to heal, to forgive, and to bring these two lost souls back from the demonic spiritual darkness into which they have fallen.

Ignoring their new orders, Red Rover secretly sets out to find the protected Saudi terrorist, the first step in a perilous journey into the heart of a vast conspiracy that involves the NSA, a cabal of immensely wealthy mystics known as the Alchemists, and an ageless visionary out to create an entirely new way of waging war. A war that will destabilize one of the great super-powers and forever rearrange the balance of power across the entire globe.

(Source: Forge Books)

Repo Madness (Ruddy McCann) by W. Bruce Cameron (Forge Books 23 August 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: Ruddy McCann, former college football star, now Kalkaska, Michigan repo man, is finally getting his life back on track. He has a beautiful fiancé, Katie Lottner, a somewhat stable job stealing cars, and a lazy, lovable basset hound.

With his job suddenly in jeopardy, his fiancé wanting a break, and a new court-ordered psychiatrist insisting he take his medication or violate the terms of his probation, Ruddy finds himself missing the one thing he thought he would be happy to be rid of--the voice of Alan Lottner, dead realtor and Ruddy's future father-in-law.

When a woman tells Ruddy that the tragedy that defines his life may, in fact, be a lie, Ruddy starts to investigate the disappearances of women in the area and soon discovers that his own redemption may be within reach. Alan's voice returns, and Ruddy and Alan work together to bring down a corrupt banker, win back Katie's love, and stop a serial killer before he can strike again.

(Source: Forge Books)

Gallery Books

Insidious (Savich & Sherlock) by Catherine Coulter (Gallery Books 09 August 2016 / $27.00) - Product Description: Insidious is the twentieth thriller in Catherine Coulter's FBI series. FBI agents Savich and Sherlock must discover who is trying to murder Venus Rasmussen, a powerful, wealthy society icon. They soon find out that the danger may be closer than expected.

Venus Rasmussen, a powerful woman who runs the international conglomerate Rasmussen Industries, believes someone is poisoning her. After Savich and Sherlock visit with her, someone attempts to shoot her in broad daylight. Who's trying to kill her and why? A member of her rapacious family, or her grandson who's been missing for ten years and suddenly reappears? Savich and Sherlock must peel away the layers to uncover the incredible truth about who would target Venus.

Meanwhile, Special Agent Cam Wittier leaves Washington for Los Angeles to work with local Detective Daniel Montoya to lead the hunt for the Starlet Slasher, a serial killer who has cut the throats of five young actresses. When a sixth young actress is murdered, Cam comes to realize the truth might be closer than she'd ever want to believe.

(Source: Gallery Books)

Joffe Books

For Her Sins by Maynard Sims (Joffe Books 01 August 2016 / $6.99) - Product Description: December 1959: Detective Jack Callum and the team are called to a local orphanage to investigate the murder of a young nun, Sister Bernadette. She has been stabbed repeatedly and her body violated.

The post-mortem throws up a massive shock and suspicion falls on a handsome young priest who Bernadette worked closely with. More violence is unleashed as the dark secrets of these seemingly devout people are exposed. Powerful local people are determined that the scandal just go away.

Can DCI Jack Callum get to the bottom of a complex and emotional case?

(see review)

Minotaur Books

Die Like an Eagle (Meg Langslow) by Donna Andrews (Minotaur Books 02 August 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: Donna Andrews delivers in the acclaimed avian-themed series that mystery readers have come to love. The nineteenth book in Meg Langslow series continues to surprise and delight in this next knee-slapping adventure featuring all the eccentric characters that make up her world.

Meg is Team Mom and Michael is coach of their twin sons' youth baseball team, the Caerphilly Eagles. Meg tangles with Biff Brown, the petty, vindictive league head. On opening day, Biff's lookalike brother is found dead in the porta-potty at the ball field. So many people think Biff's scum that it would be easy to blame him, but he has an alibi--and Meg suspects he may actually have been the intended victim.

With Die Like an Eagle, readers can look forward to another zany Meg Langslow mystery--this one filled with the spirit of America's pastime and Donna's eagle eye.

(see review)

Face Blind by Lance Hawvermale (Minotaur Books 23 August 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: Gabe Traylin is face-blind, unable to tell one person from the next. Content to earn his living well away from civilization, he works as an astronomer at an observatory in the earth's driest desert, where no rain has fallen in 400 years. But when he witnesses a murder that he's unable to stop or comprehend, Gabe finds himself drawn into an investigation with disastrous consequences. Unable to provide a description of the killer to the police or explain his own erratic actions, he becomes their suspect in a series of horrific and unexplained mutilations. To discover the truth before he's arrested for crimes he didn't commit, he must put his trust in three strangers: a young traveler with a purpose, a washed-up novelist who believes he's bulletproof, and an alluring woman with a face he'll never see.

Together they unearth the secrets of Chile's fascist past, a time of kidnappings, torture, and political turmoil and venture further into the desert, discovering the secrets of revenge as well as the secrets of themselves.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Miss Dimple and the Slightly Bewildered Angel by Mignon F. Ballard (Minotaur Books 02 August 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: October, 1944. It has been a challenging season for Elderberry's favorite first grade teacher, Miss Dimple Kilpatrick. A beloved former student was recently killed in the war, her brother has become distant, and her friend Odessa, the cook at Pheobe's rooming house, has taken a leave of absence to care for a relative. Still, when Dimple's librarian friend, Virginia, finds a young woman, Dora, on the library porch looking for a place to spend the night, soft-hearted Dimple brings her back to Phoebe's and offers her food and a warm coat. But when Dimple is trying to find her a place to sleep, the young girl disappears.

The next morning, Miss Dimple answers a knock on the door expecting it to be the girl. Instead, she is greeted by greeted by a somewhat disheveled young woman with lustrous hair and a sunrise of a smile who claims she has been assigned to fill in at the house. Augusta Goodnight, a guardian angel who has been summoned from a well-deserved rest after a series of troublesome earthly duties, has taken up at Phoebe's.

When Dora is discovered dead--murdered--the real reason for Augusta's "assignment" becomes clear, at least to Augusta. Reluctantly, Miss Dimple teams up with Augusta to find out who the killer is.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Rob Thy Neighbor (Charlie Henry) by David Thurlo (Minotaur Books 16 August 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: Charlie Henry and his friends are enjoying a cookout on a relaxing Sunday afternoon. But when a gunshot rings out in the neighborhood, Charlie is abruptly brought back to a world he's all too familiar with.

As he and best friend Gordon run to the source of the shot, they happen upon two masked intruders in their next-door neighbor's house. The men seem to be there to kidnap Sam Randall, the owner of the home, but upon the interruption from Charlie and Gordon, they abandon their mark and get away in a waiting van outside.

Detective DuPree has been investigating a string of similar home invasions in the area, but this one seems out of the ordinary. Sam Randall hires Charlie and Gordon to investigate the crime, not trusting the police to keep him and his wife safe. Detective Dupree warns Charlie and Gordon not to overstep their bounds in police business, but he needs all the help he can get. The investigation reveals Ray Geiger, son of retired NYPD cop Frank Geiger, as the prime suspect. As the simple home invasion case continues to turn into something more, it is up to Charlie and Gordon to protect the Randall's and themselves as they attempt to uncover the truth.

(see review)

Survivors Will Be Shot Again (Dan Rhodes) by Bill Crider (Minotaur Books 09 August 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: There's no such thing as a day off for a sheriff. Even in a small Texas town like Clearview, there's always something going on for law enforcement. Still, most days don't involve a run-in with an alligator.

And that's not the worst of Sheriff Dan Rhodes's troubles, either. There's a dead man in Billy Bacon's barn, though Bacon swears he doesn't know how the body got there. Rhodes is a bit skeptical, given that the intruder has been shot twice and that Bacon has recently removed a sign from a fencepost near the barn, a sign that says "Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again."

The citizens of Clearview have been complaining about a rash of thefts, and Rhodes suspects that the dead man may have been involved in them. But before he can solve that crime, he also has to deal with a number of other puzzling crimes in the community, ranging from a holdup at a convenience store to the disappearance of a loaf of bread. And then there's the dang gator.

In Bill Crider's Survivors Will Be Shot Again, Sheriff Dan Rhodes learns that, as the old saying goes, crime doesn't pay. But it also doesn't take a vacation.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Wedding Bell Blues (Dixie Dew/Beth McKenzie) by Ruth Moose (Minotaur Books 23 August 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: Beth McKenzie, owner of the Dixie Dew Bed and Breakfast, is enjoying an exciting affair with her new love, Scott. Meanwhile, the town of Littleboro, North Carolina is abuzz with gossip about Crazy Reba's upcoming nuptials. Most brides go crazy at some point, but Littleboro's resident homeless lady has had a head start: she's beloved, indulged, and most of all, eccentric. But at almost 60--or thereabouts--her marriage seems a little peculiar. Sure, she's sporting a diamond big enough to choke a horse, but no one can tell if it's real, or just a Cracker Jack prize she pilfered from a yard sale.

Crazy Reba's wedding plans go confirmedly awry when the bride-to-be is arrested for her fiancé's murder. Beth, determined to clear Reba's name, gets in over her head when a lady wrestler who threatened to kill her books a room at the Dixie Dew, and Robert Redford, her neighbor's white rabbit, disappears.

Then Littleboro's First Annual Green Bean Festival gets up and running, a famous food writer becomes deathly ill, and Beth must battle through madcap mayhem to apprehend the culprit and save the day.

Wedding Bell Blues is Ruth Moose's sequel to her winning debut, featuring her colorful array of characters and more laughs and hilarity.

(see review)

NAL

Cat With a Clue (Bookmobile Cat Mystery) by Laurie Cass (NAL 02 August 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: The author of Pouncing on Murder returns as librarian Minnie Hamilton and her rescue cat Eddie discover there's a true crime story unraveling in their own nonfiction section.

Early one morning while shelving books in the library, Minnie stumbles upon a dead body. Authorities identify the woman as an out-of-towner visiting Chilson for her great-aunt's funeral. What she was doing in the library after hours is anyone's guess ... but Minnie and Eddie are determined to save the library's reputation and catch a killer.

As rumors about the victim circulate through Chilson, the police are in a bind over a streak of baffling break-ins. Luckily, Minnie and Eddie are traveling the county in their bookmobile, and they'll stop at nothing to find the spineless killer before the final page is turned on someone else.

(Source: NAL)

No Pity For the Dead (Old San Francisco) by Nancy Herriman (NAL 02 August 2016 / $15.00) - Product Description: The author of No Comfort for the Lost returns with a new mystery of Old San Francisco.

British-born nurse Celia Davies runs a free medical clinic to assist the poor women of San Francisco. Aided in her endeavors by her half-Chinese cousin Barbara and feisty housekeeper Addie, Celia has earned the trust and friendship of many of the city's downtrodden, including a young orphan named Owen--who's just confided to her that he's stumbled upon a corpse.

Owen recently started working for the ruthless real estate and development group, Martin and Company, and discovered a dead body in the office's basement. Celia turns to Detective Nick Greaves for help, only to learn that one of the main suspects--the husband of Celia's dearest friend—is an old enemy of Nick's.

Now, Celia and Nick must put aside their personal feelings about the case—and each other—if they're going to bring a killer to justice.

(see review)

The Cat, The Collector and the Killer (Cats in Trouble) by Leann Sweeney (NAL 02 August 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: In the latest mystery from the author of The Cat, the Sneak and the Secret, a cat collector is suspected of murder.

Jillian Hart and police chief Tom Stewart are enjoying peaceful, newly wedded bliss in Mercy, South Carolina, until a woman is found wandering the streets one night. She's in her night clothes, disoriented, and carrying a kitten in a tote bag. A search of the woman's house reveals many more cats, a maze of cardboard boxes--and a dead man.

Although the evidence suggests the frail woman is the killer, Jillian doesn't believe she's capable of such a crime. The dead man had many enemies in town, which means finding the real murderer may prove to be its own cat and mouse game.

(Source: NAL)

The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala by Laura DiSilverio (NAL 02 August 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: One sleuthing book club finds themselves in the midst of a gothic-esque mystery as they read Du Maurier's Rebecca in the latest from the author of The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle.

Reading the gothic classic Rebecca already has the Readaholics spooked, and the chills only get worse when someone in town actually gives up the ghost.

Amy-Faye Johnson has her hands full coordinating the Celebration of Gothic Novels in Heaven, Colorado. The festivities start off smoothly, but the weekend is soon cursed with large egos, old resentments, and uninvited guests. Matters become truly grave when a dead body is found at the gothic-themed costume party.

The out-of-town authors claim not to know the victim, but Amy-Faye has doubts. With skeletons turning up in all of the suspects' closets, Amy-Faye and the Readaholics must tap into their knowledge of gothic literature to find a killer who lurks in the shadows.

(Source: NAL)

Watching Edie by Camilla Way (NAL 02 August 2016 / $26.00) - Product Description: For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train: A dazzling work of psychological suspense that weaves together the past and present of two women's twisted friendship.

Beautiful, creative, a little wild ... Edie was the kind of girl who immediately caused a stir when she walked into your life. And she had dreams back then--but it didn't take long for her to learn that things don't always turn out the way you want them to.

Now, at thirty-three, Edie is working as a waitress, pregnant and alone. And when she becomes overwhelmed by the needs of her new baby and sinks into a bleak despair, she thinks that there's no one to turn to.

But someone's been watching Edie, waiting for the chance to prove once again what a perfect friend she can be. It's no coincidence that Heather shows up on Edie's doorstep, just when Edie needs her the most. So much has passed between them--so much envy, longing, and betrayal. And Edie's about to learn a new lesson: those who have hurt us deeply--or who we have hurt--never let us go, not entirely.

(Source: NAL)

Pamela Dorman Books

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (Pamela Dorman Books 23 August 2016 / $26.00) - Product Description: Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all--a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they've kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family—a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

(Source: Pamela Dorman Books)

Penguin Books

The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood (Penguin Books 30 August 2016 / $16.00) - Product Description: When a child goes missing at an opulent house party, it makes international news. But what really happens behind closed doors?

Twelve years ago, Mila Jackson's three-year-old half-sister Coco disappeared during their father's fiftieth birthday party. Her identical twin Ruby was left behind as the only witness. The girls' father, Sean, was wealthy and influential, as were the friends gathered at their seaside vacation home for the weekend's debauchery. The case ignited a media frenzy and forever changed the lives of everyone involved.

Now, Sean Jackson is dead, and the people who were present that terrible night must gather once more for a funeral that will reveal that the secrets of the past can never stay hidden. Perfectly paced all the way through its devastating conclusion, The Darkest Secret is one that fans of Gillian Flynn and Liane Moriarty won't be able to put down.

(Source: Penguin Books)

Seventh Street Books

The Ninja's Daughter (Hiro Hattori/Shinobi) by Susan Spann (Seventh Street Books 02 August 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: Autumn, 1565: When an actor's daughter is murdered on the banks of Kyoto's Kamo River, master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo are the victim's only hope for justice.

As political tensions rise in the wake of the shogun's recent death, and rival warlords threaten war, the Kyoto police forbid an investigation of the killing, to keep the peace--but Hiro has a personal connection to the girl, and must avenge her. The secret investigation leads Hiro and Father Mateo deep into the exclusive world of Kyoto's theater guilds, where they quickly learn that nothing, and no one, is as it seems. With only a mysterious golden coin to guide them, the investigators uncover a forbidden love affair, a missing mask, and a dangerous link to corruption within the Kyoto police department that leaves Hiro and Father Mateo running for their lives.

(Source: Seventh Street Books)

The Paris Librarian (Hugo Marston) by Mark Pryor (Seventh Street Books 09 August 2016 / ) - Product Description: Hugo Marston's friend Paul Rogers dies unexpectedly in a locked room at the American Library in Paris. The police conclude that Rogers died of natural causes, but Hugo is certain mischief is afoot.

As he pokes around the library, Hugo discovers that rumors are swirling around some recently donated letters from American actress Isabelle Severin. The reason: they indicate that the actress had aided the resistance in frequent trips to France towards the end of World War II. Even more dramatic is the legend that the Severin Collection also contains a dagger, one she used to kill an SS officer in 1944.

Hugo delves deeper into the stacks at the American library and finally realizes that the history of this case isn't what anyone suspected. But to prove he's right, Hugo must return to the scene of a decades-old crime.

(see review)

Soho Crime

I Shot the Buddha (Dr. Siri Paiboun) by Colin Cotterill (Soho Crime 02 August 2016 / $26.95) - Product Description: A fiendishly clever mystery in which Dr. Siri and his friends investigate three interlocking murders--and the ungodly motives behind them.

Laos, 1979: Retired coroner Siri Paiboun and his wife, Madame Daeng, have never been able to turn away a misfit. As a result, they share their small Vientiane house with an assortment of homeless people, mendicants, and oddballs. One of these oddballs is Noo, a Buddhist monk, who rides out on his bicycle one day and never comes back, leaving only a cryptic note in the refrigerator: a plea to help a fellow monk escape across the Mekhong River to Thailand.

Naturally, Siri can't turn down the adventure, and soon he and his friends find themselves running afoul of Lao secret service officers and famous spiritualists. Buddhism is a powerful influence on both morals and politics in Southeast Asia. In order to exonerate an innocent man, they will have to figure out who is cloaking terrible misdeeds in religiosity.

(Source: Soho Crime)

St. Martin's

Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything by Nancy Martin (St. Martin's 30 August 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Rich and flamboyant Honeybelle Hensley, the most colorful character in Mule Stop, Texas, dies a suspicious death and enrages the whole town by leaving her worldly fortune to the most undeserving recipient-her dog. The incorrigible Miss Ruffles is a Texas Cattle Cur, not a cuddly lapdog, and when Honeybelle was alive, Miss Ruffles liked nothing better than digging up Honeybelle's famous rose garden after breakfast, chasing off the UPS man before lunch and terrorizing the many gentleman callers who came knocking at cocktail hour.

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

(Source: St. Martin's)

Pumpkin Picking with Murder (Otter Lake) by Auralee Wallace (St. Martin's 30 August 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: For a small town like Otter Lake, New Hampshire, the annual Fall Festival is a big deal: a Ferris wheel, corn maze, caramel apples, and pumpkin pies--even a Tunnel of Love. Back in her hometown, Erica Bloom is trying to enjoy herself, which includes getting better acquainted with Sheriff Grady Forrester. But when a swan boat sails out of the heart-shaped exit of the tunnel with a dead man slumped over a wing, her own romance will have to take a backseat.

Speaking of love affairs, the other passenger in the boat--and only witness to the elderly Mr. Masterson's swan song--is not his wife. It's Erica's beloved and feisty aunt, Tweety, who quickly becomes the prime suspect. Vowing to clear Tweety, Erica teams up with her sassy BFF and self-appointed security expert Freddie Ng to solve the murder--despite the objections of Grady, who's convinced the amateurs are going overboard in their investigation. And he just may be right. But as Erica and Freddie start to dredge up long-kept small-town secrets, will they heading straight into troubled waters?

Pumpkin Picking with Murder is the second book in Auralee Wallace's Otter Lake Mystery series!

(Source: St. Martin's)

St. Martin's Press

Long Shot (Kyle Swanson/Sniper) by Jack Coughlin with Donald A. Davis (St. Martin's Press 16 August 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: A top Russian intelligence agent has defected to the West and the only man with whom he will speak is Kyle Swanson, who busted him out of the U.S. Marine Corps Scout/Sniper School years ago. The defector proves to be an Edward Snowden-type gold mine of amazing secrets about the When, Where and How of President Vladimir Pushkin's next grab for lost Soviet territory.

But Swanson, now a special contractor with the CIA, soon begins to believe that it is all fool's gold being sprinkled by Moscow to ignite an open military fight with NATO and the United States.

Using his own deadly methods, the sniper sets out to find the truth, but to slow him down, the Russians kidnap Swanson's beautiful friend Calico, the CIA station chief in Estonia.

From Italy to the Arctic Circle, Kyle Swanson is on the hunt, convinced that the defector actually is running a complex plot to hand Russia a kingdom in the north. But Swanson seems always to be a step behind because there is a traitor within his own chain of command. To stop the madness, Swanson must deliver a kill shot a hundred miles away from a border bridge in Estonia, where a Russian Army waits on the far shore as a government official crosses over with an invitation to invade.

(Source: St. Martin's Press)

Stark House Press

Mad Dog Barked by Rick Ollerman (Stark House Press 23 August 2016 / $17.95) - Product Description: MAD DOG BARKED: When a potential client walks into your office with a unique first edition copy of Edgar Allan Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue with a letter inside full of disorienting notes, you start asking questions. When this client mentions that his personal secretary has disappeared on his way to find you and then writes an obscenely large check, you have to wonder what the hell is going on. When you ask your new client what exactly he wants you to do and he replies, "Let your conscience be your guide," you know there's going to be trouble.

Scott Porter owns a Florida detective agency that specializes in criminal court cases. When Mr. Edwin Morton Holmes drops the mysterious letter in his lap, Porter isn't sure what he should do with it. Then a thin, hatchet-faced man begins following him, and a guard at Mr. Holmes' estate is found with his head caved in. Almost before Porter can even decide where to start, he's facing not only two dead bodies but the disappearance of his client. The answer must lie with the letter but Porter is damned if he can figure out what it is. He has other problems, too, with a field agent he isn't sure he can trust, and his attraction to his married assistant, Trudy, who may or may not feel the same way. Things grow even more complicated when the FBI shows up and murder soon becomes the least of his problems.

(Source: Stark House Press)

Thomas Dunne Books

Waking Up Dead by Nigel Williams (Thomas Dunne Books 23 August 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: Retired bank manager George Pearmain is, apparently, dead. According to the behavior of everyone around him, it would seem that he is no more. Not only that, but his mother has also passed away too - and on the eve of her 99th year, poor dear. Not only that, it could be that they were both murdered.

He feels fine otherwise.

As George's family gather for the birthday-celebration-that-never-was, he hovers around the house, watching and listening, entirely unseen. As a result, he makes all sorts of discoveries about himself, his wife Esmeralda, and his supposedly happy family.

One of Nigel Williams' best books to date, Waking Up Dead is both a screamingly funny cozy mystery and startlingly strange ghost story asking the question: What would you do if you could bear witness to your own demise?

(Source: Thomas Dunne Books)

William Morrow

Killfile by Christopher Farnsworth (William Morrow 09 August 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: John Smith possesses a special gift that seems more like a curse: he can access other people's thoughts. He hears the songs stuck in their heads, knows their most private traumas and fears, and relives the painful memories they can't let go of. The CIA honed his skills until he was one of their most powerful operatives, but John fled the Agency and now works as a private consultant, trying to keep the dark potentials of his gift in check—and himself out of trouble.

Unfortunately, John is unexpectedly plunged into dangerous waters when his latest client, billionaire software genius Everett Sloan, hires him to investigate a former employee--a tech whiz kid named Eli Preston--and search his thoughts for some very valuable intellectual property Sloan is convinced he's stolen. But before John can probe Preston's mind, his identity is compromised and he's on the run for his life, along with Sloane's young associate, Kelsey Foster.

Hunted by shadowy enemies with extensive resources and unknown motives, John and Kelsey must go off the grid. And John knows that using his powers to their fullest potential is their only hope for survival--even if it means putting his own sanity at risk.

Secrets of Nanreath Hall by Alix Rickloff (William Morrow 02 August 2016 / $15.99) - Product Description: This incredible debut historical novel--in the tradition of Beatriz Williams and Jennifer Robson--tells the fascinating story of a young mother who flees her home on the rocky cliffs of Cornwall and the daughter who finds her way back, seeking answers.

Cornwall, 1940. Back in England after the harrowing evacuation at Dunkirk, WWII Red Cross nurse Anna Trenowyth is shocked to learn her adoptive parents Graham and Prue Handley have been killed in an air raid. She desperately needs their advice as she's been assigned to the military hospital that has set up camp inside her biological mother's childhood home--Nanreath Hall. Anna was just six-years-old when her mother, Lady Katherine Trenowyth, died. All she has left are vague memories that tease her with clues she can't unravel. Anna's assignment to Nanreath Hall could be the chance for her to finally become acquainted with the family she's never known--and to unbury the truth and secrets surrounding her past.

Cornwall, 1913. In the luxury of pre-WWI England, Lady Katherine Trenowyth is expected to do nothing more than make a smart marriage and have a respectable life. When Simon Halliday, a bohemian painter, enters her world, Katherine begins to question the future that was so carefully laid out for her. Her choices begin to lead her away from the stability of her home and family toward a wild existence of life, art, and love. But as everything begins to fall apart, Katherine finds herself destitute and alone.

As Anna is drawn into her newfound family's lives and their tangled loyalties, she discovers herself at the center of old heartbreaks and unbearable tragedies, leaving her to decide if the secrets of the past are too dangerous to unearth ... and if the family she's discovered is one she can keep.

(Source: William Morrow)

The American Girl by Kate Horsley (William Morrow 02 August 2016 / $15.99) - Product Description: On a quiet summer morning, seventeen-year-old American exchange student Quinn Perkins stumbles out of the woods near the small French town of St. Roch. Barefoot, bloodied, and unable to say what has happened to her, Quinn's appearance creates quite a stir, especially since the Blavettes--the French family with whom she's been staying--have mysteriously disappeared. Now the media, and everyone in the idyllic village, are wondering if the American girl had anything to do with her host family's disappearance.

Though she is cynical about the media circus that suddenly forms around the girl, Boston journalist Molly Swift cannot deny she is also drawn to the mystery and travels to St. Roch. She is prepared to do anything to learn the truth, including lying so she can get close to Quinn. But when a shocking discovery turns the town against Quinn and she is arrested for the murders of the Blavette family, she finds an unlikely ally in Molly.

As a trial by media ensues, Molly must unravel the disturbing secrets of the town's past in an effort to clear Quinn's name, but even she is forced to admit that the American Girl makes a very compelling murder suspect. Is Quinn truly innocent and as much a victim as the Blavettes--or is she a cunning, diabolical killer intent on getting away with murder?

Told from the alternating perspectives of Molly, as she's drawn inexorably closer to the truth, and Quinn's blog entries tracing the events that led to her accident, The American Girl is a deliciously creepy, contemporary, twisting mystery leading to a shocking conclusion.

(Source: William Morrow)

The Shattered Tree (Bess Crawford) by Charles Todd (William Morrow 30 August 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: World War I battlefield nurse Bess Crawford goes to dangerous lengths to investigate a wounded soldier's background--and uncover his true loyalties.

At the foot of a tree shattered by shelling and gunfire, stretcher-bearers find an exhausted officer, shivering with cold and a loss of blood from several wounds. The soldier is brought to battlefield nurse Bess Crawford's aid station, where she stabilizes him and treats his injuries before he is sent to a rear hospital. The odd thing is, the officer isn't British--he's French. But in a moment of anger and stress, he shouts at Bess in German.

When Bess reports the incident to Matron, her superior offers a ready explanation. The soldier is from Alsace-Lorraine, a province in the west where the tenuous border between France and Germany has continually shifted through history, most recently in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, won by the Germans. But is the wounded man Alsatian? And if he is, on which side of the war do his sympathies really lie?

Of course, Matron could be right, but Bess remains uneasy--and unconvinced. If he was a French soldier, what was he doing so far from his own lines ... and so close to where the Germans are putting up a fierce, last-ditch fight?

When the French officer disappears in Paris, it's up to Bess--a soldier's daughter as well as a nurse--to find out why, even at the risk of her own life.

(see review)

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