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US Books Received- 03/2017  Next Month / Last Month
In order to provide timely reviews, we prefer to receive Advance Reader Copies of books when possible. Send books to Gayle Surrette / Editor c/o Gumshoe 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

Berkley

Cold Pressed Murder (Olive Grove) by Kelly Lane (Berkley 07 March 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's the pits for the attendees of the annual Farm Family Fare in Abundance, Georgia, when olive oil farmer Eva Knox finds herself in the middle of a murder case.

Eva and the residents of Knox Plantation are oozing with excitement over the activities planned for the Farm Family Fare. The weekend event consists of two days of tours, exhibitions, music, tastings, and, most important, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs from the Chow Network. The enthusiasm, however, begins to dribble away after one of the star chefs goes missing—and is later found dead in the back of a refrigerated truck.

The scandal gets messier after the police discover that Eva's sister Daphne spent the night with the victim right before he died, making her the prime suspect for his murder. It's up to Eva, with the help of her other sister, Pep, and her best friend, Precious, to track down the real killer before Daphne finds herself squeezed into handcuffs. (Includes recipes.)

(Source: Berkley)

Gone with the Twins (League of Literary Ladies) by Kylie Logan (Berkley 07 March 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: The League of Literary Ladies is currently enjoying Margaret Mitchell's saga of the South, Gone with the Wind. But there's one situation on South Bass Island that they wish would simply blow over.

Kidnapped as teenagers, the children of a famous movie star are now media darlings after a miraculous escape. What's next for the celebrity twins? They're opening an over-the-top B and B called Tara on South Bass Island, and frankly, they don't give a damn about the competition—including Bea Cartwright's own beloved inn.

The other members of the League--Chandra, Kate, and Luella--are turning scarlet. But when local realtor Vivian Frisk is found murdered, and the suspects include Chandra, who lost her beau to the frisky Vivian, the Ladies rally to her defense. They may have to skim a few chapters of the Civil War soap opera and focus on bringing justice to the island they call home.

(Source: Berkley)

Murder, She Wrote: Design For Murder by Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain & Renée Paley-Bain (Berkley 07 March 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: In the newest in the series, Jessica Fletcher visits New York City during Fashion Week, only to discover that someone has rather fatal designs.

Jessica is in Manhattan to attend the debut of new designer Xandr Ebon--formerly Sandy Black of Cabot Cove. He's introducing his evening wear collection to the public and--more important--to the industry's powers that be: the stylists, magazine editors, buyers, and wealthy clientele who can make or break him.

At the show, the glitz and glamour are dazzling until a young new model 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 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: Berkley)

Pekoe Most Poison (Tea Shop) by Laura Childs (Berkley 07 March 2017 / ) - Product Description: When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston's most prominent hostesses, to a "Rat Tea", she is understandably intrigued.  As servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer elegant finger sandwiches and fine teas, Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston, where the cream of society would sponsor so-called rat teas to promote city rodent control and better public health.

But this party goes from odd to chaotic when a fire starts at one of the tables and Doreen's entrepreneur husband suddenly goes into convulsions and drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat.

The distraught Doreen soon engages Theo to pursue a discreet inquiry into who might have murdered her husband. As Theo and her tea sommelier review the guest list for suspects, they soon find themselves drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. (Includes recipes and Tea Time Tips.) (see review)

Roux the Day (Dinner Club) by Linda Wiken (Berkley 07 March 2017 / ) - Product Description: In the latest mystery from the author of Toasting Up Trouble, the Culinary Capers dinner club is back in business when a charity casino event makes a real killing.

Event planner Jennifer J.J. Tanner is planning a cruise ship casino night--and she's really going overboard. She even arranged for radio DJ Connor Mac and TV personality Miranda Myers to help the good times roll. But the party comes to a screeching halt when Miranda is found dead on the main deck.

With a boatload of suspects, the police focus in on J.J., who, though recently linked with Connor, never knew he was once engaged--to Miranda. With Half Moon Bay's gossip mill running full tilt, J.J. turns to her fellow dinner club members to help fish for clues and keep herself out of hot water. (Includes recipes.)

(Source: Berkley)

The Silence of the Flans (Emergency Dessert Squad) by Laura Bradford (Berkley 07 March 2017 / ) - Product Description: The second delectable Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery from the author of Éclair and Present Danger.

Baker Winnie Johnson does her best work when the heat is on. As owner of the Emergency Dessert Squad, she has a deft touch in the kitchen and a soft spot for lost causes. So when her business professor beau, Jay Morgan, expresses misgivings over having to fail one of his fourth-year students, Winnie cooks up a sweet solution.

She'll offer an extra credit opportunity in exchange for a little help with her growing business. But when her protégé's first dessert delivery poisons a student journalist, the publicity threatens to burn Winnie's business to a crisp. Now the entrepreneur-turned-detective must uncover the ingredients behind a recipe for murder before she crumbles under pressure. (Recipes included.)

(Source: Berkley)

When Falcons Fall (Sebastian St. Cyr) by C.S. Harris (Berkley 07 March 2017 / $15.00) - Product Description: Now in paperback--the eleventh in the Sebastian St. Cyr historical mystery series, from the author of Who Buries the Dead and Why Kings Confess.

Ayleswick-on-Teme, 1813. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, and his wife, Hero, have come to this deceptively peaceful Shropshire village to honor a slain friend. But when the body of a young widow is found on the banks of the river Teme, the village's inexperienced new magistrate turns to Sebastian for help. Sebastian soon realizes that Emma Chance was hiding her true identity, and she was not the first beautiful young woman in the village to be murdered. Also troubling are the machinations of Lucien Bonaparte, the estranged brother of the megalomaniac French Emperor Napoléon. Held captive under the British government's watchful eye, Bonaparte is restless, ambitious, and treacherous.

Home to the eerie ruins of an ancient monastery, Ayleswick reveals itself to be a dark and dangerous place with a violent past that may be connected to Sebastian's own unsettling origins. And as he faces his most diabolical opponent ever, he is forced to consider what malevolence he's willing to embrace in order to destroy a killer.

(see review)

Bitter Lemon Press

The Road to Ithaca (Martin Bora) by Ben Pastor (Bitter Lemon Press 14 March 2017 / ) - Product Description: Wehmacht officer Bora is sent to recently occupied Crete and must investigate the brutal murder of a Red Cross representative befriended by Himmler. All the clues lead to a platoon of trigger-happy German paratroopers but is this the truth? Bora takes to the mountains of Crete to solve the case, navigating his way between local bandits and foreign resistance fighters.

(Source: Bitter Lemon Press)

Dell

The Midas Legacy: A Novel (Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase) by Andy McDermott (Dell 28 March 2017 / $9.99) - Product Description: American archaeologist Nina Wilde and her husband, ex-SAS bodyguard Eddie Chase, search for King Midas's legacy in the latest thrilling adventure in Andy McDermott's globe-spanning series.

For Nina Wilde and her ex-SAS husband Eddie Chase, locating the legendary lost city of Atlantis was just the beginning of an even greater quest: to discover what mysterious treasure drew an ancient Atlantean explorer to the Himalayas. But they're unaware of the risks they face, the secrets gathering around them, and the powerful forces desperate to possess history's greatest prize.

High in the snowbound peaks, Nina and Eddie uncover a cave guarded by Buddhist monks. There, a shadowy enemy awaits them. And after a vicious battle, Nina finds herself with a fragment of a millennia-old puzzle--and questions only one person can answer: her long-lost grandmother. Drawing on her family's painful secrets, Nina gains knowledge that will lead her and Eddie from a remote Icelandic retreat to the Hermit Kingdom of North Korea--and expose the shocking truth about the mythical King Midas and a terrifying plot that could doom all humankind.

(Source: Dell)

Five Star

Echoes of Terror by Maris Soule (Five Star 22 March 2017 / $25.95) - Product Description: A teenager is missing, and Officer Katherine Ward is assigned the case, never expecting it to parallel her own kidnapping experience seventeen years before. In Skagway, Alaska, the usual crimes faced by the police department's small force are DUIs and missing bikes. With the chief in the hospital and one officer missing, they're not prepared for the kidnapping of a billionaire's daughter.

Misty Morgan thought running off with a college boy would get her father's attention. Now she and another teenager are praying for their lives.

Stuck in China, Misty's father knew his daughter was up to something, so he asked his longtime friend and a former fellow-Marine, Vince Nanini, to fly to Alaska and stop Misty. Problem is Vince arrives too late. The college boy is dead, Misty is missing, and the police aren't eager to let him help.

When Katherine realizes the same man who kidnapped and raped her years ago is the one holding Misty and the other teenager, the terror of those months in captivity resurfaces. Vince is the one who finds her drunk and in tears, and he's with her when she realizes the kidnapper has struck again. Together they must figure out where this man has taken three people, and they must find him fast.

(Source: Five Star)

G.P. Putnam's Sons

Mangrove Lightning (Doc Ford) by Randy Wayne White (G.P. Putnam's Sons 21 March 2017 / $27.00) - Product Description: Doc Ford has been involved in many strange cases. This may be one of the strangest. A legendary charter captain and guide named Tootsie Barlow has come to him, muttering about a curse. The members of his extended family have suffered a bizarre series of attacks, and Barlow is convinced it has something to do with a multiple murder in 1925, in which his family had a shameful part.

Ford doesn't believe in curses, but as he and his friend Tomlinson begin to investigate, following the trail of the attacks from Key Largo to Tallahassee, they, too, suffer a series of near-fatal mishaps. Is it really a curse? Or just a crime spree? The answer lies in solving a near-hundred-year-old murder...and probing the mind of a madman.

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

Gallery Books

The Devil's Triangle (Brit in the FBI, #4) by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison (Gallery Books 14 March 2017 / $27.99) - Product Description: FBI Special Agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine are the government's Covert Eyes leading a top-notch handpicked team of agents to tackle crimes and criminals both international and deadly. But their first case threatens their fledgling team when the Fox calls from Venice asking for help.

Kitsune has stolen an incredible artifact from the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, and now the client wants her dead. She has a warning for Nick and Mike: she's overheard talk that a devastating Gobi desert sandstorm that's killed thousands in Beijing isn't a natural phenomenon, rather is produced by man. The Covert Eyes team heads to Venice, Italy, to find out the truth.

From New York to Venice and from Rome to the Bermuda Triangle, Nicholas and Mike and their team are in a race against time, and nature herself, to stop an obsessed family from devastating Washington, DC.

(Source: Gallery Books)

Minotaur Books

Conviction (Rebekah Roberts) by Julia Dahl (Minotaur Books 28 March 2017 / $25.99) - Product Description: New York City 1992: a year after riots exploded between black and Jewish neighbors in Brooklyn, a black family is brutally murdered in their Crown Heights home. A teenager is quickly convicted, and the justice system moves on.

Twenty-two years later, journalist Rebekah Roberts gets a letter: I didn't do it. Frustrated with her work at the city's sleaziest tabloid, Rebekah starts to dig. But witnesses are missing, memories faded, and almost no one wants to talk about that grim, violent time in New York City--not even Saul Katz, a former NYPD cop and her source in Brooklyn's insular Hasidic community.

So she goes it alone. And as she gets closer to the truth of that night, Rebekah finds herself in the path of a killer with two decades of secrets to protect.

From the author of the Edgar-nominated Invisible City comes another timely thriller that illuminates society's darkest corners. Told in part through the eyes of a jittery eyewitness and the massacre's sole survivor, Julia Dahl's Conviction examines the power--and cost--of community, loyalty, and denial.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Mission Hill (Abby Endicott) by Pamela Wechsler (Minotaur Books 21 March 2017 / $16.99) - Product Description: Abby Endicott is chief of the District Attorney's homicide unit in Boston, where she investigates and prosecutes the city's most dangerous killers. A member of Beacon Hill's elite, and a graduate of the Winsor school and then Harvard Law, the prosecutor's office is not the prestigious job that would have been expected of her. She has been known to change into an evening gown amidst bodies in the morgue. She loves her job, and is committed to it, refusing all pressure to quit from her upper-crust parents or threats from the city's most ruthless killers. But among Abby's many secrets is her longtime affair with fellow prosecutor Tim Mooney, a married father of one.

One night, Abby is awakened very late by a phone call from her favorite detective, who reports that there has been a horrific murder but is vague about the specifics. When she arrives at the crime scene and discovers the identity of the victim, Abby knows the terror and tragedy are only beginning.

In Mission Hill, debut novelist Pamela Wechsler delivers a gripping and very human portrayal of a woman who will stop at nothing to find the truth, even if it challenges everything she believes about justice.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency (Hettie Bagshot) by Mandy Morton (Minotaur Books 28 March 2017 / $24.99) - Product Description: Hettie Bagshot has bitten off more than any cat could chew. As soon as she launches her No. 2 Feline Detective Agency, she's bucketed into a case: Furcross, home for slightly older cats, has a nasty spate of bodysnatching, and three of the residents have been stolen from their graves. Hettie and her sidekick, Tilly, set out to reveal the terrible truth. Is Nurse Mogadon involved in a deadly game? Has the haberdashery department of Malkin & Sprinkle become a mortuary? And what flavor will Betty Butter's pie of the week be?

In a haze of catnip and pastry, Hettie steers the Furcross Case to its conclusion, but will she get there before the body count rises--and the pies sell out?

(Source: Minotaur Books)

Time of Fog and Fire (Molly Murphy) by Rhys Bowen (Minotaur Books 07 March 2017 / $16.99) - Product Description: Molly Murphy Sullivan's husband Daniel, a police captain in turn-of-the-century New York City, is in a precarious position. The new police commissioner wants him off the force altogether. So when Daniel's offered an assignment from John Wilkie, head of the secret service, he's eager to accept. Molly can't draw any details of the assignment out of him, even where he'll be working. But when she spots him in San Francisco during a movie news segment, she starts to wonder if he's in even more danger than she had first believed. And then she receives a strange and cryptic letter from him, leading her to conclude that he wants her to join him in San Francisco. Molly knows that if Daniel's turning to her rather than John Wilkie or his contacts in the police force, something must have gone terribly wrong. What can she do for him that the police can't? Especially when she doesn't even know what his assignment is? Embarking on a cross-country journey with her young son, Molly can't fathom what's in store for her, but she knows it might be dangerous--in fact, it might put all of their lives at risk.

(see review)

Mysterious Press

The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes by Lyndsay Faye (Mysterious Press 07 March 2017 / $25.00) - Product Description: Lyndsay Faye was introduced to the Sherlock Holmes mysteries when she was ten years old and her dad suggested she read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band". She immediately became enamored with tales of Holmes and his esteemed biographer Dr. John Watson, and later, began spinning these quintessential characters into her own works of fiction--from her debut novel, Dust and Shadow, which pitted the famous detective against Jack the Ripper, to a series of short stories for the Strand Magazine, whose predecessor published the very first Sherlock Holmes short story in 1891.

Faye's best Holmes tales, including two new works, are brought together in The Whole Art of Detection, a stunning collection that spans Holmes's career, from self-taught young upstart to publicly lauded detective, both before and after his faked death over a Swiss waterfall in 1894. In "The Lowther Park Mystery", the unsociable Holmes is forced to attend a garden party at the request of his politician brother and improvises a bit of theater to foil a conspiracy against the government. "The Adventure of the Thames Tunnel" brings Holmes's attention to the baffling murder of a jewel thief in the middle of an underground railway passage. With Holmes and Watson encountering all manner of ungrateful relatives, phony psychologists, wronged wives, plaid-garbed villains, and even a peculiar species of deadly red leech, The Whole Art of Detection is a must-read for Sherlockians and any fan of historical crime fiction with a modern sensibility.

(see review)

Other Press

Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito (Other Press 07 March 2017 / $26.95) - Product Description: QUICKSAND is an incisive courtroom thriller and a drama that raises questions about the nature of love, the disastrous side effects of guilt, and the function of justice.

A mass shooting has taken place at a prep school in Stockholm's wealthiest suburb. Maja Norberg is eighteen years old and on trial for her involvement in the massacre where her boyfriend and best friend were killed. When the novel opens, Maja has spent nine excruciating months in jail awaiting trial. Now the time has come for her to enter the courtroom. But how did Maja, the good girl next door who was popular and excelled at school, become the most hated teenager in the country? What did Maja do? Or is it what she didn't do that brought her here?

(Source: Other Press)

Sarah Crichton Books

The Loving Husband by Christobel Kent (Sarah Crichton Books 14 March 2017 / ) - Product Description: Fran Hall and her husband, Nathan, live in a run-down farmhouse on the edge of the Fens, where they recently moved from London with their two young children. One February night Fran awakes to an empty bed and goes searching for her husband. She finds Nathan behind their house, lying facedown in a ditch. The ensuing police investigation soon singles Fran out as the primary suspect, and suspicions mount on the force that she may be hiding something that gives her a motive for murder. But Fran isn't the only one with something to hide; as her isolation and paranoia increase, the claustrophobic town where her mysterious husband grew up begins to disgorge its secrets, and it becomes increasingly clear that Nathan wasn't very honest with her about who he was. As police scrutiny intensifies, Fran must delve deep into her husband's shadowy past in the hopes of clearing her name, and she doesn't much like what she finds.

In The Loving Husband, Christobel Kent, the author of The Crooked House, delivers another darkly atmospheric psychological thriller about family, secrets, and the lies we tell ourselves. Reminiscent of the work of Daphne du Maurier and S.J. Watson, The Loving Husband's twisty, suspenseful plot draws readers into a fascinating portrait of a very, very complicated marriage.

(Source: Sarah Crichton Books)

Seventh Street Books

Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly (Det. Sean Duffy) by Adrian Mckinty (Seventh Street Books 07 March 2017 / ) - Product Description: Belfast 1988: A man is found dead, killed with a bolt from a crossbow in front of his house. This is no hunting accident. But uncovering who is responsible for the murder will take Detective Sean Duffy down his most dangerous road yet, a road that leads to a lonely clearing on a high bog where three masked gunmen will force Duffy to dig his own grave.

Hunted by forces unknown, threatened by Internal Affairs, and with his relationship on the rocks, Duffy will need all his wits to get out of this investigation in one piece.

(see review)

Soho Crime

Lenin's Roller Coaster (Jack McColl) by David Downing (Soho Crime 07 March 2017 / $27.95) - Product Description: In Russia, the Bolshevik revolution is in full-swing while the supposed Great War is destroying Europe in ways never before imagined. Fulltime lovers and part-time enemies, British spy Jack McColl and progressive American journalist Caitlin Hanley, have seen their relationship survive this far but in a world defined by "win at all cost" attitudes how much longer can they hold out?

Winter 1917: As a generation of Europe's young men perish on the Eastern and Western fronts, British spy Jack McColl is assigned a sabotage mission deep in Central Asia, where German influence is strong. The mission only becomes more dangerous the closer he gets to its heart. Meanwhile, the woman he loves, Irish-American radical journalist Caitlin Hanley, is in Bolshevik Russia, thrilled to have the chance to cover the Revolution. Caitlin knows Moscow is where she is meant to be during this historic event—even if she is putting her own life at risk to bear witness.

But four years of bloody war have taken their toll on all of Europe, and Jack and Caitlin's relationship may become another casualty. Caitlin's political convictions have always been for progress, feminism, and socialism--often diametrically opposed to the conservative goals of the British Empire Jack serves. Up until now, Jack and Caitlin have managed to set aside their allegiances and stay faithful to each other, but the stakes of their affair have risen too high. Can a revolutionary love a spy? And if she does, will it cost one of them their life?

(Source: Soho Crime)

St. Martin's

Bel of the Brawl (Bel McGrath) by Maggie McConnon (St. Martin's 07 March 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: Bel McGrath loves her work as a wedding chef. But with her latest event set to take place at Shamrock Manor, she just can't seem to catch a break. The Casey wedding has left her with ten thousand greenbacks in the hole, a missing staff member, and a dead groom. Now, in between Guinness beers and pub brawls, Bel must find a way to crack the case--even though what she should be cracking are eggs into the batter of the wedding cake. A good Irish girl's work is never done.

What begins as local town fodder for an episode of "Wedding Gone Wild" is turning into "Gangsters with Guns". With the Casey family spiraling out of control, and billable McGrath hours being lost by the minute, Bel is definitely in too deep. With all these shenanigans, she barely has time to obsess over her new boyfriend and her own unsolved mystery from years ago! Time is running out on getting the next couple down the aisle before the so-called luck of the Irish takes a deadly turn… Bel of the Brawl will keep Maggie McConnon's fans, new and old, guessing.

(Source: St. Martin's)

Stark House Press

The Snatchers / Clean Break (The Killing) by Lionel White (Stark House Press 31 March 2017 / $19.95) - Product Description: THE SNATCHERS: Cal Dent has set up the perfect crime, a kidnapping which will bring the gang a half a million dollars. On his side, he s got Red the ex-boxer and his girl, Pearl, and twitchy Gino, plus Fats Morn, their outside man. The heist goes smoothly. They've got the kid and her caretaker, and they re holding up in a vacation rental at Land s End, waiting for the payoff. That s when things start to go wrong. A local cop comes noising around. Gino gets careless inflicting pain on the child and Red beats the hell out of him. Pearl gets drunk and doesn't stick to the plan. And then there s Terry, the caretaker. After all this time in and out of the joint, who knew that Dent would find himself having feelings for another person. It was the perfect crime...how could it go so wrong?

CLEAN BREAK (THE KILLING): When Johnny gets out after four long, patient years, he is ready to pull the perfect heist. "That's the beauty of this thing," Johnny told her. "I'm avoiding the one mistake most thieves make. They always tie up with other thieves. These men, the ones who are in on the deal with me none of them are professional crooks. They all have jobs, they all live seemingly decent, normal lives. But they all have money problems and they all have larceny in them. No, you don't have to worry. This thing is going to be foolproof." And it was, until Sherry enters the scene.

(Source: Stark House Press)

Thomas & Mercer

Signature Wounds by Kirk Russell (Thomas & Mercer 01 March 2017 / $15.95) - Product Description: While in Las Vegas on his way to a family Fourth of July celebration, FBI bomb expert Paul Grale hears a deep blast and sees the smoke rising. In an unfolding nightmare, Grale discovers his sister, brother-in-law, and many friends were caught up in the explosion. Grief stricken, he is pulled from the main bomb investigation to sift orphan leads. Quietly he begins a relentless search for the bomb maker.

When the FBI suspects his friend and disgruntled former drone pilot for the blast, Grale thinks they're getting it all wrong. Propelled by deep personal loss and an intense need to do the right thing, he picks his way through the smallest of leads and into a maze of twists, turns, and sudden dead ends. When he uncovers another threat, time is already quickly running out. With the lives of so many at stake, Grale won't let himself fail—and he won't rest until there's justice for his family.

(Source: Thomas & Mercer)

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