gumshoereview Logo with link to Main Page  
US Books Received- 12/2017  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

A Crime of Poison (Silver Six) by Nancy Haddock (Berkley 05 December 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: The Silver Six are known for their arts and crafts--but they're about to be tested in the art of catching a crafty killer.
It's early October, time for the Fall Folk Art Festival and Bake Sale in Lilyvale, Arkansas. Every business along the town square will benefit from the event, including the craft store run by Leslee Stanton Nix--aka Nixy--and the Silver Six, a group of retirees. In charge of making the festival go smoothly, Nixy is confident that it will be a success.

But things become knotty when local troublemaker Cornell Lewis is found dead with a plate of Snickerdoodles from the bake sale. Two members of the Silver Six are accused of cooking up a murder plot, but Nixy knows that the cookies weren't literally to die for. With time running out, Nixy and company must catch the actual killer ... before the Silver Six find their number permanently reduced to four.

Comic Sans Murder (Dangerous Type) by Paige Shelton (Berkley 05 December 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: Clare Henry's snowy Star City, Utah, oasis turns deadly in the third Dangerous Type Mystery from the author of Bookman Dead Style and To Helvetica and Back.

The visit of quirky world-famous horror author Nathan Grimes to Star City is especially thrilling for Clare Henry and her grandfather Chester. As the owners of The Rescued Word, a charming boutique shop in town, Clare and Chester specialize in restoring old typewriters and repairing beloved books. They've invited Nathan to their shop to use their equipment for his next book.

But all plans to work on the book take a step in the wrong direction when a tourist discovers an abandoned ski boot on the slopes--and the only sign of the owner is the dismembered foot he left inside! Nathan's writer's curiosity for all things horror is further piqued after the body of Clare's high school friend Lloyd Gavin is discovered sans one foot. When all toes point to a class reunion gone wrong, Nathan can't help but join Clare and her best friend, police officer Jodie Wentworth, as they hurry to track down the killer before more former classmates become Most Likely to Be Killed.

Egg Drop Dead (Cackleberry Club) by Laura Childs (Berkley 05 December 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: In Laura Childs's Cackleberry Club mystery series, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni--owners of the Cackleberry Club café--are back to track down another bad egg.

Maintaining good personal relationships with their suppliers is one of the secrets of the Cackleberry Club café's success, so Suzanne doesn't mind going out to Mike Mullen's dairy farm to pick up some wheels of cheese. She's looking forward to a nice visit with the mild-mannered farmer before heading back to their hectic kitchen.

But when she arrives, Mike's nowhere to be found. The moaning of his cows leads her to look in the barn, where she discovers a bloodcurdling sight—the farmer's dead body. Apparently, not everyone was as fond of Mike Mullen as the Cackleberry Club.

Churning with grief and outrage, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to find the farmer's murderer--but as they get closer to the truth, the desperate killer gets whipped into a frenzy and plans to put the squeeze on them. (Recipes included.)

Honey-Baked Homicide (Down South Café) by Gayle Leeson (Berkley 05 December 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: It is fall in Winter Garden, Virginia, and business at Amy Flowers' Down South Café has never been better. So when struggling beekeeper Stuart Landon asks Amy to sell some of his honey, she's happy to help. The jars of honey are a sweet success, but their partnership is cut short when Amy discovers Landon's body outside the café early one morning.

As Amy tries to figure out who could possibly have wanted to harm the unassuming beekeeper, she discovers an ever-expanding list of suspects--and they're all buzzing mad. She'll have to use all of her skills--and her Southern charm--to find her way out of this sticky situation.

Live and Let Fly (Kite Shop) by Clover Tate (Berkley 05 December 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: With summer drawing to a close in Rock Point, Oregon, Emmy Adler hopes to beat the seasonal drop in business by winning the annual kite festival. What better way to garner publicity for the handmade kites sold in her shop, Strings Attached? In the days leading up to the festival, Emmy's ambitions are soaring. Even an argument with reality TV star and contest judge Jasmine Normand can't bring her down. But when Jasmine is found dead the morning after their altercation, Emmy's no longer flying high.

When the police open an investigation into Jasmine's death and deem it a murder, Emmy falls under suspicion. With a national tabloid reporter convinced that she is guilty and business at her shop at a standstill, Emmy has to trade kite making for crime solving--or find all of her ambitions blown off course.

Flatiron Books

The Defense by Steve Cavanagh (Flatiron Books 05 December 2017 / $9.99) - Product Description: Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turns out the two jobs aren't all that different.

He vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again after a case gone disastrously wrong. But today Eddie doesn't have a choice. Because this time, it's personal.

The head of the Russian mob in New York City, on trial for murder, has kidnapped Eddie's beloved ten-year-old daughter. Now Eddie has exactly forty-eight hours to draw upon his razor-sharp instincts and use every con, bluff, grift, and trick in the book to defend an impossible trial and save his daughter--or die trying.

Forge Books

Strong to the Bone (Caitlin Strong) by Jon Land (Forge Books 05 December 2017 / $26.99) - Product Description: 1944: Texas Ranger Jim Strong investigates a triple murder inside a Nazi POW camp in Texas.

The Present: His daughter, fifth-generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, finds herself pursuing the killer her father never caught in the most personal case of her career--a conspiracy stretching from that Nazi POW camp to a modern-day neo-Nazi gang.

A sinister movement has emerged from the shadows of history, determined to undermine the American way of life. Its leader, Armand Fisker, has an army at his disposal, a deadly bio-weapon, and a reputation for being unbeatable. But he's never taken on the likes of Caitlin Strong and her outlaw lover, Cort Wesley Masters.

To prevent an unspeakable cataclysm, Caitlin and Cort Wesley must win a war the world thought was over.

Minotaur Books

Bloodstains with Bronte (Crime with the Classics) by Katherine Bolger Hyde (Minotaur Books 12 December 2017 / $24.99) - Product Description: Classic novels and crime solving intertwine in Katherine Bolger Hyde's charming series. Bloodstains with Bronte is the second in a series that will puzzle and please fans of mystery and masterpieces alike.

Windy Corner is being remodeled into a writers' retreat. Two of the young workers, Jake and Roman, are showing too much of the wrong kind of interest in Katie, Emily's young single-mother housekeeper.

It's a stormy autumn and Emily is reading Wuthering Heights. Roman, a dark and brooding type, reminds her of Heathcliff. At a Halloween murder mystery fundraiser at Windy Corner, someone is found stabbed to death. Windy Corner's very own detective, Luke, is reluctantly forced to investigate Katie.

Luke digs into the background of the contractor, Jeremiah Edwards, and Emily, now reading Jane Eyre, realizes Jeremiah resembles St. John Rivers in his obsessive, tormented piety. Will Luke figure out who the murderer is before Katie ends up in jail or someone else is killed?

My Brother's Keeper by Donna Malane (Minotaur Books 19 December 2017 / $25.99) - Product Description: Diane Rowe is a missing persons expert. Ex-con Karen needs Diane's help to track down her fourteen-year-old daughter, Sunny, whom she's lost contact with while she's been in prison.

To Diane, this appears at first glance to be a simple case of a mother wanting to reunite with a beloved daughter. Tracking the girl down is easy. However, convincing her to meet her mother is no easy task. And at the back of Diane's mind is a nagging thought--that guilt and innocence aren't straightforward and nothing is quite what it seems. Does Karen really want to fix the wrongs of the past or is there something darker at play here that will take all of Diane's skills to uncover?

Stone Coffin (Ann Lindell) by Kjell Eriksson (Minotaur Books 05 December 2017 / $16.99) - Product Description: One sunny summer morning a young woman and her six-year-old daughter are run over by a car. Both are killed immediately. Is it an accident, or did someone kill them on purpose?

The same morning the husband of the deceased young woman disappears. During the police investigation, it turns out that the husband had recently bought a property that nobody knew anything about. A few days later a macabre discovery is made in a forest nearby.

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen (Minotaur Books 05 December 2017 / ) - Book Description: Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two about serial killers, but not through her police training. She's an officer in sleepy Woodbury, MA, where a bicycle theft still makes the newspapers. No one there knows she was once victim number seventeen in the grisly story of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. The only victim who lived.

When three people disappear from her town in three years, all around her birthday--the day she was kidnapped so long ago--Ellery fears someone knows her secret. Someone very dangerous. Her superiors dismiss her concerns, but Ellery knows the vanishing season is coming and anyone could be next. She contacts the one man she knows will believe her: the FBI agent who saved her from a killer's closet all those years ago.

Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned. His marriage is in shambles, his bosses think he's washed up, and worst of all, he blew a major investigation. When Ellery calls him, he can't help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved? His greatest triumph is Ellery's waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them ... with a killer who can't let go.

(see review)

Prospect Park Books

Colorado Boulevard (Crush) by Phoef Sutton (Prospect Park Books 12 December 2017 / $16.00) - Product Description: When Zerbe, the honorary brother (and roommate) of LA's toughest bodyguard/bouncer, Crush, is kidnapped, Crush springs into action to save him. Unraveling the mystery takes him to Zerbe's estranged billionaire father, who's obsessed with building California's long-promised bullet train, as well as to Pasadena's famed Rose Parade along Colorado Boulevard.

Soho Crime

Beau Death (Det. Peter Diamond) by Peter Lovesey (Soho Crime 05 December 2017 / $27.95) - Product Description: In the seventeenth installment in Peter Lovesey's detective series, Peter Diamond digs deep into Bath history to ferret out the secrets of one of its most famous (and scandalous) icons: Richard "Beau" Nash, who might have been the victim of a centuries-old murder.

Bath, England: A wrecking crew is demolishing a row of townhouses in order to build a grocery store when they uncover a skeleton in one of the attics. The dead man is wearing authentic 1760s garb and on the floor next to it is a white tricorn hat—the ostentatious signature accessory of Beau Nash, one of Bath's most famous historical men-about-town, a fashion icon and incurable rake who, some say, ended up in a pauper's grave. Or did the Beau actually end up in a townhouse attic? The Beau Nash Society will be all in a tizzy when the truth is revealed to them.

Chief Inspector Peter Diamond, who has been assigned to identify the remains, begins to fantasize about turning Nash scholarship on its ear. But one of his constables is stubbornly insisting the corpse can't be Nash's--the non-believer threatens to spoil Diamond's favorite theory, especially when he offers some pretty irrefutable evidence. Is Diamond on a historical goose chase? Should he actually be investigating a much more modern murder?

Signal Loss (Hal Challis) by Garry Disher (Soho Crime 12 December 2017 / $26.95) - Product Description: A pair of hit men working a job for a meth kingpin have a very bad day, and the resulting bushfire draws attention to a drug lab and two burned bodies in a Mercedes. Sergeant Ellen Destry--newly minted head of her department's sex crime unit--and Inspector Hal Challis return in this newest installment of Garry Disher's Peninsula-based crimes series. With meth-related crime on the rise, interdepartmental tensions mount, and Challis soon finds himself fighting to keep control of his case. Meanwhile, Destry is hunting for a serial rapist who is extremely adept at not leaving clues. A tense, human, and at times darkly funny entry into Disher's celebrated Ned Kelly Award-winning series.

St. Martin's

Bel, Book, and Scandal (Bel McGrath Mysteries) by Maggie McConnon (St. Martin's 05 December 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: Maggie McConnon rings in Christmas in Bel, Book, and Scandal, the third adventure for everybody's favorite Irish-American culinary artist turned amateur sleuth.

Bel McGrath tries her best to keep herself on the straight and narrow but she just has a taste for trouble. This time danger arrives in the form of a newspaper left behind by visitors to Shamrock Manor--and a photograph that jolts Bel out of the present and back into a dark chapter from her past. The person in the photo is Bel's best friend Amy Mitchell, long gone from Foster's Landing, at a commune in upstate New York shortly after her disappearance. The picture, and Bel's burning desire to find out what happened to Amy--and whether she may still be alive--is the catalyst for a story in which old secrets are revealed, little by little ... and certain characters are shown to not be as genuine as Bel once thought.

Return to Index

With a few exceptions, books sent get listed, and possibly even commented on.
With fewer exceptions, books not sent don't.
Send books to: Gayle Surrette / Editor
c/o Gumshoe 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

© 2002-Gumshoe

advertising index / info
Our advertisers make Gumshoe possible, and your consideration is appreciated.

Our Other Pubs:

Do You SFRevu? Thousands of Intelligent Beings Do Every Month

Gumshoe Review - a literary investigation.

© 2002-Gumshoe