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US Books Received- 08/2017  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 Tangled Yarn (Yarn Retreat) by Betty Hechtman (Berkley 01 August 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: Casey Feldstein has her hands full with preparations at the Vista Del Mar hotel on the scenic Monterey Peninsula as another yarn retreat begins. The retreaters will be thrown for a loop this time, learning the trendy art of arm knitting and finger crocheting.

But not everyone is enthusiastic about trying something new, and Casey is forced to come up with an alternative craft for her less adventurous pupils. Things go from worst to worsted when a travel writer from a neighboring retreat group is found dead in his room among a sea of feathers. When one of the owners of Vista Del Mar pleads for help, Casey gets hooked into the case and must unravel a delicate skein of secrets to catch a killer. (Inclues knitting patterns and recipe.)

Chime and Punishment (Clock Shop) by Julianne Holmes (Berkley 01 August 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: Expert clockmaker Ruth Clagan has another murder on her hands in the third Clock Shop Mystery from the author of Clock and Dagger.

Years ago, the serenity of picturesque Orchard, Massachusetts, was shattered by a fire that destroyed the town's beloved clock tower. Ruth inherited the dream of repairing it from her late grandfather. Now that she's returned home to run his clock shop, the Cog & Sprocket, she's determined to make it happen, despite wrenches that are being thrown into the works by her least favorite person, town manager Kim Gray.

A crowd of residents and visitors are excited to see the progress of the tower at a fund-raiser for the campaign, until Kim is found crushed under the tower's bell, putting an end to all the fun. The list of suspects is so long it could be read around the clock, and it includes some of Ruth's nearest and dearest.

Time's a-wastin' as Ruth tries to solve another murder in her beloved Orchard while keeping the gears clicking on her dream project.

Crowned and Dangerous (Royal Spyness) by Rhys Bowen (Berkley 01 August 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: Lady Georgiana Rannoch knows nothing is simple when you're thirty-fifth in line for the British crown, but her upcoming marriage proves to be the ultimate complication in the tenth mystery in the Royal Spyness series.

As Lady Georgiana's beloved Darcy drives her out of London, she soon discovers that he isn't planning to introduce her to the pleasures of sinning in secret--as she had hoped--but to make her his wife!

Of course, she'll need special permission from the king to marry a Roman Catholic. Though he will inherit a title, Darcy is as broke as Georgie. Even his family's Irish castle has been sold to a rich American who now employs his father.

Nothing will deter them from their mission--except perhaps the news that Georgie's future father-in-law has just been arrested for murdering the rich American. With the elopement postponed, they head for Ireland, where the suspect insists he's innocent, and it's up to them to prove it--for better or worse.

Dressed to Confess (Costume Shop) by Diane Vallere (Berkley 01 August 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's no secret around Proper City, Nevada, that the Sagebrush Festival, the town's annual family-friendly event, is the place to be. This year's theme of board games has everything from Conspiracy to Clue. Margo Tamblyn's costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, has been tasked with providing costumes for the festival headliner, the Domino Divas. But on the night of the performance, one fallen Domino threatens to bring down the whole show when head dancer Ronnie Cass is found in her dressing room, unmasked, unprepared, and very, very dead.

As the police investigate, Margo learns that Don Digby, her father's best friend, is the prime suspect, tied to the victim by an unsolved robbery connected to Proper City's past. As conspiracies abound and theories are debunked, Margo seeks to unmask the real killer before her dad's buddy winds up in a costume made with prison stripes. (Inclues recipes and costume ideas.)

On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service (Royal Spyness) by Rhys Bowen (Berkley 01 August 2017 / $26.00 / $12.99) - Book Description: When Darcy runs off on another secret assignment, I am left to figure out how to travel to Italy sans maid and chaperone to help my dear friend Belinda, as she awaits the birth of her baby alone. An opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way--my cousin the queen is in need of a spy to attend a house party in the Italian lake country. The Prince of Wales and the dreadful Mrs. Simpson have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret wedding.

What luck! A chance to see Belinda and please the queen as I seek her permission to relinquish my claim to the throne so I can marry Darcy. Only that's as far as my good fortune takes me. I soon discover that Mummy is attending the villa party and she has her own secret task for me. Then, Darcy shows up and tells me that the fate of a world on the brink of war could very well depend on what I overhear at dinner! I shouldn't be all that surprised when one of my fellow guests is murdered and my Italian holiday becomes a nightmare.

Shadow Girl (Afton Tangler) by Gerry Schmitt (Berkley 01 August 2017 / $26.00 / $12.99) - Product Description: Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can't save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.

Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case. As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again--and succeeds--in a brazen hospital room attack.

The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person--and she's not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage.

Ecco

The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh (Ecco 01 August 2017 / ) - Product Description: Imagine a place populated by criminals--people plucked from their lives, with their memories altered, who've been granted new identities and a second chance. Welcome to The Blinds, a dusty town in rural Texas populated by misfits who don't know if they've perpetrated a crime or just witnessed one. What's clear to them is that if they leave, they will end up dead.

For eight years, Sheriff Calvin Cooper has kept an uneasy peace--but after a suicide and a murder in quick succession, the town's residents revolt. Cooper has his own secrets to protect, so when his new deputy starts digging, he needs to keep one step ahead of her--and the mysterious outsiders who threaten to tear the whole place down. The more he learns, the more the hard truth is revealed: The Blinds is no sleepy hideaway. It's simmering with violence and deception, aching heartbreak and dark betrayals.

Forge Books

City of Saviors (Det. Elouise Norton) by Rachel Howzell Hall (Forge Books 08 August 2017 / $26.99 / $12.99) - Book Description: After a long Labor Day weekend, seventy-three-year-old Eugene Washington is found dead in his Leimert Park home. At first blush, his death seems unremarkable--heatwave combined with food poisoning from a holiday barbecue. But something in the way Washington died doesn't make sense. LAPD Homicide Detective Elouise "Lou" Norton is called to investigate the death and learns that the only family Washington had was the 6,000-member congregation of Blessed Mission Ministries, led by Bishop Solomon Tate.

But something wicked is lurking among the congregants of this church.

Lou's partner, Detective Colin Taggert, thinks her focus on the congregation comes from her distrust of organized religion. But Lou is convinced that the murderer is sitting in one of those red velvet pews―and that Bishop Tate may be protecting the wolf in the flock. Lou must force the truth into the light and confront her own demons in order to save another soul before it's too late.

Dark Light: Dawn by Jon Land (Created by Fabrizio Boccardi) (Forge Books 01 August 2017 / $25.99 / $12.99) - Book Description: Since the dawn of time good and evil have challenged the free will of man. Now the time has come for one man to choose for all human kind.

With an uncanny ability to survive any combat situation, Max Younger has built a heroic life for himself as a Navy SEAL. That is, until a rogue rescue operation plunges him back into a past he thought he’d escaped forever.

Waiting for him back home in New York are terrible, long-hidden truths rooted in the tragic death of his father. But the origin of those truths lie even further back than that, and Max finds himself ensnared in a sinister plot involving nothing less than the biblical apocalypse.

The explosive conflagration of events reunites him with the only woman he ever loved: Victoria Tanoury a brilliant infectious disease specialist working for the World Health Organization, who’s on the front lines in a battle to stop the spread of a deadly pestilence threatening the planet. Max's reunion with Vicky comes amid a combat mission, in which their dual quests merge in a desperate fight for survival against forces of unspeakable evil.

Across the globe, inexplicably diabolic events are rising, sparked by a fearsome plan to visit the End of Days upon civilization in horrific form, as the lines between science and superstition become increasingly blurred. Max finds himself mired in a titanic struggle within his own soul, between love and hate, unsure whether his ultimate fate is to help fight the evil ... or embrace it in the shadow of the Dawn of a Dark Light.

Four Springs Press

The Trial of Prisoner 043 by Terry Jastrow (Four Springs Press 01 August 2017 / $12.95) - Product Description: What Would Happen If George W. Bush Were Prosecuted for War Crimes?

On a glorious autumn morning in St. Andrews, Scotland, former US president George W. Bush approached the first tee of the world-famous Old Course to play a round of golf he would not finish.

Unceremoniously abducted off the course by a team of paramilitary commandos, he was transported to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to stand trial for war crimes in connection with the Iraq War.

The ICC had spent one year accumulating sufficient evidence to indict George W. Bush as the single person most responsible for the war. Would he be found innocent or guilty, or would something happen to disrupt the pursuit of justice?

Gallery Books

Without Fear or Favor (Butch Karp-Marlene Ciampi) by Robert K. Tanenbaum (Gallery Books 15 August 2017 / $27.00 / $12.99) - Product Description: In the twenty-ninth novel in the Karp-Ciampi series, Butch Karp and his wife Marlene Ciampi must stop a radical organization of armed militants bent on the cold-blooded murder of uniformed on-duty police officers.

When a cop shoots down the son of a respected inner-city Baptist preacher, the community rises up in anger and demands to have the officer prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But there's something more than a call for justice at work here: a plot to bring down the city's police force through a conspiracy so vast and malicious only Butch Karp and his band of truth-seekers can untangle it.

Minotaur Books

Cat About Town by Cate Conte (Minotaur Books 01 August 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: The first novel in a frisky new mystery series set in a small New England town, where an unlikely citizen is called in to solve the purrfect crime.

Maddie James has arrived in Daybreak Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts, eager to settle down and start her own business―and maybe even fall in love. When a stray orange tabby pounces into her life, she's inspired to open a cat café. But little does Maddie know that she's in for something a lot more catastrophic when her new furry companion finds the dead body of the town bully. Now all eyes are on Maddie: Who is this crazy cat-whisperer lady who's come to town? If pet-hair-maintenance and crime-fighting weren't keeping her busy enough, Maddie now has not one but two eligible bachelors who think she's the cat's pajamas ... and will do anything to win her heart. But how can she even think about happily-ever-after while a killer remains on the loose―and on her path?

Gone Gull (Meg Langslow) by Donna Andrews (Minotaur Books 01 August 2017 / $25.99) - Product Description:

Gone Gull brings readers yet another knee-slapping adventure filled with New York Times bestselling author Donna Andrews' cast of wacky characters.

Meg Langslow is spending the summer at the Biscuit Mountain Craft Center, helping her grandmother Cordelia run the studios. But someone is committing acts of vandalism, threatening to ruin the newly-opened center's reputation. Is it the work of a rival center? Have the developers who want to build a resort atop Biscuit Mountain found a new tactic to pressure Cordelia into selling? Or is the real target Meg's grandfather, who points out that any number of environmentally irresponsible people and organizations could have it in for him?

While Meg is trying to track down the vandal, her grandfather is more interested in locating a rare gull. Their missions collide when a body is found in one of the classrooms. Can Meg identify the vandal and the murderer in time to save the center's name—while helping her grandfather track down and rescue his beloved gulls?

(see review)

Kill the Heroes (Charlie Henry) by David Thurlo (Minotaur Books 29 August 2017 / $26.99) - Product Description: Charlie Henry, co-owner of a pawnshop and Iraq war veteran, has, for the most part, settled into his somewhat quieter life in Albuquerque. He is invited to attend the dedication of a memorial in a park, where he, other local heroes, and first responders are to be honored for their military accomplishments and dedication to the community. But trouble always seems to follow Charlie. When gunshots ring out, barely missing Charlie and hitting the man next to him, it's clear that a dangerous madman is on the loose. More shots are fired, and two more veterans are injured.

Charlie thinks he might have been the target and looks around for the shooter. The crowd is in a panic, and he's unable to spot the gunman. Charlie tries to help the man who took the first hits, Nathan Whitaker, a decorated former Army helicopter pilot who has been badly wounded. No one is dead, at least not yet. But Charlie vows to find the evil person who would attack American heroes—he refuses to go down without a fight and knows that the perpetrator will soon learn that he has messed with the wrong man.

Shattered (Max Revere) by Allison Brennan (Minotaur Books 22 August 2017 / ) - Product Description: Over a span of twenty years, four boys have been kidnapped from their bedrooms, suffocated, and buried nearby in a shallow grave. Serial killer or coincidence?

That's the question investigative reporter Maxine Revere sets out to answer when an old friend begs her to help exonerate his wife, who has been charged with their son's recent murder. But Max can do little to help because the police and D.A. won't talk to her--they think they have the right woman. Instead, Max turns her attention to three similar cold cases. If she can solve them, she might be able to help her friend.

Justin Stanton was killed twenty years ago, and his father wants closure--so he is willing to help Max with her investigation on one condition: that she work with his former sister-in-law -- Justin's aunt, FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid. Trouble is, Max works alone, and she's livid that her only access to the case files, lead detective and witnesses depends on her partnering with a federal agent on vacation. She wants the career-making story almost as much as the truth—but if she gets this wrong, she could lose everything.

Haunted by Justin's death for years, Lucy yearns to give her family--and herself--the closure they need. More important, she wants to catch a killer. Lucy finds Max's theory on all three cases compelling--with Max's research added to Lucy's training and experience, Lucy believes they can find the killer so justice can finally be served. But the very private Lucy doesn't trust the reporter any more than Max trusts her.

Max and Lucy must find a way to work together to untangle lies, misinformation, and evidence to develop a profile of the killer. But the biggest question is: why were these boys targeted? As they team up to find out what really happened the night Justin was killed, they make a shocking discovery: Justin's killer is still out there ... stalking another victim ... and they already may be too late.

MIRA

Arrowood: A Novel by Mick Finlay (MIRA 01 August 2017 / $15.99) - Product Description: 1895: London is scared. A killer haunts the city's streets; the poor are hungry; crime bosses are taking control; the police force is stretched to the breaking point.

The rich turn to Sherlock Holmes, but the celebrated private detective rarely visits the densely populated streets of South London, where the crimes are sleazier and the people are poorer.

In the dark corner of Southwark, victims turn to a man who despises Holmes, his wealthy clientele and his showy forensic approach to crime: Arrowood--self-taught psychologist, occasional drunkard and private investigator.

When a man mysteriously disappears and Arrowood's best lead is viciously stabbed before his eyes, he and his sidekick Barnett face their toughest quest yet: to capture the head of the most notorious gang in London.

Prospect Park Books

The Silent Second (Chuck Restic) by Adam Walker Phillips (Prospect Park Books 15 August 2017 / $15.95) - Product Description: Chuck Restic has achieved the American dream, but twenty years in Human Resources have pushed him into existential crisis mode. Only when he sets out to find a missing employee from his L.A. firm does he feel alive again. Applying his HR skills and wit to his moonlight detective work, Chuck unravels a web of crooked real estate deals and three murders, while staving off a fourth: his own.

Seventh Street Books

The Sorbonne Affair (Hugo Marston) by Mark Pryor (Seventh Street Books 22 August 2017 / $15.95) - Product Description: Someone is spying on American author Helen Hancock. While in Paris to conduct research and teach a small class of writers, she discovers a spy camera hidden in her room at the Sorbonne Hotel. She notifies the US Embassy, and former FBI profiler Hugo Marston is dispatched to investigate.

Almost immediately, the stakes are raised from surveillance to murder when the hotel employee who appears to be responsible for bugging Hancock's suite is found dead. The next day, a salacious video clip explodes across the Internet, showing the author in the embrace of one of her writing students--both are naked, and nothing is left to the imagination.

As more bodies pile up, the list of suspects narrows; but everyone at the Sorbonne Hotel has something to hide, and no one is being fully honest with Hugo. He teams up with Lieutenant Camille Lerens to solve the case, but a close call on the streets of Paris proves that he could be the killer's next target.

St. Martin's Press

In the Crosshairs (Kyle Swanson Sniper) by Sgt. Jack Coughlin with Donald A. Davis (St. Martin's Press 01 August 2017 / $26.99 / $12.99) - Product Description: The Central Intelligence Agency is under attack, and so is its top field operative, Kyle Swanson. The highly decorated former Marine Corps gunnery sergeant is attending the funeral of a friend when a terrorist blows up the grave. A week later, he narrowly survives a grenade attack in Berlin. In Washington, Congress is being told that Swanson has been turned, his private employer is corrupt, and the Agency itself cannot be trusted. Swanson is assigned to find the root of the problem and is partnered up with Luke Gibson, a skilled operative rated as being almost as good as Swanson.

They are looking for assassin Nicky Marks, who also was a CIA shooter but now works for a shadowy power broker known as The Prince. But before Kyle and Luke can eliminate the threat, they must identify and find the man who wants them dead. That takes them from the pink poppy fields of Afghanistan to the jungles of Southeast Asia and the streets of America as they learn that the Prince is the ruthless kingpin of a global drug empire that uses CIA planes to transport opium and heroin. Swanson also lines up a secret partner, the beautiful widow of his friend whose grave was desecrated in Mexico, the sharpshooting former commando Beth Ledford, who has her own agenda of pure retribution. Kyle Swanson, at the worst possible moment in a combat showdown, must decide: Do you trust your partner, and if so, which one?

Thomas & Mercer

Little Boy Lost by J.D. Trafford (Thomas & Mercer 01 August 2017 / $15.95 / $3.99) - Product Description: Attorney Justin Glass's practice, housed in a shabby office on the north side of Saint Louis, isn't doing so well that he can afford to work for free. But when eight-year-old Tanisha Walker offers him a jar full of change to find her missing brother, he doesn't have the heart to turn her away.

Justin had hoped to find the boy alive and well. But all that was found of Devon Walker was his brutally murdered body--and the bodies of twelve other African American teenagers, all discarded like trash in a mass grave. Each had been reported missing. And none had been investigated.

As simmering racial tensions explode into violence, Justin finds himself caught in the tide. And as he gives voice to the discontent plaguing the city's forgotten and ignored, he vows to search for the killer who preys upon them.

William Morrow

The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes (Stewart Hoag) by David Handler (William Morrow 15 August 2017 / $14.99) - Product Description: David Handler returns with the first book in the Hoagy & Lulu series in two decades, a madcap mystery about an eccentric family of influential artists, and how Hollywood's obsession with the spotlight can sometimes turn deadly--full of delicious LA folklore and 90s nostalgia.

The year is 1992. Clinton is on the road to the white house, Kurt Cobain fever has taken over America's youth, and cell phones are the size of your head. Hoagy is pulled back into the orbit of the brilliant, erratic, maddening poet Reggie Aintree, whom he was deeply in love with before he met his ex, Merilee Nash. Reggie and her sister Monette believe they've been contacted by their long-lost father from whom they've been estranged for decades. Richard Aintree wrote one captivating novel that is read in every high school English class. But he fell off the face of the earth after his wife (the girls' mother), a distinguished American poet in her own right, committed suicide on a bad acid trip in the '70s.

To complicate matters further, Monette found her first taste of fame at twenty-years-old when she published Father Didn't Know Best, a memoir falsely accusing her father of sexual abuse. Though she tried to recant her accusations in subsequent books, the damage was done. She and her sister Reggie have not spoken since. Now, Monette is a media mogul whose empire is crumbling, and Reggie runs the Root-Chakra Institute in Upstate New York. Recently, both sisters have received mysterious typewritten letters from their father.

Into this crazy mix comes Hoagy, who is staying in the pool house at Monette's Brentwood mansion after he's been hired as a ghostwriter to document the tell-all book that could result from this mess. But when murder strikes, it's more important than ever for him to pull fact from fiction as he races to catch a clever, sinister killer.

The Quiet Child by John Burley (William Morrow 08 Aug 2017 / $15.99 / $9.99) - Book Description: It's the summer of 1954 and the residents of Cottonwood, California are dying. At the center of it all is six-year-old Danny McCray, a strange and silent child the townspeople regard with fear and superstition, and who appears to bring ruin to those around him. Even his own mother is plagued by an illness that is slowly consuming her.

Sheriff Jim Kent has watched the people of his town suffer, increasingly aware of the whispers and rumors surrounding the boy--and he worries someone might take drastic action to protect their loved ones. Then a stranger arrives and Danny and his ten-year-old brother Sean go missing. In the search that follows, everyone is a suspect, and the consequences of finding the two brothers may be worse than not finding them at all.

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