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US Books Received- 10/2017  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 Room with a Brew (Brewing Trouble) by Joyce Tremel (Berkley 03 October 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's Oktoberfest in Pittsburgh, and brewpub owner Maxine "Max" O'Hara is prepping for a busy month at the Allegheny Brew House. To create the perfect atmosphere for the boozy celebration, Max hires an oompah band. But when one of the members of the band turns up dead, it's up to Max to solve the murder before the festivities are ruined.

Adding to the brewing trouble, Candy, Max's friend, is acting suspiciously. Secrets from her past are fermenting under the surface, and Max must uncover the truth to prove her friend's innocence. To make matters worse, Jake's snooty ex-fiancée shows up in town for an art gallery opening, and she'll be nothing but a barrel of trouble for Max.

Crepe Factor (Scrapbooking) by Laura Childs (Berkley 03 October 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: The holidays are a busy time for scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand--but not so hectic that she doesn't have time to enjoy browsing the booths at the Winter Market with her best friend, Ava. The last thing the ladies expect to see is a lurching man stabbed by a serving fork, dying in front of them.

The victim is loathed restaurant critic Martin Lash, who posted his scathing reviews on the Glutton for Punishment website. And the prime suspect is New Orleans restaurateur Quigg Brevard—who was seen giving the critic a tongue-lashing minutes before someone stuck a fork in him. An old flame of Carmela's, Quigg asks for her help, which does not please her current beau, Detective Edgar Babcock, to say the least.

Before her relationship is the next victim, Carmela needs to find a murderer who had no reservations about punishing the culinary curmudgeon.

Familiar Motives (Witch's Cat) by Delia James (Berkley 03 October 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: After learning that she comes from a family of witches--and adopting a familiar named Alistair--artist Annabelle Britton has made beautiful Portsmouth, New Hampshire, her home. Together with her coven, this good witch is trying to put a stop to magic and murder most foul.

When Anna takes Alistair to see local veterinarian Ramona Forsythe, they meet the most famous cat in town: Ruby the Attitude Cat, spokes-feline for a pet food brand. But then Ramona turns up dead, and Ruby goes missing. It seems like the murderer used magical means, so it's up to Anna and Alistair to catch a killer and cat-napper as only a canny cat can.

Fixing to Die (Southern Ladies) by Miranda James (Berkley 03 October 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's autumn down south, and An'gel and Dickce Ducote are in Natchez, Mississippi, at the request of Mary Turner Catlin, the granddaughter of an old friend. Mary and her husband, Henry Howard, live in Cliffwood, one of the beautiful antebellum homes for which Natchez is famous.

Odd things have been happening in the house for years, and the French Room in particular has become the focal point for spooky sensations. The Ducotes suspect the ghostly goings-on are caused by the living, but when a relative of the Catlins is found dead in the room, An'gel and Dickce must sift through a haunted family history to catch a killer.

Ghost on the Case (Bailey Ruth, Ghost) by Carolyn Hart (Berkley 03 October 2017 / $26.00) - Product Description: Bailey Ruth finds herself comforting a distraught sister when she's sent to Adelaide, Oklahoma, on her latest mission. Susan Gilbert receives a $100,000 ransom demand for her younger sibling. When the caller wants Susan to pay a visit to her wealthy boss and take the cash from his safe, Bailey Ruth follows Susan to the home. But she finds herself in a quandary, knowing that robbery is hardly a Heavenly pursuit.

While Susan waits to hear back from the kidnappers, Bailey Ruth attempts to piece together how the criminals targeted Susan and how they know about her boss's money. At a luncheon the previous week, Susan's boss asked her to open the safe so all the attendees knew it was filled with cash. Could one of the rich man's closest confidants be behind the abduction?

Bailey Ruth is positive she can use her detective skills to figure out which luncheon guest arranged the kidnapping. But an unexpected twist in the case soon has Bailey Ruth seeking a murderer who has plans to send more victims to the great beyond.

Ghost Times Two (Bailey Ruth Ghost) by Carolyn Hart (Berkley 03 October 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: Bailey Ruth Raeburn's latest mission is to guide the spirit of a deceased young man named Jimmy to the next life. But Jimmy is determined to watch over his still-living girlfriend, Megan. As if being haunted by her late boyfriend wasn't enough, Megan is dealing with an arrogant, manipulative senior partner who threatens to fire Megan's vulnerable secretary if Megan accepts a partnership at another law firm.

Since Jimmy refuses to move on while Megan is being blackmailed, Bailey Ruth agrees to help him. But after the partner turns up dead and Megan is found at the crime scene, Bailey Ruth and Jimmy must uncover a killer before the love of Jimmy's life is ordered to spend a lifetime behind bars.

Hide and Seek (Helen Grace) by M.J. Arlidge (Berkley 10 October 2017 / $15.00) - Product Description: Caught in a wicked game of cat and mouse, Helen Grace finds herself trapped among the hunted in the darkest thriller yet from the international bestselling author of Little Boy Blue and Eeny Meeny.

As one of HM Prison Holloway's most high-profile new inmates, Helen Grace has a target on her back and nowhere to hide. She has made a long list of enemies over the course of her career--some are incarcerated within these very walls. When one of Helen's fellow prisoners is found mutilated and murdered in her own locked cell, it's clear that the killer is someone on the inside.

But time is running out for Helen as she races to expose the person who framed her, and the body count in the prison starts to climb. Helen will need to draw on all her investigative skills and instincts to catch the serial killer behind these murders and discover the truth--unless the killer finds her first.

The Templar Brotherhood (Lost Treasure of the Templars) by James Becker (Berkley 03 October 2017 / $9.99) - Product Description: Having barely escaping the crosshairs of a deadly cult, Robin Jessop and David Mallory crisscross Europe, seeking to unlock the truth behind a conspiracy unresolved for seven hundred years--the mystery of what has given the enigmatic Templars their unwavering power.

Infiltrating the group's vast archives, Jessop and Mallory make a startling find. An ancient Templar passport hints at a sacred mission: the transportation of a priceless treasure, an artifact of incomprehensible value. Delving through centuries of clues and deception, the two come face-to-face with a secret that could shake Christendom to its core--and cost their own lives along the way.

Camel Press

Lights Out Summer (Coleridge Taylor) by Rich Zahradnik (Camel Press 01 October 2017 / $15.95) - Product Description: In March 1977, ballistics link murders going back six months to the same Charter Arms Bulldog .44. A serial killer, Son of Sam, is on the loose. But Coleridge Taylor can't compete with the armies of reporters fighting New York's tabloid war--only rewrite what they get. Constantly on the lookout for victims who need their stories told, he uncovers other killings being ignored because of the media circus. He goes after one, the story of a young Black woman gunned down in her apartment building the same night Son of Sam struck elsewhere in Queens.

The story entangles Taylor with a wealthy Park Avenue family at war with itself. Just as he's closing in on the killer and his scoop, the July 13-14 blackout sends New York into a 24-hour orgy of looting and destruction. Taylor and his PI girlfriend Samantha Callahan head out into the darkness, where a steamy night of mob violence awaits them.

In the midst of the chaos, a suspect in Taylor's story goes missing. Desperate, he races to a confrontation that will either break the story--or Taylor.

Graydon House

Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda (Graydon House 01 October 2017 / $26.99) - Product Description: "I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I've promised her…and more…"

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he's the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That's why he's planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he's promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Minotaur Books

Death in St. Petersburg (Lady Emily) by Tasha Alexander (Minotaur Books 03 October 2017 / $25.99 / $12.99) - Book Description: After the final curtain of Swan Lake, an animated crowd exits the Mariinsky theatre brimming with excitement from the night's performance. But outside the scene is somber. A ballerina's body lies face down in the snow, blood splattered like rose petals over the costume of the Swan Queen. The crowd is silenced by a single cry--"Nemetseva is dead!"

Amongst the theatergoers is Lady Emily, accompanying her dashing husband Colin in Russia on assignment from the Crown. But it soon becomes clear that Colin isn't the only one with work to do. When the dead ballerina's aristocratic lover comes begging for justice, Emily must apply her own set of skills to discover the rising star's murderer. Her investigation takes her on a dance across the stage of Tsarist Russia, from the opulence of the Winter Palace, to the modest flats of ex-ballerinas and the locked attics of political radicals. A mysterious dancer in white follows closely behind, making waves through St. Petersburg with her surprise performances and trail of red scarves. Is it the sweet Katenka, Nemetseva's childhood friend and favorite rival? The ghost of the murdered étoile herself? Or, something even more sinister?

How the Finch Stole Christmas! by Donna ANdrews (Minotaur Books 24 October 2017 / $25.99 / $12.99) - Book Description: Meg's husband has decided to escalate his one-man show of Dickens' A Christmas Carol into a full-scale production with a large cast including their sons Jamie and Josh as Tiny Tim and young Scrooge and Meg helping as stage manager.

The show must go on, even if the famous--though slightly over-the-hill--actor who's come to town to play the starring role of Scrooge has brought a sleigh-load of baggage and enemies with him. And why is Caerphilly suddenly overrun with a surplus of beautiful caged finches?

Old Scores (Barker & Llewelyn) by Will Thomas (Minotaur Books 03 October 2017 / $25.99) - Product Description: In 1890, the first Japanese diplomatic delegation arrives in London to open an embassy. Cyrus Barker, private enquiry agent and occasional agent for the Foreign Service Office, is enlisted to display his personal Japanese garden to the visiting dignitaries.

Later that night, Ambassador Toda is shot and killed in his office and Cyrus Barker is discovered across the street, watching the very same office, in possession of a revolver with one spent cartridge.

Arrested by the Special Branch for the crime, Barker is vigorously interrogated and finally released due to the intervention of his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, and his solicitor. With the London constabulary still convinced of his guilt, Barker is hired by the new Japanese ambassador to find the real murderer.

In a case that takes leads Barker and Llewelyn deep into parts of London's underworld, on paths that lead deep into Barker's own mysterious personal history, Old Scores is the finest yet in Will Thomas's series.

Seventh Street Books

Desert Remains (Gus Parker & Alex Mills) by Steven Cooper (Seventh Street Books 10 October 2017 / $17.00 / $9.99) - Product Description: Someone is filling the desert caves around Phoenix with bodies--a madman who, in a taunting ritual, is leaving behind a record of his crimes etched into the stone. With no leads and no suspects, Detective Alex Mills sees a case spinning out of control. City leaders want the case solved yesterday, and another detective wants to elbow Mills out of the way. As the body count rises, Mills turns to Gus Parker, an "intuitive medium" whose murky visions sometimes point to real clues. It's an unorthodox approach, but Mills is desperate.

When Parker is brought to the crime scenes, he sees visions of a house on fire and a screaming child. But what does it mean? He struggles to interpret his psychic messages, knowing that the killer is one step ahead and that in this vast desert, the next murder could happen anywhere. Nor does it help that he's always been unlucky in love and now finds himself the prey of a lovelorn stalker. She is throwing him off his game.

Someone will win this contest, and both Parker and Mills fear it will be the cunning, ruthless killer, who is able to use the trackless landscape as a cover for his brutal crimes.

The Deep Dark Descending (Max Rupert) by Allen Eskens (Seventh Street Books 03 October 2017 / $15.95 / $9.99) - Product Description: Homicide Detective Max Rupert never fully accepted his wife's death, even when he believed that a reckless hit and run driver was the cause. But when he learns that in fact she was murdered, he devotes himself to hunting down her killers. Most of his life he had thought of himself as a decent man. But now he's so consumed with thoughts of retribution that he questions whether he will take that last step and enact the vengeance he longs for.

On a frozen lake near the US-Canadian border, he wrestles with a decision that could change his life forever, as his hatred threatens to turn him into the kind of person he has spent a career bringing to justice.

St. Martin's Paperbacks

Ring In the Year with Murder (Otter Lake) by Auralee Wallace (St. Martin's Paperbacks 31 October 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's been a tough year for Erica Bloom. And with hours left on the clock and a killer crashing the party, it's not over yet.

This New Year's Eve, Erica's resolution is to have a great night--even if it kills her. She is, after all, at the party to end all parties: a Great Gatsby--themed gala sure to be the talk of Otter Lake, New Hampshire. With her perfectly finger-waved hair, borrowed pearls, and scarlet flapper dress, Erica is determined to be unflappable, despite the presence of her ex, Sheriff Grady Forrester, and his hot date, a bubbly blonde who has a hard time holding her drink. Literally.

In a plot twist as bizarre as a game of Clue, Grady's girlfriend almost drops dead after her drink is poisoned. Who put the killer ingredient in her appletini? Suddenly the tables have turned and the sheriff has become the prime suspect. Now Erica has until midnight to clear the man she still loves--and in so doing just maybe win him back. That's if the killer doesn't pop the cork again… and turn a New Year's smooch into a kiss of death.

St. Martin'sv

Death, Taxes, and a Shotgun Wedding (Tara Holloway) by Diane Kelly (St. Martin'sv 31 October 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: For IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway, this case is personal.

Wedding bells are ringing as Tara and her soon-to-be-husband Nick prepare for their big day. But along with all the RSVP cards are a series of death threats from an unknown source. The culprit must be someone from an earlier investigationâ--a white-collar criminal with a red-hot grudge--but Tara has run across too many lawbreakers to narrow down the search. And time, like her biological clock, is ticking.Now, while dodging attempts on her life, Tara also finds herself embroiled in a rental scam in which a heartless crook is ripping people off left and right. Will she be able to track down the con artist and make it down the aisle in one piece? Or will "til death do us part" come before Tara can even say "I do"?

Vintage Books

After the Fire by Henning ManKell (Vintage Books 31 October 2017 / ) - Book Description: Fredrik Welin is a former surgeon who retired in disgrace decades earlier to a tiny island on which he is the only resident. He has a daughter he rarely sees and his mailman Jansson is the closest thing he has to a friend, and to an adversary. He is perfectly content to live out his days in quiet solitude.

One autumn evening, he is startled awake by a blinding light--only to discover that his house is on fire. With the help of Jansson, he escapes the flames just in time wearing two left boots. Dawn reveals that everything he owns is now a smoldering pile of ash and his house is destroyed--forcing him to move into an abandoned trailer on his island. A local journalist, Lisa Modin, who wants to write a story about the fire, comes into his life. In doing so, she awakens in him something that he thought was long dead. Soon after, his daughter comes to the island with surprising news of her own. Meanwhile, the police suspect Fredrik of arson because he had a sizable insurance claim on his house. When Fredrik is away from the archipelago, another house goes up in flames and the community realizes they have an arsonist in their midst. After the Fire is an intimate portrait of an elderly recluse who is forced to open himself up to a world he'd left behind.

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Send books to: Gayle Surrette / Editor
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