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US Books Received- 02/2018  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

Prague Noir by (Akashic Books 06 February 2018 / $15.95) - Product Description: The noir quotient of this legendary Eastern European city will enthrall and terrify readers from across the globe.

Brand-new stories by: Martin Goffa, Stepán Kopriva, Milos Urban, Jirí W. Procházka, Chaim Cigan, Ondrej Neff, Petr Stancík, Katerina Tucková, Markéta Pilátová, Michal Sýkora, Michaela Klevisová, Petra Soukupová, Irena Hejdová, and Petr Sabach.

From the introduction by Pavel Mandys: How do you write noir in a city where, until 1990, the profession of private detective didn't even exist? Where the censors cultivated a positive image of the police in both media and literature? Where, in essence, organized crime was nowhere to be found, and the largest criminal group was the secret police? If, however, the concept of noir is extended and considered a label for literary works that contain elements of crime, danger, and menace, or where main characters find themselves in a critical situation, then you will find fourteen such stories in this collection...

I see Prague Noir as a chance for Czech authors to introduce themselves to international audiences ... Contemporary Czech literature is vivid, vibrant, and informed by contemporary world literature which--thanks to active translators--is usually available in Czech very fast. It is global and local, poetic and humorous, filled with stories from the past, present, and from imaginary worlds. And it is waiting for when, in addition to all the enthusiastic Czech readers, it will also gain a great international audience.

Berkley

Clairvoyant and Present Danger (Bay Island Psychic) by Lena Gregory (Berkley 06 February 2018 / $7.99) - Product Description: A haunting vision reveals a ghostly grave in the latest Bay Island Psychic Mystery from the author of Occult and Battery.

Whoever said that dead men tell no tales has never met Cass Donvan. Cass has always relied on her abilities to guide her, but after communications with a ghost land her in the middle of a murder investigation, she has to wonder if her gifts are really more a curse.

Cass knows she is meant to help track down the killer--much to the chagrin of local law enforcement--when the apparition leads her to a dead body on the beach near her psychic shop, Mystical Musings. But the police are not the only ones who wish Cass would stick to reading palms. Someone is trying to scare her off, and it will take all her powers of premonition to catch the killer before Cass herself becomes the next victim.

Pekoe Most Poison (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs (Berkley 06 February 2018 / $7.99) - 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)

The Fast and the Furriest (Second Chance Cat) by Sofie Ryan (Berkley 06 February 2018 / $7.99) - Product Description: Sarah Grayson and her trusty companion, Elvis, race to tail the right suspects in the fifth installment of the Second Chance Cat Mysteries.

Sarah Grayson owns Second Chance, a shop that sells lovingly refurbished items, in the charming town of North Harbor, Maine. But she couldn't run the store without the help of her right-hand man, Mac--or her dashing rescue cat, Elvis.

Mac's life before North Harbor has always been a little bit mysterious, but it becomes a lot more intriguing when a woman from his past shows up in town, and then turns up dead. Suspicion falls on Mac, but Sarah--and Elvis--know he can't be the killer, and they hope they can prove his innocence quick as a whisker.

Coffeetown Press

Deros (Father Jake Austin) by John A. Vanek (Coffeetown Press 01 February 2018 / $16.95) - Product Description: When Father Jake Austin is assigned to his hometown of Oberlin, Ohio, in July of 2002, he has been away for a long time. A physician and a war veteran before entering a Catholic seminary, he is now a member of the Camillian Order. He takes comfort in his vows of obedience, poverty, chastity, and service to the sick.

Jake arrives just in time to attend his high school reunion, where an encounter with his high school sweetheart forces him to question his commitment to the priesthood. Before the night is over, one of his classmates will be dead, a second gravely wounded, and a third hospitalized. The carnage at the reunion comes on the heels of what appears to be an unrelated murder at the quarry.

Overseeing the investigation is Jake's former football teammate, Chief of Police Tremont "Tree" Macon, who is unwilling to rule out anyone as a suspect, not even Jake. As he struggles to prove his innocence and to find his footing in a town that remembers him as a hellion, Jake searches for threads that will connect these brutal attacks. The war may be long past, but in some ways Jake is still waiting for his DEROS: Date of Expected Return from Overseas. Can he put aside his own demons long enough to find the living, breathing devil who stalks his classmates?

Soho Crime

My Name Is Nathan Lucius by Mark Winkler (Soho Crime 06 February 2018 / $25.95) - Product Description: How far would you go for your best friend? If she begged you to, would you kill her?

Nathan Lucius, 31, is an ad salesman at a Cape Town newspaper. Disaffected, hard-drinking and plagued by blackouts, Nathan lives alone and has only one true friend, a woman named Madge. But Madge is dying slowly of cancer, and when she asks Nathan to end her pain, she sets off a shocking string of events.

A modern-day answer to Crime and Punishment, My Name Is Nathan Lucius is a taut and unforgiving exploration of the intersection of violence, trauma, social responsibility, and memory. Stylish, intense, and unforgettable, this glittering noir gem will appeal to readers of Irvine Welsh and Chuck Palahniuk as well as fans of Thomas Harris and Dennis Lehane.

Thomas & Mercer

Twist of Faith by Ellen J. Green (Thomas & Mercer 01 February 2018 / $24.95) - Product Description: After the death of her adoptive mother, Ava Saunders comes upon a peculiar photograph, sealed and hidden away in a crawl space. The photo shows a shuttered, ramshackle house on top of a steep hill. On the back, a puzzling inscription: Destiny calls us.

Ava is certain that it's a clue to her elusive past. Twenty-three years ago, she'd been found wrapped in a yellow blanket in the narthex of the Holy Saviour Catholic Church—and rescued—or so she'd been told. Her mother claimed there was no more to the story, so the questions of her abandonment were left unanswered. For Ava, now is the time to find the roots of her mother's lies. It begins with the house itself—once the scene of a brutal double murder.

When Ava enlists the help of the two people closest to her, a police detective and her best friend, she fears that investigating her past could be a fatal mistake. Someone is following them there. And what's been buried in Ava's nightmares isn't just a crime. It's a holy conspiracy.

University of Arizona Press

Betrayal at the Buffalo Ranch (Sadie Walela) by Sara Sue Hoklotubbe (University of Arizona Press 20 February 2018 / $16.95) - Product Description: When Sadie Walela learns that her new neighbor in Cherokee Country, Angus Clyborn's Buffalo Ranch, offers rich customers a chance to kill buffalo for fun, she is horrified. No good can surely come from this. It doesn't, and murder soon follows.

Even though Deputy Sheriff Lance Smith, Sadie's love interest, suspects a link to the Buffalo Ranch, he can find little evidence to make an arrest. And when a rare white buffalo calf is born on the ranch and immediately disappears, Sadie's instincts tell her something is wrong--and she sets out to prove it. Her suspicions—and fears of more violence--escalate when a former schoolmate returns to Oklahoma to visit her ailing father and finds employment at the ranch. Will she be the next victim?

Drawn deeper and deeper into danger, Sadie uncovers an unparalleled web of greed and corruption. It will take all of her investigative skill to set things straight—assuming she and her wolfdog can stay alive long enough to succeed.

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