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US Books Received- 03/2018  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

A Killing for Christ by Pete Hamill (Akashic Books 06 March 2018 / $15.95) - Product Description: The 50th anniversary of the publication of Hamill's first novel with a new introduction by Hamill.

A secret agent out of John le Carré ... a spoiled priest-hero out of Graham Greene...a high-voltage novel of suspense that is Pete Hamill's own.

The man in priest's garb gets out of the elevator at the top floor, leaving the gate ajar. He removes the rifle from under his habit and opens the breech. It's loaded. He closes it and steps to the edge of the roof. St. Peter's Square is spread out before him like a great, colorful lake. There are more people than he has ever seen before.

Now the target arrives. The man on top of the building sights down the rifle at the small figure below. His finger is ready on the trigger, ready to gun down His Holiness, the Vicar of Christ.

Berkley

A Brush with Shadows (Lady Darby) by Anna Lee Huber (Berkley 06 March 2018 / $16.00) - Product Description: Sebastian Gage returns home to battle the ghosts of his past and prevent them from destroying his future with Kiera in the latest exciting installment in this national bestselling series.

July 1831. It's been fifteen years since Sebastian Gage has set foot in Langstone Manor. Though he has shared little with his wife, Lady Kiera Darby, about his past, she knows that he planned never to return to the place of so many unhappy childhood memories. But when an urgent letter from his grandfather reaches them in Dublin, Ireland, and begs Gage to visit, Kiera convinces him to go.

All is not well at Langstone Manor. Gage's grandfather, the Viscount Tavistock, is gravely ill, and Gage's cousin Alfred has suddenly vanished. He wandered out into the moors and never returned. The Viscount is convinced someone or something other than the natural hazards of the moors is to blame for Alfred's disappearance. And when Alfred's brother Rory goes missing, Kiera and Gage must concede he may be right. Now, they must face the ghosts of Gage's past, discover the truth behind the local superstitions, and see beyond the tricks being played by their very own eyes to expose what has happened to Gage's family before the moors claim yet another victim.

Dead Cold Brew (Coffeehouse Mystery) by Cleo Coyle (Berkley 06 March 2018 / $7.99) - Product Description: Coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi sheds tears of joy when her NYPD detective boyfriend surprises her with an engagement ring. But her bridal bliss is put on hold when a chilling mystery brings a wave of deadly danger to those she holds dear.

After everything Clare and Mike have been through, they deserve a little bit of happily ever after. So when Mike decides to put a ring on Clare's finger, Clare's eccentric octogenarian employer is there to help. She donates the perfect coffee-colored diamonds to include in the setting and the name of a world-famous jeweler who happens to be an old family friend. But while the engagement is steeped in perfection, the celebration is not long lived.

First, a grim-faced attorney interrupts their party with a mysterious letter bequeathing a strange, hidden treasure to Clare's daughter. Next, the renowned jeweler who designed Clare's ring is found poisoned in his shop. Both events appear to be connected to a cold case murder involving a sunken ship, an Italian curse, a suspiciously charming jewel thief, and a shocking family secret. With deadly trouble brewing, Clare must track down clues in some of New York's most secret places before an old vendetta starts producing fresh corpses. (Also recipes, including how to make cold-brew coffee at home.)

(see review)

Dipped to Death (Olive Grove) by Kelly Lane (Berkley 06 March 2018 / $7.99) - Product Description: On her family's South Georgia olive plantation, Eva Knox is on the hook for murder in the third delightful Olive Grove Mystery from the author of One Foot in the Grove and Cold Pressed Murder.

On a sizzling-hot September day, Eva Knox's ex-boyfriend, Dudley Dexter Codman the Third, along with a bunch of his corporate cronies from Boston, arrive at Eva's family's guest inn and olive farm, Knox Plantation. Maps and binoculars in hand, the New Englanders claim they're on a bird-watching holiday. Only, Eva knows that her ex doesn't know the first thing about birds. Nor does he care.

Eva can't fathom why he'd show up after all these years in her off-the-beaten-path hometown--nearly 1,200 miles from Boston. When Dudley's body is found drowned in the pond, Eva starts fishing for answers. But she doesn't have much time after authorities determine that her ex was poisoned by one of Eva's family's olive oils. She'll have to find the real killer before her family is caught for murder.

Marinating in Murder (Dinner Club) by Linda Wiken (Berkley 06 March 2018 / $7.99) - Product Description: The Culinary Capers Dinner Club is planning a fall picnic for their next meeting. What could be better than sharing delicious food with friends under a beautiful autumn sky? But when club member Alison Malkovich opens the back of her SUV to load in the picnic supplies, she finds a dead body. To make things worse, it's the body of her ex-husband, and now she's the prime suspect. Because Alison is a police officer, she is suspended and warned not to do any investigating of her own. That's not about to stop J.J. and the Culinary Capers gang though. They know that Alison is innocent, and after all, they do have some experience solving crimes. (Includes Recipes.)

Plum Tea Crazy (Tea Shop) by Laura Childs (Berkley 06 March 2018 / ) - Product Description: While viewing the harbor's Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow's walk of Timothy Neville's Charleston mansion, local banker Carson Lanier seemingly tumbles over a narrow railing, then plunges three stories to his death. But a tragic accident becomes something much more sinister when it's discovered that the victim was first shot with a bolt from a crossbow.

At the request of the mansion owner, Theodosia Browning investigates the tragedy and is soon neck deep in suspects. An almost ex-wife, a coworker, a real estate partner--all had motives for killing the luckless banker, but one resorted to murder to settle accounts.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (Berkley 20 March 2018 / $26.00) - Product Description: Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears.

Vermont, 2014. As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can't shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced.

The Last Chance Olive Ranch (China Bayles) by Susan Wittig Albert (Berkley 06 March 2018 / $7.99) - Product Description: Max Mantel, the killer McQuaid put away years ago, has busted out of the Huntsville prison and appears to be headed for Pecan Springs. McQuaid knows there's only one way to stop the vengeful convict--set a trap with himself as bait.

China wants to stay by her husband's side and keep him from harm. But McQuaid insists that she get out of town and go to the Last Chance Olive Ranch, where she's agreed to teach a workshop on herbs.

When China and her best friend arrive at the ranch, she learns the owner, Maddie Haskell, has her own troubles. She inherited the ranch and olive oil business from the late matriarch, Eliza Butler, but Eliza's nephew is contesting the will.

While China throws herself into helping Maddie, McQuaid's plan backfires when Mantel executes a countermove he never saw coming. Now McQuaid's life is not the only one at stake--and this time may really be his last chance. (see review)

Where the Dead Lie (Sebastian St. Cyr) by C.S. Harris (Berkley 06 March 2018 / $16.00) - Product Description: London, 1813. One of the city's many homeless children, Benji Thatcher was abducted and murdered--and his younger sister is still missing. Few in authority care about a street urchin's fate, but Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, refuses to let this killer go unpunished.

Uncovering a disturbing pattern of missing children, Sebastian is drawn into a shadowy, sadistic world. As he follows a grim trail that leads from the writings of the debauched Marquis de Sade to the city's most notorious brothels, he comes to a horrifying realization: Someone from society's upper echelon is preying upon the city's most vulnerable. And though dark, powerful forces are moving against him, Sebastian will risk his reputation and his life to keep more innocents from harm.

Coffeetown Press

Illegal Holdings (Valentin Vemeulen) by Michael Niemann (Coffeetown Press 01 March 2018 / $14.95) - Product Description: UN fraud investigator Valentin Vermeulen is on assignment in Maputo, Mozambique. His ho-hum task is to see if Global Alternatives is spending UN money the way they promised. The nonprofit was set up by hedge fund mogul Vincent Portallis to revolutionize development aid. The only upside for Vermeulen is the prospect of seeing his lover Tessa Bishonga, who is reporting on foreign land acquisitions in Africa.

When Vermeulen notices that a five-million-dollar transfer has gone missing, he is given the run-around. First he is told the files have been mislaid, then stolen, then he is assured that the money was never transferred to begin with. But the money was transferred, so where is it now? Vermeulen's dogged pursuit of the missing transfer makes him the target of some ruthless operators. And once he meets up with Tessa, she is inevitably sucked in to the story as well, which turns out to be far more nefarious than either of them imagined. Now they are both in deadly danger.

Book three in the Valentin Vermeulen Thriller series.

Forge Books

Crimson Lake by Candice Fox (Forge Books 06 March 2018 / $25.99) - Product Description: How do you move on when the world won't let you?
12:46: Claire Bingleystands alone at a bus stop
12:47: Ted Conkaffey parks his car beside her
12:52: The girl is missing....

Six minutes in the wrong place at the wrong time--that's all it took to ruin Sydney detective Ted Conkaffey's life. Accused but not convicted of a brutal abduction,Ted is now a free man--and public enemy number one. Maintaining his innocence, he flees north to keep a low profile amidst the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake.

There, Ted's lawyer introduces him to eccentric private investigator Amanda Pharrell, herself a convicted murderer. Not entirely convinced Amanda is a cold-blooded killer, Ted agrees to help with her investigation, a case full of deception and obsession, while secretly digging into her troubled past. The residents of Crimson Lake are watching the pair's every move ... and the town offers no place to hide.

Prospect Park Books

Hiroshima Boy by Naomi Hirahara (Prospect Park Books 13 March 2018 / $16.00) - Product Description: LA gardener Mas Arai returns to Hiroshima to bring his best friend's ashes to a relative on the tiny offshore island of Ino, only to become embroiled in the mysterious death of a teenage boy who was about the same age Mas was when he survived the atomic bomb in 1945. The boy's death affects the elderly, often-curmudgeonly, always-reluctant sleuth, who cannot return home to Los Angeles until he finds a way to see justice served.

Naomi Hirahara is the author of the Mas Arai mystery series, including Summer of the Big Bachi, Blood Hina, Strawberry Yellow, and Sayonara Slam. She is also the author of the LA-based Ellie Rush mysteries, published by Penguin.

Sarah Crichton Books

The Day She Disappeared by Christobel Kent (Sarah Crichton Books 06 March 2018 / $27.00) - Product Description: Some say Beth's disappearance was to be expected. She's a rural barmaid from Cornwall, a fly-by-night party girl who can't be trusted. There wasn't really anything to keep her at the Bird in Hand, they said. But her best friend, Nathalie, doesn't buy it, not at all. Doesn't believe Beth would just vanish like that. Neither does the old lush Victor. He has seen something ... something important ... but he can't quite remember what ....

As Nat tries to piece the events--and people--in Beth's life, it becomes more difficult to discern who can and can't be trusted. The little town in the English countryside takes on an ominous air, with a threat behind every corner, outside every window. And someone is always watching.

Seventh Street Books

Holmes Entangled by Gordon McAlpine (Seventh Street Books 06 March 2018 / $13.95) - Product Description: From the author of Hammett Unwritten and Woman with a Blue Pencil comes a startling meta-fiction tale told in the voice of Sherlock Holmes. Set in 1920s' London, Cambridge, and Paris, Holmes's final adventure leads him through labyrinths of crime and espionage in a mortally dangerous inquiry into the unseen nature of existence itself.

Sherlock Holmes, now in his seventies, retired from investigations and peaceably disguised as a professor at Cambridge, is shaken when a modestly successful author in his late-sixties named Arthur Conan Doyle calls upon him at the university. This Conan Doyle, notable for historical adventure stories, science fiction, and a three-volume history of the Boer War (but no detective tales), somehow knows of the false professor's true identity and pleads for investigative assistance. Someone is trying to kill Conan Doyle. Who? Why? Good questions, but what intrigues Holmes most is how the "middling scribbler" ascertained Holmes's identity in the first place, despite the detective's perfect disguise. Holmes takes the case.

There is danger every step of the way. Great powers want the investigation quashed. But with the assistance of Dr. Watson's widow, Holmes persists, exploring séances, the esoterica of Edgar Allan Poe, the revolutionary new science of quantum mechanics, and his own long-denied sense of loss and solitude.

Ultimately, even Sherlock Holmes is unprepared for what the evidence suggests.

Soho Crime

Death Comes in through the Kitchen by Teresa Dovalpage (Soho Crime 20 March 2018 / $25.95) - Product Description: Havana, Cuba, 2003: Matt, a San Diego journalist, arrives in Havana to marry his girlfriend, Yarmila, a 24-year-old Cuban woman whom he first met through her food blog. But Yarmi isn't there to meet him at the airport, and when he hitches a ride to her apartment, he finds her lying dead in the bathtub.

With Yarmi's murder, lovelorn Matt is immediately embroiled in a Cuban adventure he didn't bargain for. The police and secret service have him down as their main suspect, and in an effort to clear his name, he must embark on his own investigation into what really happened. The more Matt learns about his erstwhile fiancée, though, the more he realizes he had no idea who she was at all--but did anyone?

William Morrow

If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin (William Morrow 06 March 2018 / $16.99) - Product Description: Late one night in the quiet Hudson Valley town of Havenkill, a distraught woman stumbles into the police station--and lives are changed forever.

Aimee En, once a darling of the '80s pop music scene, claims that a teenage boy stole her car, then ran over another young man who'd rushed to help.

As Liam Miller's life hangs in the balance, the events of that fateful night begin to come into focus. But is everything as it seems?

The case quickly consumes social media, transforming Liam, a local high school football star, into a folk hero, and the suspect, a high school outcast named Wade Reed, into a depraved would-be killer. But is Wade really guilty? And if he isn't, why won't he talk?

Told from a kaleidoscope of viewpoints--Wade's mother Jackie, his younger brother Connor, Aimee En, and Pearl Maze, a young police officer with a tragic past, If I Die Tonight is a story of family ties and dark secrets--and the lengths we'll go to protect ourselves.

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Send books to: Gayle Surrette / Editor
c/o Gumshoe 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

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