Loren D. Estleman began his prolific career writing crime fiction back in 1976, and he’s written close to 100 books, all high in the excellence quotient. He’s considered to be a master of noir for both his PI Amos Walker series and his Westerns, most featuring U.S. Deputy Page Murdock. Estleman’s most recent series features a film detective named Valentino, who tracks lost films as an archivist at UCLA.
For all of Imogene Scott’s 17 years, her mother has been a mystery. She disappeared when Imogene was a baby, and all Imogene knows of her are the bits and pieces her father, a medical mystery author, is willing to reveal—and that isn’t much. Now Imogene’s father has gone missing, and Imogene is convinced he’s searching for her mother.
Becca, beautiful and brilliant, comes from an influential family with a predilection for law degrees. As a first-year law student at George Washington University, she feels the pressure from final exams—and from a weighted secret she’s been harboring. To get her head straight for exams, she heads to her parents’ summer home in the misty mountains of North Carolina, the perfect quiet place to collect her thoughts. She’s brutally assaulted and murdered before she ever gets the chance to take those exams.
There are precious few angels, burning or otherwise, in Tawni O’Dell’s intense psychological thriller Angels Burning, set in a bleak, backwoods Pennsylvania town where mining, money and good times have pretty much come and gone.
Readers who fancy top-notch crime procedurals need look no further than the latest by seasoned Brit author Ann Cleeves. Harbour Street is her sixth mystery featuring Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope and her Northumbrian detective team.
Read a page or three of Riot Most Uncouth and you may wonder why you’d want to stick around while young Lord Byron, author Daniel Friedman’s overwrought and outlandish protagonist, makes his eccentric, in-your-face debut. But stay on for a few more pages and you’ll find yourself intrigued and then committed to Friedman’s lavish, over-the-top plot and larger-than-life characters.
One of the joys of reading a good mystery is feeling like a dope at the end, knowing that the answer was there in front of you from early on but the writer cleverly hid every single clue. Kate Morton’s The Lake House isn’t one of those books. This reviewer figured it all out by chapter 32, and even the book acknowledges that there are a few too many coincidences. Still, the story Morton tells is engaging.
British teen Stella Park (known to all as Spark) needs to escape her widowed mother’s constant neediness. Spark’s brother, Dan, has been successful in distancing himself, finding an internship across the pond in New York City. When Spark learns that Dan’s benefactor, John Stone, is seeking a summer assistant to help organize his papers, she jumps at the opportunity.
In real life, British author Peter James rides regularly with the Sussex police on their rounds. This fascination with police procedures and the milieu of law enforcement is amply displayed in his best-selling Roy Grace crime novels, now in its 11th installment with You Are Dead.
There’s trouble among the upper crust of 1930s London society, and in Ashley Weaver’s absorbing second mystery, Death Wears a Mask, the lovely and aristocratic Amory Ames is once again at the ready. She unmasked a murderer in Weaver’s 2014 debut, Murder at the Brightwell, and now a wealthy acquaintance has sought her help in ferreting out a thief.