It’s summer in 1930s England. And there’s been a Murder at the Brightwell.
In Ashley Weaver’s enjoyable debut mystery, a well-to-do group of friends has gathered for a party at the Brightwell Hotel on England’s seaside.
Sometimes telling a story is all about retelling—tracing the thread of a long-ago series of events and finally getting it right. Minnesota student Joe Talbert discovers this when he is tasked with writing a senior citizen’s biography for a college English class. Short on options and time, Joe heads to Hillview Manor nursing home in search of potential subjects. There he meets Carl Iverson, a dying Vietnam vet who’s out on parole after serving a 30-year sentence for the rape and murder of 14-year-old Crystal Hagen.
Celebrated Japanese author Keigo Higashino makes his authorial power internationally known with Malice, the latest installment in his mystery series featuring police detective Kyochiro Kaga. This well-crafted dual narrative will entice and perhaps even outwit the most seasoned mystery readers.
Lucy Stone usually lets the mysteries come to her quaint hometown of Tinker’s Cove, Maine, but in the 21st installment of the Lucy Stone Mystery series, the popular sleuth is unexpectedly whisked off to the romantic streets of Paris. It’s not a first for Stone, as prolific series author Leslie Meier has sent her on junkets to Manhattan and England on occasion. Still, in French Pastry Murder, she’s a little out of her element.
It’s impossible! The body of a young woman, dead only a few hours, is discovered in a pose that suggests she was trying to claw her way out of her own grave. To add an even more macabre touch, the gravesite is that of a woman who has been dead for two years.
Ever wonder what happened after the end of Pygmalion (the original play on which the film My Fair Lady is based), as Eliza Doolittle’s emerging independence wars with Professor Henry Higgins’s attempts to ensure that she remains under his proverbial thumb? Fear not. The pseudonymous D.E. Ireland (a debut team of two authors, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta) has imagined an alternative.
If ever a book were tailor-made for a David Fincher movie adaptation (Se7en, Zodiac, etc.), it’s Lauren Beukes’ latest dark, genre-bending mystery.
Victorian London comes alive in Anne Perry’s tension-filled new mystery, Blood on the Water, the 20th novel in her best-selling William Monk series.
Monk, commander of London’s River Police, is on patrol with his deputy, and the two watch a large pleasure craft as it wafts sounds of music and laughter across the water. Suddenly, they witness a terrible explosion and fire that sinks the boat within minutes, leaving few survivors.
M.P. Cooley’s first novel Ice Shear is a solid, convincing mystery set in the snowy shadows of Hopewell Falls, New York. The story follows June Lyons, a former FBI agent who traded her big badge for the life of a small-town police officer to care for her sick husband, who has since passed. In an attempt to spend more time with her daughter and to fall in better with the police force, she volunteers for the graveyard shift. Her nights pass with no more excitement than driving drunks home and buying doughnuts for the morning shift.
There are several ways to know whether you’ve got a really fine novel on your hands, and you can tell pretty quickly that Dry Bones in the Valley is a debut of that caliber.
First, author Tom Bouman knows his rural Pennsylvania setting and is familiar with its smallest details, from inhabitants’ accents and manners to their dilapidated trailer homes, and from animal tracks in the woods to the winds and the night sky.