In his second novel, Love Story, with Murders, Harry Bingham brings back the quirky but endearing D.C. Fiona Griffiths. Fiona has never been your standard British police officer—or your typical person, for that matter. Subject to Cotard’s syndrome, or Walking Corpse Syndrome, she admittedly associates more closely with the dead than the living. Fiona’s odd disorder and unorthodox investigation methods make her a standout character among police procedurals.
As a literary thought experiment, Kenneth Calhoun’s Black Moon has an exceedingly elegant trigger for the end of it all. No aliens, mutating viruses or celestial cataclysms are needed. All it takes is the removal of one basic yet profound capacity every single human has: the ability to sleep.
The third installment in award-winning author Kristina Ohlsson’s Fredrika Bergman series is a crime fiction fan’s dream. With The Disappeared, Ohlsson creates both an elaborate police procedural and a multilayered mystery that engages readers in a complex case with an unexpected ending.
Readers who haven’t yet discovered Elly Griffiths’ wonderful mystery series set on the remote and scenic ocean sands of Norwich, England, have a delayed treat in store. Griffiths’ newest, The Outcast Dead, continues to pique our interest in her continuing characters: forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway and the stable of marvelous, scruffy characters that inhabit her life, including DCI Harry Nelson, the father of Ruth’s 3-year-old daughter.
Some Like It Wild is the second book in M. Leighton’s best-selling Wild Ones erotic (read: explicit) romance series, in which good girls encounter wild men who introduce them to the pleasures that have been missing from their straight-laced lives.
“There’s a scene in your story that’s unrealistic. The one where your main character’s marriage was arranged so quickly. In those days, matchmaking could take years, especially between old, wealthy families.”
This was the feedback from a family friend who read the manuscript for Three Souls during its early stages of editing. This friend grew up in a very traditional family and had majored in Chinese literature. If my novel’s depiction of Chinese family life in the years before World War II passed her critical judgement, I could breathe a sigh of relief.
Jean Zimmerman’s new novel, Savage Girl, is the ideal historical fiction narrative: The history is accurate, and the story nicely fits into the facts.
The novel opens with Hugo Delegate, son of an outrageously wealthy captain of industry, found next to the mutilated body of one of his friends. Because he can’t, or perhaps, will not, explain why he was found at such a gruesome scene, he is taken into custody and asked to tell his side of the story.
You'll never think of small-town life the same way again after reading Laura McHugh's chilling debut. Part "Twin Peaks," part Tana French, the novel opens just after the body of 18-year-old Cheri has been found stuffed into a tree trunk. Lucy Dane may have been the troubled Cheri's only friend, and after turning up some disturbing evidence she becomes determined to track down Cheri's killer—especially since her own mother's disappearance some 15 years before has still never been solved. As Lucy's quest proceeds, she begins to unearth some of the town's darkest secrets, some of which involve her own family.
This month's Audio column has something for everyone: mystery lovers, readers of inspiring memoirs and seekers of exciting new voices in fiction.
Hargeisa, Somalia, was balanced on a fragile precipice in the fall of 1987—held in the grip of a powerful dictatorship, with signs of revolution emerging with ever-increasing frequency. Nadifa Mohamed’s moving, thought-provoking second novel, following Black Mamba Boy (2010), focuses on three female characters caught up in the maelstrom whose lives intersect in unforgettable ways.