The members of the Last Death Club are kicking the bucket one by one, some of them practically under the nose of irascible Victorian detective Sidney Grice, in The Curse of the House of Foskett. It’s the second book in M.R.C. Kasasian’s intriguing new series that debuted in 2014 with The Mangle Street Murders, featuring Grice and his young ward, March Middleton, who narrates the books in a most unusual fashion.
We’ve all been there, wondering late at night: Is that tap-tap-tap sound we’re hearing coming from the radiator pipes, or are those footsteps on the stairs? For Evie Jones, the cub reporter and amateur sleuth at the center of Elisabeth de Mariaffi’s chilling psychological thriller, anxious moments like these have become a way of life. The Devil You Know takes readers on a rollercoaster ride through Evie’s desperate efforts to rid herself of the childhood horrors that have followed her into adulthood.
Of the dramatic plot twists that routinely occur in suspense fiction, one character in Harriet Lane’s Her complains that they are “unsatisfying . . . nothing like life, which—it seems to me—turns less on shocks or theatrics than on the small quiet moments, misunderstandings or disappointments, the things that it’s easy to overlook.” Lane’s novel, in which a vengeful woman infiltrates the life of an old acquaintance, features many potential shocks. But Her eschews cheap drama, instead building suspense by shedding light on two women’s inner worlds.
It’s no easy feat to cast a German who admits to cheering Hitler’s election as the lead detective in a murder mystery. But readers quickly discover that little is as it seems in this dark historical thriller based on an actual gruesome crime spree that shook Nazi Germany in the months before the U.S. entered World War II.
The first book in a new crime series, Winter at the Door introduces Lizzie Snow, a Boston cop turned police chief, now ensconced in the remote town of Bearkill in northern Maine’s Aroostook County, which runs right up against the Canadian border. Bearkill barely manages the necessities with a supermarket, Laundromat, luncheonette and corner bar appropriately named Area 51.
This month's best new mysteries include a detainment on an island paradise, an English historical, a twin investigation in the French Carribean and a dark thriller.
The eccentric and purposeful Lady Lavinia Truelove enters her stables early in the morning, unseen by her peers, where she plans to subdue and ride the erratic, untamable Lucifer. She’ll show her husband that she’s a horsewoman to be reckoned with, as well as two sights higher than the woman she thinks may be capturing her husband’s eye.
Forty Days without Shadow, by French journalist Olivier Truc, is set in the remote Lapland of northern Norway, where reindeer are the only livelihood for indigenous Sami herders who brave the dark, Arctic winters to keep vigil over their animals, and where the old ways—even ritualized murder—can still hold sway.
In this, the 11th of Christopher Fowler’s superb Peculiar Crimes Unit mysteries, it’s clearer than ever that the real hero of the series is London herself. If you’ve never visited the city, you could ask for no better education—or pressing invitation—than the one you’ll receive by reading the entire series. Fowler not only tells delightfully lurid tales of both famous and well-hidden landmarks, but also provides clear warnings about neighborhoods you should avoid (after all, these are murder mysteries).
This month's best new mysteries include a cold case captured in a photograph, a puzzling standalone set in Scotland, the second installment in a hit French series and the newest Thorn novel.