Amateur Sleuths F to Z


October 4, 2020

Lin, Ed. 99 WAYS TO DIE. Soho Crime. September '19. $15.95. Third in the Taipei Night Market series. When a billionare who favors anti-immigration laws visits Taiwan and is kidnapped in Taipei, a media frenzy begins. Jing-nan is pulled into the fray when Peggy Lee, an old frenemy, and the man's daughter, blackmails him into helping her. But the kidnappers aren't after money - they want a memory chip that they can sell to China for a lot of money. But exactly where is the chip? Jingnan reluctantly begins an investigation, but gets into trouble with some very nasty people and just might end up as another victim.

Love, CJ. JULIET AND DEAD ROMEO: Shakespearean Murder Mysteries. Secret Staircase Books. January '20. $13.99. First in a new Series. "All is going beautifully at the annual Stresa Festival in Verona's Vineyard - well, other than the fact that Juliet Da Vinci's one true love belongs to the family hers has feuded with for years, and she doesn't have the nerve to tell her parents she plans to marry Nicolo Montague. Oh, and then her mother introduces her to Paris Nobleman, Mom's choice as Juliet's future mate. But Paris is just so clingy, like an annoying rash that won't go away. But it isn't until the body of a feuding neighbor, Mariotto Romeo, is found dead under the bridge - by Juliet and Paris - well, that's when things really begin to get sticky. Against the backdrop of a town turned against the Da Vincis, Juliet sets out to prove her family had nothing to do with the death of Mariotto Romeo, even though the police name her father as their primary person of interest. Juliet comes up with her own list of suspects, including all of Mariotto's immediate family, the drug-addict haunting the woods outside the church, and possibly her own cousin, Tybalt Gatti, who tells Juliet of another family member's clandestine love affair, a secret marriage, and possible suicides. After another death, this time on the Da Vinci side of the feud, and her father's arrest for murder, Juliet believes she knows who the killer is. Regrettably Juliet sends her detective boyfriend in the wrong direction and must face the killer on her own, without her daddy, without anyone."

Shelton, Connie. HOMELESS IN HEAVEN. Secret Staircase Books. July '20. $13.99. Fourth in the Heist Ladies Caper Mysteries. "Who would dare steal from homeless people, especially at Christmas! Mary Holbrook and Sandy Warner are volunteering at Heaven Sent, a homeless shelter, and discover it has been the scene of some thefts. The Heist Ladies decide to investigate. At the same time there are some strange doings at the New Age establishment next door. The Temple of the Rising Moon is run by gurus Orion and Sunshine, a husband and wife team living in a converted school bus, who claim to be raising money to build homes for poor people. As the Ladies dig deeper, they discover the charity is suspect and the hippies aren't exactly who they claim to be either. In their usual fashion, the dauntless Heist Ladies set out to track the money and chase down the perps. All in the name of justice!"

Shelton, Connie. SWEET MAGIC: A Sweets Bakery Mystery. Secret Staircase Books. October '19. $13.99. "Samantha Sweet's life is a little crazy right now, beginning with her daughter's wedding, which coincides with Sam's receiving a huge new contract for her chocolate factory. The day after the wedding someone takes a shot at Sam and she discovers the bad guys are back. OSM's henchman, Marcus Fitch, who showed up in Taos once before, is more determined than ever to get his hands on the carved box that gives Sam her unusual powers. But as the sheriff's department investigates the shooting, it seems Fitch has an airtight alibi. Meanwhile, Sam's daughter is honeymooning in England where she and her new husband discover some interesting clues that connect to home. As Kelly learns of her mother's secrets, she is pulled into the world of the magical artifacts in ways no one could have foreseen. And Sam discovers that her own world is about to change - forever."

Thompson, Victoria. MURDER ON TRINITY PLACE: A Gaslight Mystery. Berkley Books. April '20. $7.99. Twenty-second in the series. "The devil's in the details when a man is found murdered near Trinity Church in the latest installment of the national bestselling Gaslight Mystery series... The year of 1899 is drawing to a close. Frank and Sarah Malloy are getting ready to celebrate the New Year at Trinity Church when they notice Mr. Pritchard, a relative of their neighbor's behaving oddly and annoying the other revelers. Frank tries to convince Pritchard to return home with them, but the man refuses and Frank loses him in the crowd. The next morning Sarah and Frank are horrified to learn Pritchard was murdered sometime in the night, his body left on Trinity Place, the side street near the church. The police aren't too interested in the murder, and the family are concerned that the circumstances of the death will reflect badly on Pritchard's reputation. To protect the family from scandal, Nelson asks Frank to investigate. Frank and Sarah delve into Pritchard's past and realize there may have been a deadly side to the dawning of the new century."

West, Eugenia Lovett. FIREWALL: An Emma Streat Mystery. SparkPress. November '19. $16.95. Emma Streat, a retired Opera singer, is struggling to recover after her husband's murder and the destruction of their house. As a single mother she is trying to move on and take care of her sons. Because of her knack for detection, her godmother asks for help when she receives a balckmail demand. Emma agrees to help and is caught up in the world of cybercrime. Her investigation takes her to Europe where she interacts with rich people involved in financial dealings and the art world. She also runs into her ex-lover, Lord Andrew Rodale which complicates matters even further. Emma soon finds herself targeted by the cybercrime culprits and must do her best to survive and bring the criminals to justice.

© 1996-2020 Bill Palmer.