Amateur Sleuths F to Z
D TO Z
August 18, 2017
Fluke, Joanne. BANANA CREAM PIE. Kensington Books. March '17. $26.00. Twenty-first in the Hannah Swensen series. "A romantic seven-day cruise is the perfect start to bakery owner Hannah Swensen's marriage. However, with a murder mystery heating up in Lake Eden, Minnesota, it seems the newlywed's homecoming won't be as sweet as she anticipated... After an extravagant honeymoon, Hannah's eager to settle down in Lake Eden and turn domestic daydreams into reality. But when her mother's neighbor is discovered murdered in the condo downstairs, reality becomes a nightmarish investigation. Victoria Bascomb, once a renowned stage actress, was active in the theater community during her brief appearance in town...and made throngs of enemies along the way. Did a random intruder murder the woman as police claim, or was a deadlier scheme at play? As Hannah peels through countless suspects and some new troubles of her own, solving this crime - and living to tell about it - might prove trickier than mixing up the ultimate banana cream pie..." Available in paperback. February '18. $7.99.
Fluke, Joanne. CHRISTMAS CARAMEL MURDER. Kensington Books. October '16. $20.00. Twentieth in the Hannah Swensen series. "Christmas normally descends on Lake Eden, Minnesota, as gently as reindeer alighting on a rooftop - but this yuletide season the only thing coming down Hannah Swensen's chimney is a case of murder... The holidays have arrived, and Hannah and her good pal Lisa have agreed to provide all the goodies for the town's annual production of A Christmas Carol. But before anyone can say 'Bah, humbug!' a Santa-sized sackful of trouble ensues. Like the fact that Lisa's husband will be playing Mr. Claus to his ex-girlfriend Phyllis Bates' Mrs. Claus. Or that before the curtains even go up Phyllis is found dead in the snow - wearing a costume that the real Mrs. Claus would put on the naughty list. Soon after the suspects pile up faster than snowdrifts in a blizzard, while a merry murderer remains on the loose. With clues even harder to find, it might take a visit from ghosts of Christmas past to wrap up this mystery in time for the holidays... Includes a Dozen Holiday Recipes from The Cookie Jar!" Available in paperback. September '17. $7.99.
Fluke, Joanne. WEDDING CAKE MURDER. Kensington Books. February '17. $7.99. Nineteenth in the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series. "Everyone in Lake Eden, Minnesota, may have had their doubts, but at long last, Hannah Swensen is getting married! Hannah is thrilled to be marrying Ross Barton, her college crush. And her excitement only grows when she learns he'll be able to join her on her trip to New York City for the Food Channel's dessert chef contest. They get a taste of the Big Apple before Hannah wins the Hometown Challenge and the producers bring all the contestants to Lake Eden to tape the remainder of the show. It's nerve-wracking enough being judged by Alain Duquesne, a celebrity chef with a nasty reputation. But it's even more chilling to find him stabbed to death in the Lake Eden Inn's walk-in cooler - before he's even had a chance to taste Hannah's Butterscotch Sugar Cookies! Now Hannah has not only lost her advantage, she'll have to solve a mystery with more layers than a five-tiered wedding cake...."
Hall, Parnell. A PUZZLE TO BE NAMED LATER. Minotaur Books. January '17. $24.98. Eighteenth in the Puzzle Lady series. "The Puzzle Lady couldn't be happier. Matt Greystone, the rookie sensation who just signed a huge contract with the Yankees after coming to the team as the player to be named later in a trade with the Diamondbacks, winning seventeen games as a starting pitcher, was coming to town to rehab from an arm injury. A diehard Yankee fan, Cora was delighted when Matt invited her to a weekend pool party. On the plus side, she got to meet Derek Jeter. On the minus side, she had to solve a puzzle (that was also named later), and a couple of the guests got killed. Solving murders is right up the Puzzle Lady's alley. Unfortunately, someone has broken into the house of a local psychiatrist and rifled her patient files, and Chief Harper wants Cora to solve that, too. Cora already knows who broke into the house. She did! INCLUDES CROSSWORDS AND A SUDOKU BY WILL SHORTZ THAT HELP YOU SOLVE THE MYSTERY." Simultaneous release on Audio CD from Dreamscape Media.
Hallinan, Timothy. THE HOT COUNTRIES. Soho Crime. September '16. $15.95. Seventh in the Poke Rafferty series. When travel writer Poke Rafferty visited Bangkok for the first time, he was befriended by some old-timers who hung out in the Expat Bar. Most of the men had lived there since the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, they accept a stranger named Arthur Varney into their group, not knowing he's just using them to get to Poke. Varney intends to collect money from Poke, which the writer doesn't have, and he's looking for somebody Poke intends to protect. Varney will do anything it takes to accomplish his goals, but Poke's aging friends are more than willing to help thwart his plans.
Harris, Charlaine. ALL THE LITTLE LIARS: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery. Minotaur Books. October '16. $25.99. Ninth in the series. #1 New York Times bestseller Charlaine Harris finally returns to her fan-favorite Aurora Teagarden series with ALL THE LITTLE LIARS, a fabulously fun new mystery. Aurora Teagarden is basking in the news of her pregnancy when disaster strikes her small Georgia town: four kids vanish from the school soccer field in an afternoon. Aurora's 15-year-old brother Phillip is one of them. Also gone are two of his friends, and an 11-year-old girl who was just hoping to get a ride home from soccer practice. And then there's an even worse discovery - at the kids' last known destination, a dead body. While the local police and sheriff's department comb the county for the missing kids and interview everyone even remotely involved, Aurora and her new husband, true crime writer Robin Crusoe, begin their own investigation. Could the death and kidnappings have anything to do with a group of bullies at the middle school? Is Phillip's disappearance related to Aurora's father's gambling debts? Or is Phillip himself, new to town and an unknown quantity, responsible for taking the other children? But regardless of the reason, as the days go by, the most important questions remain. Are the kids still alive? Who could be concealing them? Where could they be? With Christmas approaching, Aurora is determined to find her brother...if he's still alive." Paperback edition. PIATKUS Books. March '17. $8.30.
Harrison, Mette Ivie. FOR TIME AND ALL ETERNITIES. Soho Crime. January '17. $26.95. Third in the Linda Wallheim series. Although the Mormon Church no longer condones polygamy, some Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints still carry on the tradition. When Linda learns her son Kenneth has become engaged to a woman from a polygamous family she just can't believe it. Trying to make peace, the head of the family Kenneth is marrying into invites Linda and her husband to visit his family's compound. Linda expects the worst and believes that polygamy hurts the women and the children and should be outlawed. She has a terrible feeling that something is wrong there, but doesn't know what it is until the murdered body of a family member is found. To protect the family Linda decides to remain in the compound while the police investigate. What she has seen in the compound and the history of polygamy raises questions in her mind about her faith which is no longer very strong. Available in trade paperback. December '17. $15.95.
Harrison, Mette Ivie. HIS RIGHT HAND. Soho Crime. October '16. $15.95. Second in the Linda Wallheim series. The ward is again thrown for a loop when Carl Ashby, one of the Bishop's right hand men, is killed on Church grounds. The elaborate staging of the body begs the question as to why anybody would want this man dead. Things go from bad to worse when the autopsy reveals that Carl had been born a woman! Since the Mormon Church considers a person's gender part of their soul, some members see the entire idea of transgender as a 'transgression of faith.' When Church officials appear to be more upset by Carl's gender than his murder and want the whole thing to be hushed up, Linda realizes they aren't at all concerned with solving Carl's murder. She also knows the police are going to need her help if they are ever going to catch the killer. If Carl was living a lie for twenty years, what else was he hiding? Linda will have to figure it all out before the community is torn apart.
Hart, Carolyn. GHOST TIMES TWO. Berkley Books. October '16. $26.00. Seventh in the Bailey Ruth Ghost series. "Carolyn Hart - New York Times bestselling author of GHOST TO THE RESCUE - returns with a new Bailey Ruth Ghost Novel in which one woman shatters the glass ceiling...with a little help from beyond. Bailey Ruth Raeburn's latest mission is to guide the happy-go-lucky spirit of a deceased young man named Jimmy to the next life. But Jimmy is determined to watch over his still-living girlfriend, Megan, whom he wants to be happy even without him - which is easier said than done. As if being haunted by her late boyfriend wasn't enough, Megan is dealing with an arrogant, manipulative senior partner who threatens to fire Megan's vulnerable secretary if Megan accepts a partnership at another law firm. She's in an impossible bind. Since Jimmy refuses to move on while Megan is being blackmailed, Bailey Ruth agrees to help him. But after the partner turns up dead and Megan is found at the crime scene, Bailey Ruth and Jimmy have to find a way to uncover a killer before the love of Jimmy's life is ordered to spend a lifetime behind bars..." Available in paperback. October '17. $7.99.
Kaaberbol, Lene & Friis, Agnete. THE CONSIDERATE KILLER. Soho Crime. March '17. $16.95.. Fourth in the Nina Borg series. In the last book in the series, Nina is attacked in a parking lot on her way home. Almost unconscious, Nina hears the man that attacked her say he's sorry. But it's not until much later that she realizes it wasn't for mugging her, but for what would come next. Nina is used to helping others, but has never been the victim. She eventually learns that her attack is somehow connected to three men from Manila and that she is on a hit list. Exactly how far will she go to protect herself?
Kingsbury, Kate. DEAD AND BREAKFAST: A Merry Ghost Inn Mystery. Crooked Lane Books. January '17. $25.99. First in a new series. "Melanie West is getting her life back on track after a messy divorce when her grandmother, Liza Harris, asks her to open a B&B with her. Together, Liza and Melanie purchase a purportedly haunted mansion on the Oregon coast and jump right into clearing out the cobwebs. But while attempting to remove wallpaper in an upstairs bedroom, the new B&B owners stumble upon a very real skeleton in their closet. The police suspect the skeleton is that of the wife of the previous owner of the B&B, but no one in town seems to want to say much about her. As the inn owners try to juggle renovations with their own amateur investigations, their grand opening looms closer and closer - and a friendly ghost in their walls starts playing tricks. But it all comes crashing to a halt when a new body is found stabbed to death on the beach below the inn - the victim chillingly close in resemblance to Melanie herself. It seems someone doesn't appreciate newcomers prying into the small town's past, and now it's up to Melanie and Liza to get to the bottom of these murders to save their business...and their lives." Trade paperback edition. August '17. $15.99.
Kovac, Christina. THE CUTAWAY: A Novel. Atria Books/37 INK. March '17. $26.00. In her debut, author Christina Kovac introduces TV news producer Virginia Knightly who becomes involved in a cover-up and corruption as she investigates the disappearance of Georgetown lawyer last seen at a restaurant after a domestic arguement. Although her colleagues disagree, Virginia thinks the lawyer might be at the center of a big story. Her investigation pulls her deep into the dark side of Washington, DC business and politics and puts her life in danger.
Lowell, Catherine. THE MADWOMAN UPSTAIRS: A Novel. Touchstone. November '16. $16.00. In the author's quirky debut novel, Samantha Whipple, the last descendant of the Bronte family goes on a quest to find her family's lost treasures using clues left behind by her father and the actual novels. Strange developments follow her enrollment at Oxford University as things long lost start to appear. The first is her father's copy of JANE EYRE, thought to have been destroyed in the fire that claimed his life. The book is annotated in her father's handwriting and sends Samantha on a thrilling literary scavenger hunt. Teaming up with a professor from the University, she must solve the mystery of her family's hidden estate.
Page, Katherine Hall. THE BODY IN THE WARDROBE. William Morrow. January '17. $7.99. Twenty=third in the Faith Fairchild series. "Minster's wife, caterer, and part-time sleuth Faith Fairchild pairs up with Sophie Maxwell, last seen in BODY IN THE BIRCHES and now a newlywed living in historic Savannah, Georgia, where Sophie crosses paths with murder. Another delightful entry in the beloved mystery series, complete with delectable recipes. Attorney Sophie Maxwell has come to Savannah to be with her new husband, Will. But nothing throws cold water on a hot relationship faster than a dead body. Worse for Sophie, no one believes the body she knows she saw is real. Will is spending an awful lot of time in Atlanta on a case he claims is urgent, and she's been tasked with house hunting for them with his former sweetheart, who Sophie can't help but suspect wishes Sophie would return to her Yankee roots! Fortunately, Sophie has a good friend in Faith Fairchild. With teenage Amy being bullied by mean girls and husband Tom contemplating a major life change that will affect all the Fairchilds, Faith is eager for distraction in the form of some sleuthing. In between discussions of newlywed agita, surprising Savannah customs and, of course, fabulous low country food, Faith and Sophie will pair up to unmask a killer!"
Wiehl, Lis with Stuart, Sebastian. THE CANDIDATE: A Newsmakers Novel. Thomas Nelson. October '16. $26.99. Second in the series. Once again Erica Sparks, the top cable news host, is thrust into the limelight when she begins an investigation into a presidental candidate. The war hero, Mike Ortiz, spent nine months in an Al-Qaeda prison, but Erica isn't so sure about what really happened there. She also wonders about Mike's 'perfect' wife, Celeste. Erica's search for the truth not only puts her life in danger, but also puts her young daughter into the crossfire. Simultaneous release on MP3 CD from Brilliance Audio.
Wiehl, Lis with Stuart, Sebastian. THE NEWSMAKERS. Thomas Nelson Books. October '16. $16.99. First in a new series. "TV reporter Erica Sparks has become a superstar overnight. But is it due to her hard work and talent? Or is she at the center of a spiraling conspiracy?" The pretty, ambitious reporter, Erica Sparks, is thrilled when she gets a job with the Global News Network in New York. Determined to get to the top in the broadcasting business, she leaves her daughter with her ex-husband and heads for the city. During her first assignment Erica lands in the right place at the right time and films a major tragedy, scooping all the other networks. Just a couple of weeks later, she's in the front row when another tragedy strikes and she's the first to get another big story. She becomes a star overnight, but feels something just isn't right. Both stories fell into her lap and she doesn't believe it's a coincidence. Erica decides to investigate, but exactly what will she find and how will it affect her?
Winawer, Melodie. THE SCRIBE OF SIENA: A Novel. Touchstone. May '17. $26.99. If you liked OUTLANDER or THE PEARL EARRING, you will love this book! Part historical novel and part love story , the story transpires across centuries from the present to medieval Italy and a plot to destroy the city of Siena. The story centers on Beatrice, a well-known neurosurgeon. After her brother dies, she inherits his estate including a house in Siena, Italy. When she finds her brother's research she becomes intrigued in a conspiracy to destroy the city during the medieval ages. Among his collection are painting by fourteenth-century artist Gabriele Accorsi along with a journal. Things become even more interesting when Beatrice notices herself in one of the paintings and is unexpectedly transported to Siena in 1347, just as the Plague is about to arrive. When she meets Accorsi in person, they fall in love and must survive a political uprising as well as the Plague.
© 1996-2017 Bill Palmer.