Amateur Sleuths G to Z


May 2, 2022

Konrath, J.A. OLD FASHIONED. Independently published. December '21. $18.95. "Former Chicago Homicide Lieutenant Jacqueline 'Jack' Daniels has finally left her violent past behind, and she's moved into a new house with her family. But her elderly next door neighbor is a Is he really as he appears, a kind old gentlemen with a few eccentricities? Or are Jack's instincts correct, and he's something much, much darker? And what is it he's got in his basement? Jack Daniels is about to learn that evil doesn't mellow with age. Simultaneous release in trade paperback. $12.95.

Priest, Cherie. GRAVE RESERVATIONS: A Novel. Atria Books. October '21. $26.00. Leda Foley, a travel agent trying to get her company, Foley's Flights of Fancy, into the black is also a sometime psychic. Not sure why, she changes Seattle Police Detective Grady Merritt's flight and ends up saving his life when the plane he was supposed to be on blows up. Grady, believing that Leda does have some abilities, asks her to help him on a cold case he was never able to solve. Leda agrees, partly because her fiance was murdered several years prior and she wasn't able to help and that case was never solved either. She enlists some bar patrons and friends to help solve Grady's case. As they work together they realize that the two cases have a lot in common. Available in trade paperback. July '22. $17.00.

Shelton, Connie. THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS SWEET: A Sweet's Sweets Bakery Mystery. Secret Staircase Books. October '21. $13.99. Book 15 of 15. "Samantha Sweet is back at Sweet's Sweets, turning out her amazing cakes and pastries for the busy holiday season, when Emily Plankhurst, the new young librarian in town, stops in. Emily tells Sam a strange story involving a hidden niche in the library revealed to her in a vision, supposedly, by her dead grandmother. Would anyone believe this farfetched story? Possibly not anyone but Sam, who has had more than a few unexplained occurrences in her own life. It turns out the hidden space contains a rare painting, The Ghost of Christmas, which was believed to have been destroyed in a fire twenty-five years ago at the luxury home of a hedge fund billionaire. A young man died in the fire and the insurance company paid the claim for the valuable painting. But now that the painting has turned up, how can Emily prove that her own grandfather wasn't the one behind the arson? It's a sticky situation when she approaches Sam with the case. If she turns the painting over to the authorities they will almost certainly believe that her grandfather was involved in the theft of the piece and most likely complicit in insurance fraud as well. Would the police actually take him out of the Alzheimer care facility where he now resides and throw him in jail? Emily's only chance of saving her grandfather's life, and the reputation of the family-founded library, is to investigate the old crime and find out who really stole The Ghost of Christmas. And Samantha is the only person she can trust to help her, one of the few who remembers when the fire started and the insurance claim was paid. It's a Christmas mystery with a lot of twists and turns!"

Shelton, Connie. MONEY CAN BE MURDER. Secret Staircase Books. March '22. $14.00. Book 20 of 20: Charlie Parker Mysteries. In her last case, Charlie goes undercover in a charity thrift shop when cash goes missing and her surrogate grandmother, Elsa, becomes the prime suspect. Charlie's investigation proves that the shop is bringing in a lot of money and several people could easily have taken the cash. All is going according to plan until her top suspect is found murdered. Can Charlie find the thief - and is the killer the same person?

© 1996-2022 Bill Palmer.