P.I.'s in Print A to J


September 16, 2019

Barrett, Casey. THE TOWER OF SONGS: A Duck Darley Novel. Kensington Books. September '19. $26.00. Third in the series. Unlicensed P.I. Duck Darley, sober for far longer than usual, is pulled into a high-stakes missing persons case by the daughter of a billionaire. How could he refuse a teen with a family even more messed up than his own? Little did he know that this could be his last case. The teen, Layla, saw a video of her father being kidnapped from the family apartment on the top floor of the tallest apartment building in the world. Layla thinks her Chinese grandmother had her father grabbed to keep him from talking, but about what? Teaming up with his on and off partner, Cass Kimball, Duck starts investigating. The stakes become higher when Duck learns that the kidnapping is linked to an international drug ring.

Black, Cara. MURDER IN BEL-AIR. Soho Crime. June '19. $27.95. Nineteenth in the Aimee Leduc Investigation series. "...The Parisian private investigator becomes entangles in a dangerous web of international spycraft, post-colonial Franco-African politics, and neighborhood secrets in Paris's 12th arrondissement. Aimee is about to go onstage to deliver the keynote address at a tech conference that is sure to secure Leduc Detective some much-needed business contracts when she gets an emergency phone call from her daughter's playgroup: Aimee's mother, who was supposed to pick Chloe up, never showed. Abandoning her hard-won speaking gig, Aimee rushes to get Chloe, annoyed that her mother has let her down yet again. But as Aimee and Chloe are leaving the playground, Aimee witnesses the body of a homeless woman being wheeled away from the neighboring convent, where nuns run a soup kitchen. The last person anyone saw the dead woman talking to was Aimee's mother, who has vanished. Trying to figure out what happened to Sydney Leduc, Aimee tracks down the dead woman's possessions, which include a huge amount of cash. What did Sydney stumble into? Is she in trouble?"

Black, Cara. MURDER ON THE LEFT BANK. Soho Crime. May '19. $15.95. Eighteenth in the Aimee Leduc Investigation series. A dying man who helped dirty Paris policemen launder their ill-gotten gains decides to come clean after fifty years. He goes to lawyer Eric Besson, with his notebook containing all of the transactions and his full confession and asks the Eric to take the book to the chief prosecuting attorney. Besson sends his nephew who is his assistant, but the young man is murdered and the book is stolen. Besson asks PI Aimee Leduc to find the notebook, but Aimee isn't sure she wants to become involved with the case - the dirty cops are the same men who murdered her father and are extremely dangerous. She's also afraid that her father might be one of the dirty cops named in the book. But she needs to know and that's what finally convinces her to take the case.

Block, Lawrence. A TIME TO SCATTER STONES: A Matthew Scudder Novella. Subterranean; Deluxe Hardcover edition. Febuary '19. $25.00. "MATT SCUDDER RETURNS. More than 40 years after his debut and nearly a decade since his last appearance, one of the most renowned characters in all of crime fiction is back on the case in this major new novella by Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Lawrence Block. Well past retirement age and feeling his years - but still staying sober one day at a time - Matthew Scudder learns that alcoholics aren't the only ones who count the days since their last slip. Matt's longtime partner, Elaine, tells him of a group of former sex workers who do something similar, helping each other stay out of the life. But when one young woman describes an abusive client who's refusing to let her quit, Elaine encourages her to get help of a different sort. The sort only Scudder can deliver. A TIME TO SCATTER STONES offers not just a gripping crime story but also a richly drawn portrait of Block's most famous character as he grapples with his own mortality while proving to the younger generation that he's still got what it takes. For Scudder's millions of fans around the world (including the many who met the character through Liam Neeson's portrayal in the film version of A Walk Among the Tombstones), A TIME TO SCATTER STONES is an unexpected gift - a valedictory appearance that will remind readers why Scudder is simply the best there is." Simultaneous release in trade paperback. $14.99.

Burke, James Lee. THE NEW IBERIA BLUES: A Dave Robicheaux Novel. Simon & Schuster. January '19. $27.99. Twenty-second in the series. "The shocking death of a young woman leads Detective Dave Robicheaux into the dark corners of Hollywood, the mafia, and the backwoods of Louisiana in this gripping mystery... Detective Dave Robicheaux's world isn't filled with too many happy stories, but Desmond Cormier's rags-to-riches tale is certainly one of them. Robicheaux first met Cormier on the streets of New Orleans, when the young, undersized boy had foolish dreams of becoming a Hollywood director. Twenty-five years later, when Robicheaux knocks on Cormier's door, it isn't to congratulate him on his Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. Robicheaux has discovered the body of a young woman who's been crucified, wearing only a small chain on her ankle. She disappeared near Cormier's Cyrpemort Point estate, and Robicheaux, along with young deputy, Sean McClain, are looking for answers. Neither Cormier nor his enigmatic actor friend Antoine Butterworth are saying much, but Robicheaux knows better. As always, Clete Purcel and Davie's daughter, Alafair, have Robicheaux's back. Clete witnesses the escape of Texas inmate, Hugo Tillinger, who may hold the key to Robicheaux's case. As they wade further into the investigation, they end up in the crosshairs of the mob, the deranged Chester Wimple, and the dark ghosts Robicheaux has been running from for years. Ultimately, it's up to Robicheaux to stop them all, but he'll have to summon a light he's never seen or felt to save himself, and those he loves." Available in trade paperback. January '20. $16.99.

Crais, Robert. A DANGEROUS MAN. G.P. Putnam's Sons. August '19. $28.00. An Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Novel. Eighteenth in the series. "Joe Pike didn't expect to rescue a woman that day. He went to the bank same as anyone goes to the bank, and returned to his Jeep. So when Isabel Roland, the lonely young teller who helped him, steps out of the bank on her way to lunch, Joe is on hand when two men abduct her. Joe chases them down, and the two men are arrested. But instead of putting the drama to bed, the arrests are only the beginning of the trouble for Joe and Izzy. After posting bail, the two abductors are murdered and Izzy disappears. Pike calls on his friend, Elvis Cole, to help learn the truth. What Elvis uncovers is a twisted family story that involves corporate whistleblowing, huge amounts of cash, the Witness Relocation Program, and a long line of lies. But what of all that did Izzy know? Is she a perpetrator or a victim? And how far will Joe go to find out?" Simultaneous release on Audio CD from Brilliance Audio.

Finlay, Mick. THE MURDER PIT. MIRA. February '19. $15.99. Second in the Arrowood series. Set in 1896, Arrowood, an ex-newspaper man turned private detecitve to the poor and downtrodden, doesn't think much of Sherlock Holmes who caters to the rich and famous. A flawed, foul-mouthed man, Arrowood seeks justice for those who can't even afford to pay him in the slums of London. In his second case, he and his sidekick, Barnett, take on what they think will be a simple case of a missing girl, but find the case is much more serious than they first thought.

Galbraith, Robert. LETHAL WHITE. Mulholland Books. June '19. $19.99. Fourth in the Cormoran Strike series by J.K. Rowling under her pseudonym. "'I seen a kid killed...He strangled it, up by the horse.' When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy's story, Strike and Robin Ellacott - once his assistant, now a partner in the agency - set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside. And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike's own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been - Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that. The most epic Robert Galbraith novel yet, LETHAL WHITE is both a gripping mystery and a page-turning next instalment in the ongoing story of Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott.

Grafton, Sue. Y IS FOR YESTERDAY. G.P. Putnam's Sons. October '18. $16.00. Twenty-fifth in the series. "The darkest and most disturbing case report from the files of Kinsey Millhone, Y IS FOR YESTERDAY begins in 1979, when four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate - and film the attack. Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state's evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace. Now, it's 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents - until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That's when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he's not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find...."

Hart, Ellen. TWISTED AT THE ROOT: A Jane Lawless Mystery. Minotaur Books. August '19. $26.99. 26th in the series. "Everyone thought Rashad May and Gideon Wise were happily married. That is, until Rashad was convicted of his husband's murder. Four years later, Rashad's brother contacts Ray Lawless - Minnesota private investigator Jane Lawless's father and the original defense attorney on the case - with potential evidence of a wrongful conviction. When the case is reopened, Jane and her father must work together to attain justice for a grieving widower. Who actually killed Gideon and why? There are suspects and motives galore, and Jane must discover the truth. She must also track down her missing brother, Peter, who was involved in the original trial, and who might be hiding secrets of his own."

Jance, J.A. THE A LIST. Gallery Books. April '19. $27.99. Fourteenth in the Ali Reynolds Series. Ali's broadcasting career ended over ten years ago, but she has made a new life for herself in Sedona, Arizona. She now runs High Noon Enterprises, a cyber-security company with a team of tech wizards that hunts down criminals. She is enjoying life with her new husband when the past returns with the news of the death of an old friend along with memories of the last story she reported which put a doctor in jail for the murder of one of his patient. Now the doctor, still in prison, is out for revenge on everybody that helped put him there. Can Ali find the hired killer and prove the doctor is behind her friend's death before the killer comes after her?

© 1996-2019 Bill Palmer.