P.I.'s in Print M to Z
M TO Z
August 20, 2017
Mosley, Walter. CHARCOAL JOE: An Easy Rawlins Mystery. Vintage Crime/Black Lizard. May '17. $15.00. "Walter Mosley's indelible detective Easy Rawlins is back, with a new detective agency and a new mystery to solve. Picking up where his last adventures in Rose Gold left off in L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel 'Easy' Rawlins finds his life in transition. He's ready - finally - to propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together. And he's taken the money he got from the Rose Gold case and, together with two partners, Saul Lynx and Tinsford 'Whisper' Natly, has started a new detective agency. But, inevitably, a case gets in the way: Easy's friend Mouse introduces him to Rufus Tyler, a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe's friend's son, Seymour (young, bright, top of his class in physics at Stanford), has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man from Redondo Beach. Joe tells Easy he will pay and pay well to see this young man exonerated, but seeing as how Seymour literally was found standing over the man's dead body at his cabin home, and considering the racially charged motives seemingly behind the murder, that might prove to be a tall order. Between his new company, a heart that should be broken but is not, a whole raft of new bad guys on his tail, and a bad odor that surrounds Charcoal Joe, Easy has his hands full, his horizons askew, and his life in shambles around his feet."
Muller, Marcia & Pronzini, Bill. THE DANGEROUS LADIES AFFAIR: A Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery. Forge Books. January '17. $25.99. Fifth in the series. "For the firm of Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services, stopping extortionists is not only grand, but excitingly lucrative. When a pleasant afternoon's bicycling through Golden Gate Park with a friend ends with the revelation of threatening letters, followed by a gunshot in a mansion garden, Sabina Carpenter knows this is a case that demands her immediate and undivided attention. The questions her partner John Quincannon has to unravel are not difficult: Wrixton, a wealthy banker, has met his extortionist's first demand, but the order to pay another $5,000 is too much to face. The banker's real problem is something he doesn't want to reveal. That was fine with the detective, and when he was informed that some private letters were involved and Wrixton absolutely needed them back, there was nothing more Quincannon needed in the way of background. As with so many of San Francisco's elite, the bedroom doors never seemed to stay shut. That was the easy part; far more difficult was the matter of the dead courier, murdered most foully in a locked room within a locked room, creating a trail that will take John Quincannon through most of San Francisco's less savory places and end with a riverboat trip that is anything but a relaxing cruise. THE DANGEROUS LADIES AFFAIR is the next thrilling installment in this charming historical mystery series from MWA Grand Masters Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini." Simultaneous release on Audio CD from Blackstone Audio.
Paretsky, Sara. BRUSH BACK. Signet Books. September '16. $9.99. Seventeenth in the V.I. Warshawski series. "Chicago's V.I. Warshawski confronts crooked politicians and buried family secrets in the gritty new novel from New York Times-bestselling author Sara Paretsky. No one would accuse V.I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she'd be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that's precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo's plea for help. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full twenty-five years for her daughter's murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. V.I. doesn't want to get involved. Stella hated the Warshawskis, in particular V.I.'s adored mother, Gabriella. But life has been hard on Frank and on V.I.'s other childhood friends, still stuck on the hardscrabble streets around the dead steel mills, and V.I. agrees to ask a few questions. Those questions lead her straight into the vipers' nest of Illinois politics she's wanted to avoid. When V.I. takes a beating at a youth meeting in her old hood, her main question becomes whether she will live long enough to find answers."
Paretsky, Sara. FALLOUT. William Morrow. April '17. $27.99. "Book 19 of 19 in the V.I. Warshawski Novels Series. Before there was Lisbeth Salander, before there was Stephanie Plum, there was V.I. WARSHAWSKI. To her parents, she's Victoria Iphigenia. To her friends, she's Vic. But to clients seeking her talents as a detective, she's V.I. And her new case will lead her from her native Chicago... and into Kansas, on the trail of a vanished film student and a faded Hollywood star. Accompanied by her dog, V.I. tracks her quarry through a university town, across fields where missile silos once flourished - and into a past riven by long-simmering racial tensions, a past that holds the key to the crimes of the present. But as the mysteries stack up, so does the body count. And in this, her toughest case, not even V.I. is safe." Simultaneous release on Audio CD from HarperAudio.
Pronzini, Bill. ENDGAME: A Nameless Detective Novel. Forge Books. June '17. $24.99. Forty-sixth in the series. "The Nameless Detective has taken many cases over the years...and this is one for the books. Or rather, two cases that will test his agency's resources. Love is in the air...more to the point, love gone awry. One case involves a woman whose husband died accidentally in a remote cabin in the Sierras. The wife isn't buying that her husband was alone, and is determined to find out his secret and get closure...in spite of any potential heartbreak. The other case is a missing person ...but the person missing was agoraphobic and never left the house. The husband swears that while their relationship was strained due to his wife's condition, he was still in love with her. He begs Nameless to clear him and find his wife before the cops come for him. Bill Pronzini's ENDGAME is a classic Nameless tale - twisty puzzles featuring one of mystery's best loved detectives."
Pronzini, Bill. ZIGZAG: A Nameless Detective Collection. Forge Books. September '16. $24.99. "Two novellas and two short stories featuring Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Bill Pronzini's iconic Nameless Detective! ZIGZAG is an original novella, in which a safe and simple accident investigation becomes the unraveling of a twisted murder scheme. 'Grapplin,' which first appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, deals with the kind of missing person case that can end in only one of two ways, closure or heartbreak. In the second short, 'Nightscape,' readers discover how, indeed, one thing just leads to another (First published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine as 'The Winning Ticket'). The final work, REVENANT, is another original novella and entangles Nameless in a weird crime with fearful occult overtones."
Shelton, Connie. ALIBIS CAN BE MURDER: Charlie Parker Mysteries. Secret Staircase Books. June '17. $13.99. Seventeenth in the series. "The weather turns to spring, and Charlie faces a pair of mysteries. Against Charlie's better judgment Ron, her PI partner, takes a cheating-spouse case that turns into a comedy of errors involving a star football player and his wife's petty vengeance. Meanwhile, Charlie's neighbor Elsa has a bad feeling about a family up the street. Is it a case of the neighborhood busybody having too much time on her hands, or is there truly something sinister happening with twin teen girls who've been left with too much money and not enough supervision? Charlie finds herself remembering what her own teen years were like as she tries to decipher what the twins are up to."
Spillane, Mickey & Collins, Max Allan. A LONG TIME DEAD: A Mike Hammer Casebook. MysteriousPress/Open Road. September '16. $14.99. "With an introduction by Max Allan Collins:The first collection of stories starring legendary Mike Hammer, the toughest private investigator in history. It starts with a few near-accidents. A car almost swipes Mike Hammer when he's crossing the street. A junkie robs the notoriously hardboiled detective at knifepoint. A fight on a subway platform comes close to pushing him in front of a train. While any one of these could be a coincidence, together they make a conspiracy - one that Hammer will have to end in order to survive. And when it comes to finishing something - or someone - nobody does it better than Hammer. One of the twentieth century's bestselling American mystery authors, Mickey Spillane changed noir fiction forever when he loosed Mike Hammer on the world. Now these eight short stories, collected and finished by Max Allan Collins, show that Spillane is still capable of redefining the genre. The stories in A LONG TIME DEAD have received numerous accolades, including an Edgar Award nomination, two International Association of Media and Tie-in Writers 'Scribe' Awards, and a Private Eye Writers of America's Shamus award."
Symonds, Tim. SHERLOCK HOLEMES AND THE NINE-DRAGON SIGIL. MX Publishing. December '16. $16.95. "It's the year 1906. Rumours abound that a deadly plot is hatching - not in the fog-ridden back-alleys of London's Limehouse district or the sinister Devon moors of the Hound of the Baskervilles but in faraway Peking. Holmes's task - discover whether such a plot exists and if so, foil it. But are the assassins targeting the young and progressive Ch'ing Emperor or his imperious aunt, the fearsome Empress Dowager Cixi? The murder of either could spark a civil war. The fate of China and the interests of Britain's vast Empire in the Orient could be at stake. Holmes and Watson take up the mission with their customary confidence until they find they are no longer in the familiar landscapes of Edwardian England. Instead, they tumble into the Alice In Wonderland world of the Forbidden City."
Tantimedh, Adi. HER NIGHLY EMBRACE: Book I of the Ravi PI Series. Atria/Leopoldo & Co. November '16. $26.00. First of three books in the series. The book is being turned into a TV series starring Sendhil Ramamurthy, of "Heroes" fame, as Private Investigator Ravi Chandra Singh. After failing as a religion scholar, Ravi goes to work for Golden Sentinels - a high-profile agency catering to the rich and famous. Ravi's cohorts at the agency, all intelligent and all failures, are supervised by Roger Golden and the mysterious office manager, Cheryl Hughes. Thrust into several high-profile cases, Ravi and his colleagues soon realize they're in way over their heads. When Ravi starts seeing visions of Hindu gods, things become even more complicated.
Thoft, Ingrid. DUPLICITY. G.P. Putnam's Sons. January '17. $25.00. Fourth in the series. "Gutsy Boston P.I. Fina Ludlow returns with a case that puts her faith to the test - in the latest addition to the critically acclaimed series by Ingrid Thoft. When Ceci Renard hires Ludlow and Associates to sue the hip new church that she believes has brainwashed her daughter, Fina Ludlow is assigned to the case. Covenant Rising Church has all the trappings of a less-than-holy organization: a slick young pastor and his comely wife; fancy houses and luxury cars; and devoted congregants who seem eager to part with their money. Fina wonders if Ceci disapproves of Covenant Rising's theology or the pastor's ability to solicit generous donations - until a prominent church member dies unexpectedly. Fina's investigation requires her to delve into the woman's life - both in and out of Covenant Rising - and ask a host of difficult questions. Is the pastor leading his flock astray? Did the church have a hand in the death or were there less savory elements in the woman's life outside the parish? The case proves to be a complicated morass of misplaced loyalties and questionable motivations, rivaled only by the current state of the Ludlow family. The return of eldest brother Rand sets in motion an explosive showdown that threatens the very fabric that holds the family together, forcing Fina to confront the true meaning of faith."
Thompson, Victoria. MURDER IN THE BOWERY. Berkley Books. May '17. $26.00. Nineteenth in the Gaslight Mystery series. "The latest Gaslight Mystery from the bestselling author ...finds Sarah Brandt and Frank Malloy searching for a connection between a murdered newsie and a high society woman with dangerous habits. Frank Malloy's latest client is the well-dressed Will Bert. He's searching for his brother, a newsboy named Freddie, so he can share his new financial good fortune. Frank makes quick work of the case and locates Freddie, but a happy reunion between brothers is not in the cards. When Will's name is mentioned, Freddie runs off - only to be found dead a short time later. Suspicious, Frank tracks down Will who spins a tale of lust and deceit involving a young society woman, Estelle Longacre, also recently deceased. Frank can't be sure if Estelle's risky behavior and the company she kept was to blame, or if her own ruthless family had a hand in her death. Frank will need Sarah's help to unearth the dark secrets of the wealthy Longacres and to discover if there is a connection between Estelle and Freddie's death. Together they must navigate a perilous underground web of treachery to find the truth."
Viets, Elaine. CHECKED OUT: A Dead-End Job Mystery. NAL. September '16. $7.99. Thirteenth in the series. "Shhh...in the newest hardcover in the national bestselling Dead-End Job Mystery series, Helen Hawthorne quietly goes undercover at a local library to search for a missing masterpiece. Wealthy socialite Elizabeth Cateman Kingsley has hired Helen to find a missing John Singer Sargent painting, owned by her late father. After his death, many of Davis Cateman's books were donated to the Flora Park library, and his daughter suspects the small watercolor - worth millions - was tucked away inside one of those dusty tomes. To search the stacks, Helen applies for a position as a library volunteer and discovers the library director has a catalog of complaints - from a mischievous calico cat named Paris to the mysterious disappearance of various items that some of the more imaginative staff are attributing to a ghost haunting the building. While her husband Phil sticks his neck out to find a missing necklace, Helen is on her own with no one to lend her a hand. When a dead body turns up in a parking lot, it appears someone is willing to go to any lengths to keep the treasure in the library quiet. Now Helen is bound and determined to find the killer as well as the painting - before she's taken out of circulation herself."
© 1996-2017 Bill Palmer.