Death in St. Petersburg: A Lady Emily Mystery by Tasha AlexanderHistorical Mystery. In St. Petersburg, Russia, the body of a rising star, a young prima ballerina, is discovered in the snow, still wearing her white Swan Lake tutu. Having attended the ballet, Lady Emily and her British spy husband become involved in a case that is complicated by a distraught lover, the politics of Tsarist Russia, and sightings of a ghostly dancer. This well-researched 12th entry in the Lady Emily mysteries will make readers feel as if they've visited St. Petersburg. Ballet aficionados will find much to like here, including narrative parts of the story that portray the young ballerina at school.
The Seagull by Ann CleevesMystery. DCI Vera Stanhope's latest case has a link to her now-deceased cop father, who raised her alone...and sometimes used her as a lookout on some of his less-than-legal outings with his "Gang of Four." While Vera's giving a talk at a prison, current inmate (and former cop and Gang-of-Four member) John Brace tells her he has info about a buried body -- if she looks after his daughter. Vera agrees, and then the cops dig up two skeletons instead of one. What do a 1980s bar and her father have to do with it all? Tough, dedicated Vera will sort it out. This is the 8th in the compelling series that inspired TV's Vera.
The Blood Card by Elly GriffithsHistorical Mystery. It's 1953, and while most of England is preparing for the coronation of its young queen, DI Edgar Stephens and his two detective sergeants investigate the suspicious death of a Brighton fortune teller. Then, Edgar and his magician friend Max Mephisto try to figure out who murdered their former commanding officer, leading Edgar to take a trip to New York alone as Max readies for his television debut. This engaging 3rd entry in Elly Griffiths atmospheric Stephens and Mephisto novels will please fans of 1950s-set mysteries as well as those who like a bit of romance with their crimes.
Righteous: An IQ novel by Joe IdeMystery. In this firecracker of a follow-up to last year's award-winning debut IQ, readers find Isaiah “IQ” Quintabe dealing with the news that his beloved brother Marcus' hit-and-run death eight years ago wasn't an accident. Then, Marcus' former fiancée shows up; her sister is in trouble in Las Vegas and needs help. IQ and his volatile (and funny) sidekick, Dodson, head to Sin City to help out and end up dealing with Chinese gangsters and a formidable loan shark. Anyone looking for a modern, gritty take on Sherlock Holmes should check out this fantastic series.
Murderous Mistral by Cay RademacherMystery. Policing in Provence may sound like a dream job, but it's punishment for Capitaine Roger Blanc; he's been transferred from Paris after leading corruption investigations into a trade minister and others. He has a home (inherited, in dire need of renovation) but no wife (she stayed in the city with her lover). When an unpopular local man is murdered, Blanc works to solve the crime, even if his new partner is a bit lackadaisical about the whole thing. Wish you were in the South of France? This evocative series launch should take you there.
Old Scores by Will ThomasHistorical Mystery. In anticipation of opening an embassy, a delegation of Japanese diplomats has arrived in 1890 London. When one of them is shot to death, detective Cyrus Barker is accused of the crime (to be fair, he was near the murder scene carrying a gun that had been recently fired). Hired by one of the diplomats who doesn't think he did it, Baker and his witty Welsh sidekick Llewelyn try to find the real killer in this strong 9th series entry that gives fans previously unknown details about Barker's time in Asia. Love Victorian London mysteries? Try Alex Grecian's Scotland Yard's Murder Squad novels or David Morrell’s Thomas De Quincey mysteries.
If You Like: Katherine Hall Page
Blood Orange by Susan Wittig AlbertCozy Mystery. In the small Texas Hill Country town of Pecan Springs, herbalist China Bayles tends her shop, About Thyme, as well as jointly running a tea room and a rental house. When the nurse renting the cottage discovers disturbing evidence about a patient's death, and then a suspicious accident lands her in a coma, China and her friends investigate. Like the Faith Fairchild mysteries, the China Bayles mysteries feature over two dozen series entries starring a strong female amateur sleuth living in a richly described small-town setting (and recipes are included!). Blood Orange is the 24th China book; the most recent one is The Last Chance Olive Ranch, which came out earlier this year.
The Nightingale Before Christmas by Donna AndrewsCozy Mystery. As a blacksmith and mother of twins, Meg Langslow has her hands full. While she has her Christmas shopping done, she's in charge of keeping the decorators for the local historical society's Christmas show house organized. That's no easy task...especially when one of them is killed and her designer mother is suspected. Like Katherine Hall Page's books, Donna Andrews' charming cozy series has endearingly eccentric characters and large dollops of humor. If you enjoy Meg's Christmas investigations, pick up the latest in the series, How the Finch Stole Christmas!
Devil's Food Cake Murder by Joanne FlukeCozy Mystery. After her best friend Claire and her new husband, the Reverend Bob Knudson, leave Lake Eden, Minnesota for their much-anticipated honeymoon, caterer Hannah Swensen stumbles upon the body of Bob's substitute minister -- and then questions arise about the dead man's identity. If your favorite part of Katherine Hall Page's books are the culinary elements, Joanna Fluke's books are chock full of them (and so many recipes!); they also have a similar tone and small-town charm. Devil's Food Cake Murder is the 14th Hannah book; Banana Cream Pie Murder, the 21st and most recent entry in this series, came out in February.
Dead by Midnight: A Death on Demand Mystery by Carolyn HartCozy Mystery. In Broward's Rock, South Carolina, mystery bookstore owner Annie Darling refuses to believe that her newest employee committed suicide. Together with her loving husband Max, she investigates a series of clues, including a hidden towel and the lack of fingerprints on a mug -- and decides to set a trap for the murderer. Katherine Hall Page's readers will appreciate Carolyn Hart's clever plots, charming setting, and likable amateur sleuth. Instead of recipes, though, there are delightful details about mystery books and authors.
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