Shot in the Dark: A Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo CoyleWhat it's about: A dating app, Cinder, has business at Manhattan's Village Blend percolating as users meet there -- until a bitter Cinder user threatens a former date in the coffeehouse and manager Clare Cosi finds another customer floating in a nearby river. Are the two incidents related? With trouble brewing, Clare searches for a killer.
Series alert: This is the 17th engaging Coffeehouse mystery; readers who want to watch recently engaged Clare's romantic relationship develop throughout the cozy series can start with the 1st book, On What Grounds. Recipes are included.
Island of the Mad
by Laurie R. King
What it's about: A June summer's evening, on the Sussex Downs, in 1925. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are strolling across their orchard when the telephone rings: an old friend's beloved aunt has failed to return following a supervised outing from Bedlam.
Series alert: This is the 11th book in the series. If you want to start at the beginning, pick up The Beekeeper's Apprentice.
Reviewers say: "King’s storytelling is always a pleasure, full of lush details and clever twists." (Booklist)
A Death of No Importance: A Mystery by Mariah FredericksIntroducing: intelligent, observant ladies' maid Jane Prescott, who takes a job working for the nouveau-riche Benchley family in 1910 Manhattan.
What happens: After pretty Charlotte Benchley's playboy fiancé is murdered, Jane partners with a journalist to solve the crime in a case that touches on class differences, a mining accident, anarchists, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.
For fans of: Downton Abbey, Victoria Thompson's Gaslight mysteries, or Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy mysteries.
Scot Free: A Last Ditch Mystery by Catriona McPhersonStarring: Lexy Campbell, a Scottish marriage counselor who moved to California several months ago to marry the man of her dreams. But he's a cheat, they're divorcing, and she's going home.
What happens: The cops arrest one of Lexy's clients, a sweet elderly woman, for killing her husband; Lexy knows she's innocent, and forgoes flying back to Edinburgh to prove it.
Who it's for: Readers who like fish-out-of-water stories or humorous cozies with eccentric characters will enjoy this lighthearted series debut.
A Necessary Evil by Abir MukherjeeWhat it's about: In 1920 Calcutta, the crown prince of a small Indian kingdom is assassinated. It happens in front of Police Captain Sam Wyndham, a World War I veteran who'd worked for Scotland Yard, and Sergeant "Surrender-not" Banerjee, who'd been at Harrow with the prince. The two cops try to determine who ordered the killing, but religion, romance, and palace intrigue complicate their investigation.
Series alert: Like A Rising Man, the initial book in the series, this 2nd Sam Wyndham novel offers a strong sense of place, dry humor, a compelling plot, and well-realized characters.
Back to Bologna: An Aurelio Zen Mystery by Michael DibdinWhat happens: World-weary Venetian police detective Aurelio Zen is sent to Bologna to investigate the murder of the unpopular owner of the local soccer team. The case quickly spirals out of control and entangles Zen with a semiotics student, his professor, a mysterious immigrant "princess," a celebrity chef, and an incompetent private detective.
Series alert: This 10th of 11 books in the delightfully dark yet humorous Aurelio Zen mysteries is "a tour-de-farce worthy of Groucho Marx" (Kirkus Reviews).
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall SmithStarring: intuitive, kind Precious Ramotswe, the founder and owner of Botswana's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
What happens: Precious investigates the unexpected losing streak of a local soccer club and her beloved white van develops an odd rumble.
Who it's for: Fans of charming cozies with strong senses of place will like this 10th in a series that inspired the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency TV show starring Jill Scott.
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