No Witness But the Moon by Suzanne ChazinPolice Procedural. In a small upstate New York town, Hispanic police officer Jimmy Vega is the first cop on the scene of a home invasion where shots have been fired. A tense stand-off in the dark between Vega and an immigrant burglar ends with Vega firing his gun. As Vega deals with the fallout of the shooting (including his own troubled emotions), he finds those closest to him questioning his story and discovers a link between the man he shot and the brutal unsolved murder of his own mother. Fully realized characters and a thought-provoking (and timely) plot make this compelling 3rd entry in the Jimmy Vega series a good choice for fans of both Louise Penny and Michael Connelly.
The Moth Catcher by Ann CleevesMystery. After the body of a stranger is found in a ditch in the small Northumberland community of Valley Farm, dogged DI Vera Stanhope and good-hearted DS Joe Ashworth visit the nearby country home where the dead man had been house sitting...and discover another corpse. Try as they might, the only connection they find between the two dead men is a mutual affection for moths. As the investigation progresses, the cops discover that many of the people living in Valley Farm have secrets, especially the three middle-aged couples who make up "the retired hedonists' club." This is the 7th book in the Vera Stanhope series (which is the inspiration for Vera, the popular TV show starring Brenda Blethyn). For another atmospheric series featuring a smart, irascible female detective in Europe, try Norwegian author Anne Holt's Hanne Wilhelmsen novels.
Glow of Death by Jane K. ClelandCozy Mystery. When she's called to appraise a possible Tiffany lamp by Edward and Ava Towson, Josie Prescott is delighted; though most stained glass lamps aren't Tiffany, some are and the sale of one would bring a hefty commission. Her delight turns to puzzlement a few days later, however, when the real Ava Towson is killed, and Josie learns that the wealthy couple who'd requested her help were impostors, and that their story about the Tiffany lamp was a carefully constructed lie. Not only that, but the Tiffany lamp she'd declared authentic has been replaced with a fake. Upset at being conned, Josie can't help but nose around. This 11th Josie Prescott mystery set in coastal New Hampshire should please cozy readers who enjoy watching Antiques Roadshow.
The Inheritance by Charles FinchHistorical Mystery. It's a snowy January 3, 1877 in London when gentleman detective Charles Lenox receives an odd letter from Gerald Leigh, a former Harrow schoolmate who'd been an outcast there, but has become a renowned scientist living in France. Later, it appears that Gerald has gone missing, and Charles wonders if the letter and his disappearance are related to the mysterious benefactor who paid for Gerald's expensive schooling. Meanwhile, Charles' partners, Polly Buchanan and Lord John Dallington, investigate break-ins at Parliament. As the trio work their cases, they encounter both East End gangs and Royal Society denizens. Readers who enjoy intricately plotted, elegantly written traditional mysteries will love the Charles Lenox Chronicles; The Inheritance is the 10th entry.
Ruler of the Night by David MorrellHistorical Mystery. Trains are still fairly new in 1855 England, providing a novel setting for murder in this excellent book, the last in a trilogy. Drug addict/author/private inquiry agent Thomas De Quincey investigates the high profile killing along with his irrepressible daughter Emily, getting help from various real-life personages and personable Scotland Yard detectives. De Quincey learns that the dead man held powerful secrets -- and that his own most ruthless adversary may be involved. Anne Perry fans who'd like another atmospheric, tightly plotted Victorian mystery but with more action should pick up the Thomas De Quincey mysteries by bestselling author David Morrell (who's also the creator of the character Rambo).
Beloved Poison by E.S. ThomsonHistorical Mystery. In this well-researched debut novel set in 1850s London, young Jem Flockhart has a secret: in order to work as an apothecary alongside her ill father, she has been pretending to be a man. It's been fine, but when the large infirmary she works at is slated to be torn down to make way for a railway, she finds herself with one of the young architects, Will Quartermain, for a roommate. Since Will is nice enough, Jem helps him with his work, during which the two find six tiny coffins holding dolls and flowers in the centuries-old infirmary's chapel. Jem and Will search for answers, and find much more than they bargained for, especially when murders occur. With a strong sense of place that captures the grim realities of life in a 19th-century infirmary as well as a cemetery relocation, Beloved Poison is a good choice for non-squeamish historical mystery readers.
Full Dark House by Christopher FowlerMystery. This creative take on the detective novel tells the stories of John May's and Arthur Bryant's first case (a 1940 murder in a theater)...and their last (involving an explosion at their modern-day London Peculiar Crime Unit's headquarters, which is related to the earlier killing and leaves nothing behind of the elderly Bryant but his false teeth). May goes over decades-old information and memories in order to figure out what the World War II-era murder has to do with the explosion. With writing that makes London come to life, banter-filled dialogue, and quirky detectives you'll enjoy spending time with, this 1st in a fantastic series is a perfect read for those looking for something a bit different.
S is for Silence by Sue GraftonMystery. Tough, confident California PI Kinsey Millhone wants to learn the truth behind a decades-old cold case, but it won't be easy. Thirty-four years after beautiful Violet Sullivan's unexplained disappearance on July 4, 1953, Daisy, the daughter she left behind, enlists Kinsey to help her find out what happened to her mom. Did Violet simply walk out on her daughter and abusive husband, like some insist? Or was she herself a victim, like others think? And what was in the safe deposit box she emptied the week before she disappeared? Juicy tidbits about Kinsey and atmospheric flashbacks to 1953 add dimension to this 19th entry in this bestselling series that's now up to letter X.
If the Dead Rise Not: A Bernie Gunther Novel by Philip KerrHistorical Mystery. Full of rich atmosphere, this Bernie Gunther novel (the 6th of 11 thus far) is set in 1954 in Havana...but certain events force Bernie to relive his experiences in 1934 Berlin. Back then, as the Nazis prepared to host the 1936 Olympics, Bernie had a choice: join the Nazi party, or lose his job. He quit, and also agreed to help a beautiful American organize a U.S. boycott of the Olympic Games. Things didn't end well, and in 1954, she reappears, along with an American mobster from Bernie's past. If the Dead Rise Not fills in a lot of Bernie's backstory, making for a fine entree into the series, though purists may want to start with March Violets.
The Lake House: A Novel by Kate MortonMystery. London police detective Sadie Sparrow has been messing up at work -- especially on a recent child abandonment case -- and needs a break. Staying at her grandfather's Cornwall home, she comes across a rundown country house in the woods, abandoned by the family in 1933 when their toddler son disappeared during a party and was never found. Sadie meets the boy's sister, now an elderly mystery writer living in London, and tries to sort out what happened those many years ago, triggering a series of events that lead to shocking revelations. Set in both 1933 and 2003, this gothic-tinged mystery should please fans of Eve Chase's debut, Black Rabbit Hall.
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