Revolver Road by Christi DaughertyWhat happens: After a death threat, Savannah, Georgia, crime reporter Harper McClain is temporarily living on nearby Tybee Island. So when a famous musician's body washes up on the beach, complete with bullet holes, Harper is in the perfect location to dig into the case.
For fans of: Atmospheric, suspenseful mysteries featuring complex protagonists, such as Laura Lippman's books starring Tess Monaghan, a Baltimore journalist turned private detective.
About the author: The writer of two previous Harper McClain mysteries, former reporter Christi Daugherty also pens the young adult Night School books under the name C.J. Daugherty.
Death of an American Beauty by Mariah FredericksWhat happens: In 1913 Manhattan, lady’s maid Jane Prescott spends her week off with her uncle, Reverend Tewin Prescott, who runs a refuge for former prostitutes on the Lower East Side. But she's soon investigating a murder after a former resident's body is found outside the refuge and disapproving neighbors are only too happy to blame her uncle.
Series alert: This the 3rd Jane Prescott mystery, though each is self-contained enough to be enjoyed on its own.
Read it for: Clever plotting, entertaining characters, and a fascinating look at societal tensions in Gilded Age New York.
Running Out of Road by Daniel FriedmanStarring: Cantankerous Buck Schatz, a retired Jewish police detective in Memphis, Tennessee, who's nearing 90, dealing with dementia, and whose beloved wife of 72 years has cancer.
What happens: In Buck's compelling 3rd outing, Carlos Watkins, an NPR producer for a program about the justice system, wants to interview him...because he thinks Buck coerced a confession out of a man who's nearing his execution date after 35 years on death row.
Reviewers say: "Screamingly funny and achingly sad" (Kirkus Reviews).
A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda JonesStarring: Single mom Sunshine Vicram, who, thanks to her interfering parents, is the new sheriff of her quirky hometown of Del Sol, New Mexico.
What happens: A teenager goes missing, a prisoner escapes, and Sunshine needs to work with both a handsome FBI agent and an attractive U.S. Marshal...and she also tries to remember details from her own unsolved abduction when she was a teen.
Who it's for: This compellingly funny 1st in a new series by the bestselling author of the Charley Davidson novels is perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum mysteries.
Murder in an Irish Cottage by Carlene O'ConnorWhat it's about: Traveling to a remote village in County Cork, Ireland, rookie Garda Siobhán O’Sullivan and her secret fiancé, Garda Macdara Flannery, look into his aunt's murder while his cousin acts strangely and the superstitious locals think it's all the work of unhappy fairies.
Reviewers say: "Plenty of surprising twists and oodles of Irish charm" (Kirkus Reviews).
Try this next: If you like this 5th Irish Village novel, pick up one of Sheila Connolly's delightful County Cork mysteries, which feature an American who moves to a small Irish village to run a pub she inherits.
Hid from Our Eyes by Julia Spencer-FlemingWhat it is: The long-awaited (seven years!) 9th entry in the award-winning series that began in 2002 with In the Bleak Midwinter.
What happens: Millers Kill, New York police chief Russ van Alstyne, with help from his wife, Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson, investigates a murder that closely resembles two old, unsolved killings, including one for which Russ, fresh from the Vietnam War, was the prime suspect.
You might also like: Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway mystery series or Deborah Crombie's Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James novels -- though both popular series are set in the U.K., they feature compelling plots and complicated relationships.
The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes by Leonard GoldbergIntroducing: Joanna Blalock, a beautiful widow, the mother to a ten-year-old boy...and the secret daughter of Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler; Dr. John Watson, Jr., our narrator and the son of Sherlock Holmes' close friend and chronicler.
What happens: In 1914, Joanna and her son witness a crime, which leads to a partnership with Watson, Jr., and his elderly father.
Series alert: This is the well-plotted 1st Daughter of Sherlock Holmes novel; the 4th entry, The Art of Deception, is due this summer.
IQ by Joe IdeIntroducing: Isaiah "IQ" Quintabe, a 20-something high school dropout who lives in one of Los Angeles's toughest neighborhoods and uses his Sherlock-esque intellect to solve local crimes when the LAPD can't (or won't).
What happens: He usually takes food, tires, etc. for payment, but needing cash, IQ investigates the attempted murder (via attack dog) of increasingly paranoid rap mogul Black the Knife.
Why you might like it: Balancing dual timelines (we learn about IQ's troubled teen years), author Joe Ide, who himself grew up in South Central L.A., provides an appealing original detective and surrounds him with quirky characters in a witty and clever series debut.
A Study in Honor by Claire O'DellStarring: Dr. Janet Watson, a disabled veteran of America's second Civil War, and her new roommate, the brilliant, enigmatic Sara Holmes.
Why you might like it: Full of literary references, this gender-swapped Sherlock Holmes adaptation introduces a pair of LGBTQIA women of color who solve mysteries in a near-future Washington, D.C. and is followed by an equally entertaining 2nd book, The Hound of Justice.
You might also like: The fun, fantastical versions of Sherlock and Watson found in Alexis Hall's The Affair of the Mysterious Letter.
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry ThomasThe premise: Sherlock Holmes is actually a woman.
What? How? After social ruination, brilliant, eccentric Charlotte Holmes reinvents herself as a detective with help from wealthy widow Joanna Watson. "Assisting" a fictitious brother named Sherlock, Charlotte investigates when Victorian London is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father.
For fans of: This delightful 1st in the Lady Sherlock series should please readers who like Deanna Raybourn's romantic historical mystery series, where characters' relationships develop throughout the books.
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