The Diabolical Bones by Bella EllisStarring: Anne, Emily, and Charlotte Brontë, pen-wielding sisters who live in a Yorkshire parsonage with their father and brother...and solve crimes.
What it's about: In December 1845, the skeletal remains of a child are found in a nearby home's chimney. The sisters set out to find who the child was, which has them checking out local rumors, monster stories, and abusive child labor practices.
Series alert: Full of Gothic atmosphere, this is the compelling sequel to The Vanished Bride; the author is currently working on the 3rd Brontë Sisters mystery.
Blood Grove by Walter MosleyWhat happens: In the summer of 1969, Black Los Angeles PI Easy Rawlins, a World War II vet, agrees to help a traumatized white Vietnam vet, who says that while trying to save a woman, he thinks he killed a Black man -- but the scene of the supposed crime is completely clean.
Why you might like it: Featuring unforgettable characters, this atmospheric 15th Easy Rawlins mystery takes place against the backdrop of the social and political changes of the 1960s.
Award buzz: The National Book Foundation recently presented Walter Mosley with the 2020 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
Picnic in the Ruins by Todd Robert PetersenWhat it's about: Crossing paths with two inept criminals hired to steal Native American maps, Ph.D. student Sophia Shepard, who's in the Utah-Arizona border region working on her dissertation, finds herself on a madcap trip that involves a magician, a German tourist, a local sheriff, and a video game designer.
Why you might like it: Picnic in the Ruins is a clever noirish caper with a vivid setting that thoughtfully looks at the ethics of artifact collection.
For fans of: Tony Hillerman, Carl Hiaasen, and William Boyle's A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself.
Knock Knock by Anders RoslundWhat happens: After new murders mimic old ones, Stockholm DS Ewert Grens, who's nearing retirement, looks for the now-adult girl who survived years ago and was put in witness protection...but her records are missing. Meanwhile Hoffman, a police informer, faces an underworld threat to his family and wants Grens' help.
Series alert: Knock Knock, which has also been published as Three Days, is the 8th Grens novel overall and the 4th pairing Grens and Hoffman; previous entries were co-written with the late Börge Hellström. All of these suspenseful books can be enjoyed on their own.
Aunt Dimity's Good Deed by Nancy AthertonWhat it's about: When her husband must miss their planned trip to England to visit the charming cottage she's inherited, Lori Shepherd 's father-in-law goes in his place. When the older man goes missing, Lori sets out to find him, guided by the ghost of Aunt Dimity.
Series alert: This is the 3rd in a bestselling cozy series; the 24th and most recent book, Aunt Dimity and the Heart of Gold, came out last year.
Read this next: Carolyn G. Hart's Bailey Ruth mysteries, which star a ghost; Donna Andrews' Meg Langslow mysteries, which also has quirky characters and chronicles family and village life.
The Good Detective by John McMahonStarring: rural Georgia detective P.T. Marsh, who's drinking too much after the accidental deaths of his wife and son.
What happens: His troubles culminate the morning after he beats up the abusive boyfriend of a stripper and awakens with little memory of the previous evening -- and learns the man is dead. Did P.T. kill him? Adding to the questions, the boyfriend seems to have taken part in a hate killing hours before his own death.
Why you might like it: This 1st in the P.T. Marsh series is a debut that was named a 2019 New York Times Top 10 Crime Novel, and it offers a complex mystery that examines grief, race issues, and what it means to be good. The 3rd entry, A Good Kill, comes out in June.
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