The Woman in the Library by Sulari GentillThe letters: Hannah, a published author, provides chapters from her work-in-progress to Leo, a longtime fan, who chattily emails his feedback...but his correspondence grows disturbing.
The book: In Hannah's novel, after a disturbing incident at the Boston Public Library, four visitors strike up a friendship, but one of them may be a killer.
For fans of: Twisty novel-within-a-novel mysteries, Anthony Horowitz's books, Eva Jurczyk's The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, and Jane Pek's The Verifiers.
Something Wicked by David HousewrightThe setup: Cop turned unofficial PI Rush McKenzie is taking it easy in St. Paul, Minnesota, after investigating a case that almost killed him. But then his wife's friend needs help after her wealthy grandmother dies.
What happens: Rush stays at the deceased woman's luxury hotel, located in a 19th-century castle situated by a lake, but his inquiries are thwarted by a cremated body and feuding relatives. Then there's a second death.
Read this next: For another mystery series starring a cop who left the force after a large payday, pick up Stephen Mack Jones' August Snow series, which is set in Detroit.
The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini NagendraStarring: Kaveri Murthy, a 19-year-old Sherlock Holmes and mathematics fan who's moved to Bangalore in 1921 after her arranged marriage to handsome young doctor Ramu.
What happens: When a party at the Century Club ends with a murder and a vulnerable woman is connected to the crime, Kaveri investigates, going everywhere from shacks and brothels to an Englishman's mansion.
For fans of: Alexander McCall Smith, Sujata Massey, Vaseem Khan, and lighthearted mysteries with charming characters.
Last Call at the Nightingale by Katharine Schellman1924 Manhattan: After sewing in a factory all day, Vivian escapes to the Nightingale, a speakeasy run by Honor "Hux" Huxley where people dance and drink together, no matter their class, race, or sexual orientation.
What happens: Vivian finds a murdered man outside the club, and then gets caught in a police raid. When Hux bails her out of jail, she asks Vivian to help find out who the dead man was and who wanted him dead.
For fans of: Evocative New York City-set historical mysteries with entertaining characters, such as Stephen Spotswood's Pentecost and Parker mysteries.
The Key to Deceit by Ashley WeaverStarring: Electra McDonnell, who's part of a family of locksmiths and safecrackers and occasionally helps out British intelligence.
What happens: In 1940 London, Electra's given a new job from handsome Major Ramsey: she's to unlock a strange bracelet found on the body of a drowned woman. Electra makes quick work of the lock, then she and the major try to find out if the victim was a spy, and if so, who she was working for.
Series alert: Following A Peculiar Combination, The Key to Deceit is the 2nd in a fun series and a "thoroughly ingenious blend of rom-com and spy cozy" (Booklist).
Fiddling With Fate
by Kathleen Ernst
The setup: After her mother's unexpected death, curator Chloe Ellefson discovers hidden antiques that hint at family secrets. Chloe is thrilled with the opportunity to explore Hardanger fiddle and dance traditions...and her own heritage.
What happens: As Chloe fine-tunes her search for the truth, a killer's desire to stop her builds to a deadly crescendo.
What else to try: The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths or Murder in Chianti by Camilla Trinchieri are richly detailed and intricately plotted.
Star Island by Carl HiaasenMissing: Ann DeLusia, the secret body double of pop star Cherry Pye, who struggles with addictions and doesn't always make it to events.
What happens: Cherry's entourage (a mixed bag, to be sure) has to rescue Ann from an obsessed paparazzo who thinks she's Cherry, while also keeping Ann's existence a secret not only from Cherry's adoring public, but also from Cherry herself.
Why you might like it: Star Island is "classic Carl Hiaasen -- demented, hilarious, and utterly over the top" (Booklist) and features a creatively wacky plot that pokes fun at the world of celebrity.
Trouble Is What I Do by Walter MosleyWhat happens: A 92-year-old Black Mississippi bluesman, Catfish Worry, is targeted by an infamous assassin. New York detective Leonid McGill takes the case to keep Catfish safe and to get a message to Catfish's wealthy white granddaughter, to let her know of her heritage.
Want a taste? "They both wore new blue jeans, checkered blue work shirts, and hard leather shoes that had counted more miles than a Fitbit could imagine."
Series alert: This is the 6th and most recent Leonid McGill mystery and it offers compelling dialogue, fascinating characters, and a gritty look at contemporary New York City.
Tie Die by Max TomlinsonStarring: Unlicensed PI Colleen Hayes, who spent ten years in prison for killing her abusive ex and who is the mother of an adult daughter in a cult.
How it begins: Though he was a British rock star as a teen, 29-year-old Steve Cook now works construction in 1978 San Francisco and is dad to a difficult 11-year-old girl.
What happens: When his daughter is kidnapped, desperate Steve turns to Colleen for help. Knowing what it's like to lose your child, Colleen investigates in this compelling, atmospheric follow-up to Vanishing in the Haight, which introduced the resilient PI.
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