Bestsellers, Crime & Mystery: November 2018
The Spotted Dog (Corinna Chapman 07)
Intrepid baker and erstwhile investigator Corinna Chapman returns, triumphantly – in her first adventure in seven years. When a distraught Scottish veteran from Afghanistan is knocked unconscious, waking up to find his beloved ex-service dog missing, Corinna and her lover, Daniel, find themselves inextricably drawn into the machinations of a notorious underworld gang of drug runners. Corinna and Daniel need to pull together all the strings to find the connections between their wandering Scottish veteran, his kidnapped dog, a student dramatic society that’s moved into Corinna’s building, burglaries and the threatening notes that begin to mysteriously appear in Corinna’s apartment. Between her forays into danger, there is still time in Corinna’s life for tender encounters as the delicious aromas of newly-baked breads, muffins and treats waft out of Corinna’s bakery, Earthly Delights.
Mystery | TP | $29.99
Tombland (Shardlake 07)
C J Sansom
Two years after the death of Henry VIII, England is sliding into chaos… Since the old King’s death, Matthew Shardlake has been working as a lawyer in the service of Henry’s younger daughter, the Lady Elizabeth. The gruesome murder of Edith Boleyn, the wife of John Boleyn – a distant Norfolk relation of Elizabeth’s mother – which could have political implications for Elizabeth, brings Shardlake and his assistant Nicholas Overton to the summer assizes at Norwich. There they are reunited with Shardlake’s former assistant Jack Barak. The three find layers of mystery and danger surrounding Edith’s death, as a second murder is committed… And about time! Excellent series! So pleased there’s finally another! Recommended!
Historical mystery | TP | $29.99
Shell Game (V I Warshawski 19)
Legendary sleuth V I Warshawski returns to the Windy City to save an old friend’s nephew from a murder arrest. The case involves a stolen artefact that could implicate a shadowy network of international criminals. As V I investigates, the detective soon finds herself tangling with the Russian mob, ISIS backers and a shady network of stock scams and stolen art that stretches from Chicago to the East Indies and the Middle East… Holy cow! Still Going! (And, yet, we calculate V I must be around 76 in real years now! Isn’t it nearly time for her to send others out to do the dangerous stuff! Wot a gal! Seriously: Do. Not. Mess. With. Her.)
Mystery | TP | $29.99
Past Tense (Jack Reacher 23)
Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn’t get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What’s one extra day? He takes the detour. But as Reacher explores his father’s life, strands of different stories begin to emerge – and Reacher makes a shocking discovery: The present can be tough, but the past can be tense… and deadly.
Thriller | TP | $32.99
The Stranger Diaries
Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. A high school English teacher specializing in the Gothic writer R M Holland, she teaches a course on it every year. But when one of Clare’s colleagues and closest friends is found dead, with a line from R M Holland’s most famous story, ‘The Stranger’, left by her body; Clare is horrified to see her life collide with the storylines of her favourite literature. To make matters worse, the police suspect the killer is someone Clare knows. Unsure whom to trust, she turns to her closest confidant, her diary, the only outlet she has for her darkest suspicions and fears about the case. Then one day she notices something odd. Writing that isn’t hers, left on the page of an old diary: Hallo, Clare. You don’t know me. Clare becomes more certain than ever: ‘The Stranger’ has come to terrifying life. But can the ending be rewritten in time?
Mystery | TP | $29.99
Awkward Squad (Awkward Squad 01)
One of Ron’s favourites! Translated from French – set in Paris – a bunch of misfit Parisian policemen and women are seconded into a new squad and given the files on literally thousands of minor and – it turns out – not-so-minor cold cases. Really charming – great characters – and quite a good little plot! Now in paperback; the sequel, Stick Together (TP, $29.95) is available, too.
Caper | PBK | $19.99
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (Mary Russell 01)
Laurie R King
First in the long-running series set in 1914. Young Mary Russell meets a retired beekeeper. His name is Sherlock Holmes, and he sees a fellow intellect in 15-year-old Mary, so takes her as his apprentice. Together, they tackle crimes and investigations, as Sherlock becomes Mary’s mentor and friend. Lots of love for this series over the years – and it seems to be having a new lease of life recently (that may just be because we adore it and recommend it… a lot).
Sherlockiana | PBK | $19.99
The Darkest Day (Inspector Barbarotti 01)
It’s December in the quiet Swedish town of Kymlinge, and the Hermansson family are gathering to celebrate father Karl-Erik and eldest daughter Ebba’s joint landmark birthdays. But beneath the guise of happy festivities, tensions are running high, and it’s not long before the night takes a dark and unexpected turn… Before the weekend is over, two members of the Hermansson family are missing, and it’s up to Inspector Barbarotti – a detective who spends as much of his time debating the existence of God, as he does solving cases – to determine exactly what has happened. And he soon discovers he’ll have to unravel a whole tangle of sinister family secrets in the process…
Suspense | PBK | $18.99
Greeks Bearing Gifts (Bernie Gunther 13)
It is 1956, and Bernie Gunther has a new name, a clean passport, a chip on his shoulder, and a menial low-paying job in Munich. And then an old friend arrives to repay a debt. He encourages Bernie to take a job, as a claims adjuster, in a major German insurance company. Which is why Bernie finds himself in Athens investigating a claim by Siegfried Witzel, a brutish former Wehrmacht soldier who served in Greece during the war. Witzel’s supposed losses are immense, and, even worse, they may have originally belonged to Greek Jews deported to Auschwitz. But when Bernie tries to confront Witzel, he finds that somebody else has gotten to him first. What he has now is a dead man: Both his eyes have been shot out… We love this hugely-entertaining series, which begins with the omnibus Berlin Noir (PBK, $29.99). Unfortunately, Kerr died in March; so, this is the penultimate volume of Bernie’s adventures (Metropolis, the final one, is due in April/May 2019).
Noir | PBK | $19.99
After a shootout claims the life of his partner in a condemned tenement building on Pearl Street, Detective John Tallow unwittingly stumbles across an apartment stacked high with guns. When examined, each weapon leads to a different, previously unsolved murder. Someone has been killing people for 20 years or more and storing the weapons together for some inexplicable purpose. Confronted with the sudden emergence of hundreds of unsolved homicides, Tallow soon discovers that he’s walked into a veritable deal with the devil. An unholy bargain that has made possible the rise of some of Manhattan’s most prominent captains of industry. A hunter who performs his deadly acts as a sacrifice to the old gods of Manhattan, who may, quite simply, be the most prolific murderer in New York City’s history. This is old (2013) – but so good! – and we’ve been recommending it a lot. If you haven’t yet discovered Ellis – maybe you should?
Noir | PBK | $19.99