Bestsellers, Crime & Mystery: 2019

#1

Metropolis (Bernie Gunther 14 & final!)
Philip Kerr
Summer, 1928. Berlin, a city where nothing is verboten… In the night streets, political gangs wander, looking for fights. Daylight reveals a beleaguered populace barely recovering from the post-war inflation, often jobless, reeling from the reparations imposed by the victors. At central police HQ, the Murder Commission has its hands full. A killer is on the loose, and though he scatters many clues, each is a dead end. It’s almost as if he is taunting the cops. Meanwhile, the press is having a field day. This is what Bernie Gunther finds, on his first day with the Murder Commission. He’s been taken on because the people at the top have noticed him – they think he has the makings of a first-rate detective. But not just yet. Right now, he must listen and learn… Metropolis, completed just before Philip Kerr’s untimely death, is the capstone of a 14-book journey through the life of Kerr’s signature character, Bernhard Gunther, a sardonic and wisecracking homicide detective, caught up in an increasingly Nazified Berlin police department. In many ways, it is Bernie’s origin story; and, as Kerr’s last novel, it is also, alas, his end. Sob. Bye, Bernie. Thanks, Philip.
We will miss you – both.
Noir | PBK | $19.99

#2

The Body in the Castle Well (Bruno, Chief of Police 12)
Martin Walker
A missing art student. An international investigation. A secret that will shatter the village of St Denis. Bruno, chief of police, faces a dark reckoning with France’s past in this gripping mystery. A rich American art student is found dead at the bottom of a well in an ancient hilltop castle. The young woman, Claudia, had been working in the archives of an eminent French art historian, a crippled Resistance war hero, at his art-filled chateau. As Claudia’s White House connections get the US embassy and the FBI involved, Bruno traces the people and events that led to her fatal accident – or was it murder? Dollars to doughnuts, it’s murder. And you just know our hero will solve the case. Amidst the most beautiful scenery, and the best food and wine, imaginable! So, simply lie back and let rural France overwhelm you – you know you want to!
Mystery | TP | $32.99

#3

Unto Us a Son is Given (Commissario Brunetti 28)
Donna Leon
As a favour to his wealthy father-in-law, the Count Falier, Commissario Guido Brunetti agrees to investigate the seemingly innocent wish of the Count’s best friend, the elderly and childless Gonzalo, to adopt a younger man as his son. Under Italian inheritance laws, this man would become the sole heir to Gonzalo’s substantial fortune, something which Gonzalo’s friends, including the Count, find appalling. For his part, Brunetti wonders why they’re so intent on meddling in the old man’s business. Not long after Brunetti meets with Gonzalo, the elderly man unexpectedly passes away from natural causes. Old and frail, Gonzalo’s death goes unquestioned, and a few of his oldest friends gather in Venice to plan the memorial service. But when Berta, a striking woman and one of Gonzalo’s closest confidantes, is strangled in her hotel room, Brunetti is drawn into long-buried secrets from Gonzalo’s past. What did Berta know? And who would go to such lengths to ensure it would remain hidden? It’s like a holiday in Venice – you’d swear you’re breathing Venetian air and eating fantastic food! – without needing to use a passport and board a plane. Lovely. Now in paperback. Recommended!
Mystery | PBK | $19.99

#4

Berlin Noir (Bernie Gunter 01–3 omnibus)
Philip Kerr
Ex-policeman Bernie thought he’d seen everything on the streets of 1930s’ Berlin. Then he went freelance and each case he tackled sucked him further into the excesses of Nazi subculture. And even after the war Bernie uncovered a legacy that made the wartime atrocities look lily white, by comparison… Omnibus of the first three in the series – and we just keeping recommending it and selling it. Great stuff!
Noir | TP | $29.99

#5

Black Roses (Clara Vine)
Jane Thynne
Again, a first in a series – recommended mercilessly. Clara Vine is an English, German-speaking, minor aristo, let loose on UFA film studios, in Berlin, in the ’30s… and proves to be one of British Intelligence’s most able recruits… (Those high-ranking Nazi wives do gossip so! They give the best intel!)
Mystery/suspense | PBK | $19.99

#6

The Golden Tresses of the Dead (Flavia de Luce 10)
Alan Bradley
The latest in the long-running series… A finger in a wedding cake is only the beginning in this deliciously-shocking mystery featuring Flavia de Luce, ‘the world’s greatest adolescent British chemist/busybody/sleuth’ (The Seattle Times). Although it is autumn in the small English town of Bishop’s Lacey, the chapel is decked with exotic flowers. Yes, Flavia de Luce’s sister, Ophelia, is at last getting hitched, like a mule to a wagon. ‘A church is a wonderful place for a wedding’, muses Flavia, ‘surrounded as it is by the legions of the dead, whose listening bones bear silent witness to every promise made at the altar.’ Flavia is not your normal 12‑year‑old girl. An expert in the chemical nature of poisons, she has solved many mysteries, sharpening her considerable detection skills to the point where she had little choice but to turn professional. So, Flavia and dependable Dogger – estate gardener and sounding board extraordinaire – set up shop at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, eager to serve; not so simple an endeavour with her odious, little, moon-faced cousin Undine constantly underfoot. But Flavia and Dogger persevere. Little does she know that their first case will be extremely close to home… beginning with an unwelcome discovery in Ophelia’s wedding cake: a human finger. Lots of fun! Imagine if one of the more amusing Mitford sisters had taken to sleuthing, at an early age – and you’ll get the idea…
Mystery | PBK | $22.99

#7

The Spotted Dog (Corinna Chapman 07)
Kerry Greenwood
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. Now in paperback.
Mystery | PBK | $19.99

#8

The American Agent (Maisie Dobbs 15)
Jacqueline Winspear
Beloved heroine Maisie Dobbs, ‘one of the great fictional heroines’ (Parade), investigates the mysterious murder of an American war correspondent in London during the Blitz, in a page-turning tale of love and war, terror and survival…publisher’s blurb (somewhat hyperbolic!). Sometimes, blurbs just sound turgid and soapy. So, in a nutshell: A well-connected American war correspondent is found murdered – and through various twists and turns – our favourite servant-girl-turned-sleuth is brought in to investigate. Think Phryne Fisher – only not as frock-and-party oriented. And, whereas Phryne is doomed to forever dwell in the light-hearted late twenties, Maisie has moved on a couple of decades… So many regulars love this series – it’s always a big deal when the new one arrives!
Mystery/suspense | PBK | $19.99

#9

The Corpse at Crystal Palace (Daisy Dalrymple 23)
Carola Dunn
Another one of those latest-in-a-long-running-series novels, of which we sell a bucket-load! April 1928: Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher is visited in London by her young cousins. On the list of must-see sites is the Crystal Palace. Discovering that her children’s nanny, Nanny Gilpin, has never seen the Palace, Daisy decides to make a day of it – bringing her cousins, her three-year-old twins, her step-daughter Belinda, the nurserymaid, and Nanny Gilpin. Yet, this ordinary outing goes wrong when Mrs Gilpin goes off to the ladies’ room and fails to return. When Daisy goes to look for her, she doesn’t find her nanny but instead the body of another woman dressed in a nanny’s uniform. Meanwhile, Belinda and the cousins spot Mrs Gilpin chasing after yet another nanny. Intrigued, they trail the two through the vast Crystal Palace and into the park. After briefly losing sight of their quarry, they stumble across Mrs Gilpin – lying unconscious in a small lake inhabited by huge concrete dinosaurs. When she comes to, Mrs Gilpin can’t remember what happened after leaving the twins in the nursery-maid’s care. Daisy’s husband, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, finds himself embroiled in the investigation of the murdered nanny. Worried about her children’s own injured nanny, Daisy is determined to help. First, she has to discover the identity of the third nanny, the presumed murderer; and, to do so, Daisy must uncover why the amnesic Mrs Gilpin deserted her charges to follow the missing third nanny.
Historical mystery | PBK | $22.99

#10

My Sister, the Serial Killer
Oyinkan Braithwaite
A short, darkly-funny, hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends… ‘Femi makes three, you know. Three, and they label you a serial killer.’ Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favourite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And, now, Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body; and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her ‘missing’ boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit. Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realise that she’s exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become… and how far she’s willing to go to protect her. ‘Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite’s deliciously deadly debut is as fun as it is frightening’ – publisher’s blurb. Ron LOVES this – Recommended!
Noir | PBK | $19.99