Bestsellers, Crime & Mystery: July 2019

#1

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

#2

Surfeit of Suspects (British Library Crime Classics)
George Bellairs
‘At eight o’clock in the evening on the eighth of November, there was a terrific explosion in Green Lane, Evingden.’ The offices of the Excelsior Joinery Company have been blown to smithereens; three of the company directors are found dead amongst the rubble, and the peace of a quiet town in Surrey lies in ruins. When the supposed cause of an ignited gas leak is dismissed and the presence of dynamite revealed, Superintendent Littlejohn of Scotland Yard is summoned to the scene. But beneath the sleepy veneer of Evingden lies a hotbed of deep-rooted grievances. The new subject of the town’s talk, Littlejohn’s investigation is soon confounded by an impressive cast of suspicious persons, each concealing their own axe to grind. First published in 1964, Bellairs’ novel of small-town grudges with calamitous consequences revels in the abundant possible solutions to its central, explosive crime as a masterpiece of misdirection.
Classic mystery | TP | $28.95

#3

Knife (Harry Hole 12)
Jo Nesbø
Harry is in a bad place: Rakel has left him, he’s working cold cases and notorious rapist and murderer Svein Finne is back on the streets. The first killer harry put behind bars is out to get him. Harry is responsible for the many years Finne spent in prison, but now he’s free and ready to pick up where he left off. A man like Harry better watch his back. When Harry wakes up with blood on his hands, and no memory of what he did the night before, he knows everything is only going to get worse… Nesbø was huge favourite of our former staffer, Iain. And they’re still bestsellers, the world over – in fact, as I type this, we’ve sold out – and Random House Oz have as well! – but they’re reprinting and more stock will be here soon – fear not!
Mystery | TP | $32.99

#4

Berlin Noir (Bernie Gunther 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

Kossuth Square (Danube Blues 02)
Adam Lebor
When Detective Balthazar Kovacs is called out before dawn to a brothel owned by his brother, he knows it can only be bad news. A customer has died in the brothel’s VIP room. Worse still, he’s an Arab financier, a guest of government, connected to a massive investment programme that could transform Hungary. It looks like a heart attack – but why has the brothel’s CCTV footage been erased? Kovacs knows, only too well, the treacherous undercurrents that permeate life in Hungary’s capital – the deadly intersection between the criminal underworld, the corridors of power and the ghosts of history. He knows that his investigation is more than likely to lead back to the seat of power, the Orszaghaz, in Kossuth Square… but he does not expect to be swept into his own family’s dark past too… Machinations in Mittel Europa! And, apparently – all most entertaining! The sequel to District VIII (PBK, $19.99): the first in the Danube Blues series.
Mystery/suspense | TP | $32.99

#6

The American Agent (Maisie Dobbs 23)
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 | TP | $29.99

#7

Aunt Dimity and the King’s Ransom (Aunt Dimity 23)
Nancy Atherton
On a dull and dreary October day, Lori Shepherd and her husband set off for a quiet weekend without the kids. But before they go, he must pay a visit to a reclusive client. After Lori drops him off, a storm that’s been brewing intensifies, and she ends up stranded in an ancient, rambling inn named for a king’s ransom in smuggled goods that passed through the village in ages past. When Lori begins hearing footsteps and strange noises, Aunt Dimity reminds her that the inn is almost certainly haunted but that not all ghosts are interested in harming the living. But the longer Lori is stuck at the inn, the stranger things seem. Are the noises she hears the spirits of smuggling’s past? Or should Lori be more concerned with the living inhabitants of the inn, like the hulking, grizzled cook, an ex-con who seems to be everywhere at once? Joining forces with her new friend, Bishop Smallwood, Lori sets out to discover once and for all who – or what – is haunting the King’s Ransom. One of the best cosy crime series? Certainly, our regulars think so! Recommended!
Mystery | TP | $29.95

#8

Booking the Crook (Bookmobile Cat mysteries 07)
Laurie Cass
Minnie Hamilton and her rescue cat, Eddie, cruise around lovely Chilson, Michigan delivering happiness and good reads in their bookmobile. But the feisty librarian is worried that the bookmobile’s future could be uncertain when a new library board chair arrives and doesn’t seem too friendly to her pet project. Still, she has to put her personal worries aside when she and Eddie are out on their regular route and one of their favourite customers doesn’t turn up to collect her books. Minnie, at Eddie’s prodding, checks on the woman and finds her lying dead in her snow-covered driveway. Now, it’s up to Minnie and her friends – feline and otherwise – to find the perpetrator and give them their due. Fun, cosy series – with cats (and books)!
Mystery | PBK | $21.95

#9

Lethal White (Comoran Strike 04)
Robert Galbraith
When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott – once his assistant, now a partner in the agency – set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside. And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been – Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much more tricky than that… J K Rowling writes crime. And does a brilliant job! Series is recommended! Start with The Cuckoo’s Calling ($22.99)
Mystery | PBK | $22.99

#10

Jeeves and the King of Clubs (In homage to P G Wodehouse)
Ben Schott
The misadventures of P G Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster and his incomparable valet, Jeeves, have delighted audiences for nearly a century. Now, bestselling author Ben Schott brings this odd couple back to life in a madcap new adventure that is full of the hijinks, entanglements, imbroglios, and Wodehousian wordplay that fans love. And, by Jove, there’s a hook! In this escapade, the Junior Ganymede Club (Jeeves’s association of butlers and valets) is revealed to be an arm of the British intelligence service. Jeeves must ferret out a fascist spy, and only his hapless employer can help. Unfolding in the background are school-chum capers, affairs of the heart, drawing-room escapades, antics with aunts, and sartorial set-tos. Fun! (Leanne: I think Schott has captured the tone and spirit of Wodehouse, perfectly!)
Mystery | PBK | $19.99