Bestsellers, Crime & Mystery: January 2020

#1

Fell Murder (British Library Crime Classics)
E C R Lorac
A classic Golden Age mystery from acclaimed author E C R Lorac. ‘… this crime is conditioned by the place. To understand the one you’ve got to study the other.’ The Garths had farmed their fertile acres for generations, and fine land it was with the towering hills of the Lake Country on the far horizon. Here hot-tempered Robert Garth, still hale and hearty at eighty-two, ruled Garthmere Hall with a rod of iron. Until, that is, old Garth was found dead – ‘dead as mutton’ – in the trampled mud of the ancient outhouse. Glowering clouds gather over the dramatic dales and fells as seasoned investigator Chief Inspector Macdonald arrives in the north country. Awaiting him are the reticent Garths and their guarded neighbours of the Lune Valley; and a battle of wits to unearth their murderous secrets. First published in 1944, Fell Murder is a tightly-paced mystery with authentic depictions of its breathtaking locales and Second World War setting. This edition also includes the rare E C R Lorac short story ‘The Live Wire’.
Classic mystery | TP | $29.95

#2

Murder at Christmas: Ten classic crime stories for the festive season (anthology)
Cecily Gayford (editor)
Christmas is a season of overindulgence. For most of us, that means an extra mince pie, a second helping of turkey, or perhaps a third glass of mulled wine. But for some among us, the festive season is a time to settle old scores, dispatch new enemies and indulge… in murder. Here, ten masters of the genre serve up mystery and mayhem aplenty. From a dowager’s missing diamonds to a Christmas party gone horribly wrong, these classic crime stories will delight, puzzle and satisfy long after the last slice of pudding has been consumed. Another Christmas book that turned up late – and sold in January…
Classic mystery | PBK | $19.99

#3

Six Cats A Slayin’ (Cat in the Stacks mysteries 10)
Miranda James
‘Let us now praise the cosy mystery, so comforting on dark days, so warming on chilly nights – the literary equivalent of a cat.’ – The New York Times Book Review. Fun, cosy mystery series… Purrrfect! LOL!
Mystery | PBK | $18.99

#4

The Decent Inn of Death (John Madden 06)
Rennie Airth
On a trip into Winchester, former chief inspector Angus Sinclair learns of a tragedy that has taken place in the village he is staying in. Beloved church organist Greta Hartmann has slipped and fallen to her death in a shallow creek, and while investigations conclude it to be an accident, her friend and housemate, Vera, remains unconvinced. After learning that Greta was the widow of a prominent anti-Nazi German preacher, Sinclair meets with the distraught Vera, and he resolves to dig deeper into the story. His investigations lead him to the stately manor of Julia Lesage, where she lives with her devoted staff that includes her secretary, cook, and driver. Though confined to a wheelchair, Julia is an electrifying spirit with a sharp wit, and those who know her adore her. Among those who do, a gentleman with dubious business dealings is also staying at the house – and Julia appears to be in love with him. A blizzard hits, keeping Sinclair, and later Madden, on the grounds with little to do but analyse the case of Greta’s death, until a murder takes place, and everyone becomes a suspect. Love Airth and the Madden series – start with River of Darkness (TP, $33.95).
Mystery | TP | $33.95

#5

The Woman in Red (Mr Crook Murder mysteries)
Anthony Gilbert
They took her identity – they wanted her life – but they couldn’t take her spirit. Classic crime from one of the greats of the Detection Club… When Julia Ross, a jobless and penniless young woman, is sent to meet a prospective employer, she is oblivious to the trap that awaits her. As she rings the bell to 30 Henriques Square, the door opens on a London household ruled by a woman dressed in red with murderous intentions. For Julia is exactly what she needs – someone with no family, no connections, who will not be missed… Two days later, Julia awakes in a different house in different clothes and with a new identity. And no one will believe anything she says. But the woman in red hadn’t reckoned on a secret admirer, even Julia didn’t know she had – and the indefatigable sleuth Arthur Crook. One of the first offerings from Hachette’s new Murder Room series.
Classic mystery | PBK | $22.99

#6

The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols (adapted from the journals of John H Watson, MD)
Nicholas Meyer
With the international bestseller The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Nicholas Meyer brought to light a previously unpublished case of Sherlock Holmes, as recorded by Dr John H Watson. Now, Meyer returns with a shocking discovery – an unknown case drawn from a recently unearthed Watson journal.
January 1905: Holmes and Watson are summoned by Holmes’ brother Mycroft to undertake a clandestine investigation. An agent of the British Secret Service has been found floating in the Thames, carrying a manuscript smuggled into England at the cost of her life. The pages purport to be the minutes of a meeting of a secret group intent on nothing less than taking over the world. Based on real events, the adventure takes the famed duo – in the company of a bewitching woman – aboard the Orient Express from Paris into the heart of Tsarist Russia, where Holmes and Watson attempt to trace the origins of this explosive document. On their heels are desperate men of unknown allegiance, determined to prevent them from achieving their task. And what they uncover is a conspiracy so vast as to challenge Sherlock Holmes, as never before. Sherlockiana! Never gets old!
Sherlockiana | HC | $41.99

#7

Owl Be Home for Christmas (Meg Langslow 26)
Donna Andrews
While trapped by a snowstorm at a conference, a visiting ornithologist is murdered. Now, nobody may make it home in time for Christmas… unless Meg comes to the rescue… Latest in the long running cosy series – she’s funny! (Christmassy themed books were obviously still selling into the New Year!)
Mystery | HC | $39.99

#8

Murder Ink (Victoria Square mysteries 06)
Lorraine Bartlett & Gayle Leeson
The charm of Victoria Square may prove to be only skin deep when murder follows the arrival of a tattoo parlour in town in this latest instalment of the bestselling series. A tattoo parlour on Victoria Square? Some of the merchants get hot under the collar at the proposal, but could they be driven to kill to stop it? That’s what the sheriff’s office and Katie Bonner want to know when the building’s owner is electrocuted with his own saw. Meanwhile, tensions rise when a hot chef takes over the square’s tea shop. Will Katie have three men vying for her affections, or will her rival take the tea cake? Cosy hijinks abound!
Mystery | PBK | $22.95

#9

Murder at the Fitzwilliam (Museum mysteries 01)
Jim Eldridge
1894. After rising to prominence for his role investigating the case of Jack the Ripper alongside the formidable Inspector Abberline, Daniel Wilson has retired from the force and, now, works as a private enquiry agent. Having built a reputation for intelligence and integrity, Wilson is the natural choice for the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, which finds itself in need of urgent assistance. The remains of an ancient princess and her entourage are to be unveiled as the centrepiece of the museum’s new Egyptian collection, but strange occurrences have followed their arrival in Britain: a dead body is discovered in a previously empty sarcophagus, one of the mummified bodyguards seemingly goes ‘walkabout’ and another man is found strangled to death with three-thousand-year-old bandages. Aided by the talented resident archaeologist Abigail Fenton but hindered by the dismissive local police force, can Wilson unravel the mystery and preserve the reputation of the museum ahead of its public launch? The first two are out and the third is due shortly – and regulars are loving them! Recommended!
Historical mystery | PBK | $19.99

#10

Nemesis (Tom Wilde 03)
Rory Clements
In a great English house, a young woman offers herself to one of the most powerful and influential figures in the land – but this is no ordinary seduction. She plans to ensure his death… On holiday in France, Professor Tom Wilde discovers his brilliant student Marcus Marfield, who disappeared two years earlier to join the International Brigades in Spain, in the Le Vernet concentration camp in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Wilde secures his release just as German tanks roll into Poland. Meanwhile, a U-boat sinks the liner Athenia in the Atlantic with many casualties, including Americans, on board. Goebbels claims Churchill put a bomb in the ship to blame Germany and to lure America into the war. As the various strands of an international conspiracy begin to unwind, Tom Wilde will find himself in great personal danger. For just who is Marcus Marfield? And where does his loyalty lie? A brilliantly intelligent, gripping WW2 spy thriller from the bestselling author of Corpus and Nucleus (each $19.99) Recommended!
Suspense | PBK | $19.99