Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Do Some Damage: Virtual Noir at the Bar: One of the great things about Noir at the Bar is how it continually develops new wrinkles and variations. This week, it will be taking on a...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Testament of Loki by Joanne M. Harris: Reviewed by Jeanne I have always had a fondness for Norse mythology dating back to my elementary school days which was nevermind...
Less Than a Moment: A Posadas County Mystery by Steven F. Havill is the latest installment in a series that began long ago with Heartshot. This is a series where characters age, relationships evolve over time, and always present is the stark beauty of Posadas County, New Mexico. That aspect, a distinct and deep appreciation of setting, is always raised to a level that is its own constant presence in the series. The setting is a character in its own right. Sometimes the desert country is front and center in the tales and other times it is more of a backdrop to the mystery and the crimes that are happening.
In this case, the desert country is very much in the forefront of the read as is the legendary “NightZone” development. Designed to bring tourists as well as scientists to an astronomy based scientific installation in the New Mexico desert, it is home to various telescopes aimed at the wonders of the heavens above. There are frequent detailed references to the events in Come Dark: The Posadas County Mysteries published in 2016. Readers are encouraged to, at the very least, read that book before embarking on this read.
Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman has a lot going on this Friday morning in late May. That includes a meeting out at Night Zone with Miles Waddell, owner and financial backer of NightZone. That meeting will also include Frank Dayan, publisher of the local paper, and Kyle Thompson. Kyle Thompson, through a development company, has purchased a massive amount of acreage that abuts the NightZone project and rumors are swirling as to what will be built on the property. Thompson is not a local and no one knows what his intentions are which is causing stress among the locals. That includes the many folks who now rely on the NightZone project for good jobs.
What will be built is very important to Waddell as he has spent millions and millions of dollars on the project. His entire development is designed to avoid all outdoor lighting of any type on the mesa it sits on or on the surrounding land. Everything has been meticulously designed to preserve the dark night skies. If the rumors of a planned housing development are true, this would be devastating to NightZone which is now fully embraced by all in the area.
That meeting is the launching pad for the main mystery of the book that soon features a murder, several suspects, and a complicated case with several interesting angles. While family certainly takes a role in the primary storyline, family is a far more major player in the two secondary storylines. One of which is the fact the kids are back in town and Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman is again having a hard time finding time to spend with them as various local events and the schedule of the kids work against her. One does not want to be an obtrusive grandmother, but one does not want to miss out on everything either and crime stops for no one.
The second of the two secondary storylines involves the no nonsense Sheriff, Robert Torrez, and his nephew, Quentin Torrez. As anyone who has read the latest edition of the local newspaper, Posadas Register, already knows, the young Quentin Torrez was arrested in recent hours for his third DUI. If that was not bad enough, he soon finds himself the target of an angry Sheriff who also suspects he might have been the culprit behind some vandalism. Then a murder happens and soon he is one of several potential suspects as law enforcement works hard to identify and apprehend a killer.
As always in this series, things are complicated, and they certainly are in Less Than A Moment: A Posadas County Mystery. Billed as the 24th in the series, this latest one has all the elements that have made this entire series so very entertaining. Less Than A Moment: A Posadas County Mystery by Steven F. Havill is another great read and is strongly recommended.
Big time thanks go to Lesa Holstine who mentioned late last week this book was out. Big time thanks go to my son, Scott, who able to figure out what to do to get the eBook through our closed Dallas Public Library System and make it all work so that I could happily read the tale on my iPad and escape reality for a few hours.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2020
Monday, March 30, 2020
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 28 Calls for Submissions in April 2020 - Paying ma...: Pxfuel T here are more than two dozen calls for submissions in April. All of these are paying markets, and none charge submission ...
TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar March 30-A...: Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of March 30-April 5, 2020, compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Love...
Joe R. Lansdale is a prolific and diverse writer, publishing nearly 50 novels and stories in a range of genres including mystery, suspense, horror, science fiction, Western, and comics. His stories have won an Edgar Award, a Raymond Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award, ten Bram Stoker Awards, a British Fantasy Award, a World Horror Convention Grand Master Award, a Sugarprize, a Grinzane Cavour Prize for Literature, and a Spur Award. His series about Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, unconventional PIs in eastern Texas, was adapted for television on the SundanceTV channel and ran for three seasons.
Hap and Leonard’s latest adventure The Elephant of Surprise (Mulholland Books, 2019) is a rock ‘em-sock ‘em sequence of skirmishes between our heroes and a group of racketeers intent on ridding the world of these two PIs who have stumbled into the mobsters’ path. Hap and Leonard are driving home in a pounding rain storm after a long stake-out, when Leonard glimpses the figure of a woman staggering across the road. They take her, drenched to the bone, into the car and learn she’s seriously wounded. They head to the nearest hospital, only to be confronted on the road by an oversized thug who wants the victim they’ve rescued and doesn’t mind killing Hap and Leonard to get her. From that point forward, between the hoodlums and the rain, wind, and tornadoes, the momentum seems unrelenting. For authors wanting to learn how to write shootout or fight scenes, this book is a great primer.
I enjoyed this story, more of a thriller than a mystery, a lot. What little mystery there is to begin with is soon sorted out when the mobsters’ original victim, the woman on the road, is well enough to talk. The rest of the suspense lies in watching to see how the bad guys will be brought to justice, and how Hap and Leonard will manage to save their skins. While it doesn’t hurt to have read earlier books in the series, enough backstory is provided along the way to make previous acquaintance with the characters unnecessary. Crackling action, snappy dialogue. Recommended.
· Hardcover: 256 pages
· Publisher: Mulholland Books; First Edition/First Printing (March 19, 2019)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 031647987X
· ISBN-13: 978-0316479875
Aubrey Hamilton ©2020
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Beneath the Stains of Time: Demons' Moon (1951) by Colin Robertson: I promised in my review of Jerry Coleman's Action Comics story, " The Super-Key to Fort Superman " (1958), that I would don...
Do Some Damage: Let Me Choose What to Do With My Books: By Claire Booth So lots of books are suddenly being offered free. This is fabulous. Children’s authors are giving permission for cel...
Saturday, March 28, 2020
The latest COVID 19 zip code map posted moments ago on twitter by County Judge Clay Jenkins based on the two testing sites set up by the City of Dallas. That little white area on the NE side next to LBJ (635) with no official cases is our zip code.
Up in KRL this morning a review and giveaway of "Coconut Layer Cake Murder" by Joanne Fluke
We also have reviews and giveaways of 2 fun mysteries for your Spring reading list-"Murder in an Irish Cottage": An Irish Village Mystery by Carlene O'Connor and "Murder Makes Scents": Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery by Christin Brecher
And a review and ebook giveaway of "The Panda of Death" by Betty Webb along with an interesting interview with Betty
And we have the latest mystery Coming Attractions from Sunny Frazier
And a mystery short story by Gary Hoffman
Up on KRL News and Reviews this week we have a review and ebook giveaway of "Mint Chip & Murder" by Erin Huss and published by Gemma Halliday Publishing
And a review and ebook giveaway of "Proof in the Photo" by Kathi Daley
And a review and giveaway of "Death with a Dark Red Rose" by Julia Buckley
Bitter Tea and Mystery: October Men: Anthony Price: This is the fourth book in the David Audley series, a cold war espionage series set in the UK (and other countries, depending on the book) a...
Highfire: A Novel by Eoin Colfer is the latest adult book from the creator of The Artemis Fowl Series. The Artemis Fowl Series is a great series that I highly recommend. Highfire: A Novel is an adult spin on the classic tale of boy meets dragon and they become friends. Vern, the dragon, is the last dragon on the planet as far as he knows and is bitter and lonely. He is wasting his life drinking vodka and watching Netflix as he waits to die in his hideaway somewhere in the swamps of Louisiana. He needs to hire somebody to act on his behalf as a go between him and society.
After all, a dragon can’t exactly go into to town and do his own grocery shopping. Thanks to a chance encounter and in exchange for his life, a young kid by the name of Squib offers to provide this service. Vern reluctantly agrees to trust the human despite his hatred of all humans for killing his family and friends. Of course, things do not stay simple when one is working for the last dragon on the planet. Add in a dirty cop named Regence Hooke who thinks it is a good idea to go after Squib, despite the dragon, and the novel becomes quickly complicated.
If you are familiar with Eoin Colfer, you know his books usually include references to Ireland, a weird sense of humor, deep characters who are complicated individuals, and a unique way of telling a story. His writing style is very different than most writers. I like it for the most part. Sometimes one has to reread a paragraph for it to be understood fully.
This is a very adult novel and not appropriate for kids. There are a number of graphic murders, sex jokes are made, implied rapes, a suicide attempt, lots of cussing, and other adult orientated content. If you think the idea of a dragon wearing clothes, hanging out in a Lazy Boy, drinking vodka while watching Netflix, is funny; this could be the book for you. I enjoyed Highfire: A Novel by Eoin Colfer a lot, but the writing style and sense of humor is not for everyone. Assuming you are okay with very mature elements in your reading and you have a sense of humor, I recommend it.
Scott A. Alexander ©2020
Friday, March 27, 2020
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Frangipani Tree Mystery by Ovidia Yu: Reviewed by Jeanne As The Frangipani Tree Mystery opens, Charity, Irish nanny to the daughter of the Acting Governor of Si...
Writer Beware®: The Blog: Space Kadet: The Twisted Tale of a Sad, Sad Intern...: Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware® A couple of weeks ago, my Twitter warning about an amateur literary agent received a f...
Thursday, March 26, 2020
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 30 Writing Contests in April 2020 - No entry fees: Pickpik This April there are more than two dozen contests calling for every genre and form, from poetry, to creative nonfiction, to co...
Beneath the Stains of Time: Death of a Frightened Editor (1959) by E. and M.A....: Earlier this month, Dean Street Press revived three obscure, long out-of-print novels by a forgotten mystery writing couple, Edwin and M...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Animals & Men, Lord of the Mountain, F...: Reported by Jeanne Animals and Men by art historian and museum director Kenneth Clark captured the attention of one of the Nevermo...
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Bitter Tea and Mystery: Snow Angels: James Thompson: This is the first novel in the Inspector Vaara series by James Thompson. With so much violence, it probably wasn't the book I should hav...
SleuthSayers: The Possibly Last Case of Ray’s Dad’s Cadillac: Over the course of two-plus years, I’ve written stories for three anthologies edited by Josh Pachter and, publishing being what it is, all t...
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Beneath the Stains of Time: Lost and Found: "The End of the Train" (2007) by M...: One thing I noticed when thumbing through my copy of Brian Skupin's Locked Room Murders: Supplement (2019) is the increase of novels...
Scuffletown: A Willie Black Mystery by Howard Owen is the seventh book in The Willie Black Mystery Series that began with Oregon Hill. For readers new to this series, this is a series that is best read in order as the characters age, relationships change, and much like in the real world, the past is always present and not always in a good way.
It is a lovely afternoon in early April as the book opens and Scuffletown Park is about to be in the news in a big way. A small park surrounded by homes and apartments, it is where Willie Black and the first of four wives started their lives as young married people. Based on the amount of blood splashed across one of the brick walkways, something did go down the night before. The cops had been called out around midnight for a fight of some sort. Upon their arrival, there was nobody in the park. They certainly did not find a body in the dark park and never saw the blood on the bricks. With no body and no signs of a struggle or anything amiss, they soon packed up and moved on to other crimes in the city.
It was not until this morning, a Thursday, that it became clear something bad had gone down in the old park. A jogger cutting through by way of the alley that runs down on side of the park called the cops after he saw the massive amount of blood on the brick stones. Despite a thorough search and spending hours at what clearly is a crime scene, the police still do not have a weapon, a body, or any evidence of an actual crime.
That soon changes when a video, taken by a resident, suddenly turns up. A video that clears shows Willie’s friend and roommate, Abe Custalow, clearly standing over what appears to be a dead man. Almost everyone at the paper, on the police force, and at various local watering holes, knows that Abe has a bedroom in Willie Black’s condo unit. Abe is family and that has not changed. What has changed is that he is now a suspect and the police are looking hard for him. Abe has a criminal record, one that is far more complicated than it would appear from a dry read of the facts. Willie is absolutely positive that Abe did not do this no matter what one can see on a video.
Even though, from the start, Abe wants nothing done on his behalf, Willie begins digging into what Abe has been doing lately and what could have happened in the park. Even though Abe and almost everybody else wants him to stay out of it, reporter Willie Black is not about to stop in his quest to save Abe from himself. Before long he is risking his job, his life, and even his friendship with Abe to prove that his old friend did not do the crime. He does so because the past always matters.
This installment of a complicated series is yet another very good read. While the primary storyline is the case as outlined above, there are ongoing secondary storylines at work that continue previous events from earlier books. The result is another complicated read of complex characters, family drama, and plenty of mystery.
This is a really good series and one that should be read in order. Scuffletown: A Willie Black Mystery by Howard Owen is highly recommended.
The series to this point and my reviews:
Oregon Hill (June 14, 2019)
The Philadelphia Quarry (July 19, 2019)
Parker Field (September 2019)
The Bottom (October 4, 2019)
Grace (November 15, 2019)
The Devil’s Triangle (January 10, 2020)
My reading copy came from the Timberglen Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2020
Monday, March 23, 2020
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Wives by Tarryn Fisher: Reviewed by Laura I was intrigued by the concept of this book when I first read about its release. I waited patien...
TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar March 23-2...: Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of March 23-29, 2020, compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover. ...
Jane A. Adams is an active British mystery author with some 30 or 35 novels to her credit. She has created five series characters since 1995, all set in England: Mike Croft, a detective inspector; Ray Flowers, a former police sergeant turned private investigator; Naomi Blake, a blind ex-policewoman; Rina Martin, an actress who played a private investigator in a television series; and Chief Inspector Henry Johnstone of Scotland Yard, beginning in the late 1920s.
The Clockmaker (Severn House, 2019) is the fourth title in the Johnstone series. Chief Inspector Johnstone met clockmaker Abraham Levy on an earlier case, and now Levy has come to him for help in locating his nephew. Joseph Levy was last seen on 3 February 1929 boarding a train in Lincoln to return to his home in London. On 20 February Levy approaches Scotland Yard, believing his family’s concerns have been dismissed by the local police and that his nephew is dead. Johnstone points out that he only works on homicide cases and a missing person does not qualify but he and his sergeant Mickey Hitchens agree to review the file. About a week after Johnstone asked the various police forces along the train line to look again for any trace of the nephew, the clockmaker’s prediction turns out to be right and Joseph Levy’s body is found near where he was last seen.
The subsequent investigation is hampered by Joseph’s family, who are evasive about their business affairs, and the inexplicable interest of the leader of the gang who runs the area where the clockmaker lives and works. Then Johnstone discovers Abraham Levy has something of a reputation as a rabble-rouser, consorting with known Communists and union organizers, which makes Johnstone wonder about his associates. An interesting subplot involves Johnstone’s sister who tries to disentangle her husband’s investments to protect them from the coming economic crisis.
A well-written, methodical police procedural that speaks to the time and the place. I was particularly impressed with how subtly Adams sets the stage. Less experienced authors reference newspaper headlines or songs on the radio to evoke an historical period. Adams is far more indirect, with a secondary character mentioning the names of Germany’s governing officials in passing and another making a glancing allusion to how recent World War I was. The train ride from Lincoln to London is described as long by more than one character; however, the distance between the two is about 150 miles, some three hours by automobile in 2020. The blatant anti-Semitism, the gangs presiding over neighborhoods and demanding protection payments with the compliance of the police, the anti-unionism, all are woven into the background of the investigation, describing the timeframe with a minimum of detail. For readers of historical mysteries and police procedurals.
· Hardcover: 224 pages
· Publisher: Severn House Publishers; first edition (September 3, 2019)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 0727888889
· ISBN-13: 978-0727888884
Aubrey Hamilton ©2020
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.
Sunday, March 22, 2020
Beneath the Stains of Time: Sleightly Lethal (1986) by Patrick A. Kelley: Patrick A. Kelley is, or was, an American magician from Altoona, Pennsylvania, who performed magic tricks at banquets and children's...
Saturday, March 21, 2020
Up in KRL this morning reviews and giveaways of 3 fun food mysteries-"Death by Chocolate Frosted Donut": Death by Chocolate Mystery by Sarah Graves, "Egg Drop Dead": A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien, and "Pies Before Guys": A Pie Town Mystery by Kirsten Weiss
And a review of "Drop Dead Lola" by Melissa Bourbon and an interesting interview with Melissa
We also have a tribute to Mary Higgins Clark and her writing
And a review of the latest season of "Agatha Raisin" streaming on Acorn TV
Up on KRL News and Reviews this week for those who enjoy fantasy with their mystery,, we have a review and giveaway of "The Fenmere Job" by Marshall Ryan Maresca
We also have a review and giveaway of "Under the Radar" by Annette Dashofy
And a review and ebook giveaway of "Death by Diamonds" by Kelly Rey and published by Gemma Halliday Publishing
Kings River Life Magazine https://KingsRiverLife.com
KRL News & Reviews https://www.krlnews.com/
Mysteryrat's Maze Podcast https://mysteryratsmaze.podbean.com/
The Autumn Republic is the third and final book in the Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan. The book continues the multiple perspectives of the first two books in the series with the main characters being Inspector Admat, Field Marshal Tamas, and Taniel. Field Marshal Tamas finds the capital Adro has been conquered by a foreign army, his son is missing, and he has no idea who he can trust. Inspector Admat finds himself drawn into another investigation to figure out who the traitors are in Adran Army in exchange for finding his kidnapped son taken by the Kez. Taniel finds himself behind enemy lines while being hunted by the Adran Army who has declared him a traitor while only he and his girlfriend know the identity of the real traitor.
If you liked the first two books you will enjoy this final book in the series. The third book ends the series with plenty of action, humor, magic, and mystery. My only complaint is the book reads to me as if it was really supposed to be a book three and a book four and the two books were forced together into one read. But, that is a minor complaint since the book was so good. This book ends the series while also setting up The Gods of Blood and Powder Series with book one being titled Sins of Empire.
Scott A. Tipple ©2020
The Crimson Campaign: Powder Mage Trilogy Book Two by Brian McClellan continues the epic series. As noted in the jacket copy of the book, it was presumed that the Mad God Kresimir was dead because he was shot through the eye with a musket ball. However, he is not dead. He seeks revenge on the person who shot him. That was Taniel who, as a result of their brutal battle, has been living in a drug induced haze due to his injuries and mental health issues. Kresimir does not know who did it, but he wants that person dead as well as to seek vengeance on everyone in Adro for trying to kill him.
Taniel, who believes Kresimir is dead, is forced to return back to the front lines with his companion Ka-Pole (his quasi-girlfriend who is a witch from another country) after Tamas’ (Taniel’s Father) invasion of Kez fails leaving Adro vulnerable to a counter attack by the Kez Army. Tamas and his men are cut off behind enemy lines with dwindling supplies and enemy forces closing in on them. They must evade capture and work their way back to the front line and their own people. Meanwhile, Taniel must not only work against the Kez, but deal with the problem of the surviving Generals of the Adro Army who seem determined to lose the war for whatever reason.
The third main story line is the continued investigations by Inspector Admant. His children and wife remain in the clutches of the Evil Lord Vetas. They were taken as part of an elaborate blackmail scheme and Admant is still trying to find them and rescue them as well as identify all involved.
There are a lot of aspects I like about this series. One prominent aspect I like is how both the good guys and the bad guys have well thought out reasons for doing what they are doing. Both sides have believable characters who engage in intelligent plans and make reasonable decisions. These characters are complex and utterly believable.
I like a plot point that might annoy some readers which I would describe as “the fog of war.” Several characters do not know things because of the war going on and the limited technology of the time means they only have access to out of date information. Tamas assumes his son for all intents and purposes is dead since, as far as Tamas knows, his son is still in a coma after his fight with Kresimir. At the same time, Taniel assumes Tamas is dead after his army is presumed killed after being cut off during the failed invasion.
Both father and son have to work through their estranged relationship while dealing with the grief of their assumed loss. I could see how some readers would be annoyed by this plot point since neither is actually dead. I also liked one minor subplot of Tamas is still hurting after breaking his leg last book. Most of the time in fantasy series and even more so in television or movies, the injury a character sustains has zero impact on them long term. In this case, the leg injury he suffered is still very realistically causing issues.
This sequel to Promise of Blood is just as good as the first book. The Crimson Campaign continues the mix of action, drama, mystery and magic that was done so well in the first book. I very much enjoyed the sequel. There is a lot of character development, death, and interesting developments as this book builds people and events to the final book in the series, The Autumn Republic.
Because the library did carry a print copy, I used Libby through the Dallas Public Library System to borrow the eBook edition.
Scott A. Tipple ©2020
Friday, March 20, 2020
I have always have had it and the last three years plus have been a total block. Those who do not know what it is like and deny its existence do not know how lucky they are. In my case, I know what a major part of it is: grief. Writing a review is a major struggle. Doing anything else writing wise--certainly my own fiction--is just brutal.
The Smart Set: When writer’s block strikes by Matthew Duffus
The Smart Set: When writer’s block strikes by Matthew Duffus
Gravetapping: Bargain Friday: Three Freebies!: It’s bargain Friday, and this time around I’ve collected a few free ebooks for your consideration. The first is W. Glenn Duncan’s Raffer...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Cat Men of Gotham: Tales of Feline Friendships...: Reviewed by Kristin People often have strong feelings about cats. They love them or hate them, and very seldom are ambivalent. B...
Bitter Tea and Mystery: Miss Silver Deals with Death: Patricia Wentworth: Miss Silver Deals with Death has one of my favorite settings for a mystery... London during World War II. Actually I like stories of any t...
Thursday, March 19, 2020
BLOGGING WITH BEVERLEY: Caroline Clemmons New Release: Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes abou...
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Beneath the Stains of Time: Diving Death (1962) by Charles Forsyte: Last month, I reviewed Diplomatic Death (1962) by “Charles Forsyte," a shared penname of a husband-and-wife writing tandem, Gordon ...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Dear Edward, Confession Club, Doll Fac...: Reported by Jeanne Nevermore opened with a review of Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano. Eddie is twelve when he boards the air...
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
We feature new 20 reviews in each issue of Crime Review (www.crimereview.co.uk), together with a top industry interview. This time it’s Louise Candlish in the Countdown hot seat:
We’re on Twitter at:
Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK
Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer
Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia
This week’s reviews are:
Galway Girl by Ken Bruen, reviewed by John Cleal
Former cop-turned-PI Jack Taylor is pitted against a trio of young assassins who all have reasons to hate him and who are targeting Gardai as a means to destroy him.
Bury Them Deep by James Oswald, reviewed by Linda Wilson
DCI Tony McLean must cope with a missing member of staff, a multi-agency operation with a silly name and bodies galore.
Heaven My Home by Attica Locke, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Texas Ranger Darren Matthews is sent to Caddo Lake where a nine-year-old boy is missing, the son of an imprisoned white supremacist.
The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
Dr Ruth Galloway has a new job and a new life in Cambridge. But a murderer’s confession drags her back to north Norfolk to work again with DCI Harry Nelson, the father of her young aughter.
A Grave for Two by Anne Holt, reviewed by Ewa Sherman
High-flying lawyer Selma Falck has lost everything because of her former client Jan Morell, and her own recklessness. Now Morell wants her to clear the name of his daughter Hege, an elite cross-country skier accused of doping. Selma has no choice but to search for the truth.
The Accomplice by Joseph Kanon, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Aaron Wiley visits Argentina to track down a Nazi in hiding who bears responsibility for the death of many in his family.
Black Summer by MW Craven, reviewed by Linda Wilson
When a supposedly dead woman turns up at a police station, an old case comes back to haunt Washington Poe.
The Measure of Malice edited by Martin Edwards, reviewed by John Cleal
A collection of 14 short stories illustrating how crime fiction reflected – and in some cases predicted – the use of science in crime detection.
Slay by Brittney Morris, reviewed by Linda Wilson
By day, 17-year-old Keira Johnson is one of only three black students at Jefferson Academy. By night, Keira is Emerald, queen of the universe she has created in the online multi-play game SLAY. When a boy is killed in a dispute originating in the game, Keira must fight to preserve the world she has created from those who want to see it taken down.
The Silent War by Andreas Norman, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Bente Jensen, head of Swedish Intelligence in Brussels, is passed information by a whistle-blower from the local MI6 office. The threat of serious embarrassment generates a determined effort at retrieval.
Come a Little Closer by Karen Perry, reviewed by Viv Beeby
Is Anton a callous murderer or was he wrongly convicted? And is his friendship with his young neighbour Leah genuine or something altogether more sinister?
Wild Harbour by Ian Macpherson, reviewed by John Cleal
Pacifist couple Terry and Hugh flee to the Grampian wilderness to avoid Hugh being called up for a war with which they do not agree.
Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
The reappearance of Lucas Blackthorn, who has been missing for ten years, could be the death of speech therapist Maya Stark.
Firewatching by Russ Thomas, reviewed by Linda Wilson
When a body is found bricked up in the basement of a dilapidated old house, DS Adam Tyler gets involved in a cold case that suddenly starts to get very hot to handle.
The Boy in the Headlights by Samuel Bjørk, reviewed by Ewa Sherman
Detectives Holger Munch and Mia Krüger are in search of a serial killer who targets random ordinary people. The pair struggle to predicts his next move but must deal with their own demons to stop the murders.
Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan
Daisy, a young woman, is attacked in the street, but fights the attacker off. Others are not so lucky.
A Death in the Medina by James von Leyden, reviewed by Chris Roberts
During a hot Ramadan in Marrakech, the body of a Moroccan girl is found dead, dumped in a handcart. Despite distractions, local detective Belkacem persists with an investigation.
Under Occupation by Alan Furst, reviewed by John Cleal
Spying and subterfuge in occupied Paris inspired by the true story of Polish prisoners in Nazi Germany, who smuggled intelligence to Britain through the French resistance.
The Nowhere Child by Christian White, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
The stranger is just about to rewrite history – Kim’s history. And her entire life.
The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective by Susannah Stapleton, reviewed
by John Cleal
Maud West ran a detective agency for more than 30 years. Her exploits grabbed headlines, but did she tell the truth?
Sharon and Linda