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  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 4:00 pm on 2019/03/29 Permalink
    Tags: Mysteries,   

    April’s Best New Mysteries 


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    While not everyone enjoys April showers, mystery lovers know there’s nothing like some good old fashioned raw and rainy noir weather to make it even more enjoyable to settle into a cozy reading nook and put on your detective hat (or your cozy detective bunny slippers). Just don’t forget to pick up one of our top mysteries for April first.

    Someone Knows, by Lisa Scottoline
    When Allie Garvey was a teenager, a not-so-innocent prank went wrong. Really, really wrong. About as wrong as a prank can go. She and the other kids involved have carried this dark secret with them for two decades, where at least in Allie’s case it has festered, ruining her family relationships and souring her marriage, until one of the original pranksters commits suicide on the anniversary of the event. This pushes Allie into acknowledging what happened on that dark day, and trying to get to the bottom of it. But now that this terrible, long-buried secret is out, it turns out things may not have happened exactly the way she remembers…

    The Better Sister, by Alafair Burke
    Sisters Chloe and Nicky Taylor could not be more different; Chloe is the ambitious, straight-A student who landed an enviable career in publishing; Nicky was the burnout who skipped college and dated questionable men—until she married up and coming attorney Adam Mackintosh and had a son with him, Ethan. And yet somehow, fifteen years later, everything has changed: Chloe is now married to Adam, and raising Ethan with him in New York City, and has little to no contact with her sister. But when Adam is found murdered at their East Hampton beach house, Ethan becomes a prime suspect, and Chloe and Nicky must join forces to protect him.

    The Tale Teller (Leaphorn, Chee, and Manuelito Series #5), by Anne Hillerman
    Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn may have retired from his job with the Tribal Police, but he’s pulled back into a confounding mystery when he is hired to investigate the disappearance of a traditional Navajo dress called a biil, a priceless artifact that was donated to a museum but never turned up. When a woman suspected of being related to the disappearance dies mysteriously, Leaphorn receives ominous warnings to back off from his investigation—or be subject to witchcraft. Meanwhile, Jim Chee and Barnie Manuelito are looking into a series of burglaries—and their case takes a dark turn when a woman is found dead near a widely-used running path, and the pair find themselves squaring off against the FBI. Before long, the two investigations begin to grow closer together, offering Bernie a rare and surprising opportunity.

    Triple Jeopardy (Daniel Pitt Series #2), by Anne Perry
    Lawyer Daniel Pitt is happy to learn of that sister Jemima and her family are back in London on a visit from the states. But he is concerned when she tells him that a good friend was assaulted while in Washington D.C., and her necklace stolen. The suspect, one Philip Sidney, is a British diplomat who fled back to London so he could claim diplomatic immunity, like a coward. But when he is charged with embezzlement, his paths cross with Daniel’s, when he ends up defending Sidney in court. As the implications of the embezzlement charges become increasingly serious, Daniel teams up with scientist Miriam fford Croft, to investigate whether his client’s crimes include those of a far more serious nature…such as murder.

    The A List (An Ali Reynolds Mystery), by J. A. Jance
    Ali Reynolds’ days as a well-known broadcaster may be over, but she’s living large in a new house with a new love while running a cybersecurity company in her Arizona hometown. When she learns an old friend has died, she’s drawn back into the last story she covered as a reporter; one which was meant to be a sentimental piece about a young man in need of a kidney, but instead led her down a very dark path that ended up with a prominent doctor jailed for life. Dr. Edward Gilchrist may have made his own bed (and a very evil bed at that), but he blames his downfall on a shortlist of individuals whose initials are tattooed on his arm—one of whom is Ali. He will not rest until every one of them is dead—and as it’s not that long a list, Ali and her team are up against the clock.

    Murder on Trinity Place (Gaslight Mystery Series #22), by Victoria Thompson
    Frank and Sarah Molloy are excited to ring in the new year at Trinity Church—it’s 1899, so the occasion is an especially momentous one—when they observe that one reveler, Mr. Pritchard, is acting oddly. The next morning he is found dead near the church. When the police refuse to take an investigation seriously, Pritchard’s family, fearing a scandal, asks the Molloys to look into it. What Frank and Sarah begin to uncover as they look closer at Pritchard’s high-society family goes far deeper than they ever imagined. The pitch-perfect period details in this evocative series alone make it worth delving into.

     

    The Department of Sensitive Crimes: A Detective Varg Novel, by Alexander McCall Smith
    Fans of the No 1. Ladies’ Detective Agency books, along with fans of gentle absurdity, will relish this series opener about a department of the Swedish Criminal Investigation Authority, the Department of Sensitive Crimes, whose jurisdiction is not-that-series crimes and not-quite-so-urgent mysteries. These include the case of the non-fatal back-of-the-knee stabbing, as well as the disappearance of an invented boyfriend. The interpersonal stories of the appealing and eccentric cast of characters take center stage; readers looking for a little humor with their mysteries will be hooked from the start.

    The Diva Sweetens the Pie (Domestic Diva Series #12), by Krista Davis
    It’s time for Old Town’s annual pie festival, and everyone’s excited, particularly Sophie, because not only is her rival Natasha Smith barred from participation, but she’s been asked to oversee the pie eating contest! But when its celebrity judge, Patsy Lee Presley, dies during the competition, Sophie’s friends are the main suspects—and it’s time for her to investigate! It turns out Patsy wasn’t quite as sweet as her reputation made her out to be, judging by the string of disgruntled friends and exes she left in her wake. Can Sophie serve up justice for her friends? Or are their gooses cooked?

    What mysteries are you excited to read this month?

    The post April’s Best New Mysteries appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 9:00 pm on 2019/02/28 Permalink
    Tags: blood oath, broken bone china, , , , , , , , , Mysteries, , run away, the american agent, the last second, , unto us a son is given, wolf pack   

    March’s Best New Mysteries 


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    There are so many good mysteries out in March that it’s almost a relief that the weather is still keeping us indoors and nestled up snugly in our armchairs. Whether you’re a fan of heart-pounding thrillers with down-to-the-wire chases, cozies filled with tea, pastries, and murder, or something in between, this month’s crop of new whodunits has got you covered.

    Run Away, by Harlan Coben
    First Simon lost his daughter figuratively: Addicted to drugs and involved with the wrong guy, her life had spiraled. Then he lost her literally, and when she disappeared, it was obvious she didn’t want to be found. But when she turns up in Central Park, playing the guitar—dirty, frightened, and unable or unwilling to recognize her own father, Simon must take matters into his own hands, risking his own life, and his family, to get her back. A dark novel of suspense from a master of the genre, Run Away will thrill longtime Coben fans, and hook new ones. The B&N special edition includes an interview with the author.

    Wolf Pack, by C. J. Box
    Wyoming Fish and Game Warden Joe Pickett has gotten his job back in the 19th installment in Box’s stellar series, and he’s back at work just in time to investigate an unregistered drone that’s killing wildlife. The drone turns out to belong to a wealthy man who scoffs at Joe’s attempts to get him to ground it. Worse still, the man’s son is dating Joe’s daughter, Lucy. Not only that, but both the FBI and the DOJ warn Joe to stop bothering the drone operator, which makes him very suspicious that there’s something he’s not being told. These suspicions are confirmed when the body count in Joe’s district begins to grow, and it becomes apparent that a highly trained team of killers is on the scene, and that Joe and everyone associated with him is in danger.

    The American Agent (Maisie Dobbs Series #15), by Jacqueline Winspear
    Shortly after Maisie Dobbs makes the acquaintance of Catherine Saxon, a vibrant American journalist covering the war in Europe, Catherine is found murdered in her London apartment. When Scotland Yard seeks Maisie’s help solving the mystery of Catherine’s murder, she is reunited with US Department of Justice agent Mark Scott, an American who once helped Maisie escape from Munich in 1938. In the midst of all of this, the Germans are unleashing a blitzkrieg on England, and Maisie worries about protecting Anna, the young war orphan she longs to adopt. This beautifully written series features a truly compelling female lead against the backdrop of a harrowing historical time period.

    The Last Second (A Brit in the FBI Series #6), by Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison
    Dr. Nevaeh Patel is second in command at Galactus, a private aerospace company in France. She’s also a former astronaut who is convinced that aliens she met on a space-walk will grant her immortality—if she does something for them in return. Unfortunately, helping them out involves placing a nuclear bomb on a Galactus-launched satellite that, if detonated, will trigger an electromagnetic pulse that will destroy worldwide communications systems. It’s up to Special Agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine to stop this from happening…but this time bomb is ticking down to the very last second. Don’t miss this fast-paced installment in a well-loved series.

    Unto Us a Son Is Given (Guido Brunetti Series #28), by Donna Leon
    The inimitable Commissario Guido Brunetti is asked delicately by his father-in-law to look into the planned adoption of a much younger man by an elderly relative, Gonzalo Rodríguez de Tejada, who stands to leave someone a great fortune when he dies. Although he doesn’t really want to get involved and would rather leave the old man in peace to do as he likes, Brunetti is compelled to involve himself when Gonzalo dies, quickly and unexpectedly, and then a friend who arrives in town to attend his memorial services is killed in her hotel room. Fans of the pleasures of Donna Leon’s entrancing series will appreciate this soulful meditation on the human spirit and its capacity for good…but also terrible selfishness.

    Blood Oath (Alexandra Cooper Series #20), by Linda Fairstein
    Her leave of absence is over just in time for Manhattan Sex Crimes Unit Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper to jump back in the game, at what feels like a watershed moment: A growing number of women are feeling encouraged to speak out against their abusers and to bring them to justice. But Alex’s newest case comes with an extra twist: Lucy, a woman who years ago testified at an important federal trial, has come forward to claim she was sexually assaulted by a well-known official during that time. Alex, along with NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, finds herself pulled into an investigation that leads her to the doorstep of Manhattan’s renowned Rockefeller University, which has become refuge for a dangerous foe.

    Broken Bone China, by Laura Childs
    Theodosia Browning, proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop of Charleston, S.C. is enjoying a ride on a hot-air balloon with tea sommelier Drayton Conneley (who is enjoying it rather less), when a mysterious drone appears that is up to no good. To everyone’s horror, the drone attacks a nearby balloon, which crashes, killing everyone on board. One of the passengers was wealthy CEO Don Kingsley, and when Theo begins to dig into his past she finds a laundry list of suspects who may have wanted him dead. Her police detective boyfriend out of town, Theo takes it upon herself to begin investigating this strange murder, which means there is soon a target on her own back. The 2oth novel in this cozy series includes tasty recipes as well as tea time tips, making it perfect for armchair sleuths who enjoy a hot cuppa as they read.

    The post March’s Best New Mysteries appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 3:58 pm on 2019/01/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , gytha lodge, , Mysteries,   

    January’s Best Mysteries 


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    Arguably, January is your best month to dive into some juicy new mystery novels. The new year is upon us, after all, and is in itself a mystery. Who knows what the next twelve months will bring? No one—but we can sort of guarantee a steady supply of gripping mysteries to keep your little gray cells working overtime to spot clues, work out motives, and maybe solve a few murders along the way.

    The New Iberia Blues, by James Lee Burke
    Burke’s 22nd Dave Robicheaux book goes Hollywood, as Robicheaux finds his paths crossing once again with Desmond Cormier. Robicheaux first met Cormier twenty-five years earlier when Cormier was a skinny kid with big dreams. Now he’s an award-winning Hollywood director—whose embroiled in a gruesome murder. A woman had been crucified, wearing just a chain on her ankle, after being seen near Cormier’s estate. But Cormier isn’t talking, and Robicheaux finds himself going up against an array of new enemies and old demons as he delves into the mystery with only his longtime allies Clete Purcel and Alafair for backup.

    The Golden Tresses of the Dead, by Alan Bradley
    Flavia de Luce returns for a tenth go-round, the adorably precocious twelve-year old genius and expert in poisons irritated to bear witness to her sister Ophelia’s wedding. Cynical as always, Flavia intends to bring her detecting skills to the next level by going pro, setting up her office in the dilapidated mansion known as Buckshaw. She might not have to look too far for her first case, as Ophelia’s wedding cake turns out to have a nasty little surprise in the form of a severed human finger. With her trusted associate, gardener Dogger, and her unwanted cousin Undine in tow, Flavia puts her snarky intelligence and poisonous expertise to work.

    Out of the Dark, by Gregg Hurwitz
    Evan Smoak, formerly Orphan X and now the Nowhere Man, returns. Taken as a child and trained to be the ultimate deadly and deniable government asset, Smoak uses his training and skills to help the people who need it most. But now someone is shutting down the Orphan program—and trying to erase all evidence it ever existed in the first place, including the Orphans themselves and their trainers. When Smoak’s mentor is killed, he knows he cannot sit on the sidelines any longer—and he targets the man who launched the program, the man who is currently President of the United States of America. There’s only one problem: The president knows Smoak is after him, and activates the one asset that might be able to stop him—Orphan A, the very first recruit to the program, and the one person who has a chance against him.

    She Lies in Wait, by Gytha Lodge
    In 1983, Aurora Jackson was fourteen years old when she went camping in Brinken Wood with her older sister and five schoolmates. She was never seen again—until her body is discovered thirty years later. Detective Chief Jonah Sheens finds himself in the spotlight as he is forced to return to one of his very first investigations—one that strikes him close to home in all the wrong ways. Everything points to the killer being one of Aurora’s tightly-knit circle from her teenage years, and the story weaves between the present-day investigation and Aurora’s own POV on what would be her last day alive with masterful ease, spinning a dense, surprising, and thrilling tale that will keep you turning pages as everyone’s secrets are slowly teased out.

    Don’t worry; if you read all of this month’s books, we’ll be back next month with a fresh curated list. Happy New Year!

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    The post January’s Best Mysteries appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 4:50 pm on 2018/12/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Mysteries, , mystery gift guide, ,   

    12 Must-Have Titles for the Mystery Fan on Your Shopping List 


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    Giving books as gifts can be tricky; you want to ensure you get the bibliophiles on your list books they’ll appreciate and love, while avoiding books they’ve already read. The good news is there are so many strong mysteries out right now you have a lot of choice. We’ve taken the liberty of pointing you at some of the best mysteries out there right now; any one (or two! or three!) of these titles would make a perfect gift for the mystery fan in your life—and books make great gifts for Secret Santas and office gift exchanges, too, because who doesn’t love a good mystery?

    Look Alive at Twenty-Five, by Janet Evanovich
    Gift-giving can be stressful, so do yourself a favor and concentrate on the crowd-pleasing sure things like this. Twenty-five books in and Stephanie Plum is going strong as ever, still tackling gritty mysteries with humor, smarts, and competence to spare. This time around Plum’s attention is drawn to the Red River Deli in Trenton, famous for its pastrami and its cole slaw. More recently, it’s become famous because of its disappearing managers—three in the last month, each leaving behind a single shoe. Lula tries to convince Stephanie it’s aliens abducting humans for experiments, but Stephanie figures on something a little less exotic—and takes over running the business herself in order to get to the bottom of things. It’s certainly not the first time Plum has put herself in danger for the sake of a case—and she can only hope it won’t be her last.

    Kingdom of the Blind, by Louise Penny
    Penny’s 14th book featuring Chief Inspector Gamache begins with the retired chief of the Sûreté du Québec receiving the surprising news that he’s one of three executors of the estate of an elderly woman he’s never met. With his suspension and the events that led to it still under excruciatingly slow investigation, Gamache agrees to participate, even thought the terms of the will are outlandish, leading him and his fellow executors to wonder if the old woman was mentally sound. When a dead body turns up, however, it prompts Gamache to reconsider—because the terms of the will suddenly seem much less strange, and much more ominous. Meanwhile the drugs he allowed to remain on the streets as part of his plan to destroy the drug cartels are still out there—and if he doesn’t find them, and soon, there will be devastation throughout the city. For once, Chief Inspector Gamache is something wholly unexpected: desperate.

    Lethal White, by Robert Galbraith
    By now everyone knows that Robert Galbraith is actually J.K. Rowling, and the fourth Cormorant Strike novel finds her at the top of her adult fiction game. Strike, now a famous private investigator, has to deal with people showing up at his offices as well as the difficulty in investigating things when you’re instantly recognizable to everyone. When a young man comes to his office asking for help looking into a murder he thinks he witnessed—and thus has been haunted by—as a kid, Strike senses just enough sincere detail to take on the case. As his investigation leads him into the secret corridors of British power, his personal life in the form of his relationship with former assistant-turned-full partner Robin reaches new levels of complexity.

    Leverage in Death, by J.D. Robb
    Robb delivers the 47th entry in this bestselling series with appropriate fireworks, as Paul Rogan, a successful executive, arrives at a routine meeting concerning a merger and promptly detonates the suicide vest he’s wearing. Eve Dallas is called in as the investigating detective and first has to figure out whether this was purposeful terrorism or simple desperate suicide with collateral damage. Every detail Dallas and her team discover serves only to muddy the waters and spin up the tension, especially after they discover that Rogan had been told by mysterious men that his family would be killed if he didn’t do as they asked. As Dallas puzzles over the convoluted manner of what seems like a murder attempt, more explosions deliver more bodies—and more clues.

    The Witch Elm, by Tana French
    French turns in her first novel not part of the Dublin Murder Squad, telling the story of affably low-key Dubliner Toby. Toby’s low-stakes life involves working as a social media guru for an art gallery and contemplating someday maybe marrying his girlfriend Melissa. When two robbers break into his apartment and beat him brutally, however, his lingering mental and physical injuries prevent him from living a normal life, and he and Melissa move in with his dying Uncle Hugo. When a skeleton found in a tree on Hugo’s property turns out to be an old classmate of Toby’s, the damaged young man is haunted by the possibility that his lost memories hold the key.

    Depth of Winter, by Craig Johnson
    After thirteen books, it’s understandable that Walt Longmire has made a lot of enemies. Professional assassin and enforcer for drug cartels Tomás Bidarte knows this, and so he kidnaps Walt’s daughter, Cady, and holds her captive in a remote cabin in the Chihuahua desert in northern Mexico, intending to auction her off to whichever of Walt’s enemies hates him the most. Walt heads off to rescue his girl, but Bidarte has an army of bad guys protecting his investment, and Longmire isn’t the sort of man who can blend in. Longmire’s faced bad odds before, but never quite this bad—and never with so much on the line. In a foreign country, with no help from his own government and disinterest from the locals, it’s tempting to count Longmire out—but fans know better.

    The Colors of All the Cattle, by Alexander McCall Smith
    The nineteenth novel featuring Mwa Ramotswe and her fellow investigators and residents of the town of Gaborone is as delightful and insightful as ever. Ramotswe is persuaded to run for a seat on the city council when it’s revealed that the arch-enemy of her agency partner Grace, Vera Sephotho, is in the race. Vera supports a terrible initiative to build a luxury hotel next to the town’s cemetery, which gives Mwa Ramotswe the moral edge in the race, but her compulsively honest answers to questions might complicate her campaign. Meanwhile, the agency deals with the investigation of a hit-and-run case even as their assistant Charlie, finally growing up, engages in his first true romance.

    Feared, by Lisa Scottoline
    Scottoline is as close to a safe bet when it comes to buying books for mystery fans, and her series about lawyers Mary DiNunzio and Bennie Rosato is probably on your mystery superfan’s shopping list already, so giving it as a stocking stuffer will be genius. When Rosato & DiNunzio is hit with a sex discrimination lawsuit from three men who claim they weren’t hired because of their gender, Mary and Bennie smell a rat. When their only male employee, John Foxman, resigns because he agrees, they’re floored—and then they find out who’s behind the lawsuit—Mary’s nemesis, Nick Machiavelli. Nick is determined to have his revenge, and when Foxman turns up murdered suspicion settles on the firm’s partners and things look bleak. Mary—seven months pregnant—and Bennie must somehow fight off a lawsuit that could ruin them and solve a murder that could incarcerate the partners. That’s a recipe for the perfect mystery to give as a gift.

    November Road, by Lou Berney
    Berney spins a karmic tale about a mob fixer named Frank Guidry working in New Orleans in 1963. Guidry snips loose ends for his boss Carlos Marcello, violently if necessary. He gets the job of leaving a car in a Dallas parking lot, and after President Kennedy is assassinated he realizes he provided a getaway vehicle for the real shooter—and worse, now he’s a loose end. Trailed by Marcello’s top hitman, Guidry flees and meets up with Charlotte Roy, an unhappy but steel-tipped housewife escaping an abusive husband. As the tension rises, the two find themselves making a surprisingly effective team as they seek to survive in different ways.

    Field of Bones, by J.A. Jance
    For long-time fans of Jance’s Joanna Brady series, book number eighteen will be a welcome addition to their gift haul—and it’s not a bad idea for any fan of great mysteries with a realistic protagonist and a lot of heart. Brady, pregnant and on maternity leave, responds to acting sheriff Tom Hadlock’s call for all hands on deck when a teenager finds a skull in the desert, revealing what appears to be a body disposal area for a very active—and very terrifying serial killer. Alternating points of view between the killer and the police’s efforts to identify him is a master class in ratcheting up the tension and keeping the reader guessing, as the birth of Brady’s daughter underscores the desperation to save the killer’s remaining prisoners.

    Bright Young Dead, by Jessica Fellowes
    Fans of Downton Abbey and other Edwardian-era historical fiction are closer to the mystery genre than they realize, and Fellowes’ Mitford Murders series is the perfect way to convince them. Set in 1925, when London is roiled by the criminal activities of an all-female gang known as the Forty Thieves, London police Guy Sullivan and Mary Moon find themselves in the company of aristocrats upstairs and their servants downstairs as they try to tackle the gang—and find themselves embroiled in a distasteful murder before it’s all over. Think of Fellowes’ work as Abbey with murder and they’ll be sold—and you’ll be getting some very enthusiastic Thank You cards.

    One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich
    The holiday season is the ideal time to give someone more than just a single book, but rather the gift of one of the best characters to ever grace the mystery shelves, Stephanie Plum. For twenty-five books, Evanovich has been delighting mystery fans with Plum’s adventures as a bounty hunter and detective, and the first book remains the ideal introduction. Plum, down on her luck in Trenton, New Jersey, convinces her cousin to give her a shot at apprehending criminal Joe Morelli—coincidentally the man who seduced Plum out of her virginity at age sixteen—and gets a crash course in the rough and tumble world of being an apprehension agent as she explores some long-dormant feelings for Joe. The lucky person getting this book from you will thank you twenty-four more times, trust us.

    There’s no mystery why people love getting books as gifts (see what we did there?)—it’s an opportunity to lose yourself and get away from holiday stress (the travel! the cooking! the travel!) by escaping into a thrilling story that also challenges your little gray cells. Which books are on your gift list this year?

    Shop all mystery & crime >

    The post 12 Must-Have Titles for the Mystery Fan on Your Shopping List appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 4:12 pm on 2018/11/07 Permalink
    Tags: , allen eskens, , , , , , , , mike lupica, Mysteries, ,   

    November’s Best Mysteries 


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    November officially kicks off the holiday season, which means you’re putting together shopping lists and trying to pick out the perfect gifts for everybody. You have to practice self-care, though, which means that aside from choosing the best mysteries to give to your loved ones as gifts, you have to pick out a few for yourself. This week’s best mysteries include new adventures from the best in the business, including the very real Janet Evanovich and Louise Penny and the very fictional Jessica Fletcher.

    Look Alive Twenty-Five, by Janet Evanovich
    Twenty-five books in and Stephanie Plum is going strong as ever, still tackling gritty mysteries with humor, smarts, and competence to spare. This time around Plum’s attention is drawn to the Red River Deli in Trenton, famous for its pastrami and its cole slaw. More recently, it’s become famous because of its disappearing managers—three in the last month, each leaving behind a single shoe. Lula tries to convince Stephanie it’s aliens abducting humans for experiments, but Stephanie figures on something a little less exotic—and takes over running the business herself in order to get to the bottom of things. It’s certainly not the first time Plum has put herself in danger for the sake of a case—and she can only hope it won’t be her last.

    Kingdom of the Blind, by Louise Penny
    Penny’s 14th book featuring Chief Inspector Gamache begins with the retired chief of the Sûreté du Québec receiving the surprising news that he’s one of three executors of the estate of an elderly woman he’s never met. With his suspension and the events that led to it still under excruciatingly slow investigation, Gamache agrees to participate, even thought the terms of the will are outlandish, leading him and his fellow executors to wonder if the old woman was mentally sound. When a dead body turns up, however, it prompts Gamache to reconsider—because the terms of the will suddenly seem much less strange, and much more ominous. Meanwhile the drugs he allowed to remain on the streets as part of his plan to destroy the drug cartels are still out there—and if he doesn’t find them, and soon, there will be devastation throughout the city. For once, Chief Inspector Gamache is something wholly unexpected: desperate.

    Robert B. Parker’s Blood Feud, by Mike Lupica
    In response to a request from Robert B. Parker’s fans, veteran sportswriter-turned-novelist Lupica brings the late Parker’s only female private eye, Sunny Randall, back in this exciting, fast-paced seventh novel. Sunny—hypercompetent as a private detective—is struggling with her emotional state as she deals with being divorced but still drawn to her ex-husband, Richie Burke. Richie, the son of local mobster Desmond Burke, gets shot in the back one night—but the shooter makes it clear that he was left alive on purpose, and that it’s part of a grudge against the Burkes in general. A few nights later, his bookie uncle Peter is shot dead. The Burkes want to handle this on their own, but Sunny can’t stay out of it, even when her investigation beings her repeatedly up against old foe Albert Antonioni, supposedly retired after trying to bump Sunny off. Lupica does Parker proud with this energized, smart story, and Sunny’s fans old and new will be very happy with the way everything turns out.

    The Colors of All the Cattle, by Alexander McCall Smith
    The nineteenth novel featuring Mwa Ramotswe and her fellow investigators and residents of the town of Gaborone is as delightful and insightful as ever. Ramotswe is persuaded to run for a seat on the city council when it’s revealed that the arch-enemy of her agency partner Grace, Vera Sephotho, is in the race. Vera supports a terrible initiative to build a luxury hotel next to the town’s cemetery, which gives Mwa Ramotswe the moral edge in the race, but her compulsively honest answers to questions might complicate her campaign. Meanwhile, the agency deals with the investigation of a hit-and-run case even as their assistant Charlie, finally growing up, engages in his first true romance.

    A Christmas Revelation, by Anne Perry
    Perry’s tradition of offering a Christmas-themed Victorian mystery continues, this time telling the story of nine-year old Worm, an orphan living in mid-19th century London. Worm has found an ersatz family at Hester Monk’s clinic, located at the site of a former brothel, and especially in the sweet Claudine Burroughs and the sour Squeaky Robinson, who once worked at the brothel and now serves as the clinic’s bookkeeper. One day Worm sees a woman on the street who immediately infatuates him with her gentle visage—only to be apparently attacked and kidnapped. Distressed, Worm enlists the reluctant but experienced Squeaky to help him track down the lady and ride to her rescue—but of course, twists and turns abound as they walk the cobble stone streets in search of clues.

    Murder, She Wrote: Manuscript for Murder, by Jessica Fletcher and Jon Land
    Fans of the classic TV show and fans of great mysteries alike will be thrilled with Land’s second outing with writer and detective Jessica Fletcher. In New York for a meeting with her publisher, Fletcher is approached by a fellow writer named Thomas Rudd who tells her he thinks their publisher, Lane Barfield, is skimming money form their royalties—and later turns up dead in a suspicious gas explosion. When she meets with Barfield, however, he can only talk about a new novel he’s acquired from an unknown writer named Benjamin Tally, and he gives Fletcher a copy of it for her opinion. Then the bodies begin to pile up: Barfield turns up dead, an apparent if unlikely suicide, and two other authors who saw the manuscript are dead as well. When Fletcher herself is attacked and left for dead before she can finish the book, she seeks out allies and digs in like only Jessica Fletcher can.

    The Shadows We Hide, by Allen Eskens
    Report Joe Talbert, Jr. reads about a man named Joe ‛Toke’ Talbert, recently murdered in a small Minnesota town. Joe never knew his father, and he wonders if this man might turn out to be his namesake. He begins looking into the man’s life and murder, and finds no shortage of suspects who might have wanted Toke dead, as he was by all reports a terrible human being and worse father. Toke’s wife died shortly before under suspicious circumstances, leaving Toke with a large inheritance, making the solution to his murder an even more complex puzzle—especially since, if Toke is in fact Joe’s father, the money would legally be his. Part personal journey, part grim mystery, Joe learns as much about himself as he does about the man who might be his father as the mystery takes a few delirious twists before the surprising, satisfying ending.

    The Whispered Word, by Ellery Adams
    Nora Pennington and the Secret, Book, and Scone Society return to run Miracle Books and feed the soul with the perfect choice of novel. A new business opens in town, Virtual Genie, offering cash for unwanted goods that it then sells on the Internet. Everyone thinks owner Griffin Kingsley is a perfect gentleman, but Nora isn’t sold. And when an obviously terrified young girl named Abilene wearing a hospital bracelet and some bruises turns up hiding in the store, followed by a pair of suspicious deaths, Nora begins to suspect that Abilene is the next target—and that Griffin Kingsley’s arrival at the same time may not be as much of a coincidence as it first appears.

    Whether it’s holiday stress, plane ride downtime, or the simple pleasures in life, nothing beats a good supply of mysteries to feed the soul while the cold weather moves in. Grab a bunch from this list and thank us later!

    Shop all mystery & crime >

    The post November’s Best Mysteries appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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