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  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 5:00 pm on 2017/11/29 Permalink
    Tags: , , , barbara ross, cheryl honigford, , eggnog murder, , hark the herald angels slay, homicide for the holidays, , lee hollis, leslie meier, , Mystery, , , thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd, , vicki delany   

    The Best New Mysteries of December 2017 

    Holiday-themed mysteries are lighting up the shelves this month, giving armchair gumshoes the opportunity to delve into halls decked with murder, and explore the hazardous properties of eggnog. From standalone story collections, to new titles in beloved long-running series, we’ve got a collection of new mysteries that will knock your reindeer-patterned socks off.

    Homicide for the Holidays, by Cheryl Honigford
    When burgeoning radio star Vivian Witchell stumbles upon a stack of cash in a locked drawer in her late father’s desk, she takes the opportunity to hire dashing detective Charlie Haverman to help her investigate. Viv begins to wonder if she should have left well enough alone when the trail of clues begins to point toward her beloved, upstanding father’s potential involvement with none other than Al Capone. The second novel in the Viv and Charlie Mystery series, set in 1938 Chicago, will delight fans of period mysteries featuring colorful characters.

    Eggnog Murder, by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross
    You’ll never look at eggnog the same way after enjoying this creamy collection of stories spiked with murder and deceit. The famously unhealthy beverage is prominently featured in all three holiday-themed tales—and yes, it’s laced with poison in at least one story. This delicious tongue-in-cheek trio will help you get in the “bah, humbug!” spirit just in time for the holidays.

    Hark the Herald Angels Slay, by Vicki Delany
    As one might expect, the town of Rudolph, NY is filled with the Christmas spirit all year long—but especially during the languid summer months, when Santa arrives on a boat to enjoy his summer vacation on the lake during a Christmas in July celebration. But when Max Folger, the ex-fiance of Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, arrives in town as well, Merry is perturbed. It quickly becomes obvious that Max’s explanation for why he is there—that he’s working for a magazine that’s covering the festivities—is a ruse. Max is there for one reason and one reason only: To win Merry back. But that plan is derailed when he’s found dead, strangled in her store, and Merry’s busy to-do list includes catching a murderer.

    Murder for Christmas, by Francis Duncan
    Fans of good old fashioned murder mysteries in the style of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot series will want to settle in for a long winter’s read with this sharp Christmas-themed tale. A number of guests have gathered at Benedict Grame’s country house for some holiday revels, including amateur investigator Mordecai Tremaine. As tends to happen when may different visitors gather together under one roof, tensions are high among the partygoers—and things take a grisly turn when the a body dressed as Santa Claus is found under the tree. Can Mordecai unmask the killer before anyone else gets a deadly, unwanted gift for Christmas?

    Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d (Flavia de Luce Series #8), by Alan Bradley
    In the eighth novel in Bradley’s wickedly charming Flavia de Luce series, the young prodigy has been thrown out of Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, and she’s delighted to be sailing back to England. Unfortunately she is greeted upon her return with the terrible news that her father is ill. Flavia’s irritating sisters and cousin are ruining her homecoming—until she stumbles upon the body of a lonely woodcarver in his cottage in the woods. The man is hanging upside down on the back of a door, the only living witness on the scene is an unperturbed cat. Things pick up quickly for Flavia after that, and fans of this precocious young detective will thoroughly enjoy her vigorous investigation into this shocking murder.

    Christmas Caramel Murder (Hannah Swensen Series), by Joanna Fluke
    Trouble is brewing this holiday season in Lake Eden, Minnesota. Hannah and her buddy Lisa are providing the refreshments for this year’s production of A Christmas Carol, but Lisa is not thrilled that her husband has been cast as Santa…and his ex-girlfriend as Mrs. Claus. Before the show can get off the ground, though, Mrs. Clause is found dead in the snow…in a costume that is definitely not g-rated. Everyone’s a suspect in this madcap mystery which comes with 12 bonus holiday recipes from The Cookie Jar!

    A Christmas Return: A Novel, by Anne Perry
    When her investigation into a long-ago murder that sundered a friendship prompts the arrival of a mysterious and disturbing Christmas package on her doorstep, grandmother Mariah Ellison, the winning star of Perry’s newest Christmas-themed mystery, finds herself traveling to Surrey to pay a visit to her estranged friend, the murdered man’s widow, in an effort to make amends. There, she teams up with the victim’s grandson, who is hot on the killer’s (cold) trail. But now that they’re stirring up old crimes, every new lead puts this unlikely pair deeper into danger.

    Mrs. Jeffries and the Three Wise Women, by Emily Brightwell
    Christopher Gilhaney seems to have made enemies at a recent Guy Fawkes Night dinner party—judging by the fact that he was shot dead later that night. Granted, he did spend the evening insulting every guest in attendance, to the mortification of hostess Abigail Chase. The mystery of Christopher’s murder, which is suspected to be related to a botched robbery, remains unsolved six weeks later, and Inspector Witherspoon’s expertise is called upon. But the holidays are approaching, and Witherspoon and his household at large are concerned that their holiday plans are at risk of being interrupted. Can they put this one to bed, or will the truth forever elude them?

    The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers, by Peter Lovesy
    What do you get for the crime reader who has everything? How do you get your favorite armchair gumshoe into the holiday spirit? And where can you find 18 hilarious, chilling, and bizarre stories centering around suspicious mall Santas, mysterious dinner parties, and stolen diamonds? The answer to all of these questions (and so many more) is The Usual Santas, A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers, an anthology featuring stories by some of your favorite Soho Press authors and their most unexpectedly twisted Christmas-themed tales.

    How the Finch Stole Christmas, by Donna Andrews
    Eschewing his typical one man show, Meg’s husband has decided to launch a full-cast production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol—starring their sons Josh and Jamie as Tiny Tim and young Scrooge of course, with Meg as stage manager. But the faded-star celebrity he brought into town to play Scrooge has brought a whole lot of trouble with him, in the form of a veritable zoo of animals, including a collection of finches. Fans of Andrews’ lively and charming Meg Langslow series will be crowing about the twisty 22nd installment.

    What mysteries are you digging into this December?

    The post The Best New Mysteries of December 2017 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 7:30 pm on 2017/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Mystery,   

    10 Absolutely Essential Agatha Christie Novels 

    Tomorrow, Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express chugs into theaters with a full head of steam, and naturally, there’s been an accompanying surge of interest in the source material—perhaps the most famous of mystery master Agatha Christie’s long and stories career.

    But then, when aren’t millions of people obsessing over the fiendish cases concocted by the Grand Dame of mysteries? Every day, someone discovers her for the first time. After all, to read one Christie book is to want to read them all. Christie was a genius. She played fair with the reader even as she constructed diabolical plots loaded with so many plausible red herrings and misdirections, it’s often impossible to predict whodunnit it on your first read.

    Ah, but those first reads are glorious. If you’ve never read a Christie novel before, or if you’re simply looking to read for the cream of the crop, here are our picks for the 10 Agatha Christie books every mystery buff simply must read.

    The Murder of Roger Akroyd
    Still the greatest twist ever in the history of mystery stories, bar none. The controversy over whether Christie plays fair with the reader rages to this day—but anyone arguing that she doesn’t is just dealing with sour grapes after having their mind blown, because a reread will demonstrate that Christie never cheats with this story of a wealthy widower who is murdered in a small English town. Anyone unspoiled reader who claims to guess who the killer is before the final reveal is almost certainly lying.

    The ABC Murders
    Christie was still experimenting with form in this 1936 novel, mixing first- and third-person narration to add new levels of twisty complexity. Her legendary Inspector Hercule Poirot receives three letters detailing the serial murders of people whose initials are A.A., B.B., and C.C., and the race is on to solve the riddle before the fourth victim is killed. Containing one of the most audacious red herrings in mystery history, this novel’s solution establishes a trope Christie more or less invented, and is still used to this day by writers seeking to throw readers off the scent.

    Murder on the Orient Express
    One of Christie’s most famous novels for a reason, it remains a part of modern pop culture for two reasons: one, the devious twist behind the solution to the murder, and two, the sumptuous descriptions of a train ride, and a lifestyle long vanished from the world (while there are still train rides labeled “Orient Express,” they are mere recreations for tourists). It’s was a slower, more elegant world (assuming you had the money), and long before CSI came along to put the brilliant detectives like Poirot out of business—but in the end, it’s that absolutely amazing twist that makes this such an incredible read, even today.

    And Then There Were None
    It’s a simple premise: eight people are invited to a remote island under various pretenses, trapped there, and murdered one-by-one as punishment for past crimes they’d seemingly gotten away with. The result is widely regarded as Christie’s best book, and is today the most popular mystery novel of all time, with more than 100 million copies sold. Christie also named this book the most difficult of her novels to plan and write, which makes perfect sense once you’ve discovered the solution. The level of intricacy involved in pulling this one off makes it an absolute must-read.

    Curtain
    Hercule Poirot, the fussy, fearless Belgian detective who was Christie’s greatest creation, meets his final case. Although Christie’s writing had suffered a serious decline by the time this novel was published (just a year before her death), it’s one of her strongest works, with a twist that catches every Poirot fan off guard. This may be because Christie actually wrote it 30 years before, when she worried that World War II might, well, kill her. She wrote Poirot’s last case—setting it in the same location as his first—and locked it in a vault, bringing it out only when she knew she had no more novels in her.

    Death on the Nile
    One of Christie’s twistiest puzzles is set during a holiday in Egypt, where Hercule Poirot meets a couple being stalked by the husband’s former lover. The couple books a cruise down the Nile to escape the woman, but she follows (as does Poirot). Several murders are committed on board, including the murder of the unfortunate wife. As each crime occurs, the sense of danger and paranoia increases to a level almost impossible to withstand. It seems impossible it will all fit together in any sort of sane way—but once again, Christie proves to be smarter than all of us.

    Endless Night
    Probably the last really good book Christie wrote before her natural decline took away her genius, this is also the novel Christie herself named her favorite. Published in 1967, it’s a dark story that puts the detection in the background, as the crime is revealed to the reader only partway through. Instead, it’s a fascinating study of greed, guilt, and desperation that proves beyond a doubt that Christie was not only a great designer of mysteries, but a flat-out great writer.

    Peril at End House
    Another Poirot adventure, this one finds him investigating a series of crimes at a country estate called End House, and pivots on one of Christie’s smartest misdirections. Let’s just say always you have to be on guard against your own assumptions when reading Christie. This is one of those books where the solution almost makes everything seem too obvious—if not for the fact that, a few pages before the reveal, the atmosphere was tense with mystery, and finding the truth seemed nearly impossible.

    The Mysterious Affair at Styles
    The very first Hercule Poirot case (and Christie’s first published novel overall) is also one of her best, a story that captures a long-gone time and place—in this case, England, immediately following World War I]. A classic mystery setup sees a wealthy woman poisoned, and Poirot, a recent refugee from Belgium, called on by a friend to assist in solving the crime. As Christie’s first novel, it’s a little more concerned with scene setting and description than some of her more efficient later works, but it’s a satisfying mystery all the same, and introduces one of the greatest detective characters of all time.

    The Murder at the Vicarage
    In the first novel to feature Christie’s other famous detective, Miss Marple, someone everyone in town wanted dead turns up murdered, and there is not one but two confessors to the crime. Miss Marple is a fantastic creation—a seemingly mild, unexceptional old woman whose keen intellect catches clues others miss and makes deductive leaps others would never dream of. The determined, gentle pressure of her investigative techniques eventually bring out the truth—which is naturally something Christie made very plain, but which readers almost always misconstrue. It’s a classic.

    The post 10 Absolutely Essential Agatha Christie Novels appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 3:00 pm on 2017/10/31 Permalink
    Tags: , alexander mccann smith, anne canadeo, , city of lies, death in the stacks, , , hardcore twenty four, harry dolan, , , , knit to kill, , Mystery, , , sleep no more: 6 murderous tales, the house of unexpected sisters, the man in the crooked hat, , the trouble with twelfth grave darynda jones, , victoria thompson   

    The Best New Mysteries of November 2017 

    Happy November, gumshoes! This month, take advantage of a long, relaxing holiday weekend (or, hours of traveling to see family and friends) to get in some uninterrupted reading time! Stock your nightstand or suitcase with a few of these page-turners and keep fall mysterious.

    Hardcore Twenty Four, by Janet Evanovich
    As her many fans are aware, to know Stephanie Plum is to love her. Evanovich’s long-running series following the madcap exploits of Jersey’s most illustrious bounty hunter takes a spooky turn when headless bodies begin turning up left and right. Although initially they’re corpses from the morgue, when a homeless man is found murdered and decapitated, someone has clearly upped their creepy game, Stephanie is compelled to take the case. In the meantime, she’s bunking with professional grave robber Simon Diggery and his pet python, and concerned about Grandma Mazur’s online dating escapades. Tall blonde and handsome Diesel is also back in town, which is stirring things up for Stephanie and her perennial paramours, sexy cop Joe Morelli and the enigmatic Ranger. Treat yourself to the latest mystery in the Plum series!

    City of Lies, by Victoria Thompson
    This exciting new series by the author of the Gaslight Mystery Series introduces readers to Elizabeth Miles, a savvy con artist in the Robin Hood vein who makes a brazen living divesting wealthy men of their fortunes…until the day she and her brother cross the wrong wealthy man and end up fleeing for their lives. Elizabeth stays safe by hiding among a group of privileged women whose activism she comes to admire…and in time her admiration extends to Gideon, the son of the group’s matriarch. But Elizabeth has been playing a deadly game, and her past is on the verge of catching up with her.

    The Man in the Crooked Hat, by Harry Dolan
    For two years, former Cop Jack Pellum has been searching for his wife’s murderer—whom he is convinced is a suspicious, fedora-wearing stranger he observed in her vicinity a few days before her death. But his obsessive quest, which has so far been fruitless, is jumpstarted when a message relating to the suicide of a local writer cracks the case wide open. And when Pellum crosses paths with Michael Underhill, a man with a dark hidden past who has everything to lose now that he’s found the perfect girlfriend, he finds himself closer than ever to finding out the truth, which is might be more than he can handle. A relentless plotter who sketches out unforgettable characters, if you’re a mystery fan and you haven’t read Dolan yet, put him on your list.

    How the Finch Stole Christmas, by Donna Andrews
    Eschewing his typical one man show, Meg’s husband has decided to launch a full-cast production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol—starring their sons Josh and Jamie as Tiny Tim and young Scrooge of course, with Meg as stage manager. But the faded-star celebrity he brought into town to play Scrooge has brought a whole lot of trouble with him, in the form of a veritable zoo of animals, including a collection of finches. Fans of Andrews’ lively and charming Meg Langslow series will be crowing about the twisty 22nd installment.

    Knit to Kill, by Anne Canadeo
    Lucy Bing, a member of the storied Black Sheep knitting group, is getting married! To relax before the nuptials, the group accepts an invitation from Suzanne Cavanaugh’s friend Amy to spend the weekend on Osprey Island. But their relaxing getaway is ruined when an unpleasant local resident falls from a cliff to his death—and investigators believe he was murdered. When suspicion falls on Amy’s husband, it’s up to the Black Sheep knitters to untangle this unsettling mystery—which features a diabolical killer who always seems to be one step ahead.

    The Trouble with Twelfth Grave, by Darynda Jones
    Jones’ 12th Charley Davidson novel continues to blend mystery, romance, and the paranormal into a delightfully offbeat series. Son of Satan (and Charley’s husband) Reyes Farrow has been a bit peeved ever since she accidentally trapped him in Hell, which is understandable. But he’s not the only one making her life difficult these days—her startup PI venture is also keeping things very lively, and someone’s begun going after humans with an awareness of the supernatural. Can Charley protect them, despite her suspicion that she’s protecting them from someone she cares deeply about? If you haven’t yet met Charley Davidson, start at the beginning with the uproarious, award-winning First Grave on the Right.

    The House of Unexpected Sisters, by Alexander McCall Smith
    In this nuanced, slow burn mystery, the 18th in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Precious Ramotswe is approached by a woman fighting against what she calls an unfair dismissal from her job—for being rude to a customer. Although Mma Ramotswe initially takes her side, as more information comes to light, she begins to come to a troubling conclusion. Not only that, she discovers the existence of a local woman, a nurse, with the same last name of Ramotswe—which comes as something of a shock. When Mma Potokwani informs her that an unsavory man from her past has returned to Botswana, very likely in an effort to deliberately seek her out, Mma Ramotswe realizes she has her work cut out for her when it comes to unraveling the mysteries of her past and present, which have become entangled together.

    Sleep No More: 6 Murderous Tales, by P. D. James
    This cunning assortment of previously uncollected stories from the indomitable author of Death Comes to Pemberley is filled with tales of crimes committed long ago, complete with the chilling rationalizations that so often accompany them. Take a deep dive into the heart of a killer, and explore the push-pull in the minds of murderers, witnesses, orchestrators of the perfect crime, and unwitting victims. James’s formidable talent shines just even more brightly in her shorter works.

    A Christmas Return: A Novel, by Anne Perry
    When her investigation into a long-ago murder that sundered a friendship prompts the arrival of a mysterious and disturbing Christmas package on her doorstep, grandmother Mariah Ellison, the winning star of Perry’s newest Christmas-themed mystery, finds herself traveling to Surrey to pay a visit to her estranged friend, the murdered man’s widow, in an effort to make amends. There, she teams up with the victim’s grandson, who is hot on the killer’s (cold) trail. But now that they’re stirring up old crimes, every new lead puts this unlikely pair deeper into danger.

    Death in the Stacks, by Jenn McKinlay
    Brier Creek Library’s annual Dinner in the Stacks is a delightful fundraising event that should be lifting the spirits of the library’s staff—who instead find themselves under the thumb of miserable new library board president Olive Boyle, who is ruining everything. When Olive threatens bright new hire Paula, Lindsey Norris berates her—and she fears repercussions on the night of the big event. However, Olive is found dead in the middle of Dinner in the Stacks, with nonother than Paula crouching over her. Can Lindsey clear her name, or will Paula get the book thrown at her? Don’t miss the eighth book in this charming series for mystery-minded bibliophiles.

    Parting Shot, by Linwood Barclay
    A young man swears he has no memory of stealing a Porsche and murdering a girl while inebriated—an act which devastated the small community of Promise Falls and unleashed a barrage of threats against his family. Against his better judgment, Cal Weaver reluctantly agrees to investigate the threats, but before long he finds himself sucked into a brutal quest for revenge.

    The Secret, Book & Scone Society, by Ellery Adams
    The first book in a new series that combines a few of everyone’s favorite things—books, baked goods, and deep, dark secrets. Nora Pennington resides in beautiful Miracle Springs, North Carolina, a place renowned for the healing properties of its hot springs. Nora owns Miracle books, and she has a talent for drawing out people’s stories about their lives—in exchange for her uncannily perfect book recommendations. When a businessman is found dead before he can keep his appointment with Nora, she forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, which gives members a place to turn for support and a feeling of camaraderie—as long as they first reveal their darkest secrets first. As the members of Nora’s club begin to investigate the businessman’s mysterious death, they discover a sense of community—along with some hidden dangers.

    What mysteries are you excited about this month?

    The post The Best New Mysteries of November 2017 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 10:00 am on 2017/09/29 Permalink
    Tags: , , , felix francis, , , m. c. beaton, , , Mystery, , , pulse, sarah bailey, the best american mystery stories, the dark lake, , , the witches' tree: an agatha raisin mystery,   

    October’s Best New Mysteries 

    Fall has officially begun, and if there’s a better time of year to kick back with an absorbing whodunit, we’d like to hear about it…right after we finish this chapter. Mystery lovers of all stripes will find something to keep them up late at night in the following collection of brand-new must-reads, which features everything from potboilers to cozy mysteries, and both modern and classic authors. Dig in, gumshoes!

    Pulse, by Felix Francis
    Dr. Christine Rankin, the complex and troubled narrator of Francis’ newest thriller, is pushed over the edge when a well-dressed man who was found unconscious at the local racetrack dies while under her care. No one can account for the man, and the mystery of his identity sends her into an obsessive spiral into discovering his identity—a secret that someone very dangerous is eager to protect. A fascinating story by an author at the top of his game.

    The Dark Lake, by Sarah Bailey
    Rosalind Ryan’s transcendent beauty made her a legend in her small rural town, but many years later, it also made her a target. As an adult Rosalind returned to Smithson High School to teach drama, and when she turns up in a local lake, dead of strangulation, it falls to lead homicide investigator Gemma Woodstock to solve the mystery of her murder. Except Gemma is a former classmate of Rosalind’s, and unraveling the puzzle of Rosalind’s strange and lonely existence stirs up Gemma’s own murky, questionable past.

    Mrs. Jeffries and the Three Wise Women, by Emily Brightwell
    Christopher Gilhaney seems to have made enemies at a recent Guy Fawkes Night dinner party—judging by the fact that he was shot dead later that night. Granted, he did spend the evening insulting every guest in attendance, to the mortification of hostess Abigail Chase. The mystery of Christopher’s murder, which is suspected to be related to a botched robbery, remains unsolved six weeks later, and Inspector Witherspoon’s expertise is called upon. But the holidays are approaching, and Witherspoon and his household at large are concerned that their holiday plans are at risk of being interrupted. Can they put this one to bed, or will the truth forever elude them?

    The Best American Mystery Stories, by John Sandford
    This riveting, carefully-curated short story collection is perfect for readers looking for high-octane, bite-sized tales that pack a serious punch. Fans of well-known authors of longer works, from C.J. Box to Joyce Carol Oates, will be delighted to discover that their talents are no less impressive in shorter formats. If you’ve got a busy month ahead of you, this best-of collection is the perfect go-to for short bursts of well-written and deliciously enigmatic stories.

    Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
    A famous train is immobilized in a snowdrift, and in the morning one of the passengers, millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett, is found stabbed to death in his compartment (which was locked from the inside). Fortunately another of the passengers is incomparable detective Hercule Poirot, whose “little grey cells” are on the case as the clock ticks down to the next murder. One of the most famous, beloved, and widely-read mystery novels by a master of the genre, if you haven’t yet read Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, now is the perfect time to experience it—just in time for Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation, which hits theaters November 20.

    The Witches’ Tree: An Agatha Raisin Mystery, by M. C. Beaton
    Driving home from a dinner party in the village of Sumpton Harcourt, the new vicar and his wife come upon a body hanging from a tree. It belongs to an elderly spinster named Margaret Darby, and the general suspicion in the village is that the cause of death was murder, and not suicide. Agatha Raisin is happy to be on assignment (welcoming the distraction from her woeful personal life), but when two more victims turn up, the case grows more urgent—and more dangerous. And it certainly doesn’t help that Sumpton Harcourt’s residents are tightlipped when it comes to prying investigations…and it’s also home to a coven of witches.

    The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers, by Peter Lovesy
    What do you get for the crime reader who has everything? How do you get your favorite armchair gumshoe into the holiday spirit? And where can you find 18 hilarious, chilling, and bizarre stories centering around suspicious mall Santas, mysterious dinner parties, and stolen diamonds? The answer to all of these questions (and so many more) is The Usual Santas, A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers, an anthology featuring stories by some of your favorite Soho Press authors and their most unexpectedly twisted Christmas-themed tales.

    Parting Shot, by Linwood Barclay
    A young man swears he has no memory of stealing a Porsche and murdering a girl while inebriated—an act which devastated the small community of Promise Falls and unleashed a barrage of threats against his family. Against his better judgment, Cal Weaver reluctantly agrees to investigate the threats, but before long he finds himself sucked into a brutal quest for revenge.

    The Secret, Book & Scone Society, by Ellery Adams
    The first book in a new series that combines a few of everyone’s favorite things—books, baked goods, and deep, dark secrets. Nora Pennington resides in beautiful Miracle Springs, North Carolina, a place renowned for the healing properties of its hot springs. Nora owns Miracle books, and she has a talent for drawing out people’s stories about their lives—in exchange for her uncannily perfect book recommendations. When a businessman is found dead before he can keep his appointment with Nora, she forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, which gives members a place to turn for support and a feeling of camaraderie—as long as they first reveal their darkest secrets first. As the members of Nora’s club begin to investigate the businessman’s mysterious death, they discover a sense of community—along with some hidden dangers.

    What mysteries are keeping you up at night this fall?

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

     
  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 3:00 pm on 2017/08/31 Permalink
    Tags: a tale of two kitties, , craig johnson, don't let go, enigma, , , Mystery, proof of life, , robert b. parker's the hangman's sonnet, , the western star,   

    September’s Best Mysteries 

    As temperatures drop and days shorten, it’s time for armchair detectives to dig out our deerstalker hats and dig back into some of our most favorite series! Whether you’re a devotee eagerly awaiting the next installment of J. D. Robb’s epic In Death series, or you just prefer single-serving standalone mysteries, September’s collection of brand new crime novels has got you covered.

    Don’t Let Go, by Harlan Coben
    15 years ago, Napoleon “Nap” Dumas lost his twin brother Leo when he and his girlfriend, Diana, were hit by a train. This is terrible enough—but in a puzzling twist, Nap’s then-girlfriend Maura also disappeared at the same time. When evidence surfaces linking Maura to a murdered police officer, Nap begins to suspect that his brother’s death wasn’t an accident. His investigation leads him to look up the other members of a high school group called the Conspiracy Club—and he soon realizes that someone else is also tracking down the club’s members as well…and killing them.

    Secrets in Death, by J. D. Robb
    Lt. Eve Dallas is not the biggest fan of notorious gossipmonger Larinda Mars, but that doesn’t mean she wants Larinda dead. But apparently someone else does. Eve doesn’t usually frequent trendy Manhattan nightclubs, but on the one night she grabs a drink at her husband’s lower Manhattan hotspot, Du Vin, Larinda collapses on her after suffering an attack and subsequently bleeds to death. As Eve does some investigating into Mars’ dealings, it becomes clear that she had gone beyond the purview of gossip, and was busy blackmailing some pretty serious heavy-hitters. As Eve unearths a treasure trove of dark secrets in the glamorous lives of Larinda’s victims, she discovers that when it comes to the parts of ourselves that we keep hidden from the world, there is definitely such a thing as knowing too much.

    Enigma, by Catherine Coulter
    Dueling race-against-time mysteries make the twenty-first book in Coulter’s FBI series a next-level page-turner, so make sure you’ve got some uninterrupted reading time this month. Husband and wife team Savitch and Sherlock are in a desperate search for a missing newborn whose disappearance has been linked to the efforts of a mad scientist who’s determined to crack the code to eternal life. In the meantime, FBI agents Cam Whittier and Jack Cabot are on a manhunt, tracking an escaped convict through the National Forest. Although it’s a satisfying installment for longtime fans of Coulter’s FBI books, Enigma also works well as a standalone thriller, making it the perfect entry point into a gripping and rewarding series.

    Robert B. Parker’s The Hangman’s Sonnet (Jesse Stone Series #16), by Reed Farrel Coleman
    Paradise, Mass. police chief Jesse Stone is off his game, and understandably so; in the previous novel in the bestselling Jesse Stone series, Debt to Pay, he witnessed the murder of his fiancée. So yeah, he’s been phoning things in a bit lately. On the day of the wedding of his friend Suitcase Simpson, Jesse learns of the upcoming 75th birthday celebration of Massachusetts’ answer to Bob Dylan: musician Terry Jester. Years ago, Jester’s magnum opus-slash-comeback-project) vanished mysteriously, and as Jesse begins to investigate, the cold case seems to lead back to a very warm (and deadly) burglary of an elderly resident. With an inordinate number of loose ends to tie up, and Paradise mayor Constance Walker breathing down his neck, Jesse needs to clear his head and get back in the game—and fast.

    The Western Star (Walt Longmire Series #13), by Craig Johnson
    Ages ago, Walt took part in the annual Wyoming Sheriff’s Association celebration, which took place during a journey on a steam locomotive known as the Western Star. When a startling photograph from the event resurfaces, it stirs up haunting memories—which are compounded by a quickly approaching parole hearing for one of Walt’s greatest enemies. The Walt Longmire series draws you into the rugged, breathtaking landscape of Wyoming, and yet it’s filled with characters that still manage to tower over it.

    Proof of Life (J. P. Beaumont Series #23), by J. A. Jance
    Retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for J.P. Beaumont, who finds himself pulled not-so-reluctantly back into investigation mode upon learning of the death of his erstwhile nemesis, former crime reporter Maxwell Cole. Maxwell’s death was declared an accident, but Beau isn’t so sure; stranger still is that Maxwell himself is the one who has posthumously insisted upon Beau’s involvement in his case, at the heart of which lies a terrifying enemy who has been waiting an unfathomably long time to exact revenge.

    A Tale of Two Kitties (Magical Cats Mystery Series #9), by Sofie Kelly
    When Victor Janes returns to Mayville Heights, it causes quite a stir among those who remember the saga of the Janes family; years ago, Victor had an affair with the wife of his twin brother Leo, just before she died in a car accident. Still, it seems as though the brothers are trying to work through things—until local librarian (and cat-assisted detective) Kathleen discovers Leo’s body. The main suspect is Leo’s own son—and Kathleen’s good friend– Simon, and his case isn’t looking very good. With the help of her investigative feline companions, Hercules and Owen, can Kathleen clear Simon’s good name?

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

     
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