Friday, November 14, 2014

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

Ted Severson meets a stranger, Lily Kintner, in an airport bar, whereupon he vents his anger at his wife, Miranda's infidelity and says he wants to "kill her." Lily then encourages Ted to go ahead and murder Miranda--in fact, Lily will even help him. What follows is an exploration of jealousy, attraction, and greed wrapped in a suspenseful contemporary noir. Despite a few implausibilities, Swanson has written a novel that is unpredictable and keeps the reader guessing until the end. It will be published in February.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan

William Heming owns a successful real estate agency. In his spare time he likes to spy on those that he's done business with over the last seventeen years.  His hobby is made much easier by the fact that he's made copies of the house keys from the residences that he's sold. When a dead body is found in one of Heming's client's homes, it might just lead to his undoing...  A Pleasure and a Calling explores Heming's life from childhood to the present in all it's dreadful detail.  It will be published in January.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver

Amory Ames spends her days alone in her country house while her husband, Milo, travels to Monte Carlo and the Riviera without her. She wonders if she made the wrong decision in marrying Milo, who is known as a playboy. When her old friend (and ex-fiancee) Gil Trent asks for Amory's help in convincing his sister Emmeline to break off her relationship with Rupert Howe (a man very much like Milo), she agrees and they travel to the seaside Brightwell Hotel. Soon, however, Rupert is murdered, probably pushed over a cliff. Several people knew of Gil's intense dislike for Rupert, which makes him the prime suspect. Amory knows he's innocent and decides she must do all she can to clear his name. When Milo arrives, the tension between Amory, Gil, and Milo intensifies. Will Amory be able to help Gil, despite being an emotional muddle? Murder at the Brightwell is a historical mystery (set in 1932) that will appeal to readers who enjoy Tasha Alexander, Deanna Raybourn, and the Royal Spyness series by Rhys Bowen.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fear the Darkness by Becky Masterman

Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn, making good on a promise to her just-deceased sister-in-law, Marylin, lets Marylin's daughter, Gemma-Kate, live with her and her husband, Carlo, as Gemma-Kate prepares to attend the University of Arizona.  When one of Brigid's dogs is poisoned and she starts feeling sick herself, Brigid wonders if something is really wrong with her health or if someone is trying to make her seriously ill. Could her current state also have something to do with her investigation into the death of teenager Joseph Neilsen?  In this second novel in the Brigid Quinn series, Masterman writes a page turner that should appeal to readers who enjoy Sue Grafton.  It will be published in January.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Death of a Liar by M.C. Beaton

Policeman Hamish Macbeth again finds himself juggling several murder investigations, despite being stationed in the small Scottish village of Lochdubh.  This time, a local couple, who recently moved to town are found murdered along with Liz Bentley, who had a hard time telling the truth. Hamish tries to solve the crimes, even after being warned by his superiors to not get involved and knowing that, if he succeeds, it might mean a career away from his beloved Lochdubh.  It will be published in February.

The Murder Man by Tony Parsons

After a transfer from the anti-terrorism unit to homicide, DC Max Wolfe is immediately involved in the investigation into the grisly murder of investment banker Hugo Buck. When a homeless man is killed soon after in the same way, it seems there's a serial killer on the loose who specifically targeted both men.  What is the connection between the victims and will there be more deaths before Max and his colleague, DCI Mallory discover the identity of the killer? In this first book in the Max Wolfe series, author Parsons creates an interesting main character who struggles to raise his five-year-old daughter, Scout, on his own, while mourning the loss of his wife. He is also able to craft a puzzle that keeps you guessing until the end. A good read-alike for those who enjoy the Mark Tartaglia series by Elena Forbes.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Land of Dreams by Vidar Sundstol

Lance Hansen, a police officer who works for the U.S. Forest Service on Lake Superior in Minnesota, discovers a young Norwegian man, incoherent and bleeding, with his best friend dead nearby. The murder case is quickly passed to the local police, then to the FBI who are working with a cop from Norway named Eirik Nyland. Lance remains intrigued by the crime, as people are wondering if it's the first murder ever in Cook County. As the keeper of the local history files, Lance is reminded of the disappearance of Swamper Caribou, an Ojibwe who went missing near the current crime scene over 100 years ago. Could the two cases be connected? Lance is also troubled by the behaviors of someone in his own family. In this first book of the Minnesota Trilogy, Sundstol writes a leisurely-paced mystery filled with local lore, an interesting setting, and flawed characters. For readers who enjoy Paul Doiron, C.J. Box, and William Kent Krueger.