New Release: DEVIL’S BREATH by G.M. Malliet

519-NHxK9uL._SY346_DEVIL’S BREATH A Max Tudor Mystery by G.M. Malliet

Mystery / Released April 11, 2017 by Minotaur Books

When the body of glamorous film star Margot Browne washes ashore, Max’s former colleague Patrice Logan, heavily pregnant, asks Max for help.  It’s a perfect “closed circle” murder since Margot must have been killed by one of the actors, stylists, screenwriters, or second-tier royalty aboard the yacht where she was vacationing.  Patrice suspects the yacht’s owner, a playboy film director she’s been keeping tabs on for smuggling, but Max isn’t so sure.  Max and DCI Cotton interview the suspects as they loll about one of the luxury hotels dotting the waterfront.  Tipped by the playboy director, Max uncovers the truth about the star’s life.  But would Margot kill – or be killed – to keep her lurid past in the past?

Max’s investigation uncovers a host of motives but only one killer:  it seems Margot is not the only person on board with a secret they’d kill to keep.

G.M. MALLIET’S first St. Just mystery won the 2008 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, and was chosen by Kirkus Reviews as a best book of the year.  It was nominated for several awards, including the Anthony, the Macavity, and a Left Coast Crime award for best police procedural.  She has since been nominated for nearly every major crime-writing award, including the Anthony (audiobook and short story).  Her series debut, Wicked Autumn, featuring a former MI% agent turned vicar of a small English village debuted in the autumn of 2011.  She attended graduate school in Cambridge and Oxford; she and her husband travel frequently to the U.K., the setting for her books.

New Release: DYING ON THE VINE by Marla Cooper

51o-mYoqIELReaders fell in love with the “feisty and funny” wedding planner turned sleuth Kelsey McKenna in Cooper’s TERROR IN TAFFETA.  Kelsey is back this time in DYING ON THE VINE by Marla Cooper (Released April 4 by Minotaur).

Wedding planner Kelsey McKenna just signed on to a dream gig.  She’s going to be the “day-of” coordinator at the beautiful Higgins Estate in California wine country.  There’s just one problem:  the wedding was originally planned by Babs Norton, self-proclaimed Queen of Wine Country Weddings, who the father of the bride has fired.

Kelsey decides to clear the air with Babs and make sure there are no hard feelings, but before she can throw herself into executing the perfect wedding, she discovers Babs dead on the floor of her office.  David,  Babs’ assistant, is quick to point the finger very publicly at Kelsey.  Even worse, Kelsey learns that with the big day only week away, the bitter little man has sabotaged her new clients’ wedding by canceling all the vendor contracts.

With the help of her friend Brody and assistant Laurel, Kelsey must scramble to salvage the wedding while dodging gossipy wedding planners, grumpy winemakers, and a cold blooded killer in this smart, funny story.

MARLA COOPER is the pen name of a professional writer who has written everything from advertising copy to travel guidebooks to the occasional haiku.  While ghostwriting a book on destination weddings, she found inspiration for her first novel.  Originally hailing from Texas, Marla now lives in Oakland, California, with her writer husband and hr polydactyl tuxedo cat.

Review: INHERIT THE BONES by Emily Littlejohn

51vnbqzmual-_sy344_bo1204203200_INHERIT THE BONES by Emily Littlejohn / A Detective Gemma Monroe Novel / Released Nov 1, 2016 by Minotaur Books

Review by Heather Haven

This is a debut novel, but you’d never know it by the writing. There is an ease and confidence to the story, characters, and prose that dominate the novel. Ms. Littlejohn has created real people and situations at once familiar, yet slightly off-kilter. On the surface, all seems normal. Almost. But then, how normal is murder?

The protagonist, Detective Gemma Monroe, is six months pregnant, filled with doubts about herself, her lover, her job, and the small Colorado town in which she lives. And then there are the dreams, the recurring dreams about children long dead. They call to her, taunt her, until the very end of the book. Then the truth is revealed in the most astonishing way. As the reader, we follow this storyteller, Emily Littlejohn, and become as haunted as Gemma by the past, present, and future. Such is the legacy of fine writing.

New Release: GLOW OF DEATH by Jane K. Cleland

519stk-mvzl-_sx331_bo1204203200_GLOW OF DEATH by Jane K. Cleland / A Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery / Released Nov 29, 2016 by Minotaur Books

Josie Prescott visits the house of a wealthy local couple, Edwin and Ava Belcher.  She’s been called in to appraise their Tiffany lamp, which everyone is delighted to find is genuine.

Josie’s good friend, Police Chief Ellis Hunter, is helping Josie prepare for her annual Fourth of July barbecue when he gets a call that Ava has been murdered.  Unable to reach Edwin, Ellis asks Josie to identify the body.  Josie is stunned to discover that the dead woman lying on the Belcher kitchen flow is not the women she knew as Ava.  Shock turns to perplexity when Josie discovers that everything she thought she knew about the Tiffany lamp and the Belchers is built on lies.

In this cunning mystery riddles with envy, greed, and revenge, Josie uses her knowledge of antiques to learn the truth about the priceless Tiffany lamp and to discover Ava’s killer.

JANE K. CLELAND once owned a New Hampshire-based antiques and rare books business.  She is the author of ten previous Josie Prescott Antiques mysteries, has been a finalist for the Macavity, Anthony, and Agatha awards and has twice won the David Award for Best Novel.  Jane is the former president of the New York chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and chairs the Wolfe Pack’s Black Orchid Novella Award.  She is part of the English faculty at Lehman College and lives in New York City.

New Release: THE REEK OF RED HERRINGS By Catriona McPherson

51vevih3al-_sx329_bo1204203200_ THE REEK OF RED HERRINGS  (A Dandy Gilver Mystery, Book 5) by Catriona McPherson / Released December 13, 2016 by Minotaur Books

On the rain-drenched, wave-lashed, wind-battered Banffshire coast, tiny fishing villages perch on ledges that would make a seagull think twice, and crumbly mansions cling to crumblier cliff tops while, out in the bay, the herring drifters brave the storms to catch their silver darlings.  It’s nowhere for a child of gentle Northamptonshire to spend Christmas.

But when odd things start to turn up in barrels of fish – with a strong whiff of murder most foul – that’s exactly where Dandy Gilver finds herself.  Enlisted to investigate, she and her trusty cohort, Alec Osborne, are soon swept up in the fisher folks’ wedding season as well as the mystery.  Between age-old traditions and brand-new horrors, Dandy must think the unthinkable to solve her grisliest case yet.

CATRIONA MCPHERSON was born near Edinburgh, where she received her Ph.D.  Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains won the Sue Feder Memorial Award in 2012, and Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for Murder won an Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel.  Catriona lives in Davis, California, with her husband and two cats.

In addition to writing, Catriona enjoys gardening, cooking, running, swimming, ballroom dancing, antique shopping, and exploring old houses.  Her experience growing up in Edinburgh inspired the Dandy Gilver series.

 

THE GRAVEYARD OF THE HESPERIDES by Lindsey Davis

51p5npglhgl-_sx328_bo1204203200_THE GRAVEYARD OF THE HESPERIDES by Lindsey Davis (Book 4 in the Flavia Albia mystery series) / Released July 12, 2016 by Minotaur Books

Flavia’s beloved, the plebeian Manlius Faustus, has recently moved in and decided that they should get married in a big, showy ceremony to begin a proper domestic life together.  Also, his contracting firm has been renovating a rundown dive bar called The Garden of Hesperides, only to uncover human remains buried in the backyard.  There have been rumors for years that the previous owner of the bar, now deceased, killed a bar maid, and presumably these are her remains.  In the choice between planning a wedding and looking into a crime from long ago, Albia would much rather investigate a possible murder.  Or murders, as more and more remains are uncovered revealing that something truly horrible has been going on at the Hesperides.

As she gets closer to the truth behind the bodies in the backyard, Albia’s investigation puts her in the cross-hairs – which might be the only way she’ll get out of the wedding and away from all her relatives who are desperate to “help.”

LINDSEY DAVIS is the author of the New York Times bestselling series of historical mysteries featuring Marcus Didius Falco, which started with The Silver Pigs, and the mystery featuring Falco’s daughter Flavia Albia, which started with The Ideas of April.  She has also authored a few acclaimed historical novels, including The Course of Honour.  She lived in Birmington, UK.

Mystery Release: WEDDING BELL BLUES by Ruth Moose

51rtbasan-l-_sx331_bo1204203200_WEDDING BELL BLUES by Ruth Moose / Released August 2016 by Minotaur Books

The town of Littleboro, North Carolina is abuzz with gossip about Crazy Reba’s upcoming nuptials.  Most brides go crazy at some point, but Littleboro’s resident homeless lady has had a head start:  she’s beloved, indulged, and most of all, eccentric.  Crazy Reba’s wedding plans go confirmedly awry when the bride-to-be is arrested for her finance’s murder.

Beloved owner of the Dixie Dew Bed and Breakfast, Beth McKenzie is determined to clear Reba’s name but gets in over her head when a woman who threatened to kill her books a room at the Dixie Dew, and Robert Redford, her neighbor’s white rabbit, disappears.

As if Beth’s week wasn’t hectic enough, Beth has to cater Littleboro’s First Annual Green Bean Festival and a famous food writer becomes deathly ill.  Beth must battle through madcap mayhem to apprehend the culprit and save the day.

RUTH MOOSE is the 2013 winner of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition.  She’s published three collections of short stories and six collections of poetry.  She was on the Creative Writing faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for fifteen years and received the Chapman Award for teaching.  She lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina.