New Release: A CAST OF VULTURES by Judith Flanders

514zs9cMQqLA CAST OF VULTURES by Judith Flanders / Mystery / Released March 1, 2017 by Minotaur Books

Normally sharp-witted, book editor Sam Clair stumbles through a post-book launch party morning with the hangover to end all hangovers.  But before the Ibuprofen has even kicked in, she finds herself entangled in an elaborate saga of missing neighbors, suspected arson and an odd, unidentified body.

By the time the grisly news breaks that the fire has claimed another victim, Sam is already hot in pursuit.  Armed once again with her biting commentary, her boyfriend Inspector Jake Filed, and her stalwart Goth assistant, Sam must track down the murderer and face a pair of Thugs-‘R’-Us in this uproariously funny and fast-paced mystery.

JUDITH FLANDERS is the New York Times bestselling author of The Invention of Murder, The Making of Home and is one of the foremost social historians of the Victorian era.  She is a contributor to the Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Spectator, and the Times Literary Supplement.  Before turning her hand to writing, Judith worked as an editor for various publishing houses, including the publications department of the National Portrait Gallery, London.  She lives in London.

 

New Release: LOVE & DEATH IN BURGUNDY by Susan C. Shea

51fRjVeLF7LLOVE & DEATH IN BURGUNDY by Susan C. Shea / Mystery / Released May 2, 2017 by Minotaur Books

Francophiles and Agatha Christie fans will savor this charming new series from critically acclaimed author Susan C. Shea.  LOVE & DEATH IN BURGUNDY introduces a witty and sophisticated village mystery willed with complex characters, and beautiful depictions of decadent food and the French countryside.

After three years of living in the small town of Reigny-sur-Canne, all Katherine Goff really wants is to be accepted by her neighbors into their little community.  But as an American expat living in the proud region of Burgundy, that’s no easy task.

When the elderly Frenchman who lives in the village chateau is found dead at the bottom of a staircase, the town is turned into a hot bed of gossip and suspicion, and Katherine suddenly finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into the small town’s secrets.  A motherless teenaged, a malicious French widow, a brash music producer, and a would-be Agatha Christie are among those caught up in a storm that threatens to turn Katerine’s quite life upside down.  As more and more of the villagers’ secrets are brought to light Katherine must try and figure out who, if anyone, in the town she can trust, and which one of her neighbors just might be a killer.

Susan Shea’s atmospheric mystery novel is filled with good Chablis, french cheese, and of course murder.

SUSAN C. SHEA spent more than two decades as a non-profit executive before beginning her career as a mystery author.  Susan is past-president of the northern California chapter of Sisters in Crime and secretary of the national SinC board, a member of MWA, and blogs on CriminalMinds.  She is also at the author of the Dani O’Rourke mystery series.  Susan lives in Marin County, California and travels to France as often as she can.

New Release: MURDEROUS MAYHEM AT HONEYCHURCH HALL by Hannah Dennison

61lIVUJheYL._SY346_MURDEROUS MAYHEM AT HONEYCHURCH HALL by Hannah Dennison / Mystery / Released May 2, 2017 by Minotaur Books

The fourth installment of the Honeychurch Hall mysteries finds Antique dealer Kat Stanford opening her antique business in the Devon countryside.  Word of mouth spreads but the erratic behavior of Kat’s first client causes suspicion and when he winds up connected to the Honeychurdh family a multilayered mystery presents itself.

Kat’s mother, Iris, also has a mystery of her own – the only copy of her new manuscript never arrives at her publisher.  There is every possibility that Muriel Jarvis, the postmistress and notorious busybody, may expose Iris’ secret identity as the bestselling romance writer Krystalle Storm.

In the spine-tingling climax, both past and present collide as Kat fights for her life and those she holds most dear, dancing once again with the dark forces lurking behind the grandeur of Honeychurch Hall.

HANNAH DENNISON began her writing career as a trainee reporter for a small West Country newspaper in Devon, England.  Hannah is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of American, the Willamette Writers, British Crime Writers’ Association and Toastmasters International.  She is also the author of the Vicky Hill mysteries.

 

New Release: THE NO. 2 FELINE DETECTIVE AGENCY by Mandy Morton

51pdun5X0JL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_This looks adorable …

THE NO. 2 FELINE DETECTIVE AGENCY by Mandy Morton / Cozy Mystery / Released March 28, 2017 by Minotaur Books

Mandy Morton introduces us to two best friends, Hettie and Tilly.  They do all the normal things besties do, have dinner, gossip, and fight for those who can’t.  But they are cats.  The first book in the series, The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency is a world full of just cats doing human-like things.

Hettie Bagshot has bitten off more than any cat could chew.  As soon as she launches her No. 2 Feline Detective Agency, she’s bucketed into a case:  Furcross, home for slightly olders cats, has a nasty spate of bodysnatching, and three of the residents have been stolen from their graves.  Hettie and her sidekick, Tilly, set out to reveal the terrible truth.  Is Nurse Mogadon involved in a deadly game?  Has the haberdashery department of Malkin & Sprinkle become a mortuary?  And what flavor will Betty Butter’s pie of the week be?

In a haze of catnip and pastry, Hettie steers the Furcross Case to its conclusion, but will she get there before the body count rises – and the pie sells out?

MANDY MORTON began her professional life as a musician.  More recently, she has worked as a freelance arts journalist for national and local radio.  The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency series was inspired by her own cats, Hettie and Tilly.

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.