When you consider the current political environment, the rerelease of Passion Play makes all the more sense. In this dystopian version of the US, the government is controlled by ultra conservatives who force their version of Christian Fundamentalism on the public. Vigilantes are prevalent and “sins” are violently punished. Diane Fletcher is an investigator, an empath whose abilities allow her to solve crimes through understanding the nature of the perpetrator. When Jonathan Mask, a Fundamentalist Icon and celebrity is killed, Diane is brought in to determine whether the situation was an accident or murder. The case is a difficult one, made more so by Mask’s nature. He was a celebrity, the voice of fundamentalism, but as Diane discovers he was also far more than that.
Passion Play questions the nature of judgment and justice. The society is supposedly Christian, but it i...
A Toast to Murder by Allyson K Abbott
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 25 Jul 2017
The chilling scavenger hunt where Mack’s ability to decipher clues determines whether or not one of her friends or even she herself will die finally comes to a head in A Toast to Murder. Don't be afraid to pick this novel up if you haven't read Allyson K Abbot’s previous novels. She does an exemplary job of explaining previous events without it being boring or repetitive to readers who have read the previous novels. Mack has synesthesia. She experiences sensory information in multiple modalities, making her privy to information others are not, including giving her an uncanny sense when others are lying. A Toast to Murder is a game changer. While Mack believes she knows the identity of the letter writer, she has little concrete evidence. She is also uncertain of who the writer’s accomplice is, although it is clear it is a member of the Capone club that has betrayed t...
Ruined Stones By the author of The Guardian Stones
by Eric Reed
Poisoned Pen Press
Historical Fiction , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 04 Jul 2017
With the men away at war, women took on many jobs traditionally held by men, including police work. Grace Baxter is a newly minted WPC just assigned to Newcastle-on-Tyne. As a woman, her capabilities are suspect, but every hand is needed. When an unknown prostitute’s body is discovered carefully arranged in the ruins of a Roman temple, Grace suspects murder. Her superior feels it is an accident, but is happy for Grace to occupy herself. The villagers are reluctant to share their secrets - even more so when a second body is found, that of Grace’s roommate’s ne'er do well husband. Complicating the murder inquiries are the village’s inherent suspicion of incomers and the fear and prejudice against refugees.
Grace’s inquisitiveness, as well as her good sense and ability to approach people, serve her well as a consta...
by Sally Spencer
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 01 Jul 2017
It takes a lot of courage to sideline the lead character of a successful mystery series. Sally Spencer has done just that in The Hidden, placing DCI Monika Paniatowski in a coma after being attacked by a teen’s killer. Monika knows who the killer is but is unable to share that knowledge with her team. Monika’s attack and the ritualized murder of a teen found nearby is given to DCI Rhino Dixon’s team, pushing Monika’s team to the side. Dixon is more interested in fast results rather than in finding the truth, so Crane, Meadows and Beresford decide to risk their careers by mounting their own investigation. The behavior of the families associated with the young girl are strange, leading to the discovery of a peculiar cult and a killer who may try to ensure Monika never wakes up.
You can count on Stella Cameron for a British village mystery that isn’t formulaic. Her mysteries are well composed and immensely satisfying. They are cozies, but they are not designed for humor. If you like Midsommer Murders or Rosemary & Thyme, you will definitely enjoy Cameron’s novels. The residents of Folly-on-Weir feel real, as opposed to being stereotypes. Also, her novels are never straightforward murder mysteries. There are murders of course, but they are simply part of the larger scenario.
Lies that Bind begins with the discovery of a woman’s body in a neighboring village. Alex is drawn into the fray because the young man who discovered the body is the brother of one of her employees. The boys have been staying alone while their father, a lorry driver, is off working. The boys are afraid for the police to discover...
A Dark so Deadly by Stuart MacBride
HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 20 Apr 2017
A Dark So Deadly is a novel as alluring as it is repelling. You need to know what happens next, despite how disturbing the contents are. Systematic abuse, kidnapping and rape, paedophelia, cannibalism and murder all play a role. This novel is definitely for mature readers only. It isn't a cozy and is far darker than a lot of British police procedurals.
The Misfit Mob are where all the detectives that no one else wants are sent. DC Callum MacGregor is assigned to the group when he takes the blame for his pregnant girlfriend’s mistake - a mistake that got a known criminal off a murder charge. They get all the crap cases, but this time they get something special. What looks to be an ancient mummy, possibly stolen from a museum is in fact the mummified form of a missing young man. And he is only the first to be discovered....
The Colin Pendragon and Ethan Pruitt mysteries will immediately remind you of another more famous pair. There are quite a few characteristics shared by Holmes and Pendragon. The biggest difference lies in Pendragon’s many societal connections and his ability to play the dandy with aplomb. Pruitt like Watson is always a few steps behind, but always quick to lend a hand. Even his formidable housekeeper can be compared to Holmes's Mrs Hudson. Pendragon even has his own masterful female antagonist.
The plot is where The Endicott Evil shines. It is a mystery worthy of Holmes himself. An elderly woman is dead. The Yard believes her death a suicide, but her sister believes she was murdered by her aide. Colin Pendragon agrees the death is not suicide, but doesn't immediately fix upon a culprit. The case is complicated by Eugenia’s reluctance to sp...
Except for One Thing by John Russell Fearn
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 24 Feb 2017
I love old mysteries, so it is a pleasure to explore Endeavour Press’s publications. Except For One Thing was first released in the late 40s but is just as enthralling today. It pits the genius and ego of chemist Richard Harvey, the murderer, against the determination and persistence of Chief Inspector Garth. Even better, the killer takes part in the investigation. This unusual book allows the reader to peer into the mind of a brilliant killer as he plots, rationalizes and slowly decays as the consequences of his actions become apparent.
Richard Harvey has a problem. He loves Joyce Prescott, but he is engaged to Valerie Hadfield, a cold hearted actress who refuses to break their engagement. Ending the relationship would cause a public scandal, threatening his reputation and that of his beloved’s family. A chance discussion with a group of friends brings up a q...
Night of the Jabberwock is a brilliant and unusual mystery perfect for lovers of early noir and Lewis Carroll. Frederic Brown not only gives readers a cunningly plotted murder mystery, he offers some of the most eloquent commentary on books, life and death that I've seen. Frederic Brown distributes quotes from Lewis Carroll throughout - a definite match for the surreal sequence of events. Night of the Jabberwock isn't really a fantasy although there are some fantastic elements. Nor is it a horror story. It is most definitely a mystery.
Doc Stoeger runs a small town paper. He likes his chess, his liquor and his Lewis Carroll, not necessarily in that order. Carmel City rarely has any exciting news. What Doc doesn't bargain for is a night of gangsters, murder, and strange coincidences. Ultimately framed for a double murder, believed to be a madman and hunted by po...
I'm a bit of a romantic, so ramshackle manor houses with long hidden secrets naturally appeal. Add that to a cunningly composed police procedural and you definitely have my attention.
From the start, readers learn that secrets lie in the past. Fourteen years ago something happened at Flowerdew estate, and those involved pledged to keep quiet. Now, someone in the group is threatening to reveal the truth. When an anonymous note alleging that a murder has gone long hidden crosses the desk of DCI Gil Mayo, the last thing he expects is for it to lead to a death. When Angie Robinson, an intelligent but little liked woman is found strangled, at first it appears to be a sex crime. The deeper DCI Mayo and his new DS Abigail Moon dig, the more links to Flowerdew estate and those who resided there emerge.